When you start to categorize food based on it’s nutrient composition instead of the experience of it simply being food you end up in a very strange place.
If you thinking about it enough you’ll end up with this common question:
“why can’t I just take a multivitamin to get all of my essential nutrients and then just eat whatever foods I want”
This is an obvious question and there is no obvious answer.
The essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals have been categorized this way because removing any one of them from your diet for an extended period of time will show a measurable physical deficiency (think Vit C deficiency and scurvy)
There may be other nutrients we don’t know about that could provide some sort of benefit, but in general we already know which ones you MUST ingest on a regular basis to avoid serious negative effects.
Theoretically there is no reason why you couldn’t just get all of your vitamins and minerals from a multivitamin and eat whatever mix of food you like to go along with it.
It’s likely that you’ll end up eating a mix of food anyway and get even more vitamins and minerals from whichever foods you choose to eat…there are very few food items that have absolutely no vitamins or minerals present in them.
Unless you tried to survive on pure white sugar there is really no way of eating without getting many vitamins and minerals.
Beyond these essentials there are a few other things to consider like fiber and perhaps some essential fats (although there is no scientific consensus on the need for essential fats or a daily dose)
Deconstructing food to it’s constituent parts is a good way to take all the fun out of eating. It makes much more sense to try and just enjoy whatever foods you have available and explore different tastes, flavors and styles.
There is very little chance that you will ever become vitamin or mineral deficient if you live in any sort of industrialized country (and if you’re reading this post that likely means you).
In today’s podcast we’ll talk about the concept of nutrients from multivitamins vs food and why this a false dichotomy simply because all foods have vitamins and minerals.