How To Get All Of Your Nutrition From Food

Constructing A Meal Plan

Final Adjustments

Our now epic quest to create a nutritionally-complete meal plan is reaching its final conclusion, however there are still a few more adjustments to be made. I hope you have found that all this effort was worth it to not have to simply take a multivitamin every day. Let's get on with it.

Nutritionally Complete Meal Plan With Food Costs
Nuts and Seeds: 1 cup ($1.93)
Beans: 1 cup, dried ($0.43)
Whole Grains: 1 cup, dried ($0.36)
Dark Leafy Greens: 2 cups, raw ($1.17)
Mushrooms: 1 cup, raw ($1.07)
Whole Milk: 1 cup ($0.25)
Total Food Cost: Just over $5 a day

Alright, so we were reviewing the miconutrient content of our nutritionally-complete meal plan:

FA Water

We are now down to the last three items: calcium, B3 and B12. To be honest, I am a little surprised to find ourselves still a bit short on the niacin. In order to remedy this situation, I am going the advanced nutrient search tool over at Nutrition Data to see if there is a food that is high in all three of these on a per-calorie basis.

It turns out, there are. These foods include: sardines, clams, oysters, octopus, organ meats, and yeast spread. Yeast spread is an interesting idea, which is also vegan-friendly, since yeast are not animals, but microbes. A similar, but lower-sodium item to consider is nutritional yeast, for which the serving size would be two rounded tablespoons (about 15 grams.) In the case of seafood or organ meats, the appropriate serving size is three ounces.

It is a difficult decision, I will admit. We can stay totally vegetarian with our meal plan by using the nutritional yeast, and also stay completely within our macronutrient ratios. Or we can throw in a little bit of seafood or organ meat to round out our nutritional profile, but go a little bit over the fat and protein content of our meal plan.

I'm going to go for the sardines.

Here's why: Sardines are an excellent source of many nutrients, including the three that we are looking for here. Unlike nutritional yeast, sardines are also a rare source of food-based vitamin D. In addition, they are also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are also essential nutrients we have not previously discussed. Sardines also do have a fair amount of salt naturally found in them, so we can take that quarter teaspoon of extra salt back out of the meal plan, if we add them in.

Alright, it looks like everything is finally in order! Let's do another quick recap to find out.