Getting all the recommended daily vitamins and minerals

I've been using Cronometer since Jan 6 and it is a wonderful tool to track what I eat, but I have not been able to get all the nutrients in the green. I bought two multivitamins for women over 55 and alternated them as they have slightly different ingredients. That got most of the vitamins in the green - over 400% of most of them - but no matter what I eat, the molybdenum and choline are always in the 30% range. Some foods do contain these and yet the vitamins have minor amounts. I am wondering if choline is left out of vitamins for a reason.

In contrast, the B vitamins in the pills, especially B12, look dangerously high - 1200% or more. So I tried taking no vitamin pills at all and still got many of the nutrients in the green. Are these vitamin pills even safe? They don't seem balanced at all, if your chart of all the recommended amounts is right. I am wondering why the vitamin manufacturers think we are all vegans and need huge amounts of B12. You don't if you eat meat.


  • @suze4

    You can also check to see if a nutrient has a "UL" (or tolerable upper limit/upper range) but clicking on the nutrient and looking for a "maximum". If there is no number then there is no known dose of a supplement known to cause toxicity.

    Kind regards,

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

  • How do you get the food suggestions when not hitting nutrient targets?

  • I am learning so much from using Cronometer - GREAT tool!!!

    I am having difficulty getting many of the nutrients in the green, especially the minerals like potassium and magnesium. Any suggestions on how NOT to go over calories, but still get enough minerals? A little nervous to supplement the minerals as the ingredients for the different minerals seem to be in hot debate between health practitioners. I also worry that my body does not get rid of minerals if I overdue it - correct?

    SarahSarah ... I did find that nutritional yeast has helped immensely to hit the B Vitamins and I am looking to add a 'kids' vitamin to fill in the other missed nutrients. You are correct - many adult vitamins are CRAZY over the top in amounts!

  • @SarahSarah

    Are you wondering about the oracle? If so, the following article will detail how to access food suggestions:

    When it comes to potassium, the recommended level of intake is an AI or Adequate Intake. This is the amount of nutrient we assume is adequate because there isn't enough research to give us a good indication of how much different groups of the population actually need.

    For potassium, I'm happy if someone hits 60-70% of the target for this nutrient. Magnesium, I would try to meet through food - beans and lentils are one of your best sources but the oracle (mentioned above) can give other suggestions too.

    Kind regards,

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:


  • As far as reaching the potassium requirement of 4700 mg for both men and women I can't get anywhere near that number if I don't eat a potato with the skin daily. I've heard so many times don't eat potatoes because it turns into a bad sugars in you blood stream. Or it's a "Night Shade" vegetable which is poisonous to the human body. Could you help me figure this out?

  • @Glorianna

    Many health professionals and organizations suggest aiming for an intake of potassium around ~3500 mg per day.

    Regarding potatoes, the research isn't there to support them as a dangerous or toxic food (unless you eat them raw). However, they are quite high on the glyemic index, which means they can spike your blood sugar fairly quickly if eaten alone. However, if you keep the skin on and combine them a meal that contains fibre and protein, along with healthy fats, their glycemic index will be lowered.

    Ultimately, if you like potatoes, include them in your diet. But if you're only including them to reach potassium, you don't need to eat them.

    Kind regards,

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

  • Thank You. I do enjoy potatoes and they help me keep full. I usually have one per day with lemon and a bit of oil. I always try to get the 4700 mg of potassium per day. I just recently heard of getting 3500 mg is okay. Is this because most people don't or won't eat foods that fulfill the 4700 mg. requirement?

  • @Glorianna

    I think it more so has to do with the fact that potassium only has an AI, rather than an RDA. This means that we don't know exactly how much potassium humans need for optimal health; we just have a best guesstimate. Emerging studies are starting to show that an intake less than the AI can be adequate.

    Kind regards,

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

  • I have over the past two months started taking high doses of Vitamin D3, Vitamin K2 and Magnesium Malate as I found out I was D3 deficient and the rest are co-factors to help with the uptake of D3 and Calcium. You shouldn't take Potassium at the same time as Magnesium. I also have A to Z multivitamins and minerals although they are RDA they are in my opinion inadequate if we are deficient in any of them and I make Adrenal Cocktails and Kefir. I have B12 injections for Pernicious Anemia and I have other conditions so these are all necessary along with keeping my weight down as I tend to gain easily now that I'm older.

  • Fortunately I get almost all vitamins and minerals to green (only vitamin K isn't always green). Fibers is my only problem now.

    The Way I followed is to look for every vitamin and minerals sources, filter those sources to the items I enjoy eating then make a plan suiting my schedule.

    I'll tell what I do but my plan may not suit you:

    On breakfast:

    Two boiled large whole eggs

    2 cups of milk 1.5% fat

    Half a large green pepper.

    One tablespoon of dried theme planned for vitamin K.

    Lunch: sardine canned in oil drained wirh three tablespoons of olive oil.

    A meal that is different each day.

    Dinner: complete the vitamins and minerals left after breakfast and lunch from these sources:

    Watermelon seeds, Sunflower seeds and peanuts

    1 cup of milk 1.5% fat

    Half a large green pepper.

    The only supplement I take is sometimes I add salt substitute to get some potassium.

    Now let's see what these foods give me:

    Eggs give me most of choline, the other come from milk and sardines.

    Milk completes on its own calcium,vitamin B12 and vitamin b2, it also gives me most of my vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin B5 and good amount of potassium, it also comes with small amount of magnesium and zinc. It is really a natural super food.

    Watermelon seeds completes what's left of magnesium and zinc.

    Sunflower seeds completes what's left of vitamin E,folate and vitamin B5.

    Peanuts gives me vitamin B3 and also some magnesium and zinc.

    Green pepper gives me vitamin C and some of vitamin A.

    Sardines give me omega 3 and the rest of vitamin D, it also packs iron, calcium and magnesium.

    Phosphorus is easy and so is selenium and copper, Manganese comes from a funny source: tea which I like very much.

    Vitamin B1 and most my folate comes from a funny source too: white pita bread.

    Thyme gives me vitamin K, it is also rich in iron.

    My advice: search in the sources you enjoy and believe me, you will find what you need without supplements, all the food I mentioned is food I enjoy :).

    My only hope is to find a way for fibers and we're talking about 38 grams which I find so hard.

  • Nice menu but I'm not great at sticking to a menu as I don't have much structure in my life. I also believe that modern day natural foods are depleted also of minerals due to modern farming methods and that is why most of the world is Magnesium deficient without realising and then have to turn to the medical profession for their ailments. We need quite a bit of Magnesium during the day as the amount of added Calcium that is added to foods and pills and then people find they are taking heart meds and diabetes meds, blood pressure meds and I could go on...

  • SSTally301

    Coconut water provides a lot of potassium along with bananas.

  • NorahL ...
    I do like/consume the Coconut Water (Harmless Harvest!) and eat bananas. I have found that Avocados are a better source with higher the potassium and fiber while being lower in sugar. Even-so, 1 whole California Avocado is only about 20% of the daily need for Potassium. I do eat other foods with potassium, but usually am still missing about 40% on average each day.

    Susan_RD_101 ...
    I guess I am okay hitting the 60% mark on most days for potassium, thanks. Good idea about rice/lentils - I have added those (not a fan, but trying different recipes to find some I like).

  • edited March 2020

    @SSTally301 Avocados are a great source of many nutrients so is sweet potatoes, unfortunately especially if you need to lose weight and because of the fat even if it's good fat, a lot of avocados is not very sustainable..

    My Simple truth organic Coconut water ( From Ralphs/Kroger Chain if you are in the US) gives me 45% of my potassium intake of the day, Here's an example of last night, Mainly a coconut water & sweet potatoes.!

    Also im not keeping track of the rice/lentil discussion here, but just saw you mentioning that you are trying different recipes, look up Egyptian koshary, there is two types, regular (brown lentil) and my favorite would be koshary/kushari yellow (Asfar) and that is made with red lentil and is delicious!

  • NorahL ...
    Thanks for the ideas! I did not know about Simple Truth and I very much appreciate the lentil dish (Koshary) idea - I look forward to trying it!! Thank you!

  • @SSTally301 @Susan_RD_101 Re potassium and magnesium, go chocolate!

    potassium, last 8 weeks average: 120 % AI

    magnesium, last 8 weeks average: 177 % RDA

  • @endlessoblivion

    LOVE IT!

    I eat chocolate in the morning before anything else (and will make a point of buying some when I travel to keep this habit going). Chocolate is a nutrient-dense food; the darker the chocolate, the better this profile.

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

  • edited August 2021

    1 Tbsp Hershey’s special dark 100% cocoa powder in my morning protein shake.

    Chocolate. The breakfast of champions!

    Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

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