Vegan Nutrition

@ Susan_RD_101
Hello Susan,

I have three questions for you, and if you have already addressed those concerns elsewhere, please do not trouble yourself, just direct me to those locations.

  1. For whole food plant base nutrition, I am using the weight base formula to calculate my protein intake which I am able to meet daily; however, judging by the Cronometer percentage bar, my essential amino acids are seriously lacking ......reason for concern? Is the complimentary food intake theory for complete amino acid ingestion still in vogue , for instance, beans complemented with rice.......and so on?

I use Whole food intake first, supplement secondary, if absolutely needed. The supplement industry is DANGEROUS AND UNRELIABLE ( heavy metal contamination, adulterated and sub-therapeutic labeling........

  1. How to increase your fat intake on a whole plant food regimen in order to enhance Vit D, curcumin/turmeric, CoQ10 bioavailability ( no coconut oil/ MCT please!), Are there any published ratios to increase those nutrients/supplement to accommodate for this low fat intake, for instance, increase by 20% over the daily recommendation? Would avocado consumption work ? If so, how much?

  2. Finally, any solid and reliable resources for nutritional biochemistry that you are able to recommend?

Your several input here in Cronometer are solid and invaluable, I always benefit from them, keep up the good work!

Mike

Best Answer

  • Accepted Answer

    @mike Please see below for my comments. :)

    For whole food plant base nutrition, I am using the weight base formula to calculate my protein intake which I am able to meet daily; however, judging by the Cronometer percentage bar, my essential amino acids are seriously lacking ......reason for concern?

    Not necessarily. I generally recommend vegans reach a protein intake of 1 g per kilogram of healthy body weight; this helps to ensure that essential amino acids, iron, and zinc requirements are met.

    For amino acids, I'm only really concerned with lysine, which is found in legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas, soybeans), seitan, quinoa, pistachios, and pumpkin seeds. To make sure your amino acid profile is accurate, choose generic versions of the above foods (vs. name brand products).

    Is the complimentary food intake theory for complete amino acid ingestion still in vogue , for instance, beans complemented with rice.......and so on?

    We don't need to worry about complementary proteins; just lysine. :)

    I use Whole food intake first, supplement secondary, if absolutely needed. The supplement industry is DANGEROUS AND UNRELIABLE ( heavy metal contamination, adulterated and sub-therapeutic labeling........

    Agreed. Try to use reputable and well-known brands. In Canada (and northern lattitudes), everyone should take vitamin D. All vegan need B12 and there is some pretty good evidence that a DHA supplement is beneficial.

    How to increase your fat intake on a whole plant food regimen in order to enhance Vit D, curcumin/turmeric, CoQ10 bioavailability ( no coconut oil/ MCT please!), Are there any published ratios to increase those nutrients/supplement to accommodate for this low fat intake, for instance, increase by 20% over the daily recommendation? Would avocado consumption work ? If so, how much?

    There are no specific recommendations for fat but I'd suggest choosing whole food sources like nuts, seeds, nut/seed butter (natural), flax/chia/hemp, tofu, and avocados. By consuming at least 1-3 of these per day, you will easily consume at least 20% of your calories from fat, which is what I recommend to ensure adequate absorption of fat-soluble nutrients.

    Finally, any solid and reliable resources for nutritional biochemistry that you are able to recommend?

    Hmmmm..... I really like veganhealth.org but I don't spend a lot of time reading food biochemistry so I don't have any go-to references.

    Your several input here in Cronometer are solid and invaluable, I always benefit from them, keep up the good work!

    Thank you so much! <3

    Kind regards, Susan

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    cronometer.com
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:
    https://forums.cronometer.com/discussion/27/governing-terms-and-disclaimer

Answers

  • Can I ask you a question, please? I wrote to chronometer in the past but I think i was misunderstood. If let's say total daily protein intake is set on 56g. And let's say 56g corresponds to 0.9g of Cystine and 1.4g of Histidine (I just use these 2 as an example)
    If I decide to DOUBLE my protein intake to 112g let's say, Why the amino acid requirements do not change in correspondents to the protein intake? I'm not sure if this is a gap in my misunderstanding but 1g of protein is comprised of specific amount of amino acids. The same applies for 56g. Why the total protein intake modification doesn't cause a change in ALL amino acids to go up respectively?

  • @Elad770

    Our requirements for protein and amino acids are determined by the Institute of Medicine and based on our body weights (among other factors). You deciding to double your intake of protein doesn't mean that your requirement for protein or amino acids actually changes.

    Cronometer allows us to choose individual targets for both our micro and macronutrients but changing the target for protein won't automatically change the target for amino acids since each amino acid has it's own unique requirement based on your body weight, age, etc.

    Hope this is clear but let me know if it's not!

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    cronometer.com
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:
    https://forums.cronometer.com/discussion/27/governing-terms-and-disclaimer

  • Dear Susan. You have no idea how much I appreciate your response!. I'm a Nutrition Graduate student and still, this topic baffles me. You are saying that Amino acids are determined by Bodyweight and not a reflection of the overall protein consumed. If this is indeed the case, problem solved but my logic dictates to me that it can not be the case. If you check this link for example https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complete_protein

    And you see the total adult daily intake which is based on weight (Completely with you on that) . Let's say for 56g of total protein intake you need 248 mg Tryptophan.
    If a client requires Double the protein - 56g X2 isn't fair to say that Tryptophan must double respectively? 248mg X2 ? Otherwise how can we say that protein intake doubles without the essential amino acids the comprise it don't double? How can the body produce a complete protein molecule if the amino acids are not adjusted based on the overall protein intake?

  • @Elad770

    I see what you are saying and yes, I do think that if protein requirements are actually higher (to maintain nitrogen balance) then amino acids would be too.

    I think the best way to answer this is that amino acid requirements are determined from protein needs which are determined from body weight (and other factors) to achieve nitrogen balance.

    To my knowledge, Cronometer isn't set up for amino acids to automatically adjust based on self-selected targets for protein.

    I think this chapter from the Dietary Reference Intakes should provide more clarity:

    https://www.nap.edu/read/11537/chapter/14#149

    Let me know if this helps!

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    cronometer.com
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:
    https://forums.cronometer.com/discussion/27/governing-terms-and-disclaimer

  • I'm not sure if this odd situation I encountered today is part of the issue listed above (aminos target not changing based on protein target (as a result of Chronometer coding, not nutritional reality)) or if this is something else:
    I somehow got well over 140% of all my aminos, and still only 40% of my overall protein for the day..?

  • It is related to the same problem and thank you for validating this issue with your post. I processed this with so many people that I stopped counting. I'm a nutrition graduate student and I even tried to ask my professors only to receive a vague answer. There's the sweet RDN that already kindly responded to my post (Susan) and she kind of agreed but also shed some interesting light so here are my thoughts here:
    There are few lenses from which people comment over this.
    One says: Amino acids are NOT correlated to your total overall protein intake but rather to your overall body weight. The reason why it is so is that every molecule of protein might be comprised of different amounts and proportions of Amino acids. for example: when most people think protein and amino acids they think: Muscles, Actin and Myosin- This protein will contain the same amino acids as other protein but in different proportions. But there are other many types of protein like Albumin which is very abundant in the body - Also contains all the amino acids but in different proportions. So...... To say that 1g of protein is made out of a specific amount of amino acids and if you multiply the protein you MUST multiply the amino acids respectively is not necessary the case, thus, the amino acids will be calculated based on someones' weight, knowing that specific weight will require the amino acids amounts to cover all the different processes needed. - That is the first view!

    the second view - which is what I'm trying to claim is that the ratio of amino acids given by the USDA is for a standard 2000Kcal diet that has 56g of protein. If my diet is not standard (Let's say I'm a professional athlete) and I need 120g of protein there must be an adjustment to amino acids in some way - I'm not sure it must be proportionate exactly to the protein amount but it must grow. In your case, your amino acid intake (which indicates you are over the RDA) ONLY corresponds to a 50g protein a day diet and not the higher amount of protein that you manually put it.
    This is especially an issue for plant-based eaters: If I put in 100g of protein a day and i NEED 100g a day, My methionine levels might indicate 100% but only based on 50g a day. In other words for 100g a day I will below on a few essential amino acids. And if I'm low that meant that the body won't be able to construct a full protein based on the number of amino acids that are low. Important note to mention is that amino acids circulate in your system for a few days and the body doesn't behave literally as I describe and it's way more complex than that. But for plant-based eater like me, certain amino acids will be constantly low and I must be aware of it. The public must be aware of it! Chronometer MUST consult a professional about this and fix this issue. This is very serious and I don't know why this topic doesn't see the light and attention it deserves

  • Yes, I think the only part of Cronometer that actively updates with personalized targets is daily macros.
    The micros all seem to be set based on USDA RDA - which is confusing.
    Similarly, the percentages in the custom food area are all default values.

    I would love if Cronometer would address this issue so the tool is more useful without so much mental math!!

  • I hear what you're both saying but I think the challenge is that we don't have the information we truly need to make these adjustments right now.

    If we take protein and amino acids for example, we'd also have to consider how to adjust them for stages of the lifecycle and if someone is anabolic (i.e. growing, pregnant, an athlete, etc.) or catabolic (i.e. older adults).

    Vitamins and minerals are a little different than macronutrients. In some conditions and life stages they increase, and in others, they decrease.

    All this to say you are making very valid points but we just need the science to catch up to the need!

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    cronometer.com
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:
    https://forums.cronometer.com/discussion/27/governing-terms-and-disclaimer

Sign In or Register to comment.