How are we all still alive?

I just started using cronometer and I can't believe all the gaps in my nutrition. To get all the vitamins and minerals you need, you really do need to eat some dark leafy greens and an orange/yellow vegetable every day, as well as a lot of other healthy foods.

But I know that most Americans are eating fast food and drinking soda -- how are they even alive??? I'm freaking out just finding out how hard it is to get enough potassium every day. I don't know how the anti-vegetable set does it.


  • The "essential" nutrients aren't necessarily need to live, but deficiencies can lead to poor health. Potassium/sodium balance helps control water in cells vs. in blood stream. Lack of potassium (and excess of sodium) increases the risk of high blood pressure.

  • edited August 2020

    Some of the perceived "gaps" in nutrition are merely the result of poor data quality, and not actual nutritional "gaps".

    I'll admit that I have made several nutritional changes based on the information at my disposal, thanks to Cronometer.

  • Most of the USA have health problems, some more serious than others. I suspect a lot have them and don't even know it. I also personally believe that a lot of the ailments that people get put on medication for, could be managed by diet if people wanted to change and do the work required.

  • I have to admit having the same reaction as you as I use Cronometer. Being vegetarian, hitting all my targets is actually a challenge without supplementation or a multi-vitamin. I'm finding it's better to eat small amounts of a greater variety of foods than to eat larger portions of fewer foods, as far as meeting targets goes. I always considered my diet very healthy, and yet, like you, I wonder about the majority of Americans who eat the usual burger and fries and other fast food.

  • @Fern36
    As an RD, one of my favourite features of Cronometer is their nutrient "Data Confidence Score" (visible when you hover your mouse over the intake percentage in your diary). This score tells you how well your diary reflects your actual intake.

    A lot of nutrients have low scores because they are just not well-reported on food labels or by databases (e.g. iodine).

    When interpreting your data, consider your weekly and monthly intake for various nutrients, rather than your day-to-day intake.

    As a vegetarian, some supplements are needed but eating plant-based increases the chances that you can reach 100% on the majority of targets.

    Kind regards,

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

  • It's the difference between being alive and the quality of life ....

    If you wake up without goals, go back to sleep ...

  • Manicask, I started on cronometer because my vitamin D and B12 were off the charts when I got my annual blood work done. A sign that I was taking way too many supplements. I switched up what I take and I also found my postassium low. (I have fruit/vegetable intolerances & allergies.) One small can of low sodium V8 popped it right up to where it should be. I've now been running at 97-100% of my targets.

  • Understanding that the data is as good as the item you choose - how might I see which of my recipe items could be improved if I chose a different (more completely known in the data) version of the same thing? For most foods there are well-known and poorly known nutrition profiles. But having used Cronometer for years I have lots of recipes - is there a way to see which items are causing less-than-best Confidence Scores?

  • Hi jhosford,

    You'll get the best confidence scores from using foods from NCCDB, they have more nutrients recorded than other sources so you will have fewer gaps in your data.

    There's no quick way to see the source of each food added to your recipes on the website. You could add a recipe to your diary. Right-click to explode the recipe, then right-click each ingredient to View/Edit Selected Food. You can see the source listed under the name of the food.

    Do you ever use Cronometer on the mobile app? On the app you can open a recipe from the foods tab, then tap on each food to see its source and how many nutrients are recorded for that food. Quite a bit faster this way!

    Karen Stark
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

  • Hi, Karen! OK - I see the 'trick' is to look for NCCDB. Maybe easier on mobile, I'll take a look. Thanks for the guidance - much appreciated! Jon

  • @Karen_Cronometer Looking at my foods today I have a 71% confidence score, but all the foods are NCCDB. Two are combined into recipes but all the elements are NCCDB. Why only 71%?

  • Hi PuterMan,

    The Data Confidence score gives you an idea of how complete the nutrition data is. While NCCDB foods have the most nutrient data, there are still some gaps. For example biotin, chromium, iodine and fluoride.

    I'd be interested to see what foods you've added, to see if there is anything else causing the lower confidence score. You could also explode the recipes in your diary, then click on each food to see which foods are missing data.

    Karen Stark
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

  • I listed everything and the post did not post :(

    Anyway the basics of it are, if you select say 2 or 3 foods the score is 100%. Deselect them and it drops back to 72% (was 71% earlier)

    I took out the 2 items now in there that were custom and got back to 82.9% unselected.

    I then removed the 2 supplements and I am then back to 100% on everything except Vitamin a and Omega 3.

    I agree that the custom items should be included but I would question the inclusion of the supplements.

  • How are we still alive? This cracked me up.

    I, too, have had a reality check in my first week using Cronometer. My so-called healthy diet is not as bulletproof as I thought, though it may look better over time than just day by day. Besides I’m 73, healthy, BMI below 21, and still ski, so that’s some consolation. But I’m always ready to improve!

    Meanwhile if anyone is looking for some salve for your injured pride, you might be interested in this research concluding 88% of American adults (of all ages!) are not metabolically healthy. Prevalence of Optimal Metabolic Health in American Adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2009–2016
    Joana Araújo, Jianwen Cai, and June Stevens
    Published Online:8 Feb 2019

    I was so stunned to read the headline I had to read the whole report. And the cutoffs sounded pretty reasonable to me. So maybe the anti-vegetable crowd is alive, but it sounds like they are more often than not struggling with chronic disease and disability that are, more often than not, preventable.

  • Being vegan....cronometer has been an eye opener. After decades of fruit/veggies/nuts & seeds, I am experimenting with higher vegan protein (i.e., tofu, tempeh and incorporating a smaller amount of beans & legumes, organic high quality vegan protein powder). For the first time, I'm meeting protein requirements, (but my fat has increased).

    I can't imagine how people are healthy without the information that chronometer supplies. I'm aware of my success and deficients daily...working to improve so I can live a healthy fulfilling life. Agree, I doubt that most people unaware of their nutritional status, as well as exercise/anti-stress techniques/sleep, are going into their senior years with vibrant energy and health.🏃🏻‍♂️🍎🧘🏻‍♀️🥦🏋🏻‍♂️🥗🚣🏾

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