Myth of the Perfect Day
Why it’s so hard to get good nutrition even when we make good choices
Good Choices Still Aren't Enough
If you’re like most folks, you believe that if you just eat a varied, healthy diet, you’ll get all the nutrition you need.
Unfortunately, even the healthiest foods aren’t as packed with nutrition as you may think. The truth is, even your perfect nutritional day — you know, a day when you resist the siren song of not-so-good-for-you treats and eat sensibly all day long — probably still leaves you with some nutritional deficiencies.
Let’s dissect this “perfect” nutritional day:
The "Perfect Day"
1/2 whole wheat English muffin
Steel cut oats
Fresh squeezed orange-grapefruit juice
Wheat bran and almond
Lean turkey on whole wheat bread/light mayo, mustard
Tomato, cucumber, onions, vinegar/oil dressing
15 low fat milk
Apple, 25 cottage cheese
Chances are you’d go to bed pleased after eating this way, thinking you’d treated your body right. But even on days when you eat this well — which, face it, isn’t every day for most of us — your diet is shockingly inadequate. In fact, this “perfect day” diet is low in fiber and falls short of the RDA for eight vitamins, four macrominerals, and some trace elements.
But don’t worry; you’re not alone. The scientific literature confirms that 52% of the population is deficient in vitamin C, 42% in vitamin D, 32% in folic acid, 10% in vitamin E, 7% in vitamin B12, and 1.4% in vitamin A.
And some groups are more at risk than others. Take vitamin D. A shocking 74% of older adults and 82% of people with dark skin are deficient in the sunshine vitamin.1 Overall, the risk of vitamin deficiency or anemia (iron deficiency) is highest in women of childbearing age, non-Hispanic blacks, lower-income people, individuals who are over or underweight, and those with poor diets.2
It’s not just vitamins and minerals we’re missing though; we’re sorely lacking in fiber and phyto-nutrients like polyphenols. To get the right amount of fiber and a good mix of superfood polyphenols, you need to consume 10 servings of vegetables and fruits each day.
Turns out, it’s really hard to be perfect. (Maybe you knew that already.)
Perfect Day Totals
- 2,100 calories and 70 grams of fat
- Low in fiber
- Below the RDA for Vitamins A, B12, B6, D, E, Niacin, Riboflavin and Thiamin
- Vitamin D (10%) and Vitamin E (37.5%)
- Below the RDA for Minerals: Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, Iron, some trace elements
Why the Gulf?
Why does is this perfect nutritional day lacking in so many essential nutrients? Turns out, it’s nearly impossible to get all the nutrition you need from diet alone. A primary reason is that mass agricultural practices have stripped our soil of minerals and friendly microbes. Excessive tilling, synthetic fertilizers, and pesticides deplete the soil, and many farms don’t use cover crops to restore its health.3,4
In addition, scientists suspect increasing levels of Co2 in the atmosphere may be affecting the nutritional profile of foods, lowering vitamin, mineral, and protein content and raising carbohydrates.5
As a result, food just isn’t as nutritious as it used to be. Have a look at the chart below. Startling, isn’t it?
Compounding the problem, you may not be eating as well as you think. When considering their overall diets, folks tend to remember what they intended to eat more than what they really ate. In one study, guys estimated they ate a little over two servings of fruit a day. In actuality, they ate less than one.6
The Fiber Problem
Another reason it’s hard to eat perfectly is because we’re supposed to consume an awful lot of fiber — more than most people realize. On average, Americans get 15 grams per day. That’s well short of what we need: 25 grams for women and a whopping 38 grams for men. Even if you include good sources of fiber at every meal (like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables), it’s still remarkably hard to get enough. One cup of oatmeal, for example, only contains four grams of the stuff.
For all these reasons, it’s good to know Previlli™ contains extracts from apples, cabbage, carrots, cranberries, grapefruit, purple sweet potato, radish, and many more fruits and vegetables — plus PreticX™ and PreforPro® prebiotic fiber. We all have days when we fall short of nutritional perfection. But if you take Previlli™, you’ll know you got closer.