We are constantly told about the benefits of a varied diet. But if you had to survive on only one type of food — which one would leave you the longest life? Not by bread alone — at least because after a month of this experiment will have scurvy. The best diet and nutrition plans include bunch of products that you get everything from vitamin C to iron and linoleic acid, it is not thinking about it. Even bizarre diet that involves taking multiple products or complete exclusion of other, quite varied to be nutritious. But imagine for a moment if you were fed only one food. It would be more nutritious than the other? Is it possible to eat one potato, banana or avocado, for example?
One thing is certain: the right options are unlikely to include meat or fruits and most vegetables. Meat has no fiber, and key vitamins and nutrients. Fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins, but they don't have sufficient fats and proteins, even if you eat them to satiety. The body requires not so much to live as you would think, but that doesn't mean that it can stain the electoral hunger.
Polar Explorer, Vilhjalmur Stefansson described this phenomenon in people of Northern Canada rabbit starvation — among those who eat only very lean meat, for example, rabbit. They have "a week later developed diarrhea, headaches, fatigue, discomfort." To avoid death from malnutrition, suffering from rabbit starvation had to consume some amount of fat, he wrote. John Krakauer in his book "Into the wild" assumed that Chris McCandless died from rabbit starvation. It is believed that if you receive all calories from protein and almost not to obtain from fats and carbohydrates, it is possible to suppress the liver's ability to metabolize protein.
However, if you remove meat and most of vegetables from the table, it may seem unexpected that the potatoes would not be the worst option, says nutritionist Jenny Jackson from Caledonian University in Glasgow. Last year, she wrote about the Australian Andrew Taylor, who spent a year eating only potatoes, to lose weight and acquire healthy habits.
The fact that starchy food potatoes are unusually high in protein, but also have a wide range of amino acids, says Jackson. But even if we swallow 3 kilos of potatoes every day, it will be only 2/3 of the recommended amount of calories for the human physique Taylor.
Potatoes Also do not include the recommended amount of fat, and although Taylor has included sweet potatoes, which contain vitamins A and E, iron and calcium, Jackson notes that B vitamins, zinc and other minerals will be in short supply. And yet after a year Taylor was in order. Lost quite a bit of weight.
Potatoes generally appears frequently in these conversations. A few years ago in the magazine the Chicago Reader wrote an interested reader asked, is it true that you can live on a potato and milk. In the end, say up to the Irish potato famine, people lived on almost only potatoes. Cecil Adams, columnist of the magazine, turned to an expert and found out that potatoes and milk are, in principle, can provide all the necessary nutrient material — in addition to the mineral molybdenum. But if you add a bit of oatmeal, to be repaid and the deficit.
Hearing this, Jackson laughs, "Yes, it's our diet the Scottish diet, which for hundreds of years. That's right: potato, milk, cereal and a bit of cabbage."
But if you put aside purely a nutritional issue, there are other barriers to the selection of only one kind of food. Humans have built-in mechanisms for avoiding such situations (perhaps because they lead to malnutrition and exhaustion in the end) — in particular, the phenomenon of the so-called "sense of satiety". More than one type of food you eat, the less you digest. "I call it the script of the pudding," says Jackson, "when you go to dine, eat and can't even bite to bite. And then someone makes a pudding, and you let him add a few more calories." There is a danger that if there is the same food every day over a long period, it will be harder and harder to force myself to eat it. Three kilograms of bananas every day? Three kilograms of avocados? Oatmeal for Breakfast, lunch and dinner? Chicken breast, chicken breast, chicken breast, chicken...
In addition, there is no logic to build a diet of one food and not of the many, and it does not hurt due to the lack of all the necessary vitamins, minerals and nutrients. To understand this, you need to consider how we came to the modern understanding of nutrition. In the early 20th century, the researchers deprived rats of certain nutrients and watched, they die or start to hurt or not. So we learned about the existence of vitamins, for example. Without them, the rats die very quickly.
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