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From: Lee H (
Subject:         Nutrient density and vegan diet design
Date: July 16, 2010 at 3:09 am PST

I assume, as a rough rule of thumb, that nutrient density decreases as you go down this scale:
(a) salad, vegetables
(b) tubers
(c) fruit
(d) nuts & seeds (except for fat density)
Is that roughly correct?

1. Fruitarian diet. Is nutrient density too low? Hence fruitarians might get insufficient nourishment for their energy intake, leading to gradual loss of weight & health.

2. Raw food diet. Although cooking destroys some nutrients and so lowers nutrient density, it increases availability of some nutrients, makes it easier to chew so that a greater volume of nutrients can be consumed in a limited mealtime, and increases the variety of nutrients consumed. Is that why most people benefit from some cooked food in their diet?

3. Heavy exercisers have a greater energy-requirement. Does that imply that they can get by with food of a lower nutrient density (e.g. more fruit), or does their need for additional nutrients increase in sync with their need for additional calories?

4. Do children over the age of 12 (say) in general have roughly the same profile of nutrient-requirements as adults?

5. You have explained why the nutritional case for eating nuts & seeds is weak. But do cases commonly arise where they can be beneficial - e.g. stomach too small or transit-time too rapid to accommodate more high-water food?

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