The cover photo is a joke… 😉
So as some of you may already know, two weeks ago I published ‘The Crumby Vegan Food Diary (Feat. Crumpets)‘. In this article, I recorded everything I ate for a week and then told you guys about it. It was fun.
At the same time I tracked everything I ate in Cronometer to keep a track of what nutrients I may be under or over-indulging in (I know under-indulging isn’t a word). Then I wanted to tell you about it and consequently this blog post was born.
A few notes to add beforehand:
- I take a multi-vitamin (Multivitality for Vegetarians and Vegans) every day so incase you thought some of my nutrients were super human, yours can be too 😉
- Cronometer can only give us an idea about my diet (what’s going good/bad) but I will be going for a blood test soon to get a more accurate reading.
- As I live in Spain, sometimes the brand of food I use isn’t in Cronometer, but I tried to choose the closest option available.
After inputting everything into Cronometer, I collected the data, averaged everything over the seven days and made bar charts.
So let’s see what this vegan was deficient in…
Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce you to the vitamin chart. Everything looks pretty normal apart from the dodgy vitamin D.
On average I got about 79% of my Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA) of vitamin D from my food. To be honest I’m really not bothered about vitamin D because I live in Spain and I would guess that I get the majority of my vitamin D from the sun.
This graph is a little more interesting than the previous one.
Let’s start with calcium. This was, on average, slightly below the RDA at 90%. I won’t worry about calcium, as it was so close, but to be safe I’ll make an effort to drink more fortified milk.
Next is the potassium. This was weirdly low and something I need to definitely consider. On average I got 51% of my RDA for the week in question. Fortunately it’s not hard for vegans to gain potassium and some great sources are spinach, white potato and aubergines (all which I love!). So a little bit of recipe planning wouldn’t hurt over the next couple of weeks.
Lastly is the sodium and I totally blame this one on Wonderful Husband.
He is a salt fiend!
Not only do we cook a lot of asian recipes (you should totally check out the recipe book Vegan Street Food by Jackie Kearney) hence we use a lot of tamari, but Wonderful Husband also likes to add salt. His cooking is super tasty, but this amount of salt cannot be healthy… I think this is definitely something I would like to address in our diet and hopefully cut down on quite a lot. Wonderful Husband, do you wish to comment on how we should go forward?
Hopefully he’ll have commented (below) by the time you’re reading this.
Ah the fats
Cronometer tells me I have a very healthy amount of fat in my diet, pretty much kissing the 100% line at just over 99% so I’m happy to give this one a green tick of approval (for at least the week I recorded the data).
Next are the omega-3 and omega-6. These are quite interesting. First off, both are slightly low but I don’t think I took into account all of the oil we used when frying our dishes, which would mean they would increase (especially omega-6).
Additionally, there is a lot of research regarding the omega-3 omega-6 ratio. The closer the ratio is to 1:1 the healthier, however the ratio is more like 1:16 for the average person in this day and age because of the over-use of oils. Most oils contain large amounts of omega-6, shown in the fab chart below (chart taken from GB Health Watch).
From my Lipids bar chart above, we can see my ratio is around 1:1 but as i had previously mentioned, maybe I had left out some of the oil we used to cook and considering we mainly use vegetable or olive oil for frying, this would definitely mean an increase in my omega-6. Although it would increase, I doubt my ratio will differ too much. This will definitely be considered in my next blood test.
So where do you get your protein from? I get all of my 142% RDA (on average) from plants.
Protein is one of the last things I worry about as a vegan. But looking closer, maybe I should…
I might need to pay more attention to lysine and cystine. Lysine is an essential amino acid and therefore quite important that I get the required amount. Beans, lentils and nuts are great sources of lysine, so in theory I should be easily able to increase my lysine levels if I plan my diet well.
Side note: I totally blame Wonderful Husband for my low lysine levels. Spirulina is also a great source of lysine (and I love it!) but Wonderful Husband won’t let me eat it anymore because it makes me fart too much 😦
Less worrying is cystine. It seems that oats, garlic and onion are great sources of cystine so I’m pretty sure I can sort that out pretty easily. Wonderful Husband is always moaning that I should eat oats for breakfast, so maybe (just this once) I’ll take his advice.
Lastly, after checking online and making sure I wasn’t going to die from too much Phenylalanine and Tryptophan, we can safely move on…
Finally, Cronometer seems to be of the mindset that I am eating a great amount of carbs and getting a great amount of fiber (perks of being vegan).
Totally ending this blog post on a high!
I’ve tried to be super honest with you guys and show you the flaws in my diet, but fortunately, as you saw above, there is nothing that can’t be fixed with a potato here and there. If you have any recommendations for vegan foods or recipes that are high in potassium, lysine or cystine then please comment below as I would love to hear them.
Thanks for reading! 💚