perfect nutrition using common supermarket produce?

The problem is that no-one really knows if their diet is acceptable, as most people don’t have the lab equipment to test their food, or the time in which to do so (or the inclination).

I have an idea for a program that would be able to tell you the exact produce to buy from a supermarket to fit a perfect 100% nutrition diet, so that even if you’re not really into the idea of buying Jimmy Joy or Soylent, you can achieve the same end goal from the comfort of your own home.

To test this, I wrote a program over the weekend that used some ideas from artificial neural network training in order to come up with a reasonably close match to a perfect diet. I deliberately chose ingredients from a local shop. Their website doesn’t include the minerals and micronutrient values I wanted, so I had to merge their data with some other nutrition websites to put it all together.

The recipe (which adds up to €4.13/£3.60 for a day’s meals):

  • 352g Tesco Every Day Value Sliced Pickled Beetroot 340G (€0.61)
  • 191g Tesco Bananas Loose (€0.24)
  • 159g Tesco Rooster Potatoes 4Kg (€0.16)
  • 135g Tesco Every Day Value Roasted And Salted Cashew Nuts 125G (€1.67)
  • 103g Tesco Wholefood Soya Beans 500G (€0.47)
  • 67g Tesco Olive Oil 1L (€0.29)
  • 0.6 tablets Tesco Vitamin B Complex X 90 (€0.01)
  • 0.4 tablets Tesco Calcium And Vitamin D 90’S (€0.01)
  • 0.4 tablets Tesco High Strength Vitamin D 90S (€0.02)
  • 35g Tesco Wholefoods Quinoa 300G (€0.29)
  • 28g Tesco Sesame Seeds 100G (€0.24)
  • 27g Tesco Carrots Loose (€0.04)
  • 16g Tesco Vine Tomatoes 900G (€0.04)
  • 2.26g Tesco Brazil Nuts 200G (€0.02)

This will create a meal with the following nutritional values:

Name Recommended (g) Calculated % of Recommended
thiamin 1.00mg 1.61mg 161.37%
riboflavin 1.30mg 1.66mg 127.83%
niacin 17.00mg 17.77mg 104.55%
vitamin_b6 1.40mg 3.32mg 237.46%
vitamin_b12 1.50μg 1.50μg 100.00%
folate 200.00μg 477.79μg 238.90%
vitamin_c 40.00mg 61.39mg 153.48%
vitamin_a 700.00μg 700.00μg 100.00%
vitamin_d 10.00μg 10.00μg 100.00%
calcium 700.00mg 700.02mg 100.00%
phosphorus 550.00mg 1.37g 248.65%
magnesium 300.00mg 715.84mg 238.61%
sodium 1.60g 1.83g 114.46%
potassium 3.50g 3.50g 100.00%
iron 8.70mg 21.79mg 250.50%
zinc 9.50mg 13.34mg 140.37%
copper 1.20mg 5.34mg 445.07%
selenium 75.00μg 75.09μg 100.12%
calories 2500 2500 100.00%
protein 57.44g 57.44g 100.00%

It’s up to yourself how you use those ingredients, though – I’m just pointing them out!

The program itself takes only a few seconds to produce a new recipe, so it can be adapted to different profiles – people that need different calorie values, people with different weights (and therefore different protein requirements), people from different countries that might need different vitamin D values (74-88% of Irish people are vitamin D deficient), different values for different ages, different sexes, whether you’re pregnant, have diabetes, etc.

Caloric restriction is one strategy people are using to try live longer. Want a lower calorie intake, but don’t want less nutrition? Then just lower the calorie figure in the calculator.

That’s the major problem that I see in current future-foods like Huel, etc. They produce a one-size-fits-all meal.

I plan to change this by producing personal meal plans. Not only will you have a plans specific to your own needs, but you will also be able to adapt it in real-time. Want that pizza? Go ahead!, as long as you get its nutritional data and plug it into the machine so it can work around it.

The plan is progressing.

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