New Kidronite Dietary Guidelines: Foods
12 Food Groups
Foods in the New Kidronite Dietary Guidelines are divided into 12 functional groups: meats; dairy; seafood; fats and oils; starches; mushrooms; beans and legumes; leafy greens; vegetables; fruits; nuts and seeds; and sweeteners.
Foods are also classified as "Good", "Fair, "Mediocre", "Poor", or "Bad", based on how they compare to other foods in their own and other groups; those classified as "Good" and "Fair" are generally more nutrient-dense and/or far safer than those in a lower class. "Poor" foods should be avoided and "Bad" foods should be almost fully cut out of the diet. However, every food has some benefits and few should be completely prohibited; even most "Bad" foods can be consumed in small amounts once or twice a year with few ill effects. All nutritional data was gathered from NutritionData in April, 2014.
Meats, especially organ meats, are one of the richest sources of all nutrients in the NKDG on regular days due to their high concentration of fat-soluble vitamins, B vitamins, and minerals. Indeed, the organ meats (especially liver) are almost too nutrient-dense: they should not be avoided, but any given organ should be limited to no more than 2 meals per week. Other than animals far away from New Kidron, the animals with the most potent livers are the ruminants (e.g., Cows, Sheep, Goats, Bison, Deer, etc.); they all contain high, even slightly dangerous, levels of copper, so special care should be exercised and, while they should be eaten, they should be further limited to 1 meal a week. Muscle meats have less restrictions and are generally fine to consume in larger quantities; one of the only real issues with muscle meats is high methionine levels. Broths made from bones and joints are especially recommended and can be consumed in the largest quantities; they contain large amounts of glycine and other methionine-balancing nutrients that help counteract the negative effects of muscle meats. Remember that the way an animal is raised can significantly alter the quality—both in terms of flavor and nutrients—of its meat, but so can what happens after the animal has died: the best meats are from well-treated animals that have not undergone intensive mechanical or thermal processing.
Meats have a very wide caloric density, with between 30 and 100 calories per serving; no reliable data is currently available to calculate a serving's volume. Muscle meats are classified as "Good" if polyunsaturated fat makes up less than 10% of their total fat content; ruminants all have this ideal fat profile. Meats classified as "Mediocre" have a polyunsaturated fat content that ranges from 10% to 20% of their total fat content. "Bad" meats have a polyunsaturated fat content that makes up more than 20% of the total fat content. Organs meats and broths are all classified as "Good" because they are usually consumed in lower-fat preparations where the benefits of the other nutrients outweigh the tiny potential content of polyunsaturated fats; otherwise, organ meats and stocks have similar fat profiles to an animal's muscle meats.
Good Meats: Organs (Liver, Kidney, Heart, Giblet, etc.); Ruminant Muscle Meats (e.g., Beef, Lamb, Bison, etc.); most Bone, Joint, and Marrow Broths/Stocks
Mediocre Meats: Pork, Duck, and Goose Muscle Meats
Bad Meats: Chicken and Turkey Muscle Meats
Dairy is another rich source of nutrients: cheeses are great sources of calcium, milks contain a well-balanced assortment of vitamins and minerals, and eggs are packed with especially large amounts of choline. Due to the density, versatility, and typically high fat content of dairy foods, they are a very important food group on non-fasting days—even moreso than meats. Heat destroys the enzymes in dairy but kills pathogens, while fermentation adds nutrients (including vitamin K2) and improves digestibility; safety and nutritional concerns, therefore, need to be balanced when choosing dairy products.
Foods in this category are very diverse: milks usually have just under 20 calories per serving, eggs have about 40 calories per serving, and cheeses may have over 100 calories per serving. One serving of milk or eggs is equivalent to about 30mL or 1/8 cup; cheeses vary greatly and so no good volume can be given. Since dairy is difficult to classify, only some of the most popular items will be listed; all will be rated as "Good" due to their outstanding nutritional content.
Good Dairy: Eggs; Cheeses; Greek-style Yogurt; Kefir; Non-homogenzed Milks
Seafood can be a great source of fats and fat-soluble vitamins when other sources are not available; most seafood also has a huge amount of some other vitamins (e.g., B12) and minerals (e.g., selenium). But because of toxins, fish can be a very dangerous food to consume. Thankfully, the more popular fish in New Kidron are among the safest; most shellfish are on the safe end of the scale, too.
Seafood usually has 20–40 calories per serving; no reliable data is currently available to calculate a serving's volume. Because of the toxins in and the great diversity in benefits between the different types of seafood, only the most popular and healthy will be listed; they will be classified as "Good" because of their nutritional content and their safety. Sea vegetables will not be listed, but should also be considered for consumption.
Good Seafood: Oyster; Shrimp; Caviar/Roe; Salmon; Tuna; Tilapia, Pollock; Herring; Catfish
Fats and Oils
Fats and oils are food products which are mostly or entirely fat; some unrefined foods, like olives and avocados, are also included in this category. These foods are enormously important in the NKDG and normally provide the majority of calories in the diet. Because they are so important, quality is vital: only cold-pressed, [extra-]virgin oils should be used. If ghee is used, it should be homemade to ensure low levels of oxidation.
Pure fats and oils have approximately 250 calories per serving; one serving is equivalent to about 30mL or 1/8 cup. The other foods in this category are less calorically dense. Fats and oils are classified as "Good" if they contain less than 5% polyunsaturated fatty acids; this tight tolerance is necessary due to the large amount of fat calories in the TNR. Fats and oils are "Mediocre" if they contain less than 15% polyunsaturated fatty acids and/or more than 100µg of manganese; those that also have some other outstanding nutritional feature, like vitamin E, are bumped up to the "Fair" category. "Bad" fats and oils have a polyunsaturated fatty acid content of more than 15%; consequently, they're almost always rancid and should be completely avoided.
Good Fats and Oils: Coconut and Palm Kernel Oils; Butter and Ghee; Tallow; Cocoa Butter
Fair Fats and Oils: Red Palm Oil (vitamins A and E); Olive, Avocado, and their Oils (vitamin E)
Mediocre Fats and Oils: Duck Fat; Lard; Coconut
Bad Fats and Oils: Soybean, Canola, Corn, Peanut, Sunflower, Safflower, Cottonseed, and Grapeseed Oils
Starches are usually cereal grains or tubers that are made up primarily of starch—long chains of the sugar glucose; they are staple foods and compose the majority of carbohydrate calories in the NKDG. In addition to glucose, starches provide an assortment of minerals and B vitamins. However, because starches are often high in antinutrients (phytates, gluten, etc.), they normally require some type of preparation, ranging from mere cooking (e.g., potatoes and white rice) to milling and fermenting (e.g., wheat and barley) to unlock their full nutritional potential, improve digestibility, and reduce toxicity. Milled starches, in particular, should be of the highest quality: white, unbleached, and unenriched.
Dry starches have approximately 100 calories per serving; one serving of dry starches is equivalent to about 60mL or 1/4 cup. Starches are classified as "Good" if they contain less than 500µg of manganese per 100 calories and are low in antinutrients such as phytates. Starches classified as "Mediocre" contain less than 1mg of manganese per 100 calories, have moderate levels of antinutrients, and/or sucrose makes up more than 5% of their calories. "Bad" starches contain over 1mg of manganese per 100 calories and have very high levels of antinutrients.
Good Starches: Sourdough-fermented and/or Malted White Wheat and Barley; Potato; White Rice; Nixtamalized Corn; Taro; Processed Cassava
Mediocre Starches: Sweet Potato (sucrose); Pasta, Corn, Light Rye, Quinoa, Sorghum, Millet, Buckwheat, White Wheat, and Barley (antinutrients)
Bad Starches: Dark Rye; Oat; Brown Rice; most other Whole Grains
Mushrooms are edible fungi that, while low in calories, are packed full of nutrients like B vitamins, copper, and selenium. They are very important in the NKDG and form a staple food group.
Uncooked mushrooms have on average 10 calories per serving; one serving is equivalent to about 80mL or 1/3 cup. Mushrooms are all classified as "Good" because, based on available data, all of the common, safe mushrooms have a similar nutritional content and are healthy choices.
Good Mushrooms: Shiitake; Portobello/Crimini/White; Enoki; Oyster; Maitake
Beans and Legumes
Beans and legumes are dry fruits or seeds that usually contain large amounts of complex carbohydrates, fiber, and protein. They are unusually good sources of B vitamins and minerals and thus form an important staple of the NKDG. But they also contain a lot of antinutrients (phytic acid, lectins, etc.), so attention must be paid to their preparation.
Nearly all beans and legumes but peanuts have about 100 calories per serving when dry; volume varies more, but one serving is about 40mL or 1/6 cup. Cooked beans and legumes have approximately 33 calories per serving, while canned ones have even less, about 25 calories per serving. Volume is also different: one serving of cooked beans and legumes is just under 40mL or 1/6 cup and for canned beans, the volume is under about 30mL or 1/8 cup. Therefore, it takes 3 servings of cooked beans (120mL or 1/2 cup) or 4 servings of canned beans (also 120mL or 1/2 cup) to equal a serving of dry beans! Beans and legumes are classified as "Good" if they have about 200µg or more of vitamin B1 (thiamine) and about 50mg or more of magnesium per serving. Beans and legumes classified as "Mediocre" do not meet these criteria but still contain less than 500µg of manganese per serving. "Poor" beans and legumes contain more than 500µg of manganese per serving, while those in the "Bad" category also contain an excessive amount of allergens, phytoestrogens, and/or other antinutrients.
Good Beans and Legumes: Yardlong Bean; most Common (Black, Pink, White, Navy, Pinto, etc.) Beans; Black-eyed/Cow Pea; Mung Bean
Mediocre Beans and Legumes: Lentil; Split Pea; Field Pea; Kidney Bean
Poor Beans and Legumes: Chickpea/Garbanzo Bean; Fava/Broad Bean; Lima Bean; Azuki Bean; Pigeon Pea; Winged Bean
Bad Beans and Legumes: Soybean; Peanut; Lupin
Leafy greens are partially or fully sprouted leaves and florets that are typically high in vitamins K1 and C. Interestingly, this group can also be very high antinutrients, including oxalic acid and glucosinolates, which prevent absorption of calcium [and other minerals] and iodine, respectively. And since almost half of the common leafy greens are from only one genus—Brassica—and most of those are actually one species, even more attention is due during their selection, preparation, and consumption to attain a safe and varied intake. Still, they should not be excluded solely on these grounds and remain an important staple of the NKDG.
Leafy greens average about 8 calories per serving; volume can vary considerably, but one serving is roughly 240mL or 1/2 cup. Leafy greens are classified as "Good" if they have more than 100µg of vitamin K1 and/or more than 10mg of vitamin C per serving. Leafy greens classified as "Fair" have less than 100µg of vitamin K1 and less than 10mg of vitamin C but still contain 100µg or less of manganese per serving. "Mediocre" leafy greens contain more than 100µg of manganese per serving.
Good Leafy Greens: Collard (vitamins K1 and C); Dandelion, Chard, and Beet (vitamin K1); Brussels Sprout, Turnip, Broccoli, Watercress, Cauliflower, and Cabbage (vitamin C)
Fair Leafy Greens: Arugula; Endive; Radicchio; Lettuce; Chicory
Mediocre Leafy Greens: Kale; Spinach; Cress; Amaranth; Mustard
Vegetables are roots, fruits, or other parts of plants that are often used in savory dishes. Vegetables are mostly consumed for reasons of taste, texture, and volume; other than their contents of diverse and poorly-understood plant chemicals, few vegetables have remarkable vitamin or mineral quantities; this is quite ironic!
Vegetables vary a lot in both caloric density and volume, but one serving has approximately 8 calories and is about 50mL or 1/5 cup in volume. Vegetables are classified as "Good" if they have either more than 5mg of vitamin C or 10µg of vitamin K1 per serving. Vegetables classified as "Fair" do not meet these requirements, but have less than 100µg of manganese per serving. "Mediocre" vegetables contain more than 100µg of manganese per serving.
Good Vegetables: Bell Pepper; Green Onion; Butternut Squash; Asparagus; Rutabaga; Turnip; Kohlrabi
Fair Vegetables: Tomato; Onion; Eggplant; Zucchini; other Squashes; Cucumber; Celery; Carrot; Radish; Beet; Artichoke; Water Chestnut
Mediocre Vegetables: Okra; Parsnip; Leek
Fruits are typically sweet and contain only a small amount of calories per serving, a large amount which may be from fructose; because of the fructose, fruits are consumed in only small amounts. In the NKDG, fruits are primarily used for their vitamin C content, though they also contain a wide variety of other nutrients in tiny amounts.
Fruits vary wildly in caloric density and volume, but the average seems to be about 20 calories and 50mL or 1/5 cup per serving. Fruits are classified as "Good" if they contain more than 50mg of vitamin C per serving. Fruits classified as "Fair" contain between 5 and 50 mg of vitamin C per serving. "Mediocre" fruits contain less than 5mg of vitamin C or exceed 50 calories per serving; due to their high fructose content, they should be used very sparingly.
Good Fruits: Black Currant; Guava; Acerola Cherry; Rose Hip; Wolfberry; Seaberry
Fair Fruits: Red Currant; Strawberry; Lemon; Lime; Raspberry; Blackberry; Papaya; Mango; Orange; Grapefruit; Pineapple; Lychee; Persimmon; most Melons
Mediocre Fruits: Date; Banana; Fig; Grape; Apple; Pear; Peach; Plum; Apricot; Blueberry; Cherry; Watermelon
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are [typically] fatty parts of plants that contain a wide array of minerals (especially phosphorus, magnesium, and copper) and sometimes even Vitamin E. But, because most are extremely high in polyunsaturated fats and full of antinutrients, they are used very sparingly; they are not recommended as part of any meal plan in the NKDG.
Nuts and seeds average approximately 200 calories per serving, as most of them are composed largely of fat; one serving is equivalent to about 60mL or 50mL or 1/4 cup. Nuts and seeds are classified as "Mediocre" if a full serving can be eaten without going over the TNR for ω-3 or ω-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Nuts and seeds are classified as "Poor" if a full serving exceeds the TNR for PUFAs but still contain a redeeming feature (e.g., a lot of selenium or vitamin E). "Bad" nuts and seeds do not meet even this qualification and/or have over 1mg of manganese per serving.
Mediocre Nuts and Seeds: Almond; Pili Nut; Pistachio; Cashew; Acorn; Chestnut; Pumpkin and Squash Seeds
Poor Nuts and Seeds: Sunflower Seed Kernel (vitamin E); Brazil Nut (selenium); Flax and Chia Seeds (ω-3s); Sesame Seed (calcium)
Bad Nuts and Seeds: Walnut; Pecan; Hazelnut; Pine Nut; Macadamia Nut; Poppy Seed
Sweeteners add to the flavor of foods, usually by increasing their simple carbohydrate content. Sweeteners are used sparingly in the New Kidronite Dietary Guidelines, but they can still be part of a balanced diet, especially if they are low in fructose.
Sweeteners may have up to 80 calories per serving, but this and their volume varies considerably. Sweeteners are classified as "Fair" if they contain less than 1/3 of their calories from fructose. Sweeteners classified as "Mediocre" contain more than 1/3 of their calories from fructose but still have lots of nutrients or other important health benefits. "Bad" sweeteners are both high in fructose and low in benefits. Sugar alcohols will not be included in any class as there isn't enough data on them at this time.
Fair Sweeteners: Barley Malt Syrup; Rice Syrup; Pure Glucose/Dextrose/Maltose and their Syrups; Stevia
Mediocre Sweeteners: Fresh Fruit Juices; Blackstrap Molasses; Honey
Bad Sweeteners: Agave; Maple and Birch Syrups; Sugar; High Fructose Corn Syrup
Other Foods and Nutrient Sources
Drinks supply arguably the single most important nutrient needed by the human body: water. They can also be a source of other nutrients, such as minerals and phytochemicals. The most popular drink in New Kidron at this time is New Kidronite well water. There are other options, though: white tea, [safe] herbal teas, and tibicos all have benefits.
Herbs, Spices, and Condiments
Herbs, spices, and condiments are often thought of as ways to enhance the flavor of foods. This is true, but they can also aid in digestion, help unlock nutrients in the food, and even provide nutrients of their own. Indeed, most—if not all—of the most popular herbs, spices, and condiments among New Kidronites are notable for their acidity, low fructose content, and/or nutritional benefits. They include, in no particular order: parsley, cilantro, basil, oregano, sage, rosemary, thyme, garlic, black pepper, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, paprika, mints, balsamic vinegar, yellow mustard, hot sauces, and lemon juice.
Minerals are not just found naturally in foods, but added to foods for flavor and nutrition. Indeed, this addition of minerals can actually be required to meet the TNR: the NKDG, owing to its large amount of fresh and traditional foods, is naturally quite low in sodium. Sodium-based salts (like sea salt and Himalayan pink salt) are the most popular, but I know that clay or even local dirt is sometimes used as an additive!
Bacteria and Yeasts
Bacteria and yeasts are very often overlooked as sources of nutrients. Not only do they make food more digestible and help reduce antinutrients during fermentation (e.g., during the lacto-fermentation of sourdough bread), but they can create vitamins or convert them to more active forms (e.g., some bacteria convert vitamin K1 into K2). They are also needed inside our bodies: we cannot live without innumerable microorganisms symbiotically living on or inside of us, especially in our large intestine. This is important to remember, because they need to be well treated! Antibacterial soaps and antibiotics have some uses, but they are not a panacea: these products also affect the good microbes that we need in order to live. We should remember that what we eat can feed the good—or the bad—creatures in our bodies. Fermented, probiotic foods and drinks (kefir, yogurt, tibicos, etc.) can all help restore and feed the good ones.
Supplements are a pure[r] form of one or more nutrients, usually derived from food. Despite the wide variety of supplements and the diverse nutritional needs of each person, a few supplements are quite common: vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin K, potassium, selenium, iodine, and fermented cod liver oil.
Conversely, some supplements are very rarely recommended, usually because of their toxicity and low UL. These riskier supplements include polyunsaturated fats in any form, vitamin B3 (niacinamide), vitamin B9 (folate), iron, and manganese. However, always consult a [trusted] nutritionist or qualified medical practitioner before stopping or starting any supplements.