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What nutrients & macros should I be concerned of getting too little/too much of?

s_rivera_92s_rivera_92 Member Posts: 92 Member Member Posts: 92 Member
Usually, I get too little potassium (so I purchased supplements) and some days I go over iron. I have a tendency of going over my daily calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, as well as some others. Usually, I am under my sodium (occasionally over). And I always hit my fiber and my protein goals. I am usually right at my fat and a little under my carbs. Should I primarily be focused on just getting my daily carbs, protein, and fat? Is it okay to consistently be under the carbs? Should I even be focused on the other nutrients? Thanks in advance.

Replies

  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 21,913 Member Member, Premium Posts: 21,913 Member
    Ifv you're relying on MFP potassium totals (and totals for micros generally), they're likely to be understated: Not all labels have them, and not all users enter the whole label in the (crowd-sourced) food database.

    It may be helpful to spot-check some typical days against a more complete database (like USDA), or log somewhere more micro-oriented, like cronometer.

    Personally, I'd encourage food-intake tweaking vs. supplements, but I admit that's more personal prejudice than science: I'm 64 years old. Over my life, science has 'discovered' quite a number of essential or beneficial nutrients. Now, they're in supplements, but they were in foods all along. I'd be surprised if the discoveries are all finished.

    As far as things not to go over, it's certainly trans fats, otherwise mostly saturated fats, and some fat soluble vitamins (A,D,E,K); and there are some subtleties about sources, for some (such as A from supplements vs. foods). I know selenium is a real risk; there may be others among minerals.

    USDA has a personalized nutrient calculator. I'd quibble that some of their recommendations are too minimal, but one good thing it has is the "tolerable upper limit" listed, which may be what you're seeking.

    https://fnic.nal.usda.gov/fnic/dri-calculator/

    Carbs are now frequently demonized, but it's fine IMO to be under or over, as long as you get enough protein and healthy fats (plus varied, colorful veggies) alongside, within a sensible calorie goal.

    Many here treat protein and fat goals as minimums, as they're essential nutrients (in the technical sense that your body can't manufacture then out of other nutrients).

    It's theoretically possible to eat so much protein that it'll be bad for you, but it's unlikely to be a real risk for someone eating a calorie-appropriate balanced diet, and who doesn't already have kidney disease or personal risk for it.

    None of the above matters for weight loss (except as it affects satiation or energy level); just calories do, especially in the short run.

    But most of us want to be healthy, not just to achieve a weight goal. Nutrition is definitely important for health, so worth pursuing!
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Member Posts: 39,695 Member Member Posts: 39,695 Member
    You shouldn't supplement potassium unless you have been instructed to do so by your dr. after blood work shows you deficient. Potassium is not required on nutritional labels and given that most entries are user entered using those labels, that information will be missing. Supplementing potassium can be dangerous.

    I wouldn't use MFP to track micro nutrients at all for the same reason as above.

    AS macros go, they are just an MFP default 'cuz you have to start somewhere...there's nothing particularly special about them. People change there macros all of the time for preference. There isn't some kind of universally ideal macro breakdown...it's very individual.
  • lgfrielgfrie Member, Premium Posts: 1,439 Member Member, Premium Posts: 1,439 Member
    It's possible to get too in-the-weeds with the macro/micronutrient stuff. If you're eating a reasonably healthy, balanced diet, you're basically all set unless a doctor tells you to pay attention to some specific thing.

    Here in descending order of importance is what I pay attention to:

    1. Calories: this of course is the only thing that impacts fat loss, so it is my # 1 priority.

    2. Saturated fat: I try to stay under MFP's default 17 mg target on most days, for heart health.

    3. Trans fat: it's very bad for you, and you really shouldn't have any. I do pay attention to this.

    4. Sodium: I try diligently to stay under 2,000 as I have borderline high BP; I rarely exceed MFP's 2,300 mg default which I think is a good default for people who don't have BP issues. I don't think going a smidge over 2,300 now and then will adversely affect a healthy person, but still I think MFP's benchmark on sodium is a worthwhile maximum on most days.

    5. Fiber: I tend to eat low-fiber foods so I do pay attention to the MFP default and usually make at least a wan attempt to get half way to it, sometimes by buying a little tub of 6 or 12 oz of blackberries and eating all of them. (They have ginormous amounts of natural fiber per $ and per calorie).

    6. Protein: I try to exceed 100 g per day, because I exercise a lot and it's smart to get enough protein.

    I can't say I pay attention to anything else in the Diary. Don't care at all about carbs one way or the other, (unsaturated) fats, etc. Never understood the obsessive focus on carbs out there, unless you have diabetes or insulin resistance issues, in which case a dr is probably advising you. For everyone else, why not just eat the carbs you want?
  • starryphoenixstarryphoenix Member Posts: 380 Member Member Posts: 380 Member
    Don’t go over on Vitamin A. That is one thing that I remember from taking a nutrition class. I don’t remember why, I just remember it’s not good to get too much Vitamin A. I should look it up in my textbook again.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 21,913 Member Member, Premium Posts: 21,913 Member
    MikePTY wrote: »
    Don’t go over on Vitamin A. That is one thing that I remember from taking a nutrition class. I don’t remember why, I just remember it’s not good to get too much Vitamin A. I should look it up in my textbook again.

    This is actually incorrect. It is only true for Vitamin A from animal sources. That type of Vitamin A is not water soluable so if you have in high amounts, it cna be toxic (it's why polar bear liver is deadly) If you get your Vitamin A from fruits and vegetables, it comes from Beta Carotene, which is water soluble and you will just pee out if you have too much. The worst that would happen is temporary orange pigmentation of the skin but you have to eat a lot over the recommended amount to have that happen, and even so, that is harmless.

    Oversimplifying a little, supplements can also be a problem, for pretty much the same reason.

    Details here:

    https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminA-HealthProfessional/
  • nooshi713nooshi713 Member Posts: 4,687 Member Member Posts: 4,687 Member
    I aim to get enough fiber, protein, calcium, and iron.
  • Viking_DadViking_Dad Member Posts: 174 Member Member Posts: 174 Member
    ...checking the fridge for polar bear liver.
  • s_rivera_92s_rivera_92 Member Posts: 92 Member Member Posts: 92 Member
    Thanks for all the insight, everyone!
  • lynn_glenmontlynn_glenmont Member Posts: 9,194 Member Member Posts: 9,194 Member
    MikePTY wrote: »
    Don’t go over on Vitamin A. That is one thing that I remember from taking a nutrition class. I don’t remember why, I just remember it’s not good to get too much Vitamin A. I should look it up in my textbook again.

    This is actually incorrect. It is only true for Vitamin A from animal sources. That type of Vitamin A is not water soluable so if you have in high amounts, it cna be toxic (it's why polar bear liver is deadly) If you get your Vitamin A from fruits and vegetables, it comes from Beta Carotene, which is water soluble and you will just pee out if you have too much. The worst that would happen is temporary orange pigmentation of the skin but you have to eat a lot over the recommended amount to have that happen, and even so, that is harmless.

    I don't believe that it is an issue of differences in water solubility. The "vitamin A" from plant sources is actually a precursor to vitamin A, and your body (assuming it's functioning correctly) won't bother manufacturing vitamin A from the plant-sourced precursor if you don't need it. Vitamin A in supplements and from animal sources is already vitamin A and, because vitamin A is not water soluble, your body will store excess vitamin A.
  • Katmary71Katmary71 Member Posts: 4,730 Member Member Posts: 4,730 Member
    Interesting discussion about Vitamin A, I'm usually 500% over after lunch.

    I focus first on calories. I try to get a lot of fiber and get as close to protein as possible. Not worried about fats. I try to stay moderate carb and lower sugar. I observe the vitamins and minerals but don't worry much, the only one that's on the lower side is iron and I'm not willing to miss all the other nutrients for it.
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