16th Century Calories

16th century Calories At the  famine village in Doagh, Donegal we were shown the 6.8 kilos of potatoes the average Irish man was eating before the famine. This was by no means a chosen diet but was more the result of British colonial misrule. The potatoes alone resulted in a whopping 5916 calories and provided a fairly robust diet though with major deficiencies, notably in fat 10% and a slew of vitamins B12, A, D etc. Additions of fish, dairy products and some meat (there was quite a bit of wild food eaten in Doagh) would have rounded out the diet make it livable but the average calorie intake must have been higher still. Dr William Short came up with a 10,000 calorie a day figure for his Assessment of Icelandic diets The Icelanders in the 10th century were very healthy by contemporary standards and Icelanders remain some of the healthiest people in the world today. Archaeology shows that 10th century Icelanders did not suffer from nutritional deficiencies. Icelandic traditional foods While the RDA of many nutrients and vitamins is based on the minimum to avoid deficiency ,eating the RDA of protein causes muscle loss for example, and doesn’t take account of different dietary compositions (the absence of grain/starches greatly reduces the need for vitamins C) intakes at this level meet and exceed the RDA for every nutrient the body requires. Most calculators don’t account for the anti-nutrient effect of some foodstuffs particularly whole grain foods but it is clear … read more....

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