Do you consider yourself health conscious? Do you ever worry about getting enough nutrients? It seems common for the health conscious to seek out foods with the best and most nutrients.
In the beginning of my Type-1 diabetes journey, I was completely clueless about nutrition. I knew of the words "protein" and "vitamins", but didn't really know anything about them. I just knew what most everyone in my community believed - that meat was vital. I didn't know an amino acid from an enzyme or a flavonoid from a protein, but I did find what foods made my blood-sugar control the hardest and which foods that made it the easiest. Yes, I was (and still am) obsessed with foods that result in the lowest possible insulin resistance, but little concern or knowledge about nutrient content. Even so, my health and vitality grew and grew far higher than if I were never diabetic.
Two and a half decades later (2013), I discovered the vegan community. In addition to ethics, many vegans are health conscious and as such, seek out foods with the most nutrients. Prior to 2013, I had never even heard the term "Super Food". The popular logic seems to be that "if a little is good then a lot is even better" resulting in an over-focus on specific nutrients. For example, a banana is a good source of potassium, but wait - there are other foods with even more potassium, so, out with the banana! This over-focus can often have negative results. When foods are selected based on a target nutrient with such a narrow focus, detrimental elements of that same food are often ignored. For example, nuts, seeds and fatty fruits, such as avocado, are highly regarded for their protein and essential fatty acids, however, in my experience, the benefit of these nutrients are negated by the elevated insulin resistance caused by the excessive fat content. Remember; insulin resistance reduces the efficiency of every biological function in one's body. All nutrients have a peak benefit to level ratio. For many nutrients, exceeding that peak can be detrimental or sometimes even toxic. as discussed in Dr. Ruth Heidrich's book, "Lifelong Running", one can even overdose on water! A condition called hyponatremia - a serious condition.
The obsession over nutrients has grown into unfortunate misinformation. For example, it is common belief that vitamin B12 is only sourced from animal products. This is not true. B12 is produced by bacteria that lives in the soil. Root vegetables (as one example) are covered in it. Unfortunately, due FDA requirements, it is stripped of B12 by over washing and sterilization. Farm animals, however, get B12 because their foods are not washed.
There are many "super foods" with nutrient levels far exceeding the lowly potato, however, Dr. McDougall explains that one can live a very healthy life eating nothing but potatoes. Check out Andrew Taylor, who is currently not only thriving, but increasing his health on a potato diet.
Though completely unaware about nutrients in my early diabetic control testing, logging and charting and analyzing experience, my vitality has continued to ascend such that at my current age of 64, I am in the best health ever in my life. The point is; don't worry about getting enough of any particular nutrient - just eat a variety of whole low-fat plant based Starch-Smart foods and you will get all the nutrients you need without the hazard of any overdoses.
Don't Worry... Be Healthy!!
Please understand that I am not a medical professional in any capacity. This writing is only to share my experience and what I have learned from it.