Tell me about Total cereal...

Maybe I don’t understand product labelling. Maybe I don’t understand the Recommended Daily Allowance system. If I don’t, I would sure appreciate some enlightenment.

But it seems to me that the percentages listed on labels represent just what they say: a person will get such-and-such percent of vitamin/nutrient so-and-so that is needed in a whole day (based on a 2000 calorie diet, of course)

Total cereal, according to its label, gives people who take in 2000 calories per day 100% of Vitamins C, E, B[sub]6[/sub], and B[sub]12[/sub], along with calcium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, pantothenic acid (whatever that is), and zinc. Once you add milk to the cereal, you actually get 110% of calcium, riboflavin, and vitamin B[sub]12[/sub]. (All information came straight from the side of the box, by the way.)

So my question is, once Total is eaten for breakfast and all those nutrients are introduced and absorbed, is there any need for anything else (besides for energy)? If, for instance, 100% of your daily need for Vitamin C is fulfilled by eating one bowl of Total, and you drink three Sunny Delights, are you just wasting Sunny Delight’s vitamin C? What happens if you eat three bowls of Total? Is there such a thing as too much of any of the aforementioned nutrients? Does your body just get rid of excess vitamins and minerals, no questions asked?

I think you’re mixing up several different aspects of nutrition.

The body needs a balanced diet of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. These are the only real nutrients. The exact ratios of these can vary in many ways, and the exact amount needed of these is different for each person and varies over time. Total gives you only a small amount of required nutrients. It’s a small part of an overall balanced diet.

You also need vitamins and minerals as supplements, mostly to prevent problems. There are water-soluble vitamins, which are C and the B complex, and fat-soluble vitamins, which are A, D, E, and K. If you take in excess water-soluble vitamins your body will simply excrete the remainder in the urine. Expensive piss is what it’s called by the anti-vitamin supplement crowd. The body does store fat-soluble vitamins and taking in a true excess can cause problems. But realistically, you’d almost have to live a winter on polar bear liver before this would actually affect you.

Minerals are hard to generalize, but basically your body will accept much more than the RDA without problems.

The RDA amounts are compromises between absolute minimums and driving people crazy trying to fit them into a daily diet. But getting 100% of a bunch of vitamins in a bowl of Total is hardly noticeable in the bigger picture. Worry about your fats, proteins, and carbohydrates first.

I remember reading that Total is just Wheaties with 1/8 oz of vitamins and minerals sprayed on the flakes. That and the price…
always liked that story-as a result I subsisted on Wheaties and never felt the loss.

I don’t want to start a debate or sidetrack the discussion too far, but have there been studies done that demonstrate that you actually NEED carbohydrates? I know without proteins and certain lipids, things can go really bad (for things we can’t synthesize), but I just have a hard time envisioning a person dying(Or being sick to the point of not being able to hunt) in a hunter-only lifestyle. If you are otherwise (magically) getting all your vitamins and minerals from non-carbohydrate sources, what kind of problems can you encounter eating 0 carbohydrates?

Mostly just possible constipation from lack of fiber. You can get by just fine without carbohydrates. Eskimos, for example.

Yes, it is literally possible to survive without carbohydrates. But it is difficult to do this in normal daily life, and there is no reason to want to do so. Fruits and vegetables and whole grains are extremely healthy, after all. And homo sapiens is certainly designed to be an omnivore and include carbohydrates in its diet.

There’s an interesting discussion of this here.

IOW, we are designed to eat a balance of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. We can adapt ourselves to other diets, but we do so at our risk.