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FAQ > Eat well > Will I get enough nutrients on this eating plan?

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The Cook for Good program is a balanced diet, providing enough protein and calcium for the average adult and having a good mix of fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Jill Nussinow, registered dietitian and author of The Veggie Queen: Vegetables Get the Royal Treatment, wrote this about Wildly Affordable Organic:

You will definitely be moving people toward a much healthier way of eating and living. I like how you are providing ways for people to cut down on sugar, salt, and fat while eating "real" food.

Each "serving" is sized for a moderately active adult who has a lean body mass of around 150 pounds. Of course, some family members will eat more than others. In this way, your track-star teenaged son will get more protein and other nutrients than your elderly in-law or your spouse with the desk job. If you are a diabetic or have other special dietary needs, please consult a nutritionist or physician.

Protein — It provides enough protein for average adults (usually between 55 and 60 grams a day).How much is enough? Nutritionist Jane Brody answered that question for me on her New York Times blog:

The amount of protein you need each day is a function of your lean body mass (not your weight if you are overweight). You can calculate your need by multiplying your ideal weight in pounds by 0.36 to get grams of protein needed daily by an adult who is not pregnant or nursing.

So that would be 36 grams of protein a day if your ideal weight is 100 pounds, 54 grams if it's 150, and 72 grams if it's 200 pounds. Ironically, too much protein can actually lead to osteoporosis and other problems. According to Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy: The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating, digesting protein creates acid, which causes the calcium to leach out of your bones to neutralize it. Animal protein leaches more calcium than vegetable protein. Harvard's Nurses' Health Study found that women who ate the most meat were more likely to break their wrists than those who ate the least.

Calcium — The Cook for Good eating plan also provides around 600 milligrams of calcium every day. That's more than the 400 - 500 mg that the World Health Organization recommends to prevent osteoporosis. Of course, as with any diet, you need to get sunlight and exercise to put that calcium to work. On the other hand, the U.K. recommends 700 mg a day and the U.S. recommends 1,000 to 1,500 mg a day. Are these higher numbers there to make up for the bone loss in diets high in animal protein? Or to satisfy the active dairy lobby? Let me say again that I'm not a nutritionist. If you want to, add a multi-vitamin, a glass of milk, or a glass of calcium-fortified orange juice every day.