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I know that this is a somehow broad question, especially because nothing here is being defined quantitatively, but I hope it's objectively answerable.

Assuming an average adult male who exercises regularly without much intensity and just wants to maintain a good health, what would be the simplest (smallest) set(s) of foods that could be eaten every day to keep such state (i.e. provide him with all the essential nutrients, not cause any long term negative consequences), being his only source of nutrients? What about using dietary supplements (pills, powders) to reduce such count even further?

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    Sorry, I don't think the fitness StackExchange is right for questions about general nutrition.
    – Noumenon
    Feb 4 '15 at 5:22
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    Oh, well, that's sad.
    – dev
    Feb 9 '15 at 5:35
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I've heard some serious academic say that you can basically get all essential nutrients from a diet of potatoes and butter, you won't feel very well but you probably won't get sick.

A lot of people seem to like (and I suppose that's on practical grounds, not culinary) soylent, it's basically "human food" (like "dog food") designed to be exactly what a human needs. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soylent_%28drink%29

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Meat, veggies, seeds, nuts, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar. Keep intake at levels that support exercise but not body fat. Drink water, coffee, and tea - no soda.

Pay attention to how you feel, how much energy you have. If you don't have energy you're either not sleeping enough, eating too little for the amount of exercise you are doing, or eating the wrong combination of protein, fat, and carbs for your body (or you are taking care of a newborn). Experiment. Try eating the same way everyday for several weeks and measure how you feel and perform. Make a small change and go for another several weeks. Reassess and make another change, etc., until you know what works and what does not and you have lots of meal options that work for you.

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    Hows does one eat "some fruit" and "no sugar"?
    – Cerad
    Feb 4 '15 at 17:35
  • No processed sugar. No cake, no ice cream, no cookies, etc. Feb 4 '15 at 18:23
  • The first two sentences deserve a link to their source. Feb 28 '15 at 22:27

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