Does information overload on food and health throw you off?
Something as simple as your daily groceries can become a feat with questions like, ”Is that new organic product in the market healthy or not?!” OR ”Is it okay to eat this fruit or will it skyrocket my blood sugar?”
If you’re nodding your head, “yes!” read on. There’s a tool to help guide you. I’m talking about Nutrient Density.
You just need to understand the concept of ”Nutrient density.” It is a great TOOL!
What is Nutrient density?
There is no standard definition established for nutrient density, but the idea is simple.
All you have to know is how many nutrients you’ll get per one hundred calories of a given food.
In scientific terms, it’s the ratio of nutrients to calories in food.
Here’s an example.
Let’s compare the nutrition of a cup of cooked brown rice and cooked white rice.
A cup of brown rice weighs 195 g and gives:
216 calories, 5 grams protein, 45g carbs, 4 grams fiber, 2 grams fat. Plus, 19.5 mg calcium, 162 mg phosphorus, 83 mg magnesium, 1.2 mg zinc, 19 micrograms of selenium.
A cup of white rice weighs 158g and gives:
205 calories, 4 grams protein, 45g carbs, 1 gram fiber, 2 grams fat. Plus, 15 mg calcium, 68 mg phosphorus, 19 mg magnesium, 0.8 mg zinc, 11 micrograms of selenium.
A cup of brown and white rice give more or less the same calories. Yet their fiber, vitamin and mineral values vary.
If you choose white rice, you’ll have to eat 2 cups of it to get the same amount of phosphorus and zinc and to get the same amount of magnesium you’ll have to eat at least 4 cups! Do you see the difference?!
All foods supply calories from carbohydrates, protein and fat. But not all supply a good amount of key nutrients your body needs. This is the premise of nutrient density.
Now you know why I don’t count calories. All calories are not equal.
If you choose wholesome fiber rich foods, you don’t need to keep track of calories.Tweet
The fiber in brown rice will make you feel full and keep you from getting hungry longer than the white rice.
- Stable blood sugar
- Less sugar cravings
- More nutrition
Bottom line, for the same calories, you get more vitamins, antioxidants, phytonutrients and fiber. Why go for less?!
Why is it important to choose nutrient-dense foods?
1. Helps you to eat healthy and you’ll be less likely to overeat.
2. Promotes mindful eating, a key to healthy weight.
3. Helps keep you free of diseases, fatigue and age-related illness.
4. Improves immune health.
5. Lowers your need for vitamin supplements.
What are the benefits?
- Boosts your immune health
- More value for your money
- Keeps you away from processed foods
- Makes shopping easier & quicker
- You won’t need a food expert to guide you
Quick ways to choose nutrient dense food
Want to know an easier way to choose a nutrient-dense food? It’s simple just skip the processed ones.
Choose fresh foods over convenient, packaged foods. Food that is not fresh is usually lower in nutrients.
Pick everyday foods like fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, etc. Nutrient dense foods are whole foods and the least processed.
Eat clean food, choose local and buy organic when possible. Happy healthy Shopping!
Yours in health,
P.S. Please share this information with your friends who are still counting calories and I love hearing from you in the comments below.