For your health’s sake, skip snacks and fast foods with loads of calories but few nutrients. Instead, build health by opting for the most nutrient dense foods.
When you think about dense food, a thick T-bone steak, a pan of brownies full of nuts, or any other type of food with a hefty consistency may come to mind. But when nutritionists and doctors talk about dense foods, they are referring to two categories — calorie dense foods and nutrient dense foods.
Calorie dense foods are loaded with calories and often lacking in nutrition. On the other hand, nutrient dense foods are loaded with nutrients.
“Nutrient dense foods pack a lot of vitamins and minerals, naturally, per calorie,” explained registered dietitian and nutritionist Julie Schwartz, founder of Tampa-based Balanced Nutrition Coach. “At the top of the list of nutrient dense foods are a host of non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, pepper, cauliflower, and radishes as well as fruit, beans/legumes, and nuts and seeds in reasonable portions. Starchy vegetables like potatoes, green peas, and pumpkin are also energy dense food and great additions to your diet, in moderation.”
“Energy dense foods are typically sweets, snack type foods, candy, and similar products,” she added. “They pack high energy per volume, meaning they have loads of calories, but they often offer little or no nutrition.”
February 26, 2018
Janet O’Dell, RN