What Is Nutrient Density?
Something That Helps You Lose Weight and Give You More Energy!!
By Jackie Wicks PEERtrainer Founder
A nutrient dense diet is something that helps you stick to a diet. They say any diet will work if you stick with it. We are told to burn more calories than we consume, and that this is the fundamental science of weight loss.
Yet every single one of us who has followed this approach inevitably experiences a period where it is literally impossible to stay on this path. To make matters worse, we then feel badly about ourselves. This article will explain why this is the case, and why nutrient density is a key part of ending this cycle.
This article will also argue that diets have failed you and not the other way around. It is fashionable to say that "diets don't work." Yet, there are elements of dieting which we have seen at PEERtrainer to work really well. For example, portion control remains an important part of the weight loss process. However, one must combine "nutrient density" with portion control, to get on a path to sustained weight loss.
What Is Nutrient Density?
Nutrient density is a concept pioneered by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, and is simply the measurement of the concentration of micronutrients in food. Some foods, like green vegetables have very high nutrient density measurements. Processed foods have very low nutrient density measurements. Foods that are nutrient dense are associated with greater health, increased energy and weight loss.
According to Dr. Fuhrman, if you can't stick to a diet, you cannot achieve permanent weight loss and health. If a diet does not provide the nutrients you need, then your body will want more food and it will be nearly impossible to maintain a proper weight. From his perspective and research in this area, this is the key to permanent weight loss- and it can be made part of any diet strategy.
At PEERtrainer we have made the concept of nutrient density part of our core advice for years, and have seen Dr. Fuhrman's assertion work in practice. For example, we see over and over that when people increase the high nutrient foods (see the chart below) and combine this with common portion control diets, weight loss becomes easier. We have seen this with people looking to lose a little weight and also people who lose a lot of weight.
The Science Behind Nutrient Density
It is now believed that people feel hungry on a diet because their body is not getting the nutrients it needs. More and more evidence has revealed that eating more high nutrient food is a key way to lose weight permanently, and help you burn fat
. Learning how to incorporate this into your life and the diet you have chosen to follow is the secret to controlling food cravings and overeating.
The formula for nutrient density is simply:
Health = Nutrients Over Calories.
The scientific principle represented in this formula is known as "nutrient density". Nutrient Density is a measure of the nutrients provided per calorie of food, or the ratio of nutrients to calories (energy).
Dr. Fuhrman gives the example that an apple is a better choice than a bag of chips. They have may have roughly the same number of calories, but the apple is also a great source of fiber, vitamin C, potassium and hundreds of other beneficial phytochemicals. Therefore, the apple has a higher nutrient density
. By eating the apple, you feel more full, have more energy and over time will help you lose more weight.
With more nutrient-dense food consumed, the more you will be satisfied with fewer calories, and the less you will crave fat and high-calorie foods. One of the huge benefits to high nutrient eating is that people lose their food cravings, hypoglycemic symptoms and other sensations that drive people to overeat. They get put back in touch with their body's natural instinctive signals to eat- when food is really needed.
These natural, true hunger signals will help direct you to your true ideal body weight. You will simply desire less food. If you choose foods based on nutrient density, you will essentially be choosing foods based on their overall quality and their ability to have a positive influence on your body and overall health.
Now that you understand nutrient density, you will want to know which foods score the highest. In other words, which offer the most nutrients, and which offer the least nutrients per calorie. Most of the foods on the following chart will be of no surprise. Vegetables, fruits, and beans score the best- by far. However, there are some surprises that may change the way you eat forever. With Kale scoring the highest nutrient density of all 20,000 foods tested, we gave it a score of 1000. If a product scores a 500, it offers half the nutrients of Kale
Strawberries, the #1 fruit, only offer one/fourth the nutrients of Kale.
An Apple is only one/third as valuable as Strawberries.
Apple Juice is One/Fifth as Nutritious as an Apple per Calorie.
And take a look at Olive Oil. At 120 calories per tablespoon, the nutrient density score is very low. Omitting Olive Oil from your healthy salad may be the first step in incorporating nutrient density into your life.
This information is vital to any dieter trying to stay healthy and lose weight.
It is now estimated less than 10% of adults and only 2% of children get the minimum daily requirement of vital nutrients their body needs to seek its ideal weight or ward off chronic illnesses. The chronic illnesses that develop as a result of poor eating have become so serious that in 2006 the Center For Disease Control and Prevention announced that this generation of children may be the first not to live as long as their parents.
How To Incorporate Nutrient Density In Your Diet
When we started PEERtrainer, our "average" user mainly followed the Weight Watchers Points System. After we introduced the idea of nutrient density to the community, we found that people had a much
easier time losing weight. We recently developed a free guide that we call the "PEERtrainer Cheat System
" that gives you a very simple way to increase nutrient dense foods into your diet.
Our experience has been that people quickly understand the value of adding more nutrient dense foods into the diet. The challenge is usually how to do it!
Nutrient Dense Recipes!
PEERtrainer Power Bowl (Great For Hungry Guys)
PEERtrainer Energy Soup (Great For Weight Loss As Well!)
How To Make Greens Taste Great (Indian Flavor)
How To Get Your Family To Eat Healthy
Related Diet and Weight Loss Approaches Which Embrace Nutrient Density:
Dr. Junger's Clean Program
Rip Esselstyn's Engine 2 Diet
|Health Information||Nutrition Data|