Nutrient Density

Nutrient Density: A Bounty to be Thankful For

Ah, the holiday season is upon us. While hopefully none of us make eating leftover pumpkin pie for breakfast a daily habit (although it may be a delicious one), our holiday eating habits make the average American gain 8 pounds per holiday season. While we can’t always avoid the temptation that fresh gingerbread presents when arriving fresh out of the oven, we can focus on portion control and implementing more foods in our diet that are nutrient dense.

What is nutrient density?

Nutrient density is the concentration of micronutrients (Vitamins and minerals) per calorie of food. Essentially more “bang for your buck,” in terms of food.

Examples of nutrient-dense food

Salmon: A 100-gram piece of wild salmon contains 2.8 grams of Omega-3s, along with a ton of vitamins and minerals… including large amounts of Magnesium, Potassium, Selenium and all the B-vitamins. Since the brain is made up of 60% fat, Omega-3s are essential to brain function. Studies show that the people who eat fatty fish regularly have a lower risk of heart disease, dementia, and depression.

Kale: Kale exceeds your recommended daily allowance for vitamin C, A, and K1. These extra boosts will have your immune system saying, “Kale yeah.”

Seaweed: These might not be the rolls you’re looking forward to at Christmas, but seaweed is packed with micronutrients including folate, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, and selenium. It is also the best source of iodine. (So eat in moderation)

Examples of nutrient insufficient foods

Most nutrient dense foods are able to be classified by three rules. If you can pick, shuck, or shoot it, it’s most likely a food essential to your daily caloric intake. On the other hand, there is such a thing as nutrient insufficiency. Nutrient insufficiency is more than not eating fruits and vegetables. It’s consuming too much of the wrong thing.

Foods high in fat and sugar are nutrient insufficient or deficient. This includes all foods with processed sugar, foods high in sodium, and white flours.

To learn more about nutrient density check out this article for an in-depth look. You can also have a look at the 2015-2020 American Dietary Guidelines to ensure you are implementing a plate full of vitamins and minerals. With a plethora of information at our fingertips constantly, it is sometimes difficult to navigate what is truthful, especially regarding dietary information. If you are struggling to lose weight, visit our office to discuss our medical weight loss program.

Humans can live to be 125 years old, but average life expectancy is 78 years. Diet is a key component of your daily life. Talk to your physician today to start striving to be your healthiest self.

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