What are “Nutrient-dense” Foods?

There are countless types of food we can choose at each meal or snack, every day. While food should be enjoyable, it is, in reality, a life necessity. It is meant to nourish our bodies so that we can live our best life. Ironically, choosing too much of some types of food could lead to life-threatening illnesses. Since the quality of the food that we put into our bodies can vary greatly, it is important to recognize how foods are benefiting or taking away from our health.

In looking at food as fuel for our bodies, it is important to understand the term “nutrient-dense.” Nutrient-dense food is high in nutrients but relatively low in calories. Nutrient-dense foods contain vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats in a high amount compared to how many calories they provide.

To the contrary, “junk food” contains more calories in comparison to a small amount of vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, lean protein and healthy fats. These calories take longer to be burned off as energy while not contributing much to building up the body. Calories that are not burned off will be stored as fat.

For this reason, not all calories are the same. A 2,000 calorie diet made up of nutrient-dense food tends to have higher overall volume while also providing all the things your body needs to function optimally. To the contrary, you could quickly reach 2,000 calories in junk food without getting the nutrients you need, leaving you wanting more because your body is not satisfied.

While it may seem obvious to know what is “nutritious” and what is “junk,” take a moment to really look at your diet. Among the foods you eat, how many would fall into the “Nutrient-dense” category?

If you need the education, support and accountability to clean up your diet and get back on track to healthy living, call me at 704-957-9341 for a complimentary consultation. You may be surprised how little changes make a big difference.

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