Nutrient Dense Food is Hard to Find!
Yes, this is becoming a stark reality when we examine the food found in grocery stores. One would think that nutrient dense food would be EVERYWHERE....I mean this is America right? Well I thought the same thing, until I started learning more about what nutrient dense food really is...
What Is Nutrient Dense Food
What exactly are nutrients? They include carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and other essential substances that provide energy, stimulate growth, and maintain health. Many of our body's systems rely on these nutrients to keep them running smoothly.
Nutrient-dense foods are high in minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients beneficial for the body but low in saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish and seafood, low-fat and non-fat dairy, skinless poultry, and unprocessed lean meat, nuts, and legumes are all good choices of nutrient-dense foods.
Pointers for Making Nutrient-Dense Decisions:
Frozen and packaged foods can also be nutrient-dense apart from fresh fruits and vegetables. However this can be a challenge to find. Be sure to review the Nutrient Facts tag on the container to find out. The label categorizes the nutrients within the product, what quantity each serving contains, and the calorie count. Look out for natural flavors, preservatives, and sugar.
The best way to access nutrient dense food is shop in season from you local farmer!
How to Incorporate Nutrient-Dense Foods into Your Healthy Diet Plan:
It would help if you started including more of them in your diet now that you know what nutrient-dense foods are. It only takes a minor adjustment to make more nutrient-dense choices. As an example:
- Eat plenty of pasture raised meats
- Replace white rice with brown rice.
- Sugary drinks can be substituted with water, coffee, or tea sweetened with raw honey.
- Instead of non fat products try full fat yogurt/sour cream from pasture raised diary on your baked potato or chili.
- Think pasture raised cheese or meat when adding toppings to pizzas, sandwiches, or tacos.
- Instead of crisps, snack on a handful of nuts or crunchy vegetables.
- Instead of candy and cookies, appease a sweet tooth with fruits.
You can increase the nutrient density of your meals and snacks by making a few simple substitutions in your favorite recipes or rethinking your favorite dishes.
The basic idea behind nutrient density is the concentration of nutrients you get for your calories.
Consider the following: Sour dough bread, using whole ancient grains which contains less sugar has more protein, nearly three times the magnesium, and two times the potassium, fiber, vitamin B6, and zinc. So, the whole grain is the more nutrient-dense option.
The calories in foods that contain few healthy nutrients are commonly referred to as empty calories. Potato chips, fruit snacks, and white bread are examples of empty-calorie or low-nutrient foods, whereas baked potatoes, whole-grain bread, and fresh fruits are nutrient-dense.
A more nutritious diet has numerous health benefits, including a lower risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
Nutrients come in various forms, including vitamins, antioxidants, and proteins, each of which serves a specific function in the body. The healthiest nutrient-dense foods to implement into a person's diet may be determined by the foods that cover the rest of their diet.