Are you Eating for Nutrient Density, or Caloric Density – Tampa Weight Loss
In our world today, it’s no secret that more and more people are getting disconnected from their food. It’s almost become an automated process for many! Packaged foods are the easy foods, the convenient foods for busy lifestyles. Kids are even growing up not knowing exactly where whole foods come from. That’s a pretty big disconnect, that could really make all the difference in the health status of our nation!
Today’s Standard American Diet is very calorically dense (cheese burgers, cereals, granola bars, pizza, subs, etc.), or what many people know as “empty calories.” They contain a high number of calories per serving, with little nourishment.
Although packaged, or take-out meals bring ease and don’t require much of your time, they also don’t come with much nourishment to keep you energized and healthy. Which unfortunately compounds the ever-growing issue with nutrient deficiencies. The most common ones being Iron, Vitamin D, Calcium, Magnesium, and Vitamin B12 deficiencies.
Natural supplements and vitamins do have their place in rebuilding our health, and sometimes maintaining it (big components of our treatment plans with our patients STRONGLIFE), but we MUST not forget the whole, and should start to shy away from breaking down whole foods, into processed bits of chemicals and food like stuff, then fortified with the nutrients that were originally taken out.
All the research in the world cannot discredit the role that whole foods play on our health, and there is still so much to be discovered because whole foods, and their interactions with our body, are so complex. It’s really difficult to determine what components (micronutrients, phytonutrients, macronutrients, etc.), from what foods, in what body, with what diet, what lifestyle, etc. in order to create optimal health. But what we CAN decipher though is – whole foods pack the biggest punch in health boosting nutrients, while also keeping us full and energized too. We need the WHOLE, and we do need the PARTS, together, to achieve optimal health.
When we begin to include more real, whole foods, what we are doing is building a stronger foundation for healing to occur, inflammation to decrease, our digestion to improve, energy to thrive, and so much more. It’s not the CURE to health ailments, but what do you think will endure, persevere, and stand strong – a house built out of straw, or a house built out of brick?
If you’re team brick, we are with you too! Read on to learn what foods are highest in caloric density, and which foods to include more of to eat for NUTRIENT density!
Examples of High Calorie Dense Foods with little nutrients:
- White bread, bagels, biscuits, crackers
- Corn flakes, pancakes, pop tarts, granola bars
- Fried chicken, burgers, wings, sausage, deli meat, hotdogs
- Chips, french fries, pretzels
- Cakes, soda, candy.
Examples of Nutrient Dense Foods:
- Leafy Greens(collards/kale/swiss chard), mushrooms, celery, zucchini
- Blueberries, raspberries, pomegranates
- Salmon, shellfish, eggs, lean meats
- Potatoes (yes, but when prepared healthfully and in moderation! Skin ON is more ideal, as some vitamins are located right beneath the skin)
How to start shifting towards eating for Nutrient Density:
- Start by finding healthy swaps for the processed foods you aren’t quite ready to reduce yet – whole grain sprouted bread instead of white bread, chickpea pasta instead of regular. Nut based crackers instead of regular crackers.
- Boost up your QUICK healthy recipe library – looking for things like 1 pan recipes you can throw in all at once, batch cooking tips and tricks, etc. Our Live Life Lean family here at STRONGLIFE can help give you great recipes ideas!
- Busy family life? Get the kids involved! It’s a win-win, quality time together, plus everyone is learning how to eat healthy together!
- Check out your local farmers market in a COVID safe way – look at their website or Facebook page and check out what vendors might be there, so you know what whole foods you’d like to get before going. Don’t be afraid to get to know your farmers there, most of them love when you ask about their foods and how they grow them! Plus, being more in touch with the foods in this way, makes for cooking and eating whole foods a lot more rewarding!
Don’t forget, you CAN eat more nutritiously and enjoy it! But you also don’t need to feel that you can’t have a burger or wings every now and then. Health is built on consistency, not one-time occurrences. If you have more questions, we would love to help you! If this article was helpful, and you’re interested in starting to make some shifts to your food choices, GREAT. We want you to achieve optimal health, one step at a time, and are here to help!
At STRONGLIFE Weight Loss in Lithia, FL, we can help you address any underlying issues, whether you realize they’re there or not, and improve your overall health.
We hope that you found this as valuable as my patients have over the years. If you’re interested in a patient-centered process that takes into account all aspects that affect your health, then we would encourage you to visit our website at www.stronglifeweightloss.com.