Diets and Weight Loss, Uncategorized

Forget the Diet! Eat your Way Fit!

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Eat Your Way Fit With Nutrient-Dense Foods

The Benefits of Nutrient Density Instead of Diet for Weight Management

 

Going on a diet can feel overwhelming and the results typically unsatisfying. Diets and diet trends are a billion-dollar market targeting consumers who want to lose fat and gain muscle. Many diets also lack nutrients, according to research.

 

Have you considered not dieting? Instead of continued caloric restriction leaving you hungry, tired, and frustrated, maybe a different approach would be better.

 

 

How about trying nutrient-dense foods as an alternative to reduce body fat? This is not a diet but simply a change in the kind of food you eat to achieve a healthy body. The idea is to eat cleaner, not less, as a lifestyle.

 

Eating nutrient-dense foods even allows you to eat more and still lose fat. This is often hard to grasp for long-term dieters used to severe calorie restriction for reducing fat. The difference is the quality of nutrient-dense foods vs the calories and how they function in our body.

 

What Are Nutrient Dense Foods?

Nutrient-dense foods contain macro and micronutrients important for our health. Macronutrients are carbohydrates, proteins, and fats providing calories (energy) to our body. Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals also coming from nutrient-rich foods. We require all nutrients in varying quantities for optimal fitness. Research indicates nutrient-rich foods help boost our metabolism and enable us to efficiently lose body fat.

 

Protein is the powerhouse macronutrient for muscle recovery. Select healthier options like chicken breast, turkey, fish, or albacore tuna over processed cold cuts or ham. Eating nutrient-dense protein means keeping it cleaner and leaner.

Carbohydrates are the primary energy source macronutrient for optimal health and fitness. Nutrient-dense carbs include a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Avoid eating processed foods, white products and pastries if you want to lose fat and gain muscle.

 

Fats are the secondary energy source macronutrient for optimal body functioning. Keep your fats nutrient-rich by avoiding saturated fast foods, creamy salad dressings, and cheesy casseroles. Opt for extra-virgin olive oil, avocado, and natural peanut butter to boost your metabolism and lose body fat.

How Do They Reduce Body Fat?

Nutrient-dense foods are high in nutrients and low in calories allowing us to eat cleaner not less to reduce body fat. Superfoods or real foods are also common names for nutrient-dense foods. They’re easily digested and nutrients utilized for proper body functioning. Chronic studies indicate eating nutrient-dense foods as an effective and healthy way to lose weight.

 

Research shows optimal body fat levels are better achieved when we focus on food quality rather than calorie counting. This is more of a statement of how nutrient-dense foods are full of essential nutrients but lower in calorie. We can eat more for lesser calories and feel satisfied throughout the day.

 

In order to lose body fat, our body requires adequate amounts of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Eating nutrient-dense foods stimulates our metabolism and creates a fat-burning machine. Our body functions better supplied with the energy required to burn fat and gain muscle.

 

 

 

 

Nutrient-dense foods help reduce body fat through several functions:

 

Provides the necessary antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other essential nutrients for optimal body functioning.

Increases our metabolism and stimulates the body to effectively burn body fat.

Balanced nutrients maintain our energy level for improved workouts.

Proper nutrient amounts help regulate blood sugar favoring normal values instead of spiked glucose (sugar). Controlling our blood sugar is essential to reducing body fat.

Promotes satiety and curbs cravings.

Improves leptin hormone function in the body and better regulates fat stores.

The Research

Research is an important step to obtain evidence that supports or opposes scientific claims. Many diets are flooding the market with grandiose promises but without positive clinical findings to back it up. Unfortunately, many of us fail to take the time to research the facts before trying the next diet trend.

 

Chronic studies on nutrient-dense foods show positive feedback for fat loss. They’re high antioxidant values are indicated to reduce the risk of disease and hypertension. Research shows nutrient rich foods as an effective way to reduce body fat and improve overall health.

 

An article published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition compares nutrient intake and links to obesity. A large study group was divided by body mass index (BMI) levels ranging from normal weight, overweight and obese. The research indicated those participants who were overweight or obese had low intakes of micronutrients and high nutrient deficiencies. The normal weight group consumed a regular menu of nutrient-dense foods.

 

Other research on using nutrient-dense foods to break the cycle of obesity appears in the National Institutes of Health. A workshop was conducted examining improved quality of life and health at every age eating nutrient-dense foods as preventative medicine. It was indicated using the nutrient density approach as a valuable nutritional education tool. It was explained eating nutrient dense foods could help resolve nutrient deficiencies and decrease the risk of being overfat or obese.

 

Another study published in the Journal of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine examined the effects of nutrient-dense foods on long-term weight loss. Research participants were seeking dietary counseling to lose weight. The trial included a high nutrient density meal plan with recipes for each volunteer. The patients were followed for a two-year period recording total weight, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure. Some participants dropped out but those 33 continuing after one year lost an average of 31 pounds. Nineteen patients returned for the two-year follow-up and each lost an average of 53 pounds. Significant decreases in cholesterol and improved blood pressure were also recorded.

 

The common thread with all research feedback is nutrient-dense foods have the “potential to provide sustainable, significant, long-term weight loss.” Additionally, nutrient rich foods are shown to improve cholesterol, blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. Eating nutrient-dense foods as a lifestyle appears to greatly reduce body fat and improve our health in general.

 

Are Some Nutrient Dense Foods Better Than Others?

National nutrition guidelines recommend eating nutrient-dense foods to help reduce chronic disease and obesity. An article published in the Journal of Nutrition recommends a science-based nutrition profiling system assigning a nutrient value per food.

 

A study published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed a classification scheme for powerhouse fruits and vegetables. Powerhouse foods are described as those helping reduce the risk of chronic disease. So, yes there will be foods higher in nutrient value than others.

 

Nutrient-dense foods with a value greater than 10 are considered powerhouse fruits and vegetables (PFV) according to the study. The following PFV value system is provided to improve our understanding and health benefits of nutrient-dense foods:

 

Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables Value System

Food

Nutrient Density Score

 

Food      Nutrient Density Score

Watercress         100        Scallion 27.35

Chinese cabbage              91.99     Kohlrabi               25.92

Chard    89.27     Cauliflower         25.13

Beet green          87.08     Cabbage              24.51

Spinach 86.43     Carrot   22.60

Chicory 73.36     Tomato 20.37

Leaf lettuce         70.73     Lemon   18.72

Parsley  65.59     Iceberg lettuce  18.28

Romaine lettuce               63.48     Strawberry          17.59

Collard green     62.49     Radish   16.91

Turnip green      62.12     Winter squash    13.89

Mustard green   61.39     Orange  12.91

Endive   60.44     Lime      12.23

Chive     54.80     Grapefruit (pink/red)       11.64

Kale       49.07     Rutabaga             11.58

Dandelion green              46.34     Turnip    11.43

Red pepper         41.26     Blackberry           11.39

Arugula 37.65     Leek       10.69

Broccoli 34.89     Sweet potato     10.51

Pumpkin               33.82     Grapefruit (white)            10.47

Brussels sprout  32.23

nutrient density calculated as average percent daily value based on a 2,000 kcal/d diet, meeting criteria for 17 nutrients as provided by 100 kcal of food. Scores above 100 were capped at 100 meaning the food provides on average 100% DV of the qualifying nutrients per 100 kcal.

 

Another highly referenced nutrient density chart was developed by nutrition expert and board-certified physician Dr. Joel Fuhrman. He believes your health is directly related to the nutrient density of your diet. Fuhrman created the aggregate nutrient density index (ANDI). The ANDI ranks common foods “on the basis of how many nutrients they deliver to your body for each calorie consumed.”

 

Dr. Fuhrman’s Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI)

Sample Nutrient               Calorie Density Score      Sample Nutrient               Calorie Density Score

Kale                                 1000                                       Sunflower                                   64

Collard Greens                 1000                                      Kidney Beans                      64

Mustard Greens               1000                                     Green Peas                                                        63

Watercress                       1000                                           Cherries                                   55

Swiss Chard                      895                                         Pineapple                                     54

Bok Choy                           865                                          Apple                                                         53

Spinach                              707                                     Mango                                               53

Arugula                              604                                      Peanut Butter                                  51

Romaine                             510                                      Corn                                                   45

Brussels Sprouts               490                                      Pistachio Nuts                                  37

Carrots                              458                                       Oatmeal                                            36

Cabbage                          434                                         Shrimp                                                36

Broccoli                              340                                      Salmon                                               34

Cauliflower                        315                                      Eggs                                                    31

Bell Peppers        265        Milk, 1%              31

Asparagus           245        Walnuts               30

Mushrooms        238        Bananas               30

Tomato 186        Whole Wheat Bread       30

Strawberries       182        Almonds              28

Sweet Potato     181        Avocado              28

Zucchini               164        Brown Rice         28

Artichoke             145        White Potato     28

Blueberries          132        Plain Yogurt, Low Fat      28

Iceberg Lettuce 127        Cashews              27

Grapes  119        Chicken Breast   24

Pomegranates    119        Ground Beef, 85% lean   21

Cantaloupe         118        Feta Cheese        20

Onions  109        French Fries        12

Flax Seeds           103        White Pasta        11

Orange  98           Cheddar Cheese               11

Edamame            98           Apple Juice         11

Cucumber            87           Olive Oil               10

Tofu       82           White Bread       9

Sesame Seeds    74           Vanilla Ice Cream             9

Lentils   72           Corn Chips          7

Peaches               65           Cola       1

Bottom Line

Many diets lack nutrients only certain foods can provide. Eating nutrient-dense foods will allow you to skip the diet, eat more, and still lose fat.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

  1. Carrothers

Dir. Of Personalize Healthcare and Preventative Medicine

https://www.facebook.com/angelique.rose.50

 

312-972-WELL

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates/

 

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