What Does Nutrient Dense Mean?
What does it mean to be “nutrient dense”?
- A food or meal including the following:
Why is it important to consume “nutrient dense” foods?
- Keeps you full longer
- Helps digestion
- Stabilizes blood sugar
- Helps with weight loss and maintenance
- The calories are worth consuming
- Overall, helps the body to work properly
How to select “nutrient dense” foods from a label
- Just because a label states “nutrient dense” does not necessarily mean it is
- One nutrient dense food by itself is hard to find – a meal is more dense
- If food doesn’t have a label, it’s more likely to be nutrient dense (meat, vegetables, fruits)
- Consider the following:
- Is there fiber?
- A good indication of a complex carb
- Is there some amount of protein?
- Where is the fat content coming from?
- Are vitamins and minerals present?
Build a nutrient dense meal
- Include complex carbs
- whole grains, brown rice, beans, sweet potatoes
- Include a protein
- eggs, meat, fish, dairy, beans
- Include a healthy fat
- olive oil, grass fed butter, avocado oil, avocados, nuts, seeds
- Include a vegetable or fruit
- sweet potato, squash, broccoli, asparagus, spinach
- Try your best to build meals with all the components of a nutrient dense meal
- The term nutrient dense often includes lower calorie foods as one of the criteria, but if you’re consuming nutrient dense foods, the calorie count does not matter as much
- Grains and carbs are a negotiable area for some, but protein, healthy fat, and vegetables/fruits are vital
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