Calorie vs Nutrient Dense Foods

Something we all have in common is that nutrition is vital to our daily function and overall health. That doesn’t mean we are all the same. Nutrition looks different from one person to the next. It’s important to understand that what your neighbor did to lose 20 pounds might not be the answer for you. Let’s look at nutrition by differentiating calorie dense foods nutrient dense foods.

Calorie dense foods are typically (you guessed it) higher in calories. These are foods that we know are not great for us. Ice cream, cheesecake, milkshakes, wings and pizza to name a few. These foods might be some of your favorites but they are doing you zero favors. Calorie dense foods do not usually provide the appropriate nutrients that we need to support our body, health, sleep and performance. No, a supreme pizza is not better because it has vegetables. The good won’t outweigh the bad. The focus should be on eating whole, minimally processed, nutrient dense foods

Calorie vs Nutrient Dense Foods

Nutrient dense foods are not usually as high in calories but provide adequate amounts of protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. Nutrient dense foods will leave us feeling more energized. Think about how sluggish you feel after eating a big, high calorie meal. On the other hand, if we put good in, we get good out. For example, eating a McChicken and fries or a meal containing a chicken breast, medium sweet potato and asparagus. These two meals may be nearly equal in total calories but they are light years away from being equal in nutrients. The high fat, blood sugar spiking, sodium riddled fast food pales in comparison to the high quality protein, blood sugar friendly, vitamin and fiber packed meal. You get more bang for your buck too. The best part about eating nutrient dense food is you get to eat more food. Nutrient dense food will also help you feel fuller and more satisfied without feeling such a need to snack between meals.

Making an effort towards consuming whole foods can change the way a person looks and feels. Consuming more nutrient dense foods really does make a difference. This is not to say that you can’t ever have something that you really enjoy. The discipline to make smarter food choices on a regular basis will allow for some wiggle room to enjoy your favorites in moderation with less impact. It comes down to making yourself a priority and investing some thought, energy and effort into your nutrition and health.

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Michael Allen

Author Bio

Michael has been working with clients in the gym and countless adults in a physical therapy setting since 2013. He spent 3 semesters working at Towson University with student-athletes from nearly every sport at the school. He served as the Strength and Conditioning Coordinator for Kennard-Dale High School during the 2019-2020 school year. His goal is to always get better and give you the safest and most effective use of your time at First Capital Gym.