Go Ahead, Fill up-But Pick “Low Energy Density” Foods.

Ref: ADA Journal August 2006

“Can you eat more than most Americans but still consume fewer calories – while still getting plenty of key nutrients? Researchers at Penn State University say the answer is yes, as long as you emphasize low energy density foods.”

Nutrient Rich Note:– Low Energy Density foods is another way of saying Nutrient Rich foods, because the more nutrients there are in a food, with exceptions, and generally speaking, the lower the calorie content.  

“foods such as fruits, vegetables and high fiber grains”

Nutrient Rich Note: – all vegetation are high fiber.

“these foods have great volume and so tend to fill you up more, but pack few calories per ounce than sugary or fatty foods such as soda, pop, or snacks.

Nutrient Rich Note: – it’s not just junk food, it’s also lean meats and fatty meats, which are often mistaken for nutrient rich foods, even though they don’t promote health in significant quantities. Food Class Chart

The new study, published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, found that people who following a low energy density diet actually ate more food, by weight, than others in the study group. But those who filled up on fruits, vegetables and fiber consumed fewer calories – an average of 425 fewer for men, and 250 fewer for women – and less fat.

That lower energy density group however, had hgh intakes of several important micro nutrients, including vitamins A, C and B6, folate, iron, calcium and potassium.

The researcher’s examined information on 7,500 adults (older than 19 years) in the 1994-1996 Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals.

Here’s the Statistical Analysis – ref ADA
Energy density values were calculated from reported food intake. Subjects were classified as consuming a low-energy-density diet, medium-energy-density diet, or high-energy-density diet using tertile cutoffs. For each group, the percentage consuming various foods/beverages and the mean amount of foods/beverages they consumed was determined along with mean nutrient intakes.

Compared with participants consuming a high-energy-density diet, those with a low-energy-density diet had a lower energy intake but consumed more food, by weight, from most food groups. A low-energy-density diet included a relatively high proportion of foods high in micronutrients and water and low in fat, such as fruits and vegetables. Subjects with a low-energy-density diet consumed fewer (non water) beverages such as caloric carbonated beverages. They also consumed less fat and had higher intakes of several important micronutrients, including vitamins A, C, and B-6, folate, iron, calcium, and potassium.

These analyses further demonstrate the beneficial effects of a low-energy-density diet, which was associated with lower energy intakes, higher food intakes, and higher diet quality than a high-energy-density diet. To achieve a low-energy-density diet, individuals should be encouraged to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables as well as low-fat/reduced-fat, nutrient-dense, and/or water-rich grains, dairy products, and meats/meat alternatives

Nutrient Rich Note: here at Nutrient Rich we do not consider animal products Nutrient Rich foods. We consider them rich in some nutrients but as a whole, nutrient poor, for reasons we discuss at this website. Notice, how the focus is always on the foods of plant origin then the “lean meats” are added at the end of the recommendaton? That’s a clue, a big one!

We’ll discuss this more in future posts.


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