Posts Tagged ‘ Exercise ’

iCardioFiT: Calorie “Energy” Dense Vs. Nutrient Dense

Calorie Dense Foods vs. Nutrient Dense Foods

Are all calories created equal?  That answer is NO!

Some of us think that having a 500 cal Burger is the same as having a 500 cal meal such as a 1/2 turkey sandwich, plain low fat yogurt, and small bowl of mixed fruit (blue berries, black berries, raspberries) are equal.   This misconception exists among most individuals.  In order to achieve your goals (weight loss, lean mass gain, or weight maintenance), you must understand the energy in which you’re putting into your body.

Energy dense foods are food options that contain very high levels of calories per serving of that given food product.   The amount of nutrients that these energy dense or calorie dense foods provide is an extremely low level and have a decrease nutritional value.   If the goal is weight gain, then these high energy foods are just for you.  However, these “empty calories” do not just provide an increase in body weight, if consumed in excess can increase your chances for health related issues such as diabetes.  Examples of calorie dense foods include:  Cookies, Sodas (Coca Cola & Pepsi), Candies, cookies, and cakes.  Those are your obvious choices.  How about burgers and fries?  Creamy pastas from Italian restaurants?  Energy dense foods also includes cooking oils especially when foods are prepared with it in excess.

Calorie Dense donuts

Nutrient Dense foods are much better options in how they provide increased levels of nutrients that provide quality fuel for the body.  The nutrients include vitamins, mineral, high quality protein, health fats, and complex carbohydrates.  Examples of such includes fruits and vegetables which are loaded with the nutrients that we need however choose not to have enough of.  Dark green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, lean meats, whole grains like quinoa, oats, and barley are enriched with nutrient dense properties that we should consume more of.

apple - nutrient denseDinner - Nutrient Dense

salad - nutrient dense

So when you think about your diet behavior, are you consuming calorie “energy” dense foods or nutrient dense foods?  Choose wisely to accomplish your goals!

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Reggie Laroche

The Clinical Exercise Physiologist 

[Contact: Reggie Laroche — — 954-205-9904 for Personal Training, Exercise and Nutrition consultations!!!!]