Nutrient Density is going to become the new buzz words, trust me. With the revamping of the Dietary Guidelines for Australians, the focus is starting to change from food groups to that of what is in the food.
I realise for some this still may not mean much, so let me expand. Everything we eat or drink has things in it. Some things are great for creating health, others do the exact opposite - compromises the body's health. To help maximise the food choices, nutrient density is a great way to start seeing food.
So, how to do it? Consider this statement first - "Nutrients are the building blocks of the body." Nutrients are carbohydrates, proteins, fats, water, fibre, vitamins, & minerals. Each nutrient is needed in its own unique volume and its volume is dependent on several factors. Level of dis-ease, stress, inflammation, physical activity, gender, and age all play a part in indicating a nutrient's 'dosing'. This is one reason why nutrition is a science, and the more diseased, and unhealthy a person is, the more detailed intervention is required to support the body back to health.
Now, back the question. Nutrient density can be thought of as a scale of low nutrient density to high. Super foods such as quinoa, chai, eggs, seeds & berries and the like are high in nutrients. One of the reasons is simply they are the starting part of new life - grains, nuts, seeds and berries are the beginnings for new plants, as eggs are for new chicks. For this reason, they have many nutrients in them to support new life they are propagating. The benefit to us, is if we can digest and absorb the individual nutrients, and they suitable for our body we can get better.
Like all things, we need to keep the nutrients in the range that works to keep our body's healthy, either too much can become a poison, and too little can lead to deficiency states and diseases in their own right.
When we are working towards Health, we need to ensure we are consuming nutrient dense and not just energy dense foods the latter helps to put on the weight the first helps to take it off.
Rules of thumb to follow
A dietitian with an interest in mind, body, skill development and empowering people to help themselves. After living a lifetime in the first 40, it is now time take it easier and let things be and help others get their their 'life'.
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