Food or nutrient density is an element of meal planning that many women do not consider when deciding what to eat. However, the density of the foods that you eat plays a significant role in how your metabolism functions and, therefore, in how you process and digest those foods.
In truth, the higher the nutrient density of the food that you eat, the better it will be for you. This is essentially referring to the amount of beneficial nutrients contained in your food as opposed to the number of total calories that the food provides. Therefore, the best foods to consider if you’re trying to lose weight are those that have a high percentage of important nutrients packed into a small caloric package. On the other side of the spectrum is another type of density. Foods that are particularly dense in this way pack a huge number of calories into a small amount of food, making it difficult to gauge how many calories you’re eating, and filling you up without giving you the benefit of positive nutrients. This is the type of food density that you should aim to lower.
1. Cook with High Nutrient Dense Foods
In order to lower the bad type of food density, it’s best to use items that are rich in nutrients while providing you minimal calories. Vegetables and fruits are generally in this category. Dark and leafy green vegetables tend to be among the most nutrient dense foods available, and they typically are very low in calories.
2. Choose the Right Carbohydrates
Complex carbohydrates are rich in nutrients and require that your body take a longer time to process them. This keeps you feeling full and satisfied for much longer after your meal, ensuring that you won’t be hungry and eat again for a reasonable period of time. Simple carbohydrates, like sugars and heavily processed grains, are not beneficial. They are dense in the sense that they pack a lot of calories into a package that gives you less of the benefits of standard carbohydrate nutrients. Ensure that you plan meals that have complex carbohydrates like wheat-based breads, grains, whole grain rice and other related foods. Avoid processed breads, processed sugars and other carbohydrates in order to lower this type of density.
3. Use the Right Type of Oil
Cooking with certain types of oils is better than with others. Butter is a highly dense food that contains a massive amount of calories and fat in even a small quantity. Use other types of cooking oils to cook your food instead. Olive oil is a much better alternative; it is high in calories and fat, but the fat is generally much more unsaturated. Unsaturated fats are beneficial for your body. Other types of seed oils, like peanut oil, flax seed oil and sunflower oil, will also provide you with a lower density in your cooking.