A Better Way to Look at Food

A “low-energy-dense food diet” feels like simply one other weight loss fad, however it’s an strategy with many years of analysis behind it.

The idea is straightforward: Eat extra meals with a better water content material to get extra quantity for fewer calories.

Energy density is just the quantity of energy — or calories — in a gram of a food. Foods may be very low-, low-, medium- or high-energy density.

Butter, as an example, is a high-density food with 180 calories in 20 grams. Watermelon could be very low, with simply 7 calories in 20 grams. Portion measurement is one other means to see the distinction. For instance, one and a half juicy oranges have the identical variety of calories as a mere three pretzel rods.

To discover a food’s energy density, divide the variety of calories in a serving by the variety of grams in that serving. Energy density ranges within the very low class are from zero.5 to 1 calorie/gram. As you progress to the excessive finish, it’s from four to 9 calories per gram.

You can simply calculate the energy density of any food. Use a calorie counter to do the maths for recent meals. For packaged ones, use the Nutrition Facts Panel and divide the calories by the grams in a portion.

Low-energy density meals are often excessive in fiber in addition to water, in order that they’re filling. That’s one cause why changing high-energy density meals with low ones to scale back calories is simpler than simply chopping portion sizes, which may depart you feeling disadvantaged. Eating low-energy density meals works equally nicely for weight loss and weight upkeep.

In recipes, making the switchover might be so simple as including extra non-starchy greens instead of starchy ones, and a number of the meat. Rather than consuming sandwiches, exchange the bread with leafy greens by placing the sandwich fillings into an enormous salad. When consuming grains, select meals like oatmeal and quinoa that improve in quantity when cooked in water — they’re much more filling than dry cereal.

More info

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has rather more on the energy density of foods and tips to make substitutions.

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