Is your food nutrient dense or just empty calories?
What’s in your food – nutrients or just calories? Knowing might make you reevaluate things you consume on a regular basis.
August 28, 2014 - Author: B'Onko Sadler, Michigan State University Extension
When you eat food, what are you consuming – empty calories or nutrient-dense foods? Do you know the difference and what is this lingo referring to? If you don’t know, you may want to take a second and reevaluate the food you are consuming on a regular basis.
Nutrient-dense foods are foods or beverages that have only a few calories but provide minerals, vitamins and other substances that benefit our body. These foods provide the most health benefit to your body. Empty calories are foods and beverages that are very high in calories but provide a very low nutrient value, including vitamins and minerals.
Vitamins and nutrients are vital to your body as they help to produce muscles, bone and new skin growth. The vitamins and minerals that you receive from the consumptions of food aids this process and the various roles they play in your body. For example, vitamins and minerals help to heal wounds, boost your immune system and repair any cellular damage that has been caused due to the lack of a nutrient-dense diet.
There are many types of vitamins that we consume on a daily basis, some of which you may have even heard of before. This includes vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K, which you can get from eating fruits and vegetables. Basic minerals that you find in foods include calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, iodine, iron zinc and copper. These minerals are found in foods such as meats, as well as vegetables and fruit.
As you consume nutrient-dense foods, you will consume the majority of these vitamins and minerals that you need to help your body perform to its optimal level and prolong good health. Michigan State University Extension recommends that you wash them before you consume them to wash away products that may have been used help them grow or remain bug-free.