Energy-dense foods vs. Nutrient-dense foods
When it comes to trying to maintain a healthy nutrition plan and manage your weight, nutrient-dense foods are best to include in your planning. Nutrient-dense foods include copious amounts of nutrients and are relatively lower in calories, compared to energy-dense foods, which are comprised of mostly calories without the nutrients. When we comprise our meals mostly from nutrient-dense foods, we are better able to manage weight and increase overall health and immunity. Nutrient-dense foods to include in your diet are those such as fruits, vegetables, low-fat or fat-free dairy products, nuts, seeds, beans, whole grains, turkey, chicken and other lean cut meats. Most often, energy-dense foods, such as pastries, sweets, chips, sports drinks, baked goods or any other processed foods with refined sugars, are best left out of your diet due to the lack of nutrients and under use of the calories consumed, which can lead to weight gain.
So when considering what to include in your meal planning, it's best to have plates that are loaded more with vegetables, lean meats, etc rather than chips, cracker or other energy-dense, low nutrient foods. The fruits and vegetables that are bright and colorful usually are the most dense in nutrients. Plus, meats that are lean and protein-dense also are best to include, due to them using greater amounts of calories needed to process them, meaning a boost in your metabolism. Along with that, consuming fibrous foods act as the same metabolism boosting help in or nutrition. So on your next meal ask yourself, does your plate contain these nutrient-dense foods?