When it comes to dietary reeducation, it is common to hear about calorie count, interval between meals or portion sizes. But hardly anyone talks about one of the most important aspects of good nutrition: the nutritional density of food.
If you’ve never heard of that term, don’t be alarmed. Although the density of nutrients has been studied for decades, it has only recently begun to gain prominence both for those who want to lose weight and for those who wish to gain muscle mass .
In today’s article, we will see in detail:
- Why nutritional density is one of the most important aspects of food reeducation
- What is nutritional density
- What are the most nutritious foods in the world
- What changes in your body when you eat more nutritious food
Let’s start by understanding the importance of nutrient density.
Why nutritional density is one of the most important aspects of food reeducation
The obesity epidemic that currently plagues millions of people across the planet coincides with the advancement of the food industry.
As more industrialized foods made up the majority of meals in several countries, the number of overweight people increased.
This fact is no coincidence. Compared to natural foods , processed foods are almost always richer in calories, carbohydrates and / or fats and lower in micronutrients.
Micronutrients is what the human body needs in small quantities. As a rule, they are grouped into two types: vitamins and minerals.
As a result of this wrong diet, people started to consume many more calories, carbohydrates and / or fats than they really need. And yet, they became malnourished.
That is the reason why there are many people who, even obese, are malnourished. In other words, they are lacking in essential nutrients for maintaining good health.
This happens due to the consumption of foods with low nutritional density.
What is nutritional density
Nutritional density is the amount of micronutrients that a food contains by weight.
For example, let’s say you have 100 grams of food A and 100 grams of food B. If food A has a higher concentration of vitamins and minerals available than food B, we say that it has a higher nutritional density.
As it could not be otherwise, the foods with the highest density of nutrients on the planet are natural foods. Those that humans have always managed to hunt or collect in nature throughout their evolutionary history.
Meat, eggs, vegetables, roots, dairy products, fruits and seeds have a much higher concentration of nutrients than industrialized food products such as bread, soda, sweets and pasta.
Now, even among natural foods there are some that are much more nutritious than others. And some experts have started to study them to identify which are the most nutritious foods in the world.
What are the most nutritious foods in the world
Over the past few decades, many studies have been done to arrive at a scientific method of measuring the amount of micronutrients by weight of food.
Among them, the method created by Dr. Mathieu P. Lalonde, Ph.D. in organic chemistry at Harvard University, stands out.
According to this method, presented during the Ancestral Health Symposium of 2012, the nutritional density of a food must be measured by the amount of essential nutrients divided by the weight of the food.
The nutrients considered essential were vitamins (A, Bp, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12, C, D, E, K), minerals (calcium, chlorine, chromium, cobalt, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, sulfur and zinc), essential fats (omega-3 and omega-6) and essential amino acids.
With this calculation, using data from the USDA Food Composition Databases , Dr. Mat Lalonde arrived at the most nutritious foods in the world:
- Liver, heart, kidneys and other animal organs: note 21.3
- Seasonings and herbs: note 12.3
- Almonds, nuts and seeds: note 7.5
- Cocoa: grade 6.4
- Fish and other seafood: score 6.0
- Beef: grade 4.3 in the overall average
- Mutton meat: grade 4.0 in the overall average
- Vegetables: note 3.8 (dropping to 2.0 when cooked)
- Pork: 3.7 in the overall average
- Eggs: note 3.1
- Chicken meat: grade 3.1 in the overall average
- Dairy: grade 3.1
- Processed meat: grade 2.8 on the overall average
- Beans, lentils and other legumes: note 2.3
- Fruits: grade 1.5 in the overall average
- Cereals and other grains: note 1.2
This list is not unanimous, but it gives a good clue as to which are the most nutritious foods in the world.
Now, think about what would happen if you did a food reeducation and based your diet on the nutritional density of the food.
What changes in your body when you eat more nutritious food
In today’s article, we saw the importance of nutritional density for all those who want to have a better quality diet, whether for weight loss purposes or to gain muscle mass.
If you have a standard Western diet, you are likely to consume many foods that are extremely low in nutrients.
Think of the breakfast consisting of bread with margarine accompanied by juice with sugar . Or at lunch when most of the dish is eaten by grains like rice and beans. Or snacks made with industrialized food products such as sweets, pasta and the like.
Now imagine what would happen to your body and your health if you replaced it with the most nutritious foods in the world.
If you started your day with eggs and good dairy. If you had lunch with seasoned liver, accompanied by some almonds and vegetables. If you ate a fish stew and other seafood.
This is the best way to abandon diets that have proven not to work and start changing your body and your health with a well-founded dietary reeducation.
For you who want to make this kind of change and are interested in getting to know the latest in evidence-based health, I invite you to see a special class on the Natugood project and start your food reeducation process today.