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Nutrient Density

This article answers this often-asked question: “How can I know if something is healthy or not?” Simple. How does a food or drink make you feel? I'm not talking about shoving your face full of pie and loving it as you eat the pie because it is a piece of flaky crust heaven. I'm talking about the 2 minutes or 2 hours after you eat the pie. Do you really feel good? Are you happy you ate the pie? Are you tired? Bloated? Most people immediately regret eating dessert or junk food after they indulge. This in and of itself is a problem. Click HERE for my food view article.

Back to the question.. What is healthy? It is all about nutrient density. English, please? If something is high in nutrient density, it is full of the “good stuff”-vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, things that make our body happy. The body doesn’t reject it with bloating, indigestion, fatigue, gas, etc. It accepts the food and utilizes it for a normal body process.

So what is high in nutrient density? Kale. Yuck. Okay seriously though, ounce for ounce kale has the highest nutrient density of any food. It is very light in ounces and is chalk full of vitamins.

What is low in nutrient density? Oreos: Sugar. Wheat. Milk. Fat. Basically no nutritional value or vitamins. Why did I have to say Oreos? They are my favorite, but they are junk food.

So what about all these foods that are somewhere in between? Simple. Buy the foods you think are healthy. Eat those foods. See how you feel 2 minutes or even 2 hours after you eat. If it’s a positive feeling, it's healthy. Negative feeling, it's unhealthy. I can hear it now, “Well I feel great after having a few cocktails and some barbeque wings.” Maybe we talk about that the next morning or how your “potty time” went, or didn’t….

Thank you for investing in your health.

Joseph Champa, RD, CSCS

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