A scientific helper of food choices – nutrient density
Some foods are rich in energy and insufficient nutrition, which is "blank energy"
Food provides high energy, but is low in
protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Generally, attention should be paid to controlling the intake of such foods, such as candy, fried gluten, etc
The Dietary Guidelines for Chinese Residents (2022) recommends that you know food and choose foods that are fresh and have a high nutrient density
Nutrient-rich foods are rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients important for health, and are free of excess saturated fats, added sugars, and sodium
People are advised to eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nonfat and low-fat dairy products, fish and seafood, raw lean meats and peeled poultry, nuts and legumes
Nutrient density in food refers to the ratio of the nutrient content to its energy
Nutritionists at home and abroad have proposed many food nutrient measurement methods to measure the nutrient density of each food, and have quickly become the label
of nutrition management.
In October 2021, Professor Mozaffarian's team at Tufts University published a new food nutrient measure, the food compass score (FCS),
in Nature Food.
54 of the 9 health-related areas of food were scored on a 100-point scale, and the higher the score, the healthier
In layman's terms, the basic concept of nutrient density is the amount
of nutrients obtained by the calories burned.
For example, consumers shop at supermarkets to look at labels and try to make a decision
between two types of bread.
A sweet loaf of bread on the left hand has about 80 calories per tablet, but very few
vitamins and minerals.
A whole wheat bread on the right hand has about the same energy, but the protein, magnesium, dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, and zinc content are all high, so choose a more nutritious whole grain food
How to identify nutrient-rich foods? There are five principles for food selection: One is to choose fresh food; The second is to choose foods with high nutrient density; The third is to select local seasonal foods; The fourth is to look at the nutrition label and the date of production; Fifth, consider the cost, high quality and low
Nutritious foods should be added to healthy eating plans: white rice for brown rice; Fritters are replaced by vegetable buns; Replace sugary drinks with water, unsweetened tea or coffee; Instead of adding a lot of oil and salt sugar to the cooking of fried fish steaks, it is recommended that the oriental dietary mode of light and less salt has a higher nutrient density of steamed fish; When adding ingredients to pizzas, buns, dumplings or sandwiches, consider eating one more vegetable than meat or cheese; Eat snacks with fresh vegetables or nuts instead of fries; Replace sweets and biscuits with natural sweet fruits; Pork belly has a low nutrient density; Sugary yogurt has a lower nutrient density; Juice loses a lot of vitamins and minerals during the juicing process, it is recommended to switch to whole fruit
Most people include children and teens, and a large portion of the daily energy comes from snacking
When snacking, choose nutritious foods such as nonfat or low-fat dairy products, a variety of fruits and vegetables, and nuts
Sugary drinks (e.
, carbonated drinks, sports drinks, milk teas) are typically high in calories and low
in nutrient density.
(Edited by Li Chuang)