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Nutrient Density Matters Most


April 3, 2020

nutrient density

See Rule #1 of the 10 Rules of Health and Fitness After Age 50.

What is Nutrient Density?

There are only two reasons to eat food (as far as your brain and body is concerned):

  1. Get energy (calories)
  2. and Get nutrition
That's it. That's all you're trying to do.

So if you want to be healthy and fit (and you do), the secret is to simply get maximum nutrition on minimum calories.

This is nutrient density and it is Rule #2.


The first two rules of 10 Rules of Health and Fitness After Age 50
#1 - Lift Heavy Things
#2 - Increase Nutrient Density


Your Simple Strategy

Increase nutrients obtained per calorie consumed. That's healthy eating.

You might be surprised to find out that your current diet is leaving you malnourished. You're not getting adequate nutrition for optimum health and yet you're eating a crap-ton of calories.

That's poor nutrient density and unhealthy.

Take a look below at the nutrients from 3 oz of salmon on the left and 3 oz of ding dongs on the right.
Oh, and understand that 3 oz of salmon is about 150 calories while 3 oz of ding dongs is about 375 calories.

So you can get good nutrient density on the left, consuming 150 calories to obtain it or go with crappy, modern, pre-packaged frankenfoods (full disclosure, I used to eat Ding Dongs out in the bay clamming, loved those things), eat more than double the calories and get nearly nothing in return.

Note: The images (below) are taken from Cronometer. It's a great site for evaluating  food quality.

Salmon, 3 oz, 150 calories

Ding Dongs, 3 oz, 375 calories

Do you see what nutrient density is?


Salmon is a nutrient dense food, ding dongs are not. You want maximum nutrition on minimum calories.

A corollary to Rule #2 is Eat Real Food.

Real foods are things you recognize from nature. They don't have labels to tell you what's in them.

And the most nutrient dense foods are:
  • animal protein (meat, fish, fowl, eggs)
vegetables (especially leafy greens as there is almost no calories so they're kinda free from a calorie budget standpoint)and fruit (not fruit juice nor dried fruit)

So repeat after me,

#1 - Lift Heavy Things

#2 - Increase Nutrient Density

Try more off that. Tell me how you feel.

Stay tuned for Rule #3.

Mark Fickler

Mark aka The Old Spartan and Over-50 Fitness Savior is a 64 year old coffee guzzling father of five wandering the outdoors around Albuquerque, New Mexico. Mark helps Active Boomers get lean, healthy and strong so they live rewarding, fun lives using his signature 2 Rule Easy Fat Loss training program.

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