Nutrient Dense

A common theme among eating these days seems to be volume.  Eating large portions of low calorie food.  Sometimes large portions of high calorie food.  Yet, in either case, those foods are almost always nutrient deplete.  It's a modern phenomenon: the overweight and malnourished.  It's becoming incredibly common these days, though.  Perhaps, it is part of the cause of the obesity epidemic.  People are malnourished even though they are consuming a large quantity of calories.  ALL CALORIES ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL.  You need a wide variety of vitamins and minerals for your body to properly function.  If you are eating nutrient depleted foods, you are not consuming all the vitamins and minerals that your body needs even if you are consuming enough total calories.  

And let me tell you, folks, a simple multivitamin ain't gonna do the trick.  The vast complexities of food have yet to be discovered, so you are far better off eating a varied whole foods diet, than trying to get all your bodily needs in a pill.  Supplementation can be used to fill in specific gaps, but not as a substitute for good food.

The key to optimum health involves eating nutrient dense foods. What are nutrient dense foods?

  • Whole foods grown/caught/raised as nature intended.

What are NOT nutrient dense foods?

  • Highly processed foods
  • Foods pumped full of chemicals and/or hormones
  • Animal products raised in unnatural, contaminated environments
  • Fruits and vegetables doused in pesticides, herbicides and fungicides

For example, these ARE nutrient dense foods:


These are NOT nutrient dense foods:


In fact, those aren't food at all.

The key is to eat REAL FOOD.  Then, focus on eating a variety of real foods with a balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates.  There is no one correct percentage breakdown for all people when it comes to protein, fat and carbohydrates.  Different people thrive on different diets.  To find out what works best for you, work with a health care practitioner that can devise an eating plan that's right for YOU.  If you would like to work with me, check out my Work With Me page.  I can tell you, however, that with very few exceptions, you need some amount of all three.  Any diet that has you attempting to eliminate either fat, protein or carbohydrates is not a healthy diet. 


Katie Dawn Habib

Katie Dawn Habib is a Holistic Nutrition Coach with a M.S. in Nutrition and Integrative Health. By combining her nutrition knowledge with a love of writing, Katie created her own website, The Hungry Gypsy, where she talks about food, nutrition, wellness and travel. On her site you can also find information about her nutrition coaching practice and join in on the conversations. Katie would like to contribute in some small way to global healing and help her clients and readers feel inspired.