Calorie density is another way of measuring the weight associated with a specified amount of a particular food. Often referred to as energy density, the idea behind measuring the calorie density is to determine whether a given food provides a higher amount of vitamins and nutrients while containing fewer calories per ounce or gram. Determining this measurement can be especially important for people who are attempting to lose weight or need to monitor food consumption due to an existing health issue.
Many foods with a lower calorie density contain a significant amount of water. At the same time, the fat content is often lower in foods with a low caloric density. Raw fruits and vegetables are two examples. Foods like apples, broccoli, and carrots are relatively low in calories per ounce, contain significant amounts of nutrients, and contain very little fat. The water content helps to make foods of this type filling. As a result, consumption of low calorie density fruits and vegetables will satisfy hunger cravings with less calories involved while still providing plenty of vitamins and minerals.
Low amounts of caloric density are not limited to fruits and vegetables. Lean meats usually contain fewer calories per ounce or gram. Low fat dairy products like fat free milk will still contain plenty of nutrients but have a very low caloric density. Even some snacks, such a pretzel sticks, will provide more nutrients than other empty calorie snacks and have a comparatively low amount of calories per ounce.
One of the problems many people have with diet plans is they tend to focus on limiting the number of calories that are consumed at each meal. Using calorie density helps to shift the focus slightly. It is possible to enjoy larger portions of various foods and still consume less calories overall.
Becoming acquainted with the calorie density of various foods can be very helpful when dieting. Instead of following a rigid diet plan that is built around small portions, it is possible to lose weight by choosing foods that are healthier and are more filling. For example, it is possible to enjoy six ounces of a lean meat instead of settling for three ounces of a meat that is higher in calories and contains a lot of fat. For an accompanying vegetable, the dieter may choose to go with a steamed dark green vegetable instead of fried potatoes. Instead of pudding for dessert, choosing to go with a baked apple sprinkled with cinnamon would still be filling, but contain fewer calories.
Watching calorie density is also helpful for people seeking to control diabetes with diet. Many foods with a lower caloric density also contain more of the type of carbohydrates that persons monitoring blood glucose levels need to maintain a healthy level of energy. At the same time, the foods are less likely to contain fats and starches that should be kept to a minimum by anyone in a prediabetic or diabetic state.
Choosing to follow a diet that considers the calorie density of different foods is healthy for just about everyone. Meals will provide more vitamins and minerals while limiting the intake of fats and starches. As a result, the individual is likely to feel more invigorated and have less trouble maintaining a desirable weight.