A “low-energy-dense food diet” feels like just one other weight loss fad, nevertheless it’s an strategy with many years of research behind it.
The idea is straightforward: Eat more foods with a better water content material to get more volume for fewer energy.
Energy density is just the quantity of power — or calories — in a gram of a food. Foods could be very low-, low-, medium- or high-energy density.
Butter, for example, is a high-density food with 180 energy in 20 grams. Watermelon could be very low, with just 7 calories in 20 grams. Portion measurement is another means to see the distinction. For instance, one and a half juicy oranges have the same number of calories as a mere three pretzel rods.
To discover a food’s power density, divide the number of calories in a serving by the number of grams in that serving. Energy density ranges within the very low class are from 0.5 to 1 calorie/gram. As you progress to the high finish, it’s from 4 to 9 calories per gram.
You can simply calculate the power density of any food. Use a calorie counter to do the maths for recent foods. For packaged ones, use the Nutrition Facts Panel and divide the energy by the grams in a portion.
Low-energy density foods are often excessive in fiber in addition to water, in order that they’re filling. That’s one purpose why changing high-energy density meals with low ones to scale back calories is simpler than just chopping portion sizes, which may depart you feeling disadvantaged. Eating low-energy density meals works equally properly for weight loss and weight upkeep.
In recipes, making the switchover might be so simple as adding extra non-starchy vegetables instead of starchy ones, and a few of the meat. Rather than eating sandwiches, substitute the bread with leafy greens by placing the sandwich fillings into an enormous salad. When eating grains, choose meals like oatmeal and quinoa that improve in quantity when cooked in water — they’re much more filling than dry cereal.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has rather more on the power density of foods and tips to make substitutions.