Energy Dense Foods and Nutrient Foods
It is the amped-up up energy density of processed foods that gets us into trouble.
Contrary to what you might expect energy dense foods do not increase your vitality and stamina. They do the opposite. We may get a sugar high that lasts a half hour but then comes the crash.
You can give a viral young cop a doughnut to keep him placid so that he may tolerate the public and the criminals—they may be one and the same.
Like most other warm-blooded creatures, humans have inherited a preference for energy-dense foods, a preference reflected in our love of sweets and comfort foods.
These foods are all high-calorie and most are nutrient deficient. They should be avoided or at least minimized in the diet of people who do not expend huge amounts of energy.
- Energy dense foods are quite often high in oils—and usually not the healthy oils. Some examples of these foods are fried potatoes, and breaded fried fish and chicken and doughnuts and potato chips.
- Corn and corn products—this includes corn in breakfast cereals. Corn is too energy dense for use in the diets of today’s people who cannot avail themselves of high energy expenditure activities.
- Cereal grains of all types—this especially includes breads, muffins and nearly all breakfast cereals.
- Yes, spaghetti, pizza and popcorn are high calorie, high energy and low in nutrient density.
- Starchy foods like dried beans and root vegetables are also energy dense and should be eaten with the understanding that they will cause a sedentary person to be more placid.
- Dairy products, salad dressings and nearly all sauces, dips and condiments are energy dense.
Type II diabetes typically occurs when the body’s mechanism for managing glucose simply wears out from overuse. Just about everything we eat sooner or later winds up in the blood as molecules of glucose, but sugars and simple starches turns to glucose faster than anything else.
Type II diabetes and obesity are exactly what you would expect to see in a mammal whose environment has overwhelmed its metabolism with energy-dense foods.
Much of today’s food is high in calories and low in food value and they need to be scrutinized carefully by anyone who wishes to be healthy, happy and free of medications.
I will work on the foods that are high in nutrient value in a future writing on Nutrient Density Foods.
A good read: Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan.