Empty Calories Can Be the Culprit

Hammer with Busted Calories Depicted

If you struggle with losing weight, you might need to decrease intake of empty calories. However, you also need to learn the impact that low-energy-dense rather than high-energy-dense foods can have.

Empty Calories Vs High-Energy-Dense Foods

Empty calories are usually described as those that fill you up but provide little nutritional benefit. These types of foods typically do not make you feel full. Furthermore, they often have excess added sugars, solid fats and preservatives in them. Examples of these kinds of foods include sugary drinks, candy, white bread or sweet treats.

High-energy-dense foods are a little different. They might have more calories per gram than low-energy-dense foods. However, they usually have more nutritional value than foods that mostly have empty calories. Raisins, starchy vegetables (i.e. potatoes, corn or peas), avocados, dried beans or whole milk are examples of high-energy-dense foods.

Some of the foods with empty calories are also classified as high-energy-dense foods. These more energy-dense items are ones that have the most calories per gram. However, they do not always have the most nutrients. Choose wisely, and become accustomed to eating a higher amount of low-energy-dense foods.

Choose Nutrient-Dense and Low-Energy-Dense Foods

Eating at least some dense foods helps you feel full. However, you have to be careful to choose the most nutritious ones. Also, it is recommended that your plate be filled with at least half low-energy-dense foods such as broccoli, celery, spinach or carrots. You also are advised to eat fresh or frozen fruits such as watermelon, strawberries or blackberries that have high water content.

When planning meals and snacks, make it a habit to reach for the lowest-calorie ones first. For instance, you could start with a vegetable salad with low-fat, low-sugar dressing before you fill up on pasta. To learn more about feeling full on fewer calories, contact the Metabolic Research Center. We've been personalizing healthy weight loss plans for more than 25 years. 


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