High Volume Foods Equals Health Benefits


Heart filled with foodThere are a number of instances in this life when volume matters. A larger gas tank means you can drive farther on one fill up. When you drink more water, you're less likely to become dehydrated. The key to losing weight is to pay attention not only to volume but also to nutrition. When you choose high volume foods that are also nutrient-dense, you're much more likely to be able to lose weight.

There are plenty of diet foods on the market, but many have a major shortcoming: they are not high volume and nutrient-dense. If you choose these foods, you often wind up eating a miniscule serving that doesn't satisfy your hunger and leaves you standing in front of the refrigerator or raiding the pantry because you're still hungry. Low volume foods - especially processed foods - are typically highly refined, which means they are less nourishing and have little fiber. They may also be high in calories, sugar, fat or all three.

One of the most important reasons to choose high volume foods is for roughage, or fiber. Your intestines need fiber to work properly and to feed the billions of beneficial bacteria that help digest your food and keep you healthy. Vegetables - especially leafy green vegetables like kale, lettuce, spinach or chard - are very high in fiber but also low in calories. Fresh fruit also provides you with volume; think apples, raspberries or strawberries.

Nutrient-dense foods run the gamut from foods like salmon and asparagus to berries, nuts, seeds and yams. While these are very healthy foods that will provide you with plenty of important nutrients like vitamins and minerals, some are both nutrient- and calorie-dense. For example, a handful of plain almonds (about 1/4 of a cup) contains about 92 calories. A whole cup of blueberries, on the other hand, only has about 85 calories.

High volume nutrient-dense foods allow you to eat more, obtain more fiber per serving and provide you with important nutrients that keep you healthy. The extra volume fills you up, which means you're less likely to overeat because you feel unsatisfied. All of these factors are important in weight loss. Generally speaking, the healthiest high volume foods are real foods, like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, high quality protein and healthy fats. Eat more, weigh less - what's not to like?

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