Understanding Food Density and Digestion Speed by 3J


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Understanding Food Density and Digestion Speed
By 3J
3J's Nutrition | Diet and fitness consulting to get you to the next level.

There is a very simple formula for nutrition and the gaining/losing of weight, calories in vs. calories out. If you want to gain weight your caloric intake is higher than the calories you burn. If you want to lose weight you must eat less than the calories you burn. Though the formula itself is simple, the application of it is actually much more difficult than one can expect. One of the major problems people have with nutrition is understanding food density. Have you ever looked up ways to save on gasoline consumption and seen the tip that you should pump your gasoline slowly? The meter that measures gasoline is measuring by volume, not density. If you pump fast the chances of you taking in air is much higher than if you pump slow. In other words, the density of the measurement of volume plays a factor in how much gas you get. Pump fast and you get air and gas. Pump slow and you get more gas and less air leading to savings at the pump. I use this example to get your mind thinking the right way about volume and density in nutrition.

Take a look at the picture above. Most foods do not have an equal amount of calories based on volume. This is specifically due to the changing density of each food and their respective micro/macro-nutrients. Macros are the protein, carb, and fat content of a food while micro-nutrients are vitamins and minerals. Do you see the major difference between 400 calories of oil, chicken, and veggies? Lipids, or fats, have the highest density of foods we intake. A single gram of fat is anywhere between 8 and 9 calories. Compare that to protein or carbs, which are only 4 calories per gram and you start getting a clear picture. Eating foods that are low in volume and higher in caloric density might have you thinking that youll feel fuller longer (think a burger vs a large salad) but it actually does not. The true secret to curbing hunger is volume and digestion speed. Again, looking at the picture above you start to get a pretty quick understanding of the difference between high volume and high energy. Foods that digest quicker, like meals lacking fiber, usually cause an insulin spike. You can get away with an insulin spike if youre under your total caloric intake for the day, but insulin spike have a bad reputation of causing hunger when the blood sugar has been eliminated. Foods high in fiber slow down the rate of digestion and keep the body fuller longer. Furthermore, foods like celery are actually so high in fiber that they have a negtiave caloric intake effect. This means that celery actually takes more calories to burn than it provides! The trick is to balance out your meals. Eat the correct amount of protein, carbs, and fats while taking in a larger amount of veggies will always leave you fuller longer. This is a wonderful trick to use while cutting to keep the hunger pains away.

If you start eating as described above, youll also see an improvement in the micro-nutrients you eat. No matter how you look at it if youre eating burgers, fries, pizza, and drinking coke for your calories a lot of those calories will be empty calories. Empty calories are calories that do not hold a strong macro/micro nutrient value. Take a look at any soft drink you can, its just sugar and calories. Now compare that to most fruit, which are packed with micro-nutrients and fiber. The comparison leaves your coke in the dust! Its very important to take on a quality of food approach to your diet. Youll feel much much fuller on a 3000 calorie diet filled with volume foods that have lower density than you will foods that take much less space in your stomach and digestive tract!

I hope that this article has helped you in the journey to your goals

If interested in personal customized nutrition and training coaching please feel free to contact me at 3jdiet@gmail.com for pricing

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3J's Nutrition | Diet and fitness consulting to get you to the next level.