Diabetes Agent > News

How Dense is Your Diet?

September 4, 2012 in News

Most of us have heard that we should eat a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean protein, while limiting our intake of fats and and added sugar. In 2010, the USDA released a set of dietary recommendations for all Americans that included this advice, adding that we should all try to eat more foods that a have a low “energy density.”

Energy density (ED) refers to how many calories a food has for a certain amount. A piece of cucumber half an inch on all sides contains far fewer calories than a chunk of doughnut the same size, so cucumber is less energy dense.

So how does thinking about the ED of our food options help? There’s strong evidence that focusing on a diet of low-ED foods can help with weight management and weight loss. A recent analysis published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics looked at studies of the relationship of ED to body weight in both adults in children. Across all of the studies, the researchers found strong associations between lowering dietary ED and both improved weight loss and improved weight management. Diets high in ED were found to be associated with higher body weight. There is also evidence to suggest that lowering the ED of your diet can help you feel full while reducing your calorie intake.

Eating a diet rich in low-ED foods – those same fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins – can help you reach and maintain a healthy weight, which in turn can help you improve your blood glucose and manage your diabetes. If you’re interested in the connection between weight loss and blood sugar, you can review [link to DA content if available].

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *