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High Density Foods Defined

Eating high density foods is a great way to eat a larger quantity of food for the amount of calories. In fact, a yearlong study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found women eating high density foods lost more weight than women following a low fat diet. The women following the high density diet ate, on average, 25 percent more food by weight than the ladies following the low fat regimen. High density foods help keep you full! So what are they? A high density food is one that is low calorie, water-rich, and packed with nutrients. Sounds like a definition for many veggies too.

To determine if a food is considered high density, you divide the calories per serving by the weight in grams of that serving (calories per serving ÷ grams per serving) and the answer should be two or less. For instance a serving of steel cut oats has a density rating of 3.75, while an apple's rating is .5 – quite low. Essentially this is just another way of saying eat more fruits and veggies. They are low calorie, high nutrient foods and they can help you lose weight. If this sounds familiar, it is the diet philosophy behind Volumetrics Eating Plan.

Salad anyone?


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Spectra Spectra 9 years
Fit, I think you mean "low density" foods. They have fewer calories per gram of food, so they fill you up faster without contributing a large amount of calories. I eat low-density foods for the majority of my diet...soups, salads, oatmeal, fruit, veggies, lean protein, whole grain brown rice, etc. Then I eat the rest of my calories in the form of high density foods...foods that pack a lot of calories in a small serving. Nuts, olive oil, hard cheese, butter, chocolate...those are some of my favorites.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
Sorry, I think this diet is unhealthy. It's puts a bias against high density food like steel cut oatmeal, nuts, and supplements like fish oil and flaxseed oil. These items, taken at the right quantities, are very healthy, keeping the bodily systems running well, and helps the body feel full. These foods are high in nutrition as well. I eat those items EVERY DAY for the last several years, and I'm nowhere near over-weight. Also, I have "excellent" numbers in my medical lab results.
insidesusan insidesusan 9 years
I think this post is a little confusing in the way it is worded - the idea is that less calories per gram is higher density. I wouldn't really use the term "high density" for these types of food, but I guess that's how the people in the study choose to define it. What they are saying is that foods with a lower calorie per gram ratio result in you eating more food overall for the same amount of calories. This is why a pat of butter, which is small, has about the same amount of calories as two cups of raw broccoli. Therefore, you can eat a greater quantity of food for the same amount of calories (I estimated the calories in butter vs broccoli btw, so don't take it as pure fact). I think "high volume, low calorie" is a better description than high density. Giving that formula then using the term "high density" is likely to confuse a LOT of would-be dieters. But overall it just tells us what we already know - eat healthy, low calorie foods, and limit our fattier, higher calorie foods.
skatie07 skatie07 9 years
I'm first it says high density is good, but an apple is low density and they say that's good to eat. And apples aren't as filling as oats in my opinion.
behemoth_the_cat behemoth_the_cat 9 years
chocolate has a density rating of 5.4!
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
wild-irish-rose wild-irish-rose 9 years
Um, isn't it low density that's better than high density? Low density means less calories per gram... so aiming for a calorie per gram ratio of less than two means you're trying to eat low density foods, not high density. (Actually to be more accurate with the terminology, it's low energy density..) That link didn't take me to the study you mentioned, but I don't see how it's possible that eating high density foods would help you lose weight. The Volumetrics plan above aims for eating low energy density foods.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Hmmm that is interesting. i just wonder if these women who were eating high-density foods were hungier more often...?
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
I don't know about this. I eat steel cut oats most mornings for breakfast and it keeps me full for a long time. I don't think I could replace it with an apple and be satisfied. But I eat an apple for a snack!
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