Are you well fed, but undernourished?

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Are all calories created equal? If someone is eating enough food, are they getting enough nutrients? The answer is a resounding no. Not all foods are created equal and there is much to be said about diet quality. With an increase in convenience foods, many people are filling their diets with energy dense, but nutrient poor foods. Surprisingly, researchers are finding an increased connection between obesity and malnutrition. Ali Spencer, RD with LDS Hospital, specializes in outpatient nutritional counseling for health, wellness, and weight loss explains that no matter our size though, there is a high likelihood that we can increase the nutrient quality of our diets.

Nutrient Poor Foods

Nutrient poor foods are what we often refer to as “empty” calories. While there is definitely a time and place for all of these foods, you can evaluate your diet for frequency. Examples sugar-sweetened beverages, candy, cookies, desserts, fried foods, chips, and other convenience foods. You should be limiting these foods to a few times per month.

Nutrient Rich Foods

Nutrient rich foods are not necessarily low in calories. Nutrient rich foods are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Some foods like fruits and vegetables are low calorie and high nutrients, while others like avocados and nuts are high calorie high nutrients. Evaluate your diet for the frequency you eat whole grains, lean meats, fruits, vegetables, unsaturated fats, and unsweetened dairy. These foods should make up the base of your diet and should be eaten in abundance.

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