Balancing Calories And Nutrients
Getting enough calories is important when trying to gain weight, but so is getting the right nutrients for health. There is still a risk of malnutrition even when you are getting enough calories because you might not be getting enough vitamins and minerals to keep you healthy.
In geriatric nutrition, it is important to find a good balance between calorie dense foods and nutrient dense foods.
It would be easy to keep weight on if all we had to do was eat cookies and cakes, but without proper protein, vitamins, and minerals, it would be impossible to stay healthy, despite the lack of weight loss.
Calorie Dense Foods Vs Nutrient Dense Foods
All foods can be compared in two ways. First is calorie density, which means that a little bit of food has a lot of calories. For example, foods high in simple sugars or fats, like a donut, are considered calorie dense .
The other way that you can compare foods is by nutrient density, which means that a little bit of food has a lot of nutritional value.
Most green leafy vegetables like spinach can be good examples of nutrient density, because they have a lot of value in their vitamins and minerals. But they dont have a lot of calories.
High Calorie Lunch Ideas
Avocado tuna salad: Make your favorite tuna salad recipe and add diced avocado to the mix. The tuna salad mix can easily be made more calorie dense by tossing it onto a slice of whole grain bread and melting cheese over top to make a tuna melt.
Burrito bowl: For some older adults, a whole burrito, while calorie dense, can be unwieldy and difficult to eat. One option would be to dump the whole burrito into a bowl and serve it just like that! It can even be more calorie dense than a burrito because you have the liberty to load it up with your favorite calorie dense toppings and sauces without worrying about leakage or spilling.
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Its All About The Protein Package
When we eat foods for protein, we also eat everything that comes alongside it: the different fats, fiber, sodium, and more. Its this protein package thats likely to make a difference for health.
The table below shows a sample of food packages sorted by protein content, alongside a range of components that come with it.
To call out a few examples:
- A 4-ounce broiled sirloin steak is a great source of proteinabout 33 grams worth. But it also delivers about 5 grams of saturated fat.
- A 4-ounce ham steak with 22 grams of protein has only 1.6 grams of saturated fat, but its loaded with 1,500 milligrams worth of sodium.
- 4 ounces of grilled sockeye salmon has about 30 grams of protein, naturally low in sodium, and contains just over 1 gram of saturated fat. Salmon and other fatty fish are also excellent sources of omega-3 fats, a type of fat thats especially good for the heart.
- A cup of cooked lentils provides about 18 grams of protein and 15 grams of fiber, and it has virtually no saturated fat or sodium.
What about protein powders?
Reach For Healthier Protein
If youre a healthy adult, with a typical digestive tract, thelikelihood of having a protein deficiency is small, says Taylor. On the flipside, you can definitelyoverdose on protein, which could put your kidneys at risk and cause other unwantedside effects. Dont go overboard with protein.
The recommended dietary allowance for protein is a little over 7 grams per 20 pounds of body weight. Using this guideline, a 140-pound person would need at least 50 grams of protein each day.
Taylor suggests finding high-quality protein sources that dont come with the extras that could negatively affect your health: salt, sugar and saturated fat. So what are her low-fat, go-to veggie and animal protein sources?
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Sardines: 209 G Protein Per 100 G
Sardines are one of the healthiest seafood options, and this small fish provides an array of beneficial nutrients.
To summarize sardines contain significant amounts of vitamin D and vitamin B12, and they provide more than 100% of the daily value per 100 grams.
In addition to this, sardines are one of the best dietary sources of omega-3.
Of course, they are one of the best high-protein foods too. A 130-gram can of sardines contains 27 grams of protein.
Top 11 Calorie Dense Foods For Weight Gain
Top 11 Calorie Dense Foods for Weight Gain was written by Cole Theobald. Edited/reviewed by Katie Dodd, MS, RDN, CSG, LD, FAND. Cole is a freelance writer and dietetic intern at Oregon Health Sciences University.
Calorie dense foods can be useful tools for preventing unintentional weight loss in older adults.
When older people lose weight, it can be a sign of infection or disease. And it can result in a loss of independence and an increase in injury risk. Preventing weight loss in the elderly is very important. One way to do so is to introduce calorie dense foods.
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Very High Protein Diets Are Dangerous
Some fad diets promote very high protein intakes of between 200 and 400g per day. This is more than five times the amount recommended in the Australian Dietary Guidelines. The protein recommendations in the Guidelines provide enough protein to build and repair muscles, even for body builders and athletes. A very high-protein diet can strain the kidneys and liver. It can also prompt excessive loss of the mineral calcium, which can increase your risk of osteoporosis.
How To Do A High
In the high-protein diet, 1.1 to 1.5 grams of protein per kilo of body weight must be consumed per day. The exact quantity that needs to consumed should be calculated by a nutritionist, as it varies from person to person and depends on age, gender, physical activity, and whether the person presents any relevant diseases.
This diet is a good strategy to reduce weight and increase muscle mass, especially when combined with exercise that favors muscle hypertrophy.
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Whole Grain Bread Products
- Breads are also a good food for adding extra calories to the diet. Whole grain bread is even better. Because whole grain flour still has the bran and the germ, it is denser, so whole grain breads contain more bread per slice, and thus more calories.
- Whole grain flours have more vitamins and minerals than white flours. If you want to satisfy a sweet tooth, you could also introduce whole grain flour to baked goods like cookies and cakes.
High Protein Meal Prep Toolkit
Emphasizing more protein dense options can help make hitting your daily protein goals easier, however, it won’t solve all your nutrition needs.
Learning how to meal plan and prep your food choices is one of the best ways to take control over your diet and make sure you get plenty of protein and good nutrition regularly.
Learn exactly how to stick to your calorie and protein goals with this free meal prep toolkit for weight loss. An RD-written guide complete with macro meal planner, food lists, and expert advice to help you lose weight quickly.
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Egg Sandwich With Pastrami And Swiss
Protein Punch: 27 gramsYou’ll Need: Butter, pastrami, eggs, milk, salt, pepper, low-fat Swiss cheese, whole-wheat English muffins
While most breakfast sandwiches are filled with protein-packed meat, that doesn’t always mean those ingredient choices are the best in terms of calories or even your daily energy. In this recipe, we choose our ingredients with more care. The combination of pastrami and Swiss has long been confined to the realm of the lunchtime deli counter, but we think it works beautifully with soft scrambled eggsâespecially because pastrami trounces both sausage and bacon in the calorie department. Give it a try.
Get our recipe for our Egg Sandwich With Pastrami and Swiss.
Social Aspect Of Meals
Meals are not a singular experience. For many people, the process of shopping for, preparing, serving, and eating food is a part of their social life. Too often, the elderly are denied the social aspects of their mealtimes.
This social isolation is strongly associated with appetite loss, a reduction in the number of daily meals, and decreased intake of fruits, vegetables, and protein foods . It is believed that this could be due to fewer meal-time cues, decreased motivation, and poor mental health status.
Remaking meals into a social behavior can be beneficial for the older adults appetite, whether by making meals a more pleasurable time or by ritualizing the process of getting ready for a meal.
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Cocoa: 20 G Protein Per 100 G
Perhaps surprisingly for many people, cocoa contains a significant amount of protein.
While we do not usually eat it in substantial portions, a serving or two of dark chocolate from time to time can contribute some extra protein to the diet.
It is also a decent plant-based protein for those who follow vegetarian or vegan lifestyles.
How Much Protein Should I Eat
For most people a daily dose of around 0.8-1g of protein per 1kg of body weight is recommended. For weightlifters and strength athletes 1.4 2g of protein per kg of body weight is recommended per day, with a recommendation of 1.2-1.6g of protein per kg of body weight per day for endurance athletes. After exercise, protein is particularly important since muscles need it to recover and grow. A portion of protein is recommended within 30 minutes of exercise, when your muscles are particularly receptive to protein synthesis.
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Cant I Just Take A Pill
People like to sell you expensive supplements and pills. However, progressively refining your diet to build in nutrient-dense foods and meals is harder and takes time to form new habits.
While there may be some benefit from vitamin pills and food fortification, supplements are often not in the form the body needs or in the synergistic ratios found in whole foods.
Chances are that youre not just missing one nutrient but rather a suite of beneficial compounds that we get from the foods we eat. While supplements seem like an attractive option, they often dont provide the same benefit when separated from the whole food.
Nutrient-dense whole foods that contain plenty of the essential nutrients likely also contain other beneficial compounds that we dont fully understand yet.
The Nutrient Optimiser will review your current diet to recommend supplements that you can use while you improve your diet. However, the long-term goal is always to get the nutrients you need from whole foods.
When was the last time you saw someone get healthy by taking a magic pill without changing their diet and exercise?
How To Improve Vegetable Protein Absorption
For those on a vegetarian or vegan diet, in order to provide the body with high-quality protein, the best thing to do is to make some food combinations of foods that complement each other, such as:
- Rice and beans
- Peas and corn seeds
- Quinoa and corn
- Brown rice and red beans.
These food combinations and a varied diet are important to maintain the bodys growth and proper functioning in those who do not ingest animal protein. In the case of lacto-ovo vegetarians, their diets can have the added protein that comes from eggs, milk, and dairy products.
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The 8 Most Nutrient Dense Foods On Earth
- Original: Jan 18, 2012
We all know which foods we do best to avoid . Despite the alluring appeal of Oreos, Mountain Dew or McAnything, processed foods provide little nutrition and a whole lot of risks. But when it comes to the good stuffwhat are the best foods to put into our bodies? While experts all agree we need a variety of foods for a healthy diet, do you know which are the healthiest of the bunch? The answers may surprise and delight you.
1. Spirulina: While the thought of eating lake algae might gross you out, spirulina is actually pretty tasty, especially blended into a smoothie or hidden in a chocolate bar. It has more antioxidants than any other food on earth and is loaded with protein and minerals making it the most nutrient dense food.
2. Kale: According to Dr. Joel Fuhrman, kale is the most nutritious food, loaded with minerals, vitamins, fiber and amino acids, as well as important antioxidants that reduce inflammation and can prevent cancer. It’s also delicious and an easy to prepare, versatile food.
3. Hemp Seeds: What do you get when you combine protein, fiber, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins and minerals? Hemp, of course. This easily digestible seed is versatile, easy to use and extremely tasty, too.
5. Broccoli: Mom was right, you should eat your broccoli if you want a healthy digestive system and to decrease your risk of cancer. Broccoli has a wide range of yumminess too, from soups and stews to stir fry.
Adding Calorie Dense Ingredients To Meals
Outside of swapping ingredients, some meals can have ingredients added in to boost calorie density.
Meals that take toppings to complete like nachos or baked potatoes can be loaded with high fat, high calorie options like sour cream, guacamole, olives, cheese, or meat products.
One-pot meals like soups, stews, or sheet-pan meals can also easily accommodate extra ingredients. Consider adding ground beef or diced chicken thighs to casseroles or starches like lentils, beans, or potatoes to soups.
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Arent The Nutrient Targets Just Made Up
Nutrition science is a relatively young and quickly evolving field. We are still learning about how much of each of the nutrients we need and how they interact.
While most of the nutrient targets are based on robust deficiency testing , some are merely based on the average intake levels of healthy populations .
While your nutrient fingerprint is unique to you, most people tend to have lower levels of the nutrients that there is actually deficiency testing for, while we tend to be getting plenty of the nutrients that were not so sure about.
The Nutrient Optimiser doesnt rely on the Recommended Daily Intakes being perfect. Instead, it simply identifies the foods and meals that contain more of the cluster of ten or so nutrients you are not getting enough of.
But you also need to keep in mind that the Recommended Daily Intakes of the various essential nutrients have been established to prevent most people from developing diseases of deficiency. We have analysed more than six hundred thousand days of data from Optimisers to identify the intake of the various nutrients that aligns with greater satiety. We call these the Optimal Nutrient Intakes.
Once you are able to hit the minimum intakes to prevent deficiency, you can start to look at the Optimal Nutrient Intakes to really optimise your nutrition.
Food Combinations Familiar Or Experimental
Combining two foods can be a good way to improve the experience of eating a meal. If someone doesnt really like peanut butter on, say, toast, they might enjoy it a lot more if you gave it to them with apple slices.
Familiar food combos like these have the potential to increase intake and acceptance of food. Since they are familiar, they can elicit positive memories, reduce the intimidation of trying new foods, and they will be easy to prepare and eat.
It could also be a good idea to try experimenting with different food combinations. If youre anything like me, you can get bored eating the same foods over and over.
Trying new, unique food combos can make eating a meal exciting again, and result in more food consumed.
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How Foods Lose Nutrient Density
Its a well-known fact that many Americans dont eat enough fruits and vegetables each day, but even among those who do, they may not get all the nutrients they might expect. Nutrient degradation describes the loss of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients in food due to factors like depleted soils, food manufacturing, processing and shipping, and to a lesser extent cooking and heating foods.
In 2002, an analysis of Canadian supermarkets produce by The Globe and Mail and CTV News found that nutrient levels had fallen dramatically in fruits and vegetables during the course of just a generation.
Comparing nutrient level changes in a 50-year span, the analysts found that the average supermarket potato had lost:
- 100 percent of its vitamin A
- 57 percent of its vitamin C and iron
- 50 percent of its riboflavin
- 28 percent of its calcium
- 18 percent of its thiamine
Twenty-five fruits and vegetables were analyzed with similar findings. Broccoli is thought of as one of the most popular superfoods, and yet according to some research, modern-day broccoli may be about 63 percent lower in calcium and 34 percent lower in iron than in previous centuries.
U.K. professor Tim Lang agrees: Its an issue of consumer rights. We think of an orange as a constant, but the reality is it isnt.
Youd have to eat five oranges today to get the iron your grandmother got from just one and about eight oranges to get the same amount of vitamin A!
How Soil Depletion Causes Low Nutrient Density
The Best Foods For A High
The best high-protein breakfasts start with protein-rich foods. Our recipes below feature high-protein breakfast foods such as:
- nut butter
- protein powder
Read on to discover nearly three weeks’ worth of mouthwatering high-protein breakfasts that deliver exactly what your body needs for breakfast. Combine that with these best-ever ways to boost your metabolism and you’ll reach your body goals in no time!
Protein Punch: 24 gramsYou’ll Need: 2% Plain Greek Yogurt, fresh strawberries and blueberries, sugar, mint leaves, granola
Not only is this recipe great for breakfast, but it’s so decadent, you could even enjoy it for dessert! The protein in this recipe comes from two sources: the homemade granola contains 4 grams of protein per serving while 7 ounces of Greek yogurt contains 20 grams of protein.
“Greek yogurt has double the protein compared to traditional yogurt due to the straining process,” says Amidor. “In addition, it is low in lactose and a fermented food which provides live, active cultures that may act as probiotics and keep the gastrointestinal system healthy.” All the more reason to dig in!
Get our recipe for Greek Yogurt Parfaits.
Protein Payout: 24 gramsYou’ll Need: Black beans, eggs, feta cheese, salsa, avocado, cumin, lime, hot sauce, salt, pepper
Get our recipe for Black Bean Omelets.
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