Calorie Density & Eating Healthy [Density Rules!]
I really adore density. This originally popped up when looking at different caloric densities in food. If you want to give it a look just click here. In particular this is the kind of stuff that I find really fascinating and exciting.
This is 200 calories. It looks like about a calorie (or perhaps half a calorie) per puffed rice. This makes sense on two different levels. Not only is this literally less dense than many other foods (lots of air in them) but it is also less calorically dense. Every mm cubed is going to provide you less nutrition than the following food.
Peanut Butter is one of my favorite foods. This image doesn’t change that and might even increase it. A single spoonful of real peanut butter nets you 200 calories. Peanut Butter is remarkably calorie dense and I would imagine it is quite a dense foodstuff as well. When you lift peanut butter you can feel an impressive amount of weight in even a small container.
It is important to know how dense your food is. Generally speaking food that is light on calories but heavy on area are your best bet. Puffed rice is interesting because it can fill up a lot of space while not generating a lot of energy. You likely could not eat the equivalent wait of puffed rice that you could in a McDonalds hamburger. Those burgers are pretty darn light compared to the area they take up.
I bring up area because your stomach has a limited capacity. Yes it can stretch and certain chemicals do make your body largely ignore how much you are eating (one of the magical side effects of HFCS and similar sweeteners) but as a general rule of thumb you will only consume a certain area of food. At least this appears to be my experience, perhaps I am just broken.
Often times folks talk about eating less in order to lose weight. I would suggest instead to switch those non-nutritious calorie dense foods you might be gorging on for some less physically (and calorie) dense foods that you >can< gorge on and get full before they ever negatively impact you.
Plus many of these foods will provide you with essential vitamins. Everybody wins! Well, more specifically you win, and since you are the only person in your body [mind out of the gutter!] that’s everybody that matters in this scenario.
PS. Calories aren’t everything. You should also compare calories to the nutrition you’ll get overall from the food. Also be sure to speak with your doctor or dietician about what your specific body needs. Don’t ultimately listen to me for things that impact your health, I am just a shmuck who likes talking about stuff.