When it Comes to Calories – Nutrition Experts Say that Quality Matters

We all appreciate the importance of quality time, but do we really think about the quality of our calories? According to a 2013 Nutrition Trends Survey conducted by Pollock Communications, Registered Dietitians (RDs) say that we should. The majority of the RDs (57%) agreed that focusing high quality calories is most important for achieving a healthy diet and weight.

“While calories from all foods provide us with energy,” notes Dr. Jenna A. Bell, Registered Dietitian and Senior Vice President, Director of Food and Wellness at Pollock, “you’re more likely to eat a healthy diet if you choose foods that have high quality calories – meaning they provide vitamins, minerals, fiber and other essential nutrients.” Dr. Bell describes the practice of eating foods that provide more than just calories as being nutrient dense, rather than calorie-rich or full of wasted calories.

How does this relate to weight loss?

It makes sense that a focus on high quality calories would improve the healthfulness of a diet, but how does it affect weight management? Dr. Bell explains that weight management is easier when you focus on high quality calories because you will weed out those foods that are heavy in added sugars or “undesirable” fats that typically add calories over and above what you need. “If you’re looking for a high quality calorie, you are going to choose foods that are rich in nutrients – fruits, vegetables, whole grain fiber sources, lean meats and low/non-fat dairy. By design, these foods tend to be lower in total calories so balancing your food intake with your activity will likely be easier.”

Bottom line, adds Dr. Bell, “I rarely hear of individuals gaining weight because their diet was too high in high quality calories, like fruits and vegetables.”

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