Fruits include fresh, frozen, canned, and dried fruits. In addition to being a high-fiber source, they are also relatively low in calories. Typically, they should constitute less than one-quarter of a meal. Eating whole fruits is generally preferred to drinking fruit juice. In addition, fruits are usually higher in water content than most vegetables. So, they are a good option for a snack between meals.
The term nutrient-dense is often used to describe healthful foods, but there is little consensus on what constitutes a nutrient-dense food. Registered dietitians and nutritionists tend to define nutrient density as the balance of nutrients in the food. The concept is also not widely understood by consumers, and it may take further research to make it more accessible to consumers.
The nutrient-dense concept may be useful to educate consumers and health professionals about the benefits of a varied diet. It might help to reduce negative food conversations, where people are concerned with weight stigma or poor body image. Similarly, nutrition professionals may benefit from using visual resources to link nutrient-dense foods to a healthy diet, such as the Eatwell Guide. Such resources could help to encourage healthy food choices within the main food groups.
The study also included feedback from nutrition professionals on the use of the concept of nutrient-dense foods. While consumers and nutrition professionals alike find it useful, the concept may need some reframing. While it is still an early stage, the findings of the study are interesting and insightful, more research is needed to determine how to best convey information about nutrient-dense foods to consumers.
Flexibility in dietary choices
Flexible dietary patterns are beneficial for many reasons. They make the dietary choices of an individual easier to stick to over an extended period of time. In addition, they make it easier for an athlete to track his or her macronutrient needs based on his or her training schedule. The flexibility of flexible dieting may also be beneficial for athletes with specific nutrient needs.
Simpler dietary recommendations
When developing dietary recommendations, it’s useful to break them down into food group subgroupings. These groups emphasize foods rich in specific nutrients. For example, whole grains provide more fiber, magnesium, and zinc than refined grains. Fortunately, it’s relatively simple to make sure that you get the appropriate amount of each type of food. To get started, try creating a visual FBDG for your diet.
The USDA’s dietary advice is organized by food groups, as well as their subgroupings. For example, beans, peas, lentils, and rice fall into the legumes group. There are also dietary patterns for pregnant women and infants. The USDA makes the whole process easy by presenting recommendations in an intuitive format with pictures. It also offers easy-to-read dietary guides for the different food groups.