The brain and body need macronutrients that include carbohydrates, fats, and protein in the right amounts to energize the body. About half of the calories should come from carbohydrates, 30% from fat, and 20% from protein. Food energy density is the amount of energy, represented by the number of calories, in a specific weight measurement.
Table of Contents
Energy density is determined by the proportion of macronutrients – protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, and water.
Energy-dense foods contain a high number of calories/energy per gram. They are typically higher in fat and lower in water. Examples of energy-dense foods include:
Less nutrient-dense foods include:
Foods like soups and beverages can be either high or low energy density depending on the ingredients. Broth-based soups with vegetables usually have low density while creamed soups are energy-dense. Non-fat milk is less dense than regular milk, and diet soda is less dense than regular soda.
Fernandez, Melissa Anne, and André Marette. “Potential Health Benefits of Combining Yogurt and Fruits Based on Their Probiotic and Prebiotic Properties.” Advances in nutrition (Bethesda, Md.) vol. 8,1 155S-164S. 17 Jan. 2017, doi:10.3945/an.115.011114
Horgan, Graham W et al. “Effect of different food groups on energy intake within and between individuals.” European Journal of Nutrition vol. 61,7 (2022): 3559-3570. doi:10.1007/s00394-022-02903-1
Hubbard, Gary P et al. “A systematic review of compliance to oral nutritional supplements.” Clinical nutrition (Edinburgh, Scotland) vol. 31,3 (2012): 293-312. doi:10.1016/j.clnu.2011.11.020
Prentice, A M. “Manipulation of dietary fat and energy density and subsequent effects on substrate flux and food intake.” The American Journal of clinical nutrition vol. 67,3 Suppl (1998): 535S-541S. doi:10.1093/ajcn/67.3.535S
Slesser, M. “Energy and food.” Basic life sciences vol. 7 (1976): 171-8. doi:10.1007/978-1-4684-2883-4_15
Specter, S E et al. “Reducing ice cream energy density does not condition decreased acceptance or engender compensation following repeated exposure.” European Journal of clinical nutrition vol. 52,10 (1998): 703-10. doi:10.1038/sj.ejcn.1600627
Westerterp-Plantenga, M S. “Effects of the energy density of daily food intake on long-term energy intake.” Physiology & behavior vol. 81,5 (2004): 765-71. doi:10.1016/j.physbeh.2004.04.030
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