Monday, March 4, 2013

Eat It Like You Mean It: How to Feel Full

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I have a weakness for all types of salty processed foods. Chips, crackers... you name it, I'll eat it. And when it comes to Parmesan Goldfish, it's all over. We have a hot and torrid relationship that usually involves the bag being opened and demolished in the course of a single day.  

Try not to de-friend me, ok?

So today, in response to a grossly irresponsible moment I had last week with a bag of Goldfish, I'd like to talk about a little thing called nutrient density. Sharing this nugget of information is my way of paying penance for my indiscretions. Try to play along

In the world we live in, our food is wrapped up in bright, beautiful, beckoning packages. The bag, box or label begs you to notice it, describing its contents so poetically that you'd be amiss if you passed it by. We all have our weaknesses. Mine is Goldfish. Yours may be Doritos... California Pizza Kitchen frozen pizza... or a pint of Ben & Jerry's (or maybe all three!). 

When you've had a large quantity of these things, one would expect to feel full (or at least satisfied for a few hours), but in my experience, this is not the case. After eating these things, I'm hungry again, and in no time at all. 

I stuffed my face... so what gives?

Two words - Nutrient Density. Processed, refined foods are completely lacking in nutrient content. You'll be hard-pressed to find anything substantial or nourishing inside that shiny packaging. When a 'food' lacks nutrients, it slips straight through your system, doing nothing to help your body along the way and actually causing cravings for more destructive foods. In addition to giving us nothing, these foods also require additional resources from our body just to digest them. The digestive process leaches many existing nutrients from our organs and bones and robs us of our existing energy stores. In essence, these foods are 'antinutrients'.

Talk about double whammy!

The good news is, when you eat foods that are nutrient dense, you will feel nourished and full. These nutrient dense foods I'm referring to are WHOLE FOODS, the kind that don't come wrapped up with a pretty bow on top. They're the kind you can touch, feel and smell in the store! What they lack in pretty packaging, they make up in sensory experience!

Do you want the even better news? Because these foods are usually low in fat and calories, you can eat a much larger portion of them. You can eat the whole farm without even coming close to the fat and calories (and lack of nutrients) in that package of Oreos.

So basically I'm here today to give you permission to stuff your face. Just do it the right way!

Happy Monday!

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