Nutrient Density

Besides the calorie density of our foods, we should also be concerned about the nutrient density. Generally there is an inverse relationship between calories and nutrients. As calories go up, the nutrititon goes down, since the most calorie dense foods are usually processed and refined foods consisting of white flour, white sugar and oil. The only exceptions are high fat plant foods like nuts seds and avocados. For reasons of weight control and achieving a lean racing weight, I avoid these foods, despite their significant nutrition. I will focus more on the most nutritious foods per calorie, vegetables.

Since I follow Dr. McDougall’s starch based diet most closely, sometimes I overeat a little on the more calorie dense starches, like beans. So personally I am trying to focus more on calorie and nutrient density. I suspect that as base training shifts into racing season, these super nutrient dense dishes will be my secret weapon for recovery. Brendan Brazier thinks so.

For my inspiration and help, I am turning also to Dr. Joel Fuhrman. His nutrition plan focuses on the most micronutrient dense foods first, adding the calories in later. I will incorporate more of his techniques, like his food ranking system for help. In this endeavor I was initially inspired by another follower of the McDougall Program, who modified some of his already excellent eating habits to experiment with Dr. Fuhrman’s ideas of toxic hunger and micronutrient density.

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