Nav: Home

Energy density: a new way to look at food

January 04, 2001

Rochester, MN -- Just in time for New Year's resolutions, a new book from Mayo Clinic is available to help potential dieters stay on track. The book, Mayo Clinic on Healthy Weight, recommends paying close attention to the "energy density" of foods in order to maintain a healthy diet. The January issue of Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource contains guidelines and information about this new way of thinking about food.

Energy density is the number of calories in a given volume of food. For example, one cup of lettuce has fewer calories than one cup of ice cream, so the lettuce has a lower energy density. Eating more foods with low energy density will allow you to eat a healthy diet while still feeling full after meals. Studies show that the total volume of food we eat remains relatively steady over the course of a week, so if you replace energy-dense foods with lower energy-density items, you will eat the same amount of food (and feel just as full), while decreasing your caloric intake. The result: weight loss and better health.

But you don't have to eat lettuce at every meal to enjoy the benefits of this diet plan. By increasing the amount of low-energy density foods, you leave more room for moderate portions of your favorite energy-dense foods.

One example of how to lower the energy density of your diet includes skewing the ratio of vegetables to pasta in your favorite Italian dishes. Instead of eating one cup of pasta with a small amount of tomato sauce, try serving a half-cup of pasta mixed with one cup of vegetables. You should feel just as satisfied after your meal, but you will have significantly reduced the amount of calories and upped the number of disease-fighting vitamins and minerals.
-end-
More information about energy density is available in Mayo Clinic on Healthy Weight, which is now available in bookstores.

Shelly Plutowski
507-284-5005 (days)
507-284-2511 (evenings)
e-mail: newsbureau@mayo.edu

Mayo Clinic

Related Calories Articles:

Study pinpoints top sources of empty calories for children and teens
A new study of children and teens found that more than 25% of the calories they consume were considered empty -- those from added sugars and solid fats.
People with brown fat may burn 15% more calories
Short-term cold exposure may help people with brown fat burn 15% more calories than those without, according to a small study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
Consuming extra calories can help exercising women avoid menstrual disorders
Exercising women who struggle to consume enough calories and have menstrual disorders can simply increase their food intake to recover their menstrual cycle, according to a study accepted for presentation at ENDO 2020, the Endocrine Society's annual meeting, and publication in the Journal of the Endocrine Society.
People who eat a big breakfast may burn twice as many calories
Eating a big breakfast rather than a large dinner may prevent obesity and high blood sugar, according to new research published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
Calories in popular UK restaurant chain dishes can be 'shockingly high' warn experts
The calorie content of popular starters, sides and desserts served in UK restaurant chains is too high and only a minority meet public health recommendations, finds a University of Liverpool study published in BMJ Open.
Monkeys like alcohol at low concentrations, but probably not due to the calories
Fruit-eating monkeys show a preference for concentrations of alcohol found in fermenting fruit, but do not seem to use alcohol as a source of supplementary calories, according to a study by researchers from Linköping University, Sweden, and the Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico.
Pregnant women with obesity may not require additional calories for healthy pregnancies
Guidelines for weight gain and caloric intake during pregnancy are not tailored to women with obesity, 2/3 of whom gain excessive weight during pregnancy that poses a risk to mother and child.
Exercising while restricting calories could be bad for bone health
UNC School of Medicine's Maya Styner, MD, led research showing that the combination of cutting calories and exercising can make bones smaller and more fragile in animals, whereas exercise on a full-calorie diet has a positive impact on bone health.
Even in svelte adults, cutting about 300 calories daily protects the heart
In adults already at a healthy weight or carrying just a few extra pounds, cutting around 300 calories a day significantly improved already good levels of cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and other markers.
Children and teens who drink low-calorie sweetened beverages do not save calories
US children and teens who consumed low-calorie or zero-calorie sweetened beverages took in about 200 extra calories on a given day compared to those who drank water, and they took in about the same number of calories as youth who consumed sugary beverages, according to a new study.
More Calories News and Calories Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: The Power Of Spaces
How do spaces shape the human experience? In what ways do our rooms, homes, and buildings give us meaning and purpose? This hour, TED speakers explore the power of the spaces we make and inhabit. Guests include architect Michael Murphy, musician David Byrne, artist Es Devlin, and architect Siamak Hariri.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#576 Science Communication in Creative Places
When you think of science communication, you might think of TED talks or museum talks or video talks, or... people giving lectures. It's a lot of people talking. But there's more to sci comm than that. This week host Bethany Brookshire talks to three people who have looked at science communication in places you might not expect it. We'll speak with Mauna Dasari, a graduate student at Notre Dame, about making mammals into a March Madness match. We'll talk with Sarah Garner, director of the Pathologists Assistant Program at Tulane University School of Medicine, who takes pathology instruction out of...
Now Playing: Radiolab

What If?
There's plenty of speculation about what Donald Trump might do in the wake of the election. Would he dispute the results if he loses? Would he simply refuse to leave office, or even try to use the military to maintain control? Last summer, Rosa Brooks got together a team of experts and political operatives from both sides of the aisle to ask a slightly different question. Rather than arguing about whether he'd do those things, they dug into what exactly would happen if he did. Part war game part choose your own adventure, Rosa's Transition Integrity Project doesn't give us any predictions, and it isn't a referendum on Trump. Instead, it's a deeply illuminating stress test on our laws, our institutions, and on the commitment to democracy written into the constitution. This episode was reported by Bethel Habte, with help from Tracie Hunte, and produced by Bethel Habte. Jeremy Bloom provided original music. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.     You can read The Transition Integrity Project's report here.