I’ve been thinking a lot about nutrient density lately, including last night when I was trying to fall asleep. It came up after I listened to a podcast featuring Dr. Ted Naiman. I hadn’t heard of him before. He is among what appears to me to be a growing number of physicians who went to traditional medical school and have been practicing for some time and have discovered the benefits of low carb eating in their patients and their own lives. This is an interesting group because low carb eating goes against most of their training and what they have preached over the years. Anyway, his point was that our food is so bereft of nutritional quality now, and most people don’t understand food and nutrients at all, that we almost have no choice but to overeat and consume way too many calories in order to simply get the nutrients that we need. Most of the foods that most people eat most of the time have very many calories and carbs and very few nutrients. A fast food burger is calorie rich and carb rich and relatively nutrient poor. Whole wheat pasta would be carb rich and with plenty of damaging components and some nutrients. Candy would be completely lacking in nutrients but still delivering a lot of carbs and calories. An apple would be pretty good but much less nutrient-dense than, say, a bowl of blueberries.
I knew all this, but hadn’t really thought about it much in terms of how to do exactly the opposite of what most people are doing every day and all day. Instead of eating calorie-rich, nutrient deficient foods all day long, don’t eat very often and when you do, don’t eat much and when you do, make sure it is the most nutrient-dense food you can eat. Most of the time do this. Don’t worry about the calories so much as the nutrition and the fact that it is nutrient-dense (with macros such as protein and healthy fats and micros such as minerals and vitamins). And keep the needless carbs to a minimum, particularly if you need to lose weight, have blood sugar issues, gut issues, etc.
How do you do this? Try taking the smallest container that you can conceive of containing a meal and pack it with the most satisfying, nutrient dense food you can that you know you will enjoy. Here’s what I came up with for today: 3 pastured eggs scrambled, leg of lamb and bacon in a pretty darn small container. I’m going to get by on this, I hope, until dinner.
Here are some other examples of meals that would fit into this container: