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episode #283

Forget Dieting – Eat Nutrient Dense Foods!

September 4, 2023 in Podcast


This week I touch on the importance of looking at your nutrition from the lense of prioritizing nutrient dense foods as opposed to a certain diet.

Marty Kendall from Optimizing Nutrition has a great quote - “Your diet doesn’t need a name or belief system, just enough nutrients.”  I think this can help free you up when it comes to nutrition because it doesn't put any parameters around following a specific diet. (which doesn't work for most people). Start by logging your food in Chronometer and once you identify your priority nutrients, you can add more foods and meals that provide more of your priority nutrients. Here is a short list of some of the most nutrient dense foods per calorie from Marty Kendall - spinach, asparagus, liver, broccoli, mussels, salmon, mackerel and shrimp.

I love this way of eating! Rather than avoiding all the ‘bad things’ in food, you simply work to ensure you are giving your body everything it needs to thrive. Eating nutrient-dense foods can help you feel fuller for longer, reduce cravings, and help control energy intake, which can lead to sustained weight loss.

Episode Resources: https://optimisingnutrition.com/

Brian (1s):

Hello and welcome to the GETLEAN and Eat Clean podcast. My name is Brian Gryn. I'm a certified health coach, trainer and author, and this podcast is for middle aged men and women looking to optimize their health and get their bodies back to what it once was 10 to 15 years ago. I will give you simple, actionable items to get long term sustainable results. Thanks for listening and enjoy the show, All, right? Welcome to the GETLEAN E Clean podcast. My name is Brian Gryn. I hope you had a great weekend and happy Tuesday if you're listening to this on Tuesday. Hopefully you listen to my interview with Dixie Lee Huey.

Brian (44s):

She is a health coach, author, podcast host of the Nourishment Mindset. and we discussed all about the importance of Eating nutrient, Dense, Foods tips to nourish your, your children eating mindfully to create satiety and much, much more. So if you haven't listened to it, check it out. Dixie Lee Hugh and I'm actually jumping on her podcast in a few weeks here. So excited to do that and hopefully enjoyed my interview with Dixie. And on today's podcast, micro podcast, we are gonna discuss nutrient-dense Foods. It's something that I've hit on before with Brad Kerns and I've, I've done a few solo episodes on it, but talking with Dixie made me think of just the importance of it.

Brian (1m 29s):

And I've had a guest on my show, Marty Kendall, you haven't listened to that interview. Check it out. He's with Optimizing Nutrition and he run writes some great articles on his website, Optimizing nutrition.com. And it just made me wanna sort of revisit this topic of Nutrient density because he has a great quote. Marty has a great quote that says, your diet doesn't need a name or a belief system, just enough nutrients. And I think that's so true nowadays with, you know, going back and forth between all these different diets or different ways of eating, you know, carnivore, plant-based, keto, so on and so forth.

Brian (2m 9s):

And if you sort of take the label off it and just say, you know, I'm gonna try to eat Foods that, you know, fit my profile, that have the highest Nutrient density that I could find. And that serves such a great purpose, I think this is a great place to come from as opposed to thinking that you need a special diet to, to meet your goals or to be in a certain camp. Or you need to, you know, people, some people have thrived on keto, some people haven't, right? It doesn't make it right or wrong, but one of the things that I think's important to do is just log your food for a little bit.

Brian (2m 50s):

I do this with my clients. You could use a, you could do a journal, just write it out or you could do it on Chronometer or there's tons of different apps to log food. And I would say do this for a week. See what you see, which, like you're eating, if you do it in Chronometer, it's gonna give you the nutrients and it's gonna track your Foods and tell you which nutrients that maybe you need to prioritize. 'cause let's just say for example, you know, you're eating a ton of plant Foods, maybe not enough, maybe not a lot of protein or not not enough meat. And maybe you're lacking in a Nutrient of B 12. you know, a lot of people who eat plant-based, they, they have trouble getting those B vitamins and so you might have to make adjustments from that.

Brian (3m 36s):

Now everybody is a little bit different. It's, I don't think it's a perfect thing, but focusing on Nutrient, Dense, Foods ones that contain the essential nutrients that you need to thrive, I think is a great sort of place to come from as opposed to coming from a certain like diet rhetoric. And so, you know, essential nutrients are obviously minerals, vitamins, fatty acids, amino acids that our bodies cannot make So, we have to get certain ones through food. you know what, why, why am I talking about Nutrient density? Well, the importance of it for one is if you're Eating nutrient Dense Foods, it can help you feel fuller, longer, reduce cravings, help control energy intake and could possibly lead to weight loss.

Brian (4m 26s):

Also too, obviously consuming Foods rich and nutrients, you know, will help you maintain good health, prevent chronic disease, you know, support your immune system and, and your energy levels, right? So Nutrient Dense Foods typically contain the nutrients that your mitochondrial need to function optimally. and we talk, I talk about this with Jay Feldman a lot, always about, you know, maximizing your mitochondrial energy and ways to do that. So e essentially, you know, Nutrient Dense, Nutrient deficiencies are rampant throughout society, typically in societies that don't get certain Foods and it could provide, it could lead to many health problems, osteoporosis, impaired immune, immune function, anemia, things like this.

Brian (5m 19s):

So I think the importance of just focusing on this is will take you a long way. So if you're struggling with which diet to try, maybe just focus on the quality of the food. And Marty Kendall has done a bunch of different articles. So I definitely will put a link for Optimizing Nutrition. You can check out, you know, all his different articles regarding, you know, what Foods to eat his Nutrient density chart and you can do some testing through his company. It's really cool. So, but he did a recent article and he talked about that, you know, very few people get the nutrients they need from Foods. A survey found that 16,444 people in the US were found to not a hundred percent of them did not meet their recommended intake for potassium.

Brian (6m 10s):

94% didn't meet their recommended intake for vitamin D. 89% didn't meet magnesium 44%, calcium, 43% vitamin A and 39% vitamin C. So this is something that's, you know, rampant throughout society. And he also found, according to the World Health Organization, iron is the most common Nutrient, Dense, Nutrient deficient food, or I should say vitamin worldwide. So that's probably due to the poor countries limited in their access to animal-based Foods, you know, 'cause typically you'll get iron from, from animal-based Foods.

Brian (6m 54s):

So he highlighted comparing a meat only verse, a verse a plant-based and so on and so forth. And he found that an omnivorous diet allows us to maximize Nutrient density and society and minimizes ultra processed Foods. So some of the other highlights that he's talked about was the more we narrow our food choices, the less nut, nutri, nutritionally complimentary Foods we have to choose from. And if we drop plants and keep seafood and dairy, we can still get a fairly nutritious outcome. So I think plants can play a role because if you look at like Foods that are the most Nutrient Dense, you know, if there are some plants that are up there, so you can incorporate plants, but I think if you're missing out on, you know, the animal-based Foods, it's gonna sort of set you back a bit.

Brian (7m 49s):

And I've talked about this in the past, but I wanted to highlight the most Nutrient, Dense Foods per calorie from his charts. And let me just pull this up real quick. Spinach was actually the most Nutrient Dense per calorie. 92% asparagus, liver, not surprised, liver's up there. Broccoli, mussels, salmon, mackerel. I do love having mackerel from time to time. Shrimp, lettuce, trout, smoked trout ca, cauliflower milk, cod, tuna, chicken, thigh roast beef, beef steak, mushrooms, ribeye, filet eggs, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt.

Brian (8m 38s):

Two things I love to utilize and so on and so forth. A huge list. And again, I'll, I'll link to his, his Optimizing nutrition website. But, so I think the bottom line is here is your diet doesn't need a name, right? You just wanna make sure you get enough nutrients. Well, how do you know you're getting enough nutrients? I think one way to do is to track it through Chronometer and see it'll sort of give you, identify nutrients where you might be lacking and then you can sort of add more Foods and meals that provide more of those nutrients. Could you add in some supplementation for sure If there's certain Foods that you just don't want to eat.

Brian (9m 19s):

If you, if you don't really want to eat a lot of meat, you know, and you're lacking in B 12, you can get a quality, you know, essential B vitamin supplement. Is that optimal? I think if you could obviously get everything from food, I think that's the best way to go. But either way, there's ways to work around it. I think if you're lacking in getting enough protein throughout the day, could you, could you make a protein shake if you're, you know, running out the door and, and, and lacking in time? I think that's a, that's sort of a good, good thing to do from time to time if you need to. So there's ways to get around it, but I think it's just first and foremost just being aware of the Foods that you're eating.

Brian (9m 59s):

Logging what you're, what you're eating from a week to week basis. You don't have to do this forever, but at least initially to see if you're lacking in certain nutrients or certain Foods that are pro gonna provide satiety, Nutrient density, And, you know, you know, sort of that profile that will help drive, you know, you know, drive your health to optimal levels, which doesn that mean, I mean, optimal sleep, you know, low stress. But if you're Eating nutrient poor, low satiety, Foods, you know, a lot of times it's easy to overeat, become almost addicted to those Foods. But if you're focusing on higher satiety Foods that provide like sort of this healthy dopamine response, you're getting enough nutrients from your Foods without all this excess energy.

Brian (10m 49s):

So you're getting full faster. So I think this is sort of a great angle to come by, especially if you've been struggling with trying to figure out the like perfect diet for, you don't even have to focus on that. Just focus on Nutrient, Dense Foods and log and see what, you know, maybe essential nutrients that you might be lacking. You can also obviously do blood blood tests, you could do hair tests, you could do a lot of different testing to see maybe you're, you know, low in iron, whatever it is. But it's important to sort of hone in on that as opposed to getting so caught up in a perfect diet. So that's all I wanted to touch on today. I hope you're enjoying the micro podcast. If you are, please leave a a review, would love it.

Brian (11m 31s):

And I'll leave a link in the show notes for this, for Optimizing Nutrition, Marty Kennel's. Got a lot of great work out there and it's worth reading. So thanks again and I will talk to you on Friday with another great interview. Have a great week. Thanks for listening to the GETLEAN E Clean podcast. I understand there are millions of other Podcasts out there and you've chosen to listen to mine and I appreciate that. Check out the show notes@briangrin.com for everything that was mentioned in this episode. Feel free to subscribe to the podcast and share it with a friend or family member that's looking to get their body back to what it once was. Thanks again and have a great day.

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