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Healthy Eating and Dieting

Woman prepares heart healthy meal for family

Eating a Heart Healthy Diet

There are many types of foods and ingredients to consider when focusing on a heart healthy diet. The information below can help guide you and get you on your way to being heart healthy:

Healthy Food Alternatives

Energy Density of Food

What is energy density?

Energy density is the relationship between calories and the weight of a food. Studies show people tend to eat a certain volume of food each day. Foods that have a lot of water and fiber tend to weigh less than foods that are high in fat and sugar.

Fiber and water lower the energy density of foods because they take up volume but don't contribute a lot of calories. When you eat foods low in energy density, you feel full sooner due to a higher volume of food in your stomach. As a result, you eat fewer calories, and this will help you to lose weight. When you eat foods that are high in energy density they take up less volume in your stomach because they have less fiber and/or water.

Since the natural instinct is to eat a certain volume of food you will eat more of these higher energy dense foods to feel full. As a result, it is a lot easier to take in more calories than your body needs.

How to Calculate Energy Density

To calculate the energy density of a food, take the total number of calories per serving and divide it by the weight in grams. For example a food with 130 calories per serving that weighs 30 grams per serving has an energy density of 4.3.

Low energy density foods are less than 1.5 and high energy density foods are greater than 3. Therefore, the example given is a high energy density food.