- Caloric density is the number of calories contained in 1 gram of food. The two components that play into caloric density are water content and fiber content, both helps you feel full.
- Foods that are high in fiber and water: legumes, whole grains, fruits and vegetables are low in caloric density.
- An apple and two ounces of banana chips provide the same fullness of stomach but the chips provide 5 times as many calories as an apple.
- Adding water in the meal or during the meal could reduce the caloric density of the food when applicable. Caloric density can also be reduced by adding skim milk to dry cereal.
- High fat diets can enhance daily calorie intake and promote weight gain. The caloric density of fat is more than twice that of protein or carbohydrates (9 vs. 4 calories). This is one of the reasons for all expert bodies recommending reducing the fat intake to less than 35% of the daily energy intake.
- A low-energy density diet providing fewer calories but greater bulk (like salads, fruits, and vegetables), is associated with a reduced hunger sensation and therefore more likely to be tolerated than a high-energy density diet (ice cream, cheese, or pastries). This underscores the importance of low-energy density food for a weight management program.1
- Most Indian sweets and snacks are high in calories and saturated fats. For example two small pieces of besan burfii provide 400 calories, one cup Halwa provides 640 calories, one piece of fruit cake 270 calories, two samosas provide 400 calories. (for more info on most of the Indian foods click here)
1. Song SW, Bae YJ, Lee DT. Effects of caloric restriction with varying energy density and aerobic exercise on weight change and satiety in young female adults. Nutr Res Pract. Oct 2010;4(5):414-420.