Nutrient Rich Foods: Learn Them and Eat Them!

ADA PyramidI say it often and I know you’ve heard others say it, but nutrient rich foods are key for your health and for weight loss (or weight maintenance). I recently received some information about the Nutrient Rich Foods Coalition (NRF) and decided to check out their website. In doing so, I found some great information about incorporating nutrient rich/dense foods into your diet.

What is the NRF?

The Nutrient Rich Foods Coalition website describes this group as “a partnership that brings together leading scientific researchers, communications experts and agricultural commodities. Our members are composed of 12 food commodity associations that represent the five basic MyPyramid food groups.” Meaning, this group consists of experts in each of the five food groups (milk, grains, vegetables, oil, fruits). The website offers several tools that the public can understand and incorporate into their lives with the focus being on making calories count by choosing nutrient rich foods.

What are Nutrient Dense Foods?

Nutrient dense foods are foods that pack a punch. Unlike empty calories, calories that provide little to no nutrients and a lot of calories; nutrient dense foods provide tons of vitamins and minerals and only a few calories. These type of foods are the foods needed to help you lose and control your weight and help reduce your risk of poor diet associated diseases.

Examples of Nutrient-Rich Foods

The list below was taken from the NRF website:

  • Brightly colored fruits and 100% fruit juices
  • Vibrant colored vegetables and potatoes
  • Whole, fortified and fiber-rich grain foods
  • Low-fat and fat-free milk, cheese and yogurt
  • Lean meat, skinless poultry, fish, eggs, beans and nuts

I was excited learning about the NRF. I think it offers great tools, tactics, and insight that one needs to lead a healthy lifestyle. I encourage you to look and see what new information you can learn and incorporate into your life!

3 Responses to Nutrient Rich Foods: Learn Them and Eat Them!

DR says:


I agree that we should be focusing more on the nutrients contained in foods rather than the calories. There is a big nutritional difference between 500 calories of Big Mac vs 500 calories of spaghetti vs 500 calories of organic, locally grown vegetables.

Replacing the empty calories in my diet with foods loaded with required nutrients was the biggest factor in my weight loss –

Carmen says:

Kinsey, you are spot on. Eating so that you get more “bang for your buck” is really a key component to both weight loss and weight maintenance.

Yes, I think it’s so important to focus more on the nutrients in your food than on the calories. You can eat a low calorie/low fat diet without getting nearly enough nutrients.

I like to focus on eating different colored fruits and vegetables every day. It’s a fun way to keep track and also a great way to teach kids about nutrition. For example, you can play a “how many colors have we eaten today?” game and focus on buying all different colors of fruits and veggies at the market.

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