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Living Well in Yalobusha County

Are the foods you eat energy dense or nutrient dense? Energy density and nutrient density are two important terms to understand when making food choices. Foods that are energy dense contain a higher number of calories per serving, while foods that are nutrient dense contain a higher level of vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients with little or no added sugars or fats that raise calories.

Think of the difference between potato chips and a plain baked potato, or sweetened yogurt and plain yogurt, or creamed spinach vs steamed spinach. Adding fat or sugar to foods increases the calorie content, making these foods more energy dense.  Choosing nutrient-dense foods more often allows us to consume a higher number of essential vitamins and minerals that promote good health, while avoiding consuming too many calories that can lead to overweight or obesity. 

At daily calorie levels between 1,200 and 1,800, less than 10 percent of the total calorie budget remains after consuming foods that contain all the nutrients we need. By the time you eat all the fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and protein foods that your body needs for optimum health, there are only 120-180 calories left over each day for sugars and fat. 

If we choose energy-dense versions of these foods —for example eating sweetened canned fruit, vegetables with extra butter or cheese, or processed grains like French fries instead of potatoes, and higher-fat protein foods like sausage or deli meats —then we will consume far more calories than we need.120-180 calories don’t go very far: 12 ounces of regular soda contain 150 calories—all from sugar —while 1 ounce of potato chips contains 155 calories —primarily  from fat. 

 Another benefit of nutrient-dense foods is that they are often high in water and fiber which increases their volume without increasing calories. For example, compare the volume of 100 calories of a raw apple with 100 calories of apple juice. About 2 cups of sliced raw apples contains 100 calories, while 1 cup of unsweetened apple juice contains 113 calories. 

You’ll feel more satisfied after eating the apples instead of drinking the juice because the total volume of food that we consume is the primary reason for satiety. We can eat a larger volume of low-energy, nutrient-dense foods and lose weight while feeling satisfied. 

Save The Date

A Child Caregivers Training is scheduled Saturday, August 25, from 8 to 10 a.m.  The topic is Bringing Literacy to Life.  The cost is $5 per participant and can be paid with cashier’s check or money order.  Space is limited.  Call the Extension Office at 675-2730 for more information.

The Create Club will meet on Tuesday, August 14, at 10 a.m. The project is a flip flop windchime and the cost is $2.  Shay Lloyd will be the program presenter.  Please contact the Extension Office by Thursday, August 2nd to let us know you are coming.

Healthy You exercise classes meet on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the Extension Office. The classes are free. Make sure to wear cool comfortable clothes, good walking shoes and bring some water to drink.  The health care professional will be here August 15 to test blood pressure and glucose.

Sewing for Service will meet on Monday, August 20, at 10 a.m.  Participants will be working on pillowcases for Ari’s Pillowcase Project.  If you love to sew and you love to help others, this is the group for you!  Hope you will join us!

The United Y.C. MHV Club will meet on Tuesday, August 21st at 9 a.m for their business meeting. They will then work on fleece blankets to raffle off at Holiday House on October 27th.

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