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Are calories really important during weight loss?

Other examples of nutrient-dense foods include vegetables, whole grains, legumes, meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, and unsalted nuts and seeds.

On the other hand, processed foods, including white pasta, soda, crackers, potato chips, ice cream, and alcohol are considered to be of low nutrient density.

Diets rich in nutrient-dense foods are consistently associated with a lower risk of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, and may also help you live longer.

The calorie model fails to take nutrient density into account, which is good reason to doubt their importance when it comes to your health.

From a strictly biological perspective, the “calories in versus calories out” model is important for weight loss.

You will only lose weight if you consume fewer calories than you burn, no matter what types of food you eat. However, this model fails to take nutrient density into account, which is very relevant to your health. Moreover, different foods can affect hormones, metabolism, hunger and feelings of fullness differently, which in turn affects calorie intake.


In practice, some foods can make it easier for you to maintain a healthy weight, all while improving your overall health. Focusing solely on calories may miss the big picture.