Energy Density & Fiber
I read two studies from the May issue of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for continuing education credit. I normally don’t post about such studies, but these two were rather interesting.
Energy density is a way to measure food in calories per weight. Generally, this means that foods high in fiber and water are going to have lower energy density. A meta-analysis of 17 studies in adults and six studies in children found that low energy density foods were associated with lower fat mass and lead to improved weight loss and weight maintenance among both adults and children (1).
But when it comes to fiber intake, Americans barely increased their fiber intake from 1999 to 2008; it changed from 15.6 to 15.9 grams per day. The recommended amount of fiber for adults is 25 to 38 grams per day (or 14 grams per 1,000 calories consumed).
1. Pérez-Escamilla R, Obbagy JE, Altman JM, Essery EV, McGrane MM, Wong YP, Spahn JM, Williams CL. Dietary energy density and body weight in adults and children: a systematic review. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2012 May;112(5):671-84. | link
2. King DE, Mainous AG 3rd, Lambourne CA. Trends in dietary fiber intake in the United States, 1999-2008. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2012 May;112(5):642-8. Epub 2012 Apr 25. | link