I’ve set the bar of nutrient-richness high for all of the World’s Healthiest Foods. However, even within the master list of my World’s Healthiest Foods, some foods are more nutrient-rich than others. To easily evaluate the level of nutrients that these foods provide per calorie, look at the Total Nutrient-Richness Chart below. It shows the World’s Healthiest Foods arranged by food group and total nutrient-richness score. This score was calculated by evaluating each food and seeing how many health-promoting nutrients it provided at a richness level of excellent, very good, or good. For more details on how this total score was calculated, see page 213 in the Appendix.
This is not to say that whole grains, such as whole wheat, can’t play a very important role in a healthy diet, even a healthy diet geared towards losing weight. All of the World’s Healthiest Foods can. It’s just that their role should be more limited than that of fresh fruits, salads, and vegetables, whose high amount of health-promoting nutrients coupled with their low level of calories makes them the perfect food to be the foundation of Healthy Weight Loss.
Looking at the charts again will really emphasize this. For 41 calories, spinach features 22 nutrients of which it is very concentrated source, while for almost four times that many calories whole wheat only features four! I’d like to add one further point about these total nutrient-richness scores. As I have already noted, they let you see at a glance which foods serve you best as the foundation for your weight loss program.
Right off the bat, they show you what salads and vegetables can do that no other food group can. The need to emphasize salads and vegetables in a World’s Healthiest Foods’ approach to weight loss cannot be overstated! Now that I’ve shared with you the basics of nutrient-richness, I’m going to finish up Section 1 by telling you some of the important ways that nutrients contained in these foods support your health. Then I’ll move on in Section 2 to show you exactly how these foods make it easier for you to lose weight.