Readers wrote to tell me that when they shifted their meals to include more of the World’s Healthiest Foods, they not only experienced enhanced health, but—without even trying—those who wanted to lose weight found that they were readily doing so.
The research we did helped us to more clearly understand why Readers lost weight and why the World’s Healthiest Foods were so effective in weight loss. And now let me explain why it can work for you. The reason these foods are so beneficial is that they are concentrated sources of a vast array of health-promoting nutrients. Nutrient-richness is the term I use to describe this remarkable feature of the World’s Healthiest Foods.
I want to explain more about the benefits of this key criterion of the World’s Healthiest Foods, so you can fully understand why it’s so important. Nutrient-richness is a measurement of the concentration of nutrients a food can deliver in exchange for the amount of calories it contains. On the World’s Healthiest Foods website (www.
WHFoods.org) and in my book, The World’s Healthiest Foods, nutrient-richness is shown both qualitatively (a food may be defined as a good, very good, or excellent source of a particular nutrient) and quantitatively (the numerical scores that a food achieves in association with each particular nutrient). Since we only have a limited amount of calories that we can consume if we want to lose weight or maintain our weight while simultaneously taking in a sufficient range and amount of nutrients to maintain our health, it is essential for us to get as many nutrients as possible in comparison to the number of calories we consume.
The latest scientific research clearly shows that successful weight loss requires that we eat nutrient-rich foods. In large, nationwide studies that have included both healthy-weight and overweight participants, insufficient intake of vitamins and minerals has been consistently linked to higher body weights. Eating few fresh vegetables and fruits leads not only to inadequate nourishment, but has also been linked to weight problems. In studies of overweight children attempting to lose weight, increased consumption of nutrientrich vegetables has also been associated with better weight loss success.