What is Nutrient Density ?
Nutrient denstiy is a way of evaluating the nutritional quality of a food by comparing the amount(s) of nutrients it contains against the number of calories it provides.
For example, a glass of milk contains about 160 calories plus significant amounts of protein, calcium, riboflavin and other nutrients. By comparison, an alcoholic beverage containing the same number of calories is virtually devoid of essential micronutrients. Thus, the milk is nutrient-dense while the alcohol is not.
Another way of looking at nutrient density is to think in terms of your calorie budget for the day. Suppose, for instance, that your body size and activity, patterns require, an energy intake of 2000 calories per day. The food choices you make as you spend your calorie allotment must also supply your daily needs for all essential nutrients. Obviously if you choose foods that are high in calories but low in nutrients, you will reach your calorie limit before your micronutrient needs are supplied.