All Calories are Not Created Equal


For years, we’ve been told that healthy weight loss is as simple as taking in fewer calories than you expend. After all, a calorie is a calorie, right? Wrong.

Energy density refers to the number of calories, whereas nutrient density refers to the amount of nutrients in a certain amount of food. Dieters might be tempted to reach for today’s popular packaged low-calorie snacks. The problem, according to experts, is that despite being low in calories, processed foods usually have fewer vitamins, minerals and antioxidants the body needs to operate at its peak. A large apple might have the same number of calories as a bag of low-fat pretzels. But reaching for the apple means you also get more vitamins, antioxidants and fiber.

Recent research shows that optimal health (and weight loss) is better achieved through more nutritious food, not just fewer calories. A study by Harvard researchers found that food quality (nutrients), not just quantity (calories) contributed to weight loss. Those who consumed foods with higher nutrient density such as vegetables and whole grains, had healthier body weights than those who consumed more processed foods and beverages.

The Price of Healthy Weight

Despite what we know about so-called “empty” calories, most Americans continue to consume them. Part of the reason could be that foods with a higher nutrient density are much more expensive than foods with no nutrition. A University of Washington study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association showed that energy-dense foods cost an average of $1.76 per 1,000 calories, while nutrient-dense foods cost $18.16 for the same number of calories. Optimal nutrition comes at a higher cost. But the health benefits are worth the price.

Be Satisfied. Lose Weight.

Satiety is a major factor in achieving weight loss. According to Dr. Barbara Rolls, Director of the Laboratory for the Study of Human Ingestive Behavior at Penn State University, people feel full because of the volume of food eaten, not because of the number of calories. In this respect, eating foods with high water and fiber content such as fruits and vegetables can help you lose weight.

Superfoods for Simple Weight Loss

Avocadoes, pomegranates and cinnamon are so-called “superfoods” that have gained recent attention as science uncovers nutrients working synergistically for better health results. Plant-based proteins are powerful superfoods because they satiate hunger while providing added nutrients, all without any cholesterol or high levels of saturated fats.

For example, soy and many varieties of nuts are considered superfoods because of their many nutritional benefits. Researchers at Iowa State University discovered two additional properties of soy that boost weight loss beyond simply cutting calories. The Iowa State study showed that consuming soy protein rich in isoflavones decreases fat deposition (storage) while increasing muscle mass.

In a Swedish study published by the Department of Medical and Health Sciences, researchers at Linkoping University fed test subjects 20 extra daily calories worth of candy or peanuts for each half pound of body weight. After two weeks, they found that the candy snackers gained three times as much weight as the peanut snackers, even though the number of calories consumed was the same.

A Letter from Dr. Carl Hastings

We all know an ideal diet consists of mostly fresh, whole grains, fruits, veggies and lean meats vs. processed junk food. But, even the most conscientious eater can often fall victim to the unhealthy convenience foods so prevalent today. It’s one reason supplementation is so important.

Like all Reliv products, Slimplicity® is formulated with the same principles of synergism found in nature’s superfoods. As science discovers more about what makes these foods so “super,” Reliv continues to develop products that harness the same powerful nutrients.

I’m often asked why Slimplicity works when other diets don’t. The answer lies in satiety and nutrient density. Each Slimplicity shake has 10 grams of soy protein to keep hunger at bay and is loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to keep your body functioning at optimal levels.

So, enjoy your Slimplicity shakes — they’re calories well spent!

To your health,

Reliv Vice Chairman & Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Carl W. Hastings

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