Best Foods to Maximise Nutrient Density

Foods with a higher nutrient density provide more of all the essential nutrients we need per calorie.  They give us more of what our bodies require with less energy. 

But unfortunately, there is no single real food that provides all the nutrients we need. 

In the past, our senses of taste and smell did an awesome job guiding us towards foods containing the protein, fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins our bodies required more at any given time.    

However, today, ultra-processed food technology like artificial flavours, aromas, colours, textures, and even added synthetic nutrients has overwhelmed and confused our senses. 

But we can also use technology to automate the process of seeking out the nutrients we need from our food.  Once our palate recalibrates to taste these nutrients again, we can remove these quantitative training wheels and trust our appetite again. 

In this article, we’ll show you how you can create the perfect personalised shortlist of foods with the precise quantities of each to maximise your nutrient density. 

Baseline Micronutrient Fingerprint  

Over the past five years, we’ve collected over half a million food entries showing how our Optimisers eat in the real world.   The micronutrient fingerprint below shows the nutrients provided by the most popular 450 foods consumed by our Optimsiers.  On average, Optimisers consume 32% protein, 46% fat and 18% carbs, which yields a Diet Quality Score of 74%. 

Towards the bottom of our fingerprint charts, we see nutrients our Optimisers get plenty of vitamin A, B12, phosphorus, and copper.  The priority nutrients Optimisers don’t meet the Optimal Nutrient Intakes for are shown at the top of the chart.  These include dietary vitamin D, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, and vitamin C.  

In the past, we’ve guided Optimisers in our four-week Micros Masterclass to fine-tune their diet by determining their priority nutrients and adding more foods and meals containing more of them.  Over time, this allows them to balance their diet at the micronutrient level. 

Learning to nourish your body better with real food can be a fascinating way to gamify the puzzle of optimising your diet at the micronutrient level.  However, it can take some time to tweak your diet to get all the nutrients you need and climb the Diet Quality leaderboard.

So, to expedite the process, we recently created an algorithm to make things easier.  Once Optimisers in the Micros Masterclass track their current diet for a few days, our algorithm shows them which foods they need to eat more or less of and the precise quantities required to maximise their Diet Quality Score

Most diets have users switch up their eating routines completely, eating foods they don’t enjoy and won’t eat once the diet is over.  Instead, our Perfect Day Algorithm shows you how to use the nutrient-dense foods you’re already eating to optimise your daily nutrient intake and hit all your micronutrient goals. 

Your Perfect Day

The table below shows the precise combination of some of the most popular foods consumed by Optimisers required to achieve a perfect 100% Diet Quality Score to hit 2000 calories.

Foods towards the top provide most of the energy, protein, vitamins, minerals, and omega-3s, while plant-based foods fill the remaining micronutrient gaps.  

The following table shows the macros corresponding to this optimised foods list.   

The following micronutrient fingerprint chart below the nutrients this optimised food combination provides.  These foods supply a perfect Diet Quality Score and a 100% Satiety Score, or a diet where all micronutrient intakes are 100% of our Optimal Nutrient Intakes (ONIs).  Our ONIs are more optimal recommended intakes associated with better satiety and health, and our Satiety Score estimates how likely a food, meal, or diet will keep you feeling full.

How to Use Your Perfect Day

The main complaint about these optimised food lists is that it’s a LOT of food with very few calories, and many people report it being challenging to consume all these foods in a day.  

These personalised food lists are the perfect cheat code to top the Diet Quality leaderboard in the final week of our Micros Masterclass.  But practically speaking, it’ll be hard for most people to eat like this daily!

But you don’t have to consistently hit a Diet Quality Score of 100%  to thrive.  Instead, you need only improve a little, slowly and progressively, from where you are.  So, instead of having to work to eat all these foods every day, you can try incorporating as many of them as you can across the week in similar quantities.  Alternatively, we can use the Perfect Day Algorithm to incrementally increase your diet quality score to a more achievable target. 

Your cravings for less-than-optimal foods will decrease once you fill up on these foods.

Action Steps

Adding more nutrient-dense foods and meals to your repertoire is the simplest way to increase your nutrient intake and thus your Diet Quality Score, Satiety Score, and how satiated you feel. 

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