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Over 40 percent of the average American diet consists of empty calories: things like pasta, pastry, chips, white breads, candies, sweets, sugar, white rice and processed foods. For example, if you consume 2,000 calories a day, roughly 1,200 of those come from nutritious foods, the rest have very little or no nutritional value. But 1,200 calories are not enough to deliver all the nutrition our bodies require. Hence, most people are nutrient-deficient, but still carry extra weight..