This list of foods NOT to eat has been sorted into food group categories. You should takes steps to minimizing these types of food, realizing that it may take time, energy and substitutions to old recipes, or even new recipes. It's easy to get overwhelmed, so think of this as the IDEAL. Maybe set a goal which food group to work on this month, or to try the goal during the week, but allow a little splurging on weekends.
· Refined Sugar: Besides staying away from table sugar and candy, watch for added sugar hidden everywhere. Learn the many different sugar names and check all packaged, canned and processed foods, such as cereals, prepared meats, bakery goods, jams, etc.
· Grain Products: Try to stay away from refined grain foods. These include most breads, crackers, pasta and breakfast cereals. Also eliminate cakes, pies, doughnuts, cookies, croissants, muffins and all pastries and snack foods such as chips, most snack mixes and buttered popcorn.
· Fats and Oils: Limit saturated fats and refined vegetables oils. Eliminate food with trans fats and other bad fat. This includes margarine, lard or partially hydrogenated oils found in cookies, cakes, pastries, doughnuts, chips, fried foods, candy and most chocolate.
· Meats, Poultry and Fish: - Limit red meats high in saturated fats and other fatty cuts of meat – ribs, bacon, sausage, hot dogs, pepperoni, salami, bologna and other packaged meats, plus most hamburgers. Also avoid deep frying anything.
· Dairy and Eggs: Limit cream products, such as full-fat cream cheese, sour cream, cream sauces, whipped cream and ice cream. Also limit the use of butter, eggs and full-fat cheeses and whole milk, 2% reduced fat milk and whole milk yogurts.
· Beans, Nuts and Seeds: Stay away from any bean soups or chili that contain sausage, bacon, ham or other high fat meats. Also avoid all salted nuts and seeds, as well as those roasted in oils.
· Fruits and Vegetables: Eliminate fried vegetables and fruits, vegetables with butter, cheese or cream sauces and fruits with cream or whipped cream. Also avoid fruit drinks and high sugar fruit juices. One cup of fruit juice has no fiber and up to 10 teaspoons of high glycemic sugar.
· Excess Salt: Average salt consumption in the U.S. is 10-15 grams a day. The National Academy of Sciences recommends 3-8 grams. To cut your salt intake in half, limit table salt and avoid chips, salted nuts and popcorn and most prepared, canned and packaged foods.
· Liquids: Avoid all sodas, milk shakes, fruit juice and fruit drinks and greatly limit or totally eliminate caffeine and alcoholic beverages.
· Vegetables: When picking from the vegetables list, go for the bright colors with the most vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Choose dark green, orange and red vegetables, like broccoli, kale, carrots, squash, red peppers and tomatoes. And garlic and onions are powerful natural antibiotics that strengthen immunity and help prevent disease. Go for organic if possible (especially for the top "dirty dozen" that are most affected by pesticides).
· Fruit: From the fruits list, choose whole fresh, frozen or, in limited amounts, naturally dried fruits. Pick berries, oranges, red grapefruit, cantaloupe, apples, apricots, plums and other brightly colored fruit that's low on the glycemic foods index, rather than canned fruit or fruit juices. Go for organic if possible (especially for the top "dirty dozen" that are most affected by pesticides).
· Whole Grains: Choose 100% whole wheat or rye breads, crackers and pastas, sprouted grains, brown rice, oatmeal and other whole grain high fiber foods instead of refined grains, like white bread and white rice. Try grinding your own gerain and making combination flours of various whole grains so it's not just wheat (which can be hard on some peoples' bodies).
· Beans, Nuts and Seeds: Beans (legumes), such as lentils, soy beans, garbanzo, and kidney beans are good sources of both protein and fiber. They can be added to salads, home made burritos and soups. Good choices of nuts and seeds are raw, unsalted almonds, walnuts and sunflower seeds. If you’re watching calories, keep portions small.
· Fats and Oils: Good quality food fat from olive oil, fish oil, beans, whole grains, raw nuts and seeds provide important, healthy fatty acids. Using butter is just fine, just don’t use it for everything. Use extra virgin olive oil for salads, stir-frying and baking (unless the tempurature is really high). Remember, fats are high in calories, so eat sparingly for good weight management.
· Dairy and Eggs: Choose only healthy fat-free or low-fat dairy products, such as low-fat yogurt, cottage cheese and sour cream. If you drink milk, make sure it's fat-free. And don't overeat butter, cheese and eggs.
· Fish, Poultry and Meats: Healthy high protein foods are important. Have omega 3 fish, such as salmon, trout or sardines at least twice a week. Also include poultry (without the skin), beans, low-fat dairy, nuts and seeds. If you eat meat, pick lean cuts and limit portion sizes.
· Water and Other Liquids: Since your body's mostly water and you use and lose about 9 cups of it a day, fluids are essential. And here's the bottom line. Pure water is the healthiest thing to drink. So stick with water, mild herbal teas without caffeine and plain lemon water.