These are the top 10 best foods to eat, and the worst 10 foods to avoid. A great FREE printable for the fridge and an easy reminder to stay on track. Just click on the image below to save the PDF for printing.
Top 10 Best Foods To Eat & 10 Worst Foods, To Avoid
10 Worst Foods To Eat
- Sodas, soft drinks - these have absolutely ZERO nutrition. 1 can of coke contains 10 spoons of sugar! Think about that. Would you sit and eat 10 cubes of sugar? Would you give that to your children to eat? All these sugary drinks do, is increase obesity, tooth decay and poor health. If you do nothing else, please, please, NEVER drink these again. Drink water. It is healthier and free. To save $$$, don't buy the bottled water, use a refilable bottle. Take a look at my son's science experiment using soda and juice.
- Grains - forget this "whole grain is healthy" message. Grains are incredibly high in carbohydrates (which turn into glucose by the body). Modern grains, are not like our ancestors ate. Modern wheat in particular, has been bred to be knee high (so it is easier and cheaper to harvest) and bred to be disease resistant. It is sprayed with pesticides and fungicides which affect our gut immunity and gut health. Milling grains removes most of the nutrients, can be bleached with various chemicals, then is fortified with artificial nutrients. Wheat contains gluten, gliadins, amylopectins and other proteins which cause leaky gut syndrome. Wheat consumption is associated with memory loss, arthritis, T2 diabetes, depression, heart disease and alzheimers. By going grain free, you will be amazed at your weight loss, reduction of puffiness around the face, heal your gut, absorb more nutrients and feel amazing.
- Sweets and confectionery - Sweets are incredibly high in sugar, high fructose corn syrup, colourings, flavourings and preservatives. They offer ZERO nutrition and cause tooth decay. For a sweet treat, go for dark chocolate or berries as a healthy alternative.
- High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) - fructose is not metabolised the same way as glucose is. Glucose can be metabolised throughout the body, but fructose is metabolised in the liver. Fructose causes visceral fat (that dangerous tummy fat that surrounds your organs) and raises LDL and triglycerides (potent predictors of heart disease). It is used by the food industry as a cheap ingredient and has a relatively high sweetness 1.7 x glucose. Food manufacturers try to hide High Fructose cron Syrup, so it may appear on the nutrition panel as corn syrup, HFCS, Glucose-Fructose, Isoglucose, High Fructose Maize Syrup.
- Snack foods - read the labels and most snack foods are high in carbs, wheat, sugar, colours, preservatives, trans fats .... Make your own snacks which are cheaper and healthier. Don't eat pretzels, chips, wheat puff balls, corn chips, or microwave popcorn. Sadly snack foods are rewarding, but they increase our appetite and are addictive.
- Seed oils - We have been told for so long to avoid cholesterol and to use seed oils such as canola, sunflower, soybean oil, corn oil and other seed oils instead, but they are high in Omega 6 which causes inflammation throughout the body. Just watch the video at the end of this post, to see how canola oil is made, extracted, bleached, boiled and refined. All the waste products are sadly fed to cattle! Like that's a good thing!
- Sugar in any form - is sugar! No matter where the sugar comes from it will raise your insulin, increase your appetite, stop fat burning and increase fat production and affect your cholesterol profile. So don't think that honey, dried fruit, maple syrup or agave (90% fructose so is actually just a natural HFCS) is any healthier. The body sees it as sugar. Yes there may be a small amount of nutrition in these compared to sugar, but many people tend to go overboard on them thinking they are a healthy alternative. The small amount of nutrients they contain, is not enough to outweigh the damage sugar does to our bodies.
- Processed meats - read the labels of the meat products you buy. Highly processed meats contain nitrites and nitrates which are controversial as the research hasn't come to a clear conclusion. To be safe, buy meat that is unprocessed and fresh. If you do want processed meats such as bacon or salami, go for the brand which has the fewest ingredients. Buy the products which have the highest meat content, for example sausages should be at least 80% meat. Many of the studies done on processed meat have not made the distinction between hot dogs and bacon from the bone. They do not also take into account the damaging oxidised french fries served alongside and the high sugar ketchup.
- Breakfast cereals - read my entire post on cereals, and why if you understand what is wrong with cereals you will understand what is wrong with modern food production. How companies turn cheap grains into socially acceptable cereals, packed with sugar and fortified.
- Low Fat Foods- when fat is removed from products, sugar or HFCS is added as a cheap alternative. So low fat products are high in sugar and carbs. Look at the carb content of regular cream cheese 4% compared to low fat cream cheese which is 15% carbs. By removing the fat, you also remove the fat soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A, D, E and K. Fat makes you feel fuller for longer. Good fat improves our cholesterol profile and good fat is nutritious and necessary for good brain health.
10 Best Foods To Eat
- Oily Fish - incredibly high in Omega 3 fatty acid which helps reduce inflammation, improves brain function, heart health, skin health, and joint health. We should aim to eat oily fish such as salmon or tuna twice a week.
- Eggs - there is no restriction to eating eggs. I eat eggs most mornings for breakfast. They are little powerhouses of nutrition and incredibly filling. They contain almost every nutrient required, full of protein, good fat, Vitamins A, B2, B5, B12, E, zinc, folate, selenium, calcium, iron, potassium, manganese. The cholesterol in eggs improves your lipid profile. Eggs contain choline which is essential for cell membrane structure, methylation, precursor for the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, choline can protect the liver from certain types of damage and reduces levels of homocysteine (raised levels are linked with cardiovsascular disease). So start eating eggs again, and plenty of them. They are the most nutrient dense foods on the planet, and so versatile.
- Meat - packed with iron, protein and good fats. What's not to love? Meat, and organ meat, are incredibly nutritious. Red meat contains Vitamins B3, B6, B12, iron, protein, fat, zinc, selenium. Meat is ZERO carbs. Many traditional cultures existed pretty much on meat and fat alone. Eating meat is one of the most nutritious things we can do for our health and vitality.
- Butter - poor old butter has got an undeserved bad reputation. It is full of saturated fat, so when the low fat myth and cholesterol myth is perpetuated, poor old butter is off the menu. Well start eating it again. Saturated fat is good, as long as you are eating low carb. Butter is full of nutrients and vitamins. Butter is made from churned cream, and maybe some salt. That's pretty much it. Margarine is made from vegetable oils, which are often hydrogenated (to extended the shelf life and make liquid oils spreadable) and contain a number of colours and emulsifiers. Butter just makes everything taste good.Vegetables - we all know vegetables are good of us. High in fibre, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Try and go for more leafy green vegetables, and less starchy, root vegetables. Add as many low carb vegetables into your meal as you can. Serve with fat such as butter, sour cream or cheese, to absorb more fatty vitamins. Your children will eat more vegetables too when butter or cheese is on the table.
- Vegetables - choose low starch vegetables that are packed with nutrition. They provide us with probiotics, fibre, vitamins, trace elements, phytonutrients and they crowd out the junk!!!
- Nuts and seeds - are little bundles of fibre, vitamins and trace elements, especially zinc, magnesium and selenium. Some nuts are higher in carbs than others, so if your weight loss has stopped, just be careful which nuts you are consuming, avoid cashews as they are the highest in carbs.
- Coconut oil - is a wonderful source of medium chain triglycerides which help produce ketones, energy and increases weight loss. Coconut oil contains lauric acid which is anti fungal and antiviral. Studies are now linking coconut oil with the prevention and improvement of alzheimer's disease.
- Full Fat Dairy - high in calcium, healthy fats and fatty vitamins (A, D, E and K). Don't go for the low fat versions as they are high in carbs and low in nutrition.
- Natural Yoghurt - gut health is incredibly important. 95% of your serotonin (happiness hormone) and 70% of the cells that make up our immune system are found in the gut. Modern foods, alcohol, stress and preservatives all affect our gut health. We are the first generation to grow up with preservatives in so many of our foods. They stop bacteria forming in food products, so what is it doing to our gut? Eat more natural yogurt, full of live bacteria is a fabulous way to restore the flora in your gut. Eating whole foods and unprocessed foods also has a marked improvement. After taking a course of antibiotics, consider taking a probiotic to restore the good bacteria.
- Berries - berries are such a wonderful fruit. Low in carbs and fructose, but incredibly high in antioxidants, fibre, vitamins and minerals. They can be added to smoothies, grain free granola or serve with natural yogurt.
"But giving up carbs, wheat and junk is so hard and can be so expensive.....
I absolutely agree, it is hard to begin with, and yes it will take time to adjust, find new recipes, and to think differently, but once you start, you are making a real change for you and your families health. Who wants to be sick, overweight, unhappy and at high risk of serious ill health? Who wants an old age where your health is stopping you do the things you want?
How many times have you said you wish you started a diet a year ago because now you would be 10kg lighter or 50kg lighter? Find the courage to start now. We have choices in life, we either put up with things, or we change. Just start eating more of the good foods, and less of the bad foods. Decide on 1 or 2 "Worst Foods", and pledge never to have them again. Then when you're Ok with that, decide on another and so on, and so on. And look at how far you have come, not how much more you should be doing. Be proud that you are trying.
Cost of low carb eating
"Do what you can, with what you have". I think we all agree that organic, grass fed, free range food is best, but realistically, that is out of so many peoples reach, especially the people who need help the most.
Don't let this 'ideal way of eating' stop you. Go and buy the cheap eggs, the cheap cuts of meat, the fatty meats (which are actually the healthiest), go to the cheap vegetables shops, stock up at the butchers and shop around.
You will also save $$$ by not buying any junk food. No more cakes, biscuits, crisps, muesli bars, bread, soda, sweets and pizzas. No more takeaways. A McDonalds family meal easily costs $30 for a family of 5, for $30 I could buy a roast chicken, plenty of vegetables, and have enough money leftover to make a lowcarb dessert or some dark chocolate.