At Keep Health, we are asked frequently about what foods to eat and what foods to avoid. Here’s what we’ve learned from the top health researchers.

The following foods are common in most people’s diets. However for health reasons, they should be avoided or minimized. If you see them, consider them as mildly poisonous to your body. That will make it easier to throw them out or not buy them from the grocery store. There are other tasty and healthier food choices.

The first five foods are high on the glycemic index (GI) which means their effect on your body is toxic, similar to eating sugar. Sugar scores a 100 on the glycemic index (GI) and negatively impacts your weight, heart, skin, kidneys, liver and emotional health. It also makes you age faster.

  1. White rice (~73 GI) and rice milk (~86 GI) — Brown rice (~68 GI) is somewhat better, but still high on the glycemic index.
  2. White potatoes (~78-87) — Ironically, baked sweet potatoes (~63 GI) are considered fairly healthy, but still high on the glycemic index.
  3. Non-whole-grain bread (~75 GI)– Most bread is not made with whole grains, even many that deceptively advertise as multigrain or made with whole grain. Carefully check the ingredient lists. When the first few ingredients aren’t whole grains, be wary. Limit bread consumption to 1-2 slices per day.
  4. Instant oatmeal (~79 GI)– Even plain instant oatmeal is high on the glycemic index even without added sugar. 
  5. Fruit juices (~40-50 GI) — Eat fresh fruit or keep the quantity you drink to very small glasses. Although the fruit juice GI score is not high, without fruit fiber, your body doesn’t process pure fruit juice well. Fruit juice with pulp is slightly better, but still not good.
  6. Processed and cured meats such as hot dogs, deli meats, sausage and bacon are carcinogenic, most likely because of the chemicals used, and usually high in salt which causes spikes in your blood pressure.
  7. Red meats including pork triples the chemical TMAO which is linked to coronary calcium and heart disease. Limit consumption to the size of a deck of cards per day.
  8. Any foods cooked at high temperatures such as frying, grilling and broiling generate carcinogenic chemicals which increase your risk of cancer and heart disease. 
  9. Emulsifiers such as sodium carboxymethyl cellulose, polysorbate 80, gum arabic, carrageenan, and arabinogalactan stress and disrupt your microbiome and immune system. Emerging research indicates it is best to minimize consumption.
  10. Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose and saccharin disrupt your microbiome and immune system which can lead to glucose intolerance, weight gain and disease.
  11. 14 Healthy” Desserts Which Are Actually Bad for You. Although not surprising as a food to avoid, you can make a big difference in your health by limiting desserts. Desserts look and taste great. Enjoy how pretty they are but appreciate them mostly as artwork. Limit consumption to ¼ the size of a deck of cards per day. Savor the first 1 or 2 bites, then stop. Realize that you rarely notice eating the rest, so break your habit of finishing them. If you must eat them, consider switching your timing and having desserts for breakfast so your body has time to burn off the energy during the day instead of converting it to fat while you sleep. Consider healthier ice cream options as well.

If like most people, you normally eat the above foods, changing your habits to avoid them will reduce your body fat percentage significantly. You’ll be happier when you look in the mirror each morning.

There are plenty of great healthy foods to enjoy instead. Would you rather eat these or the list above?

  1. Cherries
  2. Peaches and nectarines
  3. Apples
  4. Blueberries and strawberries
  5. 70-85% cocoa dark chocolate. — Skip the chocolate chip cookies and just eat dark chocolate chips, in moderation of course.
  6. Almonds and walnuts — For best taste, we recommend sourcing them from Fastachi. Make sure to refrigerate walnuts otherwise they go rancid.
  7. Steel-cut oatmeal with cinnamon, dark chocolate chips, banana slices and walnuts. Yes, it takes thirty minutes to cook, but make enough so you can reheat it quickly for multiple meals during the week.
  8. One or two eggs or egg whites sauteed at low heat in olive oil with cumin, turmeric or your favorite spices
  9. Seaweed salad and Sea-chi with no added dyes or colors. If you like pickles or kimchi, these are highly recommended. Try Atlantic Sea Farms. Of note, they don’t ship during hot summer months.
  10. Fresh guacamole and tomatillo salsa. Instead of eating with chips, serve on eggs, fish or other foods you enjoy.
  11. Lime water

If you are interested in further helpful dietary information, see Keep Health’s article, Don’t Die from Diet and see these lists of 50 Super Healthy Foods and 26 Common Foods to Avoid

At the end of our newsletters, we post a way to reward yourself. Today, it is simply to go shopping for these healthy and tasty foods and hopefully have the courage to throw away unhealthy foods in your kitchen. Yes, the latter is hard to do, but is part of the process of retraining your brain to think of them as toxic.

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