Often when we think about weight loss and nutrition, we focus on foods that we shouldn’t eat. So changing our eating habits becomes a negative experience of food deprivation. I like to focus on the wonderful foods that we should eat. Now changing our eating habits becomes something positive.

So what foods should we eat:

  • A variety of colorful fresh vegetables such as kale, spinach, broccoli, artichokes, avocado, asparagus, cauliflower, sweet potato, carrots, pumpkin, and onions
  • A variety of colorful fruits such as blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, apples, and cherries
  • Legumes such as kidney beans, black beans, garbanzo beans (including hummus), pinto beans, black-eyed peas, and lima beans
  • Wild fatty fish and sustainable seafood such as salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, bay scallops, clams, mussels
  • Organic chicken and grass-fed beef
  • Whole grains such as quinoa, millet, barley, oatmeal, whole-wheat pasta, cracked wheat, and wild rice
  • Nuts and seeds: walnuts, pecans, almonds, brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds
  • Good fats: Fish, nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil (extra virgin cold pressed), and small amounts of butter
  • Dairy: greek yogurt, small amounts of cheeses such as feta, goat cheese, and aged cheeses
  • Antioxidants: red wine (in moderation), dark chocolate, fresh herbs, cinnamon
  • Beverages: lots of water, green tea, small amounts of coffee
  • Sweeteners: honey, Stevia, raw cane sugar
  • Desserts: small amounts of dark chocolate

Although I want to keep focused on the positive, I do need to comment on the foods and ingredients to avoid or at least minimize. I call these foods “poisons” because our body either doesn’t know what to do with them or metabolizes them in such a way that our health is negatively impacted.

  • Sodas
  • Processed foods (foods that come in a box or bag)
  • Fried foods, especially from restaurants
  • High fructose corn syrup (read food labels)
  • Trans-fats (read food labels and look for partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated oils)
  • Artificial sweeteners including Nutrasweet (aspartame), Splenda (sucralose), and Sweet ‘N Low (Saccharin)
  • Artificial colors

For more information on reading food labels, see the GIGO blog from 4/18/11

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