A recent blog post here highlighted the importance of creating a food diary.
The best place to start with a review of your diet is with a food diary; simply record everything you eat and drink for a week. If you’ve already done this – good! If not, start your food diary today and I will show you how to do a simple review of the things you consume in order to identify things to skip or minimize, and reinforce some the good things in your diet.
This post focuses on things that you need to stop or limit to an occasional treat (circle these things in your food diary in red). While this is not a comprehensive list, this list of 10 items is a start – not necessarily the “top ten” or ten worst, but a starting place for your review of the things you consume. This review is not a substitute for an in-depth nutritional analysis, it is intended to help you move toward a healthier diet.
|Sodas – both diet and sugary.||Empty sugar calories at best.
May also contain unhealthy artificial sweeteners.
|Juice drinks||Most of these are sweetened beverages with some added fruit juices – you have to read the labels!|
|White stuff:||White bread, white rice, white potatoes, white pasta – these are simple starches/sugar without much fiber – they can lead to blood sugar/insulin spikes and increased body fat|
|Fried food||Too many bad things to list here! Let’s leave it at the high fat content for now (how about grilled instead?) Fried food will get its own post in the future.|
|Cakes, cookies, pies, etc.||High sugar, often high fat with little or no fiber, and lots of calories.|
|Packaged/processed foods||Read the labels – usually high sodium, low in fiber, added sugar, and lots of things you can’t pronounce that you probably shouldn’t be putting in your body|
|Alcoholic beverages||High in empty calories (almost as much as pure fat)
Can both dehydrate you and displace other nutrients
Effects on heart, liver, brain and other organs
|Bacon, sausage, cured meats||Recent studies have shown that regular consumption of even a small amount of these results in a measurably increased risk of cancer and other issues|
|Sauces, dressings, and toppings||Often high calorie with lots of added sugar, salt, and fat. These can make a healthy dish unhealthy, or turn something already unhealthy into something very bad for you.|
|Candy||Added sugar that nobody needs.
Kudos if you have dark chocolate – just don’t have too much.
Coming next – suggestions on how to move away from these with substitutes and healthier choices.
Want to know more about anything mentioned in this post? Let me know – leave a comment.