Best Diet Choices

BAD CHOICES BETTER CHOICES

Rapid weight loss
Rapid weight loss programs are almost always temporary plans that severely restrict caloric intake, exclude large groups of nutritious foods, and are simply not designed to promote long-term good health.

A healthy lifestyle will control weight and help prevent disease.
It’s not as hard as you think.

Eat a whole-foods, primarily plant-  based diet.
Avoid sugar except that found in fresh fruit.
Avoid red meat and packaged, prepared, or processed food.
Follow the food guidelines and substitutions on this page.
Include healthy fats and proteins to reduce snacking urges.
Include moderate exercise for at least thirty minutes, five days a week.

Low-this, high-that diets
Most diets demonize carbohydrates, fats, or protein, and brandish percent quotas for carbs, fat, and protein. Formulas are basically just hype; all three food groups are part of a healthy diet.
Choose our Best Choices Healthy Diet… and exercise.
To achieve optimal nutrition and manage your weight, choose moderate food portions from our Best Healthy Diet. These food choices represent the best of plant-based whole foods diets, the DASH diet, and the Mediterranean Diet. Combine healthy eating with exercise, stress reduction, and proper sleep to improve your life in many ways.
CARBOHYDRATES

BAD CHOICES

BETTER CHOICES
Refined or processed breads, cereals and pastries.
Refined or processed foods include white bread, white rice, low-fiber breakfast cereals, bagels, donuts, cookies, pastries, and cake. These are (delightful) delivery systems for sugar and empty calories, and they often include unhealthy fats. Processing removes healthful components in whole grains, destroys the food’s natural structure, and often adds many ingredients that are less healthy—particularly trans fats, sodium, and sugars.
Choose low-sugar, high-fiber, 100% whole grain* bread, rice, and pasta products.
100% whole-wheat pastas are healthy in moderation, and brown rice is better than white rice. Be sure to read the ingredients and look for only whole foods, avoiding processed ingredients, chemicals, artificial fibers such as inulin, additives, or basically anything that would not have been found in kitchens 100 years ago.

* “Whole grain” conveys no assurance of health benefit. Make sure you choose “100% whole grain” (wheat, oats, etc.)0
Sugars and most artificial sweeteners
Avoid sugar in all of its forms except whole fruits. Sugar may appear as honey, sucrose (table sugar), dextrose, or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) to name a few variations and can be found in many kinds of packaged, processed, or prepared foods. Research shows that the fructose in sugar is metabolized differently than other sugars are, in a way that increases the liver’s production of new fat. It is most important that you avoid excess consumption of fructose. Artificial sweeteners may perpetuate the craving for sweet foods.
Stevia and sucralose
Our Best Healthy Diet recommends eating lots of fruits and vegetables. The amount of sugar in fruit is not harmful to healthy individuals. However, if you must sweeten your food, use stevia, a safe natural sweetener.
Processed or packaged vegetable products
When buying frozen or packaged vegetable products, read the ingredients. If there is anything in the package other than vegetables, pass.
Choose green, leafy, and colorful vegetables, and legumes (beans and peas for example)—6 servings or more daily.
Eat all you want, no need to count calories: broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, onions, garlic, mushrooms, peppers, green beans, and cauliflower, to name a few—fresh, organic, and local whenever possible—never canned. Sweet potatoes are a healthier alternative to white potatoes. Preparing white potatoes with the skins on will retain valuable nutrients. Legumes are a great source of dietary fiber.
Breakfast cereals
Most cereals are high in sugar content and low in fiber.
Choose high-fiber, low-sugar cereals.
Fiber is the “good” carbohydrate. Try to get 25-35 grams of a combination of soluble and insoluble fiber daily. If you shop carefully, you can find cereals that are not high in sugar and provide ample dietary fiber, like old-fashioned (slow-cooked) oatmeal, Omega-3 flax cereals, plain wheat or bran flakes, and other high-fiber cereals. 100% whole grain is always best. The ingredients should not contain anything artificial or processed.
Fruit juices
Juicing fruits removes valuable fiber and concentrates the sugar. Sugar is often added as well. Whole fruits are a far better choice.Dried Fruit
Don’t overdo it with dried fruits such as dates (66% sugar), figs (48% sugar), raisins (74% sugar), prunes (38% sugar) and other dried fruits. Drying fruit concentrates sugar and calories.
 
Choose brightly colored fruits.
Examples include strawberries, blueberries, and other berries, tomatoes, pears, pineapple, kiwis, avocados, papayas, corn, pumpkin, citrus, melons, apricots, nectarines, and peaches. These fruits make wonderful healthy snacks and desserts, and contain less than 11% sugar. Grapes, bananas, sweet cherries, and mangoes contain about 12-15% sugar but also have valuable nutrients; just don’t overdo it.
Snack Foods
Beware of the excess sugar, trans fats, and empty calories in snacks.
Enjoy vegetable, fruit, and nut snacks.
Walnuts and almonds are particularly nutritious. A moderate amount of dark chocolate (cocoa) is also healthy—it has been associated with lower blood pressure.
PROTEINS

BAD CHOICES

BETTER CHOICES
Red meat (beef, pork, lamb and other domesticated animals)
It should be obvious that supersized burgers, all-you-can-eat buffets, and restaurant food represent a huge intake of calories, sodium, and saturated fat. Our Best Choices Healthy Diet says have lean red meat no more than once or twice a month. Buffalo is a better choice than commercial beef.
Choose contaminant-free fish, shellfish, or poultry for a weekly treat.
Fish is your best choice, especially fatty fish like salmon and tuna. In place of red meat, try to buy organic and/or grass-fed poultry. The fact remains that plant-based whole foods should be the mainstay of your diet. There is no truth to the idea that meat is necessary for protein; there is more than enough protein in plant-based foods. Some beans have surprisingly high protein content, as do most whole-grain foods.
Processed meats like bacon, hot dogs, deli meat, and sausage.
Processed meats like hot dogs, bacon, sausage, salami, and other deli meats, including deli ham, turkey, bologna,  chicken, or anything that has been processed or contains chemicals, preservatives, or additives is off limits. Long-term observational studies have found these are the worst types of meats for the heart.
Include an egg in your diet a few days a week.
Look for nutrient-rich eggs from grass-fed chickens that actually go outside and eat from the land. Also, check for the Certified Humane badge. “Free-range” or “cage-free” labels do not always mean what they sound like. It may mean the hens have access to an outside door, but never use it. “Vegetarian-fed” does not equal healthy; the best eggs come from naturally omnivorous hens that eat a variety of critters and vegetation. As with all of your food, buy local if you can.
FATS

BAD CHOICES

BETTER CHOICES
Trans fats
Trans fat is the common name for a processed unsaturated fat with trans-isomer (E-isomer) fatty acid(s). This processing yields the stable saturated fat favored by the food industry, but unfortunately, the consumption of trans fats increases the risk of coronary heart disease by increasing LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and lowering HDL (“good”) cholesterol. Trans fats are often labeled as “partially hydrogenated” oils and are found in most processed, packaged, or manufactured foods, margarine, chips, or fried foods. Restaurant food is notoriously laden with trans fats.Saturated fats Saturated fats offer little nutritional value, a lot of calories, and contribute to cardiovascular disease. Low-carb diets that recommend eating a lot of fatty meats are not good for your overall health. Avoid them.Poly-unsaturated fats These fats are found mostly in processed oils. Poly-unsaturated fats are highly unstable and oxidize readily, especially when heated. Oxidation in the body contributes to disease, aging, and oxidized cholesterol, a cardiovascular health risk. Avoid dressings with soybean oil, sunflower oil, or safflower oil.
Choose extra-virgin olive oil.
Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) is an especially healthy monounsaturated fat. Use it on salads or as a flavor treat on vegetables or breads. Do not buy generic EVOO; it may be neither “extra virgin” nor even olive oil; there is no FDA standard for “extra virgin.” Use EVOO sparingly, though, as it is high in calories.Sauté with extra-virgin coconut oil (EVCO). Extra-virgin coconut oil is a medium-chain saturated fat that withstands high heat, and unlike animal-based, long-chain saturated fats, imparts many health benefits without contributing to cardiovascular disease. Use sparingly, though, as it is also calorie-laden. Although canola oil is heat processed and increasingly sourced from genetically modified rapeseed, it may be used in place of EVCO for cooking, if EVCO is not an option.Choose Omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs) EFAs are an enormously important form of fat, vital to cardiovascular, mental, and overall physical health. Optimal health relies on a 2-1 ratio of abundant Omega-6 EFAs to the Omega-3 EFAs. You can only get Omega-3 EFAs from fatty fish, or in a less potent form from flaxseed, or in small quantities from nuts.
BEVERAGES 

BAD CHOICES

BETTER CHOICES
Soft drinks (both regular and sugar-free)
They are nutritionally bankrupt and contain plenty of caffeine, sugar, and/or potentially risky sweeteners.
Choose purified water.
Drinking plenty of water helps in three ways: it helps you feel full, increases metabolism, and helps flush toxins out of the body. Drink up.
Sweet fruit juices
Most fruit juices contain concentrated or added sugar. Unsweetened cranberry and pomegranate juices are less sugary, however, and the occasional serving of low-sodium tomato juice is good too.
Choose a glass of red wine daily.
One 4-ounce serving a day of non-sweet red wine is antioxidant rich, and moderate levels of alcohol have been shown to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Red wine may also reduce the risk of developing cataracts. Over-indulgence is more risky than no alcohol at all.
Excess caffeine
More than three or four cups of coffee a day, for example, is too much. Some soft drinks contain more caffeine than coffee and have dire health implications for children.
Choose anti-oxidant rich green tea.
Tea has a long history as both a beverage and a medicinal herb. Green tea is a very good source of a number of beneficial antioxidants. Moderate use of coffee has been shown to impart a variety of health benefits, so enjoy two or three cups a day, as long as you tolerate caffeine well.
MORE TIPS & GUIDELINES

BAD CHOICES

BETTER CHOICES
Coffee creamers
Many non-dairy creamers contain trans fats. Dairy creamers contain both saturated fat and milk sugar.
Choose unflavored soy creamers or nut milks.
Very healthy, low in calories. You can even steam these creamers for a healthy latté.
Milk and other dairy
The protein and fats in milk have some health risks. Dairy can trigger digestive issues like lactose intolerance, even after years of normal consumption. Dairy is not necessary for calcium or protein, contrary to advertising that says otherwise.
Choose soy and nut milks and weekly treats of cheese or yogurt.
Our Best Choices Healthy Diet allows for a small amount of cheese and yogurt, consistent with the Mediterranean Diet. Choose unsweetened, minimally processed products. Always choose plain low-fat yogurt and add your own fresh fruit.
Fat- and sugar-laden desserts
You know they’re not good for you; admit it.
Can’t resist dessert? Make it a once-a-month sin.
Better yet, enjoy a healthy dessert of fruit.
Farm raised salmon
In addition to the presence of antibiotics, toxins, and artificial color,
farm-raised fish do not eat the same diet as wild fish do.
Choose wild caught salmon or arctic char.
Wild caught fish have naturally higher levels of the very healthy Omega-3 essential fatty acids.
Commercial low-carb and other diet products
These often have high fat content and include trans fats. Weight-loss diets may help you lose weight, but they do so at the expense of your long-term health.
Stick to the Best Choices Healthy Diet.
Enjoy all of the plant-based whole foods you want. Watch the calories in the included oils, cheese, eggs, and meat.
SUPPLEMENTS

BAD CHOICES

BETTER CHOICES
Meal replacement products
Read the label—they contain plenty of chemicals and artificially produced vitamins and minerals of questionable quality and potency. They are often sugar-laden as well.
Choose to get most of your nutrition from healthy food.
Real foods, especially vegetables and fruits, contain readily absorbed natural vitamins and minerals, as well as substances called phytochemicals that you will never find in manufactured food.
Cheap chain store vitamins and minerals
Cheap is not the way to go to get a quality product at the desired potency. Some vitamins are hazardous when consumed in excessive quantities. Most are useless if the quality and delivery system are substandard.
If you, like many people, don’t eat a healthy choices diet, you should choose a high-quality multi-nutrient.
Total Balance is made with the highest quality of ingredients, in precise formulas, and is enteric-coated to ensure maximum absorption in the upper intestine. We recommend it, based on proven quality and results.
Getting your Omega-3 EFAs from fish, or inexpensive chain-store fish oils
You’d have to eat a lot of fish, and some commercially available fish contains too many toxins to eat daily. Inexpensive fish oils often contain the same toxins.
Choose high-quality molecularly distilled Omega 3 DHA fish oil.
No other supplement offers so many benefits for good mental, physical, and cardiovascular health. Read about the many benefits of fish oil .
Stimulants, appetite depressants, starch blockers, fat blockers, ephedrine, diet shakes, etc. Don’t use any of them. Period. Choose
High-quality supplements

Vitamin D3 (1000 IU or 20 minutes of sunlight daily). Vitamin B-12, the only vitamin available only in meat. You can find high-quality D3 and B-12 at Costco and other stores at a great price.
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