“I want to lose weight, eat healthier and be healthier in general.”
I’ve been getting this from people quite a bit lately. So I have been having lots of conversations about what to cut out of your diet, what you want to avoid, add more of, what good brands are, etc. So, I thought I would type up some info to help out. I might have to do several different postings, because there is a TON of stuff to talk about. So, first things first.
Carbs get a bad rap. I’m not about to say “avoid carbs” because “carbs” is a really REALLY general word. Fruits and vegetables are mostly carbs, you don’t want to avoid them. White foods are the things you don’t want to be eating. Starches and sugars are what you want to cut out as much as you can. Doesn’t mean you have to cut them out completely for the rest of your life, but if you are trying to lose weight and be healthier you really want to drastically reduce how much of them you eat.
Examples of White Foods:
Pasta, Couscous, White Rice, white bread, tortillas, pita chips, pita bread, potatoes, french fries, pizza dough, most cookies, orzo.
Read the ingredients list on labels. Many items say wheat, but are just as processed and nutritionally deficient as white bread. Sugar is added into so many things, so look at the ingredients list to see if it has added sugar or not. Some are high amounts, others aren’t, often times it’s hard to avoid. If the sugar grams on the Nutrition Facts is in the single digits, it’s not too bad. Don’t opt for artificial sweeteners either, studies show that even though they are ‘zero calories’ they inhibit weight loss.
Did you know that ingredients are listed from highest to lowest amount? So, if the ingredient is the last on the list, there is the least amount of it in the food.
White flour – other names are bleached all-purpose flour, enriched wheat flour, enriched flour, bread flour, cake flour, enriched flour
Sugar – other names are sucrose, fructose, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, cane sugar, beet sugar and syrup
Potatoes – as well as potato flour and potato starch
White Rice – there are lots of varieties so if it is white in color, avoid. I used to think basmati rice wasn’t white, but some is white some is brown.
Artificial sweeteners – Acesulfame K, Adcantame, Alitame, Aspartame, Aspartame – Acesulfame Salt, Cyclamate, Neohesperidin DC, Neotame, Saccharin, Surcalose.
For a complete list of sugar and sweetener names that includes natural and artificial sweeteners, check out Sugar & Sweetener Guide.
Why cut out the white??
Basically comes down to… High calories, low nutrients. Spikes blood sugar, then it plummets down and you are tired. Doesn’t keep you full long because the fiber is removed.
Put away your soda or energy drink, even if it’s zero calories, it’s not helping you. Read ingredients lists, don’t trust the words on the cover. If you want to have something like pasta, have it very sparingly, pick WHOLE wheat or BROWN rice pasta. I would say cut bread down to once or twice a week at most. And of course, something I always recommend… increase your vegetable intake.