Healthy Choices: Eat These Not Those
While dieting or trying to get in better health, it is hard to decide which food products you should buy, and which food products you should stay away from. This list isn’t inclusive but will give you a starting point of what foods you should eat, and which foods you should stay way from! Healthy Choices: Eat These Not Those
Fruits and Veggies
Eat: All of them
Stay Away From: Fruit Juices
People ask me all the time if bananas are going to make me gain weight, or should I stay away from certain fruits or veggies. The quick answer: NO! Fruits are fantastic for you, giving you vitamins and minerals that your body needs. They are also full of fiber. Avocados also have healthy fats! Should you eat fruits all day? Eating fruits a couple times a day is an excellent choice, however eating too much of anything is bad. You’ve seen fat rabbits before? They eat nothing but fruits, veggies, and grasses in the wild, but I’ve seen plenty of fat rabbits!
Fruit/Vegetable juices on the other hand tend to be a sketchy topic. Many of them are only low percentages of fruit and contain added sugar for taste. If you aren’t making your own juices, then I suggest that you choose a fruit juice with no added sugar.
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Eat: Raw Nuts
Stay Away From: Trail Mix
Raw nuts give great vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and proteins, and are low carb. Raw nuts also have fiber which helps with weight loss. If you have read any of my articles before, you know that I’m an advocate of frequent “snacks” that are both low carb and high protein. Raw nuts including almonds, peanuts, cashews, etc. are fantastic choices. 1 serving of Raw Almonds: 1 oz, 160 calories, 6 grams of protein, 14 grams of fat, 3 grams of fiber.
Trail mix is a mix of nuts, fruits, and candies that are readily available at any supermarket. Although they taste great, and I am a fan of them if you are hiking, camping, rock climbing, etc (an activity with heavy calorie usage), for dieting this mix contains too much sugar. 1 Serving of Trail Mix: 1.5 oz, 200 calories, 6 grams of protein, 12 grams of fat, 20 grams of carbs.
Potatoes & Rice
Eat: Sweet Potatoes and Wild Rice
Stay Away From: Instant anything!
Sweet potatoes and wild rice are complex carbs that tend to not spike blood sugar as much (spiking blood sugar can cause weight gain). Each of these have protein, fiber, and are great foods for those looking to lose weight. I do suggest that if you are trying to stay with a low carb diet, to eat smaller servings of these.
Instant mash potatoes, instant rice, french fries, etc are horrible choices for dieters. These versions of our favorite foods will spike blood sugar and no longer have all the healthy nutrients of their parents.
Eat: Level-1 Meal Replacement Shake by 1st Phorm
Stay away from: Muscle Milk
Protein shakes are great for meal replacement (when you don’t have time to cook a healthy meal, or don’t have healthy options). Protein shakes are not the same. There are a variety of proteins used (Whey Isolate, Whey Concentrate, Casein, Milk Protein, Egg Protein, Soy Protein, Pea Protein, etc.) and some of these proteins offer better results (better digestion, better amino profile) than others. For Meal Replacement purposes I suggest going with a protein that is low temperature processed (protein when subjected to high temperatures lose their quality and amino acid profile), and that is made up of choices that will keep you fuller longer (whey protein concentrate, milk proteins, egg proteins, etc.)
Level-1 by 1st Phorm is low temperature processed, it a mix between slow and fast digesting proteins, is low carb, and low fat. This is what my wife and I drink every morning for breakfast! Level-1 has 5 grams of BCAA’s per serving and 24 grams of protein.
Muscle Milk isn’t a bad protein, but it isn’t optimal. Muscle milk has 160 calories, 16 grams of protein, 7 net carbs, and 6 grams of fat. It is also made from caseinate and milk proteins only. Caseinate does keep you full however has a biological value (how our body uses the protein) that is subpar compared to Whey Concentrate, Isolate, and Milk Protein alone. With a 35 gram scoop only have 16 grams of protein (46% protein by volume), it isn’t necessarily the best choice.
Eat: Quest Bars (Stevia Sweetened)
Stay Away From: Clif Bars
I am not a fan of protein bars for meal replacement or snack purposes. These bars are lower quality when it is compared to whole food, or protein shakes, however if you are in a pinch I do suggest the new Quest Bars that are Stevia Sweetened. These bars have whole ingredients, gluten free, and are naturally flavored. 170 calories, 20 grams of protein, and 13 grams of fiber.
Clif bars are fantastic options for those who are doing endurance races, mountain biking, climbing, etc. but they are not made to be a diet meal replacement. Cliff bars have more calories, sugar, etc for those who need it. If you are dieting, you don’t need the added calories and sugar. 250 calories, 9 grams of protein, and 45 grams of carbs.
Eat: Top Sirloin
Stay Away From: Ribeye
Top Sirloin is extremely lean. A 3.5 ounce peice only has 316 calories, but only 10 grams of fat and a whopping 51 grams of protein! This protein powerhouse is the best selection of steak choices!
Ribeye on the other hand is not a great choice. It is one of my favorite cuts however this steak has more fat grams than protein grams! A 3.5 ounce piece has 466 calories, 38 grams of fat and 30 grams of protein!
I hope you enjoyed these healthy choices! Share it with your friends! Post healthy choices below!
Personal Trainer/Sports Nutritionist