Best Foods to Eat

For far too many people, eating and drinking is more of a recreation, i.e. an activity to be enjoyed, rather than what it actually is – a biological necessity for life and good health. Many people don’t like the taste or texture of certain foods that are good for them and so refuse to eat them. Others acquire the taste for foods that are positively bad for them.

A surprising amount of people don’t even know what foods are healthy and what foods aren’t. For all these people, ensuring their grocery list contains the following foods will make an enormous difference to their lives and long-term outlook.

Red Meat
Much vilified these days due to its saturated fat content that supposedly causes high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity; red meat is, in fact, one of the most nutrient-rich foods on the planet. This is why nature designed the human body to thrive on it – we are, in fact, genetically programmed to function at the optimal level on a diet that includes red meat. Most animals, and many birds, eat it as well and for the same reason.

Red meat provides us with high-quality protein that contains all the amino acids required for building muscle and bone. It is also an excellent source of B vitamins which are essential for keeping our brains ticking over. Lack of them can cause aggression, insomnia, dementia, confusion, impaired senses and physical weakness.

In addition, it is rich in zinc which supports the immune system, and iron which builds red blood cells and gives us energy.

You may have seen meat labelled as ‘organic’, ‘free range’ and ‘grass fed’ and be wondering if it is worth paying extra for. This is a relatively new and expanding market fuelled by people’s understandable desire to eat more healthily. 

Unfortunately, like virtually all food markets, it is riddled with false and unsubstantiated claims. Yes, these animals may have more space than their factory-farmed cousins, but mostly they’re subjected to the same unhappy regime of high-energy feed, selective breeding for rapid weight gain, and minimal exercise. Nutrition-wise, these meats are only slightly better for you than factory-farmed meat and, all other things being equal, are most definitely not worth the premium you will pay for them.

That said, should you be lucky enough to find the genuine article (and you will be lucky!) you will at least get meat that is free of the antibiotics, steroids and growth hormones found in factory-farmed meat.

With regard to white meat (chicken and turkey) the only real difference between it and red meat is the color and flavor. White meat contains the same minerals, vitamins and fats found in red meat but in lesser quantities. It’s good for you, just not quite as good.

Seafood
With a similar level of proteins and minerals, meat that comes from the sea has much the same nutritional value as red and white meat. However, in comparison, it offers only small to moderate amounts of vitamins.

Where seafood does have an advantage is its fat content – lower than in red meat. Furthermore, one of these fats is the healthy polyunsaturated omega-3 which is thought to play an important role in lowering the risk of heart disease. Being low in fat means seafood is also low in calories, so eating it is much better than eating meat for people looking to lose weight.

Fatty fish, such as herring, mackerel, sardines, salmon and tuna, all provide a good amount of omega-3 fat and are indeed one of the best sources of it.

However, there are a couple of caveats with regard to eating fish. The first is that we have contaminated the oceans with pollutants such as mercury and dioxin. As a result, many fish now have dangerous amounts of these toxins and so should be avoided completely. These are the larger fish, such as albacore and bluefin tuna, swordfish, king mackerel and sharks.

Smaller sea creatures lower down on the food chain are much safer as they don’t live long enough to absorb dangerous amounts of these pollutants. These include sardines, anchovies, crab, shrimps, prawns and oysters, etc.

The second caveat is the issue of fish farming. There is actually a world of difference between farm-raised fish and those caught in the wild. Farmed fish are raised in filthy, over-crowded conditions that cause diseases and parasites. To control these diseases, they are given antibiotics, and to control the parasites they are given pesticides.

These unfortunate creatures are fed a totally unnatural diet that consists mainly of grain-based pellets. This gives them nutrition levels that are much lower than those of wild-caught fish. For example, farmed salmon may be much fattier than wild salmon, but they contain much less healthy omega-3 fats and protein.

Be aware that industrial fish farming is the fastest growing form of food production in the world. Approximately 50 percent (and rising) of the world’s seafood now comes from it. Don’t let this put you off fish though – we urge you to eat it. Just be sure to eat the right types and get them from the right sources.

Dairy Produce
Diary products are basically butter, cheese, milk, yoghurt and cream. Let’s take a look at what they have to offer.

Milk – of the three main versions of milk commonly found in the stores – whole (full-fat), low-fat and skim – the only one worth consuming is whole. Skim milk has all the cream (fat) removed which renders it almost totally devoid of nutritional value. This is because the vitamins in milk are fat-soluble, meaning they need fat in order to be absorbed by the body. Without the fat it is essentially little more than water. Low-fat milk has a lesser amount removed and so does contain some nutrients.

Furthermore, the fat also gives milk its flavor and texture – removing it makes it bland and tasteless. It’s also a fact that because skim milk is a highly processed food, it will usually leave you feeling unsatisfied and wanting something more.

Whole milk, however, is totally different. As a result of being stigmatized for years by various government advisory bodies (most of which are in the pocket of the processed food industry), many people have been put off drinking it due to the supposed dangers of its saturated fat content. However, it is precisely because of that fat content that it is in fact extremely good for us. Amongst other things, whole milk strengthens our immunity to infections and provides calcium that helps keep our bones healthy.

It’s also a fact that whole milk is not actually a high-fat food. As a general rule, anything with a fat content of 20 percent or over is considered to be high-fat, but whole milk only contains between 3 and 5  percent.

Less commonly available is organic and raw milk. Organic milk is produced without the use of pesticides and with higher standards of animal welfare than non-organic. Accordingly, it is more nutritious, as the cows eat what nature intended them to eat – green grass. It offers higher levels of omega-3 fats, vitamin E, iron and other nutrients.

Raw milk is the real deal – unadulterated and straight from the cow, just as nature intended it to be. As with organic milk, it comes from grass-fed cows and is unpasteurized and unhomogenized. As a result, it retains all of its natural enzymes, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. This makes it one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world. It also tastes wonderful and has a rich, creamy consistency.

It has, however, attracted a lot of bad publicity because it is unpasteurized and so is supposedly unsafe to drink. The fact that this publicity is largely driven by the processed food industry which sees no advantage, i.e. profit, in raw milk should give the lie to this though. As should the fact that man has been drinking raw milk for thousands of years without any problems at all. As long as it is purchased from a reputable source, raw milk is perfectly safe and far more nutritious than any other type.

So, drink as much raw, organic and whole milk as you like and give the low-fat versions a definite miss – they are little more than water and offer very little in the way of nutrients.

Cheese – as with milk, this food has been vilified for years due to its high fat content. Again though, as with milk, it is actually extremely good for you and provides a whole host of vitamins (particularly K2), minerals and protein.

It should go without saying by now that the most nutritious and flavorsome cheeses are the ones made from the milk of grass-fed animals. Sadly, the vast majority of cheeses sold in the stores aren’t, and so are inferior. They are still well worth eating but aren’t nearly as good as they could be.

Do not, however, be tempted by the many types of processed cheese on the market. By this, we mean products such as individually wrapped cheeses, spreadable cheese, sliced cheese, string cheese and spray cheese. These should all be given a very wide berth. Not only are they bland and tasteless, they are actually very bad for you. Check out the ingredients of these cheeses and you will see a long list that includes stuff like dairy by-products, emulsifiers, sodium, saturated vegetable oils, preservatives, coloring agents and sugar, to name just some.

Real cheese is a simple fermented dairy product made from just a few ingredients, and which can be identified by its label. Examples are blue cheese, cheddar cheese, mozzarella, american and pepper jack. As with all real cheeses, these need to be kept in a refrigerator.

Butter – also subject to the ‘fat is bad’ school of thought is butter. Along with milk and cheese, this has received a bad press over the years. However, it is actually an excellent source of vitamins, such as A, D and K, which play an important role in the efficient absorption of calcium.

These vitamins are also beneficial to the body’s immune system, and are thought to play a role in the suppression of cancer cell growth. Also found in butter is a compound called sodium butyrate. Recent studies show this is effective in the treatment and prevention of diet-induced insulin resistance.

However, none of these benefits are provided by the products that masquerade as butter. Here, we are talking about margarine, shortening and the ‘spreads’ of various kinds. These all contain trans-fats which are extremely dangerous and should not be eaten.

Eggs
There are two points to be made with regard to eggs. The first is the high level of cholesterol in the yolks, and the second is the unbelievable amount of nutrients they provide.

The first issue, cholesterol, has been covered in this article so we won’t go into it again here.

Moving on to their nutritional content, eggs are a very good source of high quality protein. More than half of this is found in the whites, along with vitamin B2 and low amounts of fat and cholesterol. The whites are also rich sources of selenium, vitamins D, B6, B12, and minerals such as zinc, iron and copper.

The yolks have a higher content of calories and fat than the whites and, apart from being an egg’s main source of cholesterol, are also its main source of the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, and lecithin.

Eggs also contain lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants have major benefits for eye health and significantly reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration – both pf which are very common eye disorders.

Yet another benefit of eating eggs is the fact they’re extremely satiating – this makes them the ideal food to include in a weight-loss diet.

The bottom line then is that eggs are the most nutritious food on planet Earth – nothing else comes even close. Eat them to your heart’s content.

Vegetables
Most vegetables are very low in calories and carbohydrates while, at the same time, having a high content of the fiber, vitamins and minerals our bodies need to achieve and maintain optimal health.

Vegetables reduce the risk of getting a range of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and even some cancers. Not only that, they are good for improving cognitive function and are effective against Alzheimer’s disease, kidney stones and various types of digestive issues. Furthermore, they provide antioxidants and compounds that aren’t found in any other type of food.

Some vegetables are better for us than others. These are the cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage and green leafy vegetables like kale. Not only are they very high in fiber, they also have the lowest content of carbohydrates – this makes them the ideal food for a weight-loss diet. Other vegetables in this category include broccoli, brussels sprouts, bell peppers, beet greens, cauliflowers, eggplant and spinach.

Root vegetables are of lesser value as, typically, they have less fiber. Also, being more starchy, they have higher levels of carbohydrates. So, while still very good for us, their leafy cousins have the edge thanks to their higher content of fiber. And, of course, if body weight is a factor then the carbohydrate content of root vegetables becomes an issue, particularly with potatoes. Once again, the leafy vegetables will be the ones to go for.

In both categories of vegetable, there is a huge range to choose from. So which are the best ones to eat?

Of the leafy vegetables, the general consensus is that kale offers most benefits, closely followed by spinach, mustard greens, swiss chard, arugula and romaine lettuce.

With regard to root vegetables, it’s butternut squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, beets, ginger, turmeric and eggplant.

Fruit
From a nutritional viewpoint, fruit in general offers much the same in the way of nutrients as vegetables do. They have similar levels of minerals, vitamins, fiber and health-enhancing compounds such as antioxidants.

The drawback with fruit is the fact that it has a high sugar content – a type of sugar known as fructose. Eating too much sugar leads to excess weight which, in turn, is the cause of a large number of illnesses and chronic diseases. Now when eaten in small quantities, there is nothing wrong with fructose. But because it is routinely added to popular sweeteners, such as honey and white table sugar, and virtually all processed foods, most people are already eating far more of it than is good for them.

This is just one part of the problem – another is that the body handles fructose differently than it does other sugars. For example, eating glucose triggers an increase in the production of insulin which enables the glucose to be used for energy. Glucose consumption also increases production of leptin which regulates appetite and fat storage in the body. Neither of these processes happen when fructose is eaten, with the result that it gets stored as fat.

People in good health, who aren’t overweight and aren’t insulin resistant, can eat fruit without problem. Indeed, it is recommended that they do. However, people who are overweight, have high blood pressure, diabetes or a high level of cholesterol, are advised to limit the amount of fruit they eat.

With regard to which fruits are best to eat, you won’t go wrong with berries, bananas, avocados, papayas, olives, pineapples and kiwifruit. Berries are probably the best fruit of all as they offer all the nutrients and fiber that other fruits do but without the high levels of sugar.

Of the berries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are probably the pick of the bunch. Also well worth a mention are avocados. These tropical fruits are an excellent source of fiber, healthy fats, potassium, folate, and a wide range of vitamins. Indeed, avocados are considered to be a superfood.

Those looking for fruits low in carbohydrates need look no further than berries (not blueberries, though), rhubarb, watermelon, cantaloupes and coconuts.

Now we come to the fruits to avoid. Let’s start with the seedless varieties. These are fruits that have been artificially developed so that they have no seeds. As consumption of these fruits is generally easier and more convenient, this is considered to give them added commercial value. A number of methods have been devised to create them, such as genetic modification and grafting.

While, currently, there is no evidence that they are in any way bad for us, they simply haven’t been around long enough for the long-term effects of regular consumption to be evaluated. For this reason, we suggest you don’t eat them. Examples of this type of fruit are bananas, tomatoes, watermelons and grapes.

It’s also worth pointing out that much of a plant’s nutritional content, be it a fruit or a vegetable, is concentrated in its seeds. So while a seedless fruit may be more profitable for the producer and more convenient for the consumer, it will not be nearly as nutritious as nature intended it to be.

Then we have dried fruit. This is fruit that has had its water content removed so creating an extremely high sugar content. As long as it is eaten in small quantities though, it won’t be a problem. Just remember that being a processed food, dried fruit usually has sugar, vegetable oils, preservatives and goodness knows what else added to it.

Legumes
A legume is a dry fruit that grows inside a seed or pod. The most well-known of these are beans, lentils and peas. They are all excellent sources of fiber, protein, healthy fats and carbohydrates.

The most common type of legume is the beans. These include kidney beans, broad beans, navy beans, soybeans, black beans, lima beans mung beans and chickpeas. They are all high in protein and carbohydrates but low in fat.

Some legumes are called peas. These include split peas, green peas, black-eyed peas, snow peas and snap peas. Similar to beans, peas of all types contain high concentrations of carbohydrates, fiber and protein, but little fat.

Lentils are round, oval or heart-shaped, seeds and are usually split into halves. They are available in a number of varieties that differ in color, texture and taste. The most common of these are the green, black and red varieties. Black lentils, also known as beluga, are famous for their similarity to caviar.

The two things that all types of legume have in common are their high levels of protein and fiber. For people who don’t eat meat, or restrict their intake of it, this high protein content makes them an ideal substitute for the protein they’re not getting from meat. As for the fiber content, this is great for those on a diet. A spoonful every now and then keeps those hunger pangs at bay, thus restricting the urge to eat.

Note that some legumes are incorrectly called nuts. The most common example of this is the peanut, others being soy nuts and carob nuts.

Oatmeal
Oatmeal is meal made from rolled or ground oats and interest in it has increased considerably in recent years because of its health benefits. One of these is that the cereal’s soluble fiber content helps lower cholesterol levels.

Oats are abundant in both complex carbohydrates and water-soluble fiber, both of which slow digestion rates and stabilize the level of blood-glucose. Oatmeal is extremely rich in omega-3 fats, folate, B vitamins and potassium. Oats that are steel-cut contain much more fiber than the instant varieties.

Summary
The foods we have looked at in this article – meat, eggs, seafood, dairy produce, nuts, vegetables, fruit, legumes and oatmeal – contain all the nutrients required for optimum health. You need eat nothing else!

The same cannot be said for the foods we look at here. Eat these on a regular basis as so many people do, and you will, quite literally, be heading for an early grave – it’s your choice!

 

Yellowtooth Diet Plan

To understand the rationale behind the Yellowtooth Diet Plan, it is necessary to first take a look at the foods we have been eating over the years, why we have been eating them and what they have done to us. The story starts not that long ago – we’re only going back to the first half of the 1900’s. This was a volatile time in world history, what with the two world wars, the Russian civil war, the Afghan civil war and the Mexican revolution. There were plenty of lesser conflicts as well.

Food would have been scarce anyway because the methods used in agriculture and farming were basic and inefficient. The various wars made it even scarcer. However, although it may not have seemed so at the time, this was not necessarily a bad thing for some. With food limited, people who would perhaps have over-eaten and become overweight, or even obese, simply weren’t able to do so. As a result, the incidence of heart disease and strokes was low.

The end of the second world war saw things improve rapidly. Industry and farming became increasingly mechanized and, hence, efficient. Chemical pesticides and new types of fertilisers were developed which enabled farmers to vastly increase crop yields. Within a very short period, food shortages in the western world were a thing of the past.

The foods commonly eaten at this time were high in saturated animal fat – red meat, cheese, butter, full-fat milk, lard and cream. They were rich in nutrients and also nice to eat. However, food wasn’t the only thing that was plentiful – cardiovascular diseases were now as well.

In fact, by the late 1950’s, heart disease was pandemic in the USA and rapidly becoming so in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain. In an attempt to discover why, government agencies were commissioned to investigate and find solutions. One of these studies – the Seven Countries Study – was conducted in 1958 by a scientist called Ancel Keys. This focused on the link between diet and cardiovascular disease in different countries. The study concluded that the countries where people ate the most saturated fat had the highest rates of heart disease – the connection seemed obvious.

However, for some reason, Keys ignored a number of contradictory facts. One was that in some of the countries, such as Holland and Norway, fat consumption was high but rates of heart disease were low. But in other countries, such as Chile, fat consumption was low but the rates of heart disease were high. Basically, Keys disregarded anything that didn’t support his theory.

However, the American Heart Association allowed itself to be convinced by Keys thus giving credence to the flawed study. Massive exposure in the media followed and, very quickly, the demonisation of saturated fat began. Suddenly, it was all ‘fat and cholesterol are bad for you’ and ‘carbohydrates from fruits, vegetables and grains are good’. This was the beginning of the obesity epidemic currently sweeping around the globe.

If people had stuck to eating mostly fruit and vegetables there wouldn’t have been a problem. Not only is the carbohydrate content of both these food groups much less than that of grains, it is also digested by the body at a much lower rate thanks to their high fiber content. Unfortunately, they didn’t. Instead, they latched on to carbohydrate-rich grains. Most foods produced from wheat, barley, rye, oats, etc, go through an industrial process that removes virtually all their fiber, vitamins and minerals. While they provide energy in the form of calories, they offer very little in the way of nutrition – they are basically just empty calories.

The other problem with them is that they are quickly and easily digested by the body – often in as little as two hours – a process that should take between six and eight hours! Because the body turns carbohydrates into glucose (sugar), the result is a rapid increase in both blood sugar level and insulin. After an hour or two, the blood sugar level will drop back and, in so doing, stimulate the parts of the brain associated with reward and craving. These signals create a craving for more food and are a known cause of over-eating.

Now, if the person eating the carbohydrate is active to a sufficient enough degree, the body will use the glucose for fuel and simply burn it off. However, if not, the glucose won’t be used and the body will instead store it as fat for use in emergencies such as famine – just what nature has programmed it to do.

Now, couple the above with the following:

Firstly, people lead sedentary lifestyles these days. Indeed, they spend most of their time sitting down. They sit in their offices at work, they sit in buses, cars and trains, they sit at the movies, they sit on the beach and they spend their evenings sitting in front of the TV. Much of the time they’re doing this sitting, they are eating and drinking and, therefore, taking in shed-loads of calories that their bodies simply don’t need. The inevitable consequence is that they put on weight.

Secondly, it is a fact that many of the most popular foods and drinks on the planet consist mainly of carbohydrates, i.e. bread, cakes, rice, biscuits, pasta, pizzas, pastries, fruit drinks, sports drinks, etc. These are all naturally very high in calories, a fact that is compounded by the food manufacturers adding large amounts of refined sugar to make them more palatable. This makes these already fattening foods even more fattening.

Thirdly, regardless of what they are consuming, people these days are simply consuming far too much of it. It’s understandable enough as eating and drinking are activities that we all enjoy; many of us however, are overdoing it. Another factor in this is the ready availability of food these days – if you have the money, you can have as much of it as you want, when you want.

The way we live our lives has had an effect as well. Years ago, eating was largely restricted to set mealtimes of breakfast, lunch and dinner. Now, with the instant availability of processed foods, people snack at all hours of the day and night, as well as eating at mealtimes.

This last point takes us back to the processed food industry, which is so vast these days that it basically rules the world. As a result, their high-carbohydrate foods are everywhere – restaurants, supermarkets, stores, bus stations, airports – you name it and processed food will be there. It’s so ubiquitous, in fact, that many people just don’t bother cooking any more. As we have shown here, the processed food industry is also extremely dishonest and packs its products with vast amounts of sugar, the presence of which it tries to conceal with sneaky product labeling. Because of this, many people are completely unaware of the horrifically high calorific content of the foods they are consuming.

And so to the situation as it is today. Since the 1980’s, the number of overweight and obese adults in the developed world has quadrupled to around one billion. One in three adults is overweight. In western countries, such as the USA and the UK, the situation is even worse as two-thirds of adults are overweight. Of these, one in three is considered to be obese and one in twenty is considered to be extremely obese. With regard to children and adolescents, the situation is not much better.

These people all have a much higher risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attacks and strokes, which are now the leading causes of premature death in the world. They are also much more likely to get type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and osteoarthritis, not to mention cancers such as breast, colon, endometrial and kidney.

As we have pointed out, there are several factors at play here, such as sedentary lifestyles and the over-abundance of food. However, the main one is the fact that refined carbohydrates are a highly fattening food and, of these, the worst is sugar. Therefore, the Yellowtooth Diet Plan is based on eating foods that either don’t contain any carbohydrates or are very low in them. Merely cutting out sugar in its most obvious forms is not enough.

You need to remember that your body converts all the carbohydrates you eat to sugar in the form of glucose – so, those carbs have to go! While the plan eliminates a lot of the foods people have become accustomed to over the years, and will therefore miss enormously at the beginning of it, the hard fact remains that these foods are basically empty calories that provide little or no nutrition. They are also the foods that make people put on weight – that’s the bottom line!

What the diet does permit is a range of more natural foods that provide all the nutrients needed to fuel the body and keep it operating at it’s maximum capacity. At the same time, the vastly reduced intake of carbohydrates means it is not constantly making the glucose sugar that invariably leads to the creation of body fat. Not only will it make you feel younger, it may even make you look younger!

The foods we are talking about here are non-starchy vegetables, low-sugar fruits, nuts and seeds, fish, meat, eggs, spices, herbs, full-fat dairy products and some types of vegetable oil. With the exception of the vegetables, herbs, fruits and spices, they all contain high amounts of healthy fats.

To people raised on the old belief that eating fat makes you fat, this may make the diet sound contradictory but it’s not. All the evidence now actually indicates the opposite – eating fat is good for you (and not fattening) as long as you eat the right type and in the right quantities.

The diet is also adaptable – it can be tweaked to suit your requirements. If it’s rapid weight loss you want, the diet in its most extreme form will deliver weight loss in the region of half a pound a day. Combine it with intermittent fasting and you will lose even more.

At the other end of the scale, for those of you who are already at the right weight and just want to eat a healthy diet as a lifestyle choice, the Yellowtooth Diet Plan can, again, be the one to follow. In this case, instead of virtually no carbohydrates, it’s quite possible to introduce a limited range of them. Remember, there are many carbohydrate-rich foods that are actually good for you. These include fruits, legumes such as lentils, beans and peas, and whole grains, such as oats, quinoa and brown rice.

Not only do these foods increase the options available to you, and so make the diet more varied and easier to persevere with, they provide a vital nutritional resource – fiber. You can even eat some carbohydrates that aren’t particularly good for you; bread being a typical example.

The big no-no on the Yellowtooth Diet Plan is processed food. Basically, anything that comes in a box, packet or tin is processed to one degree or another. The nutritional value of this type of food is usually very poor. Plus, of course, it is invariably packed with carbs and hence calories.

Losing Weight With The Yellowtooth Diet Plan
We have looked at the most popular diet plans and while they all have their pros and cons, none of them in our opinion are as good as they could be. For example, the Atkins and Ducan diets that restrict fiber intake in the early stages to a level that’s low enough to be potentially dangerous.

A lot of them try to make you lose weight at a rate that is not good for you. To achieve this, these diets are extreme – in some cases, they forbid entire classes of food. So not only can they actually be bad for you, they can also be difficult to persevere with. The Yellowtooth Diet Plan is different in a number of ways.

Firstly, and unlike other diets, it is healthy and includes all the nutrients your body needs in order to keep firing on all cylinders. This is in stark contrast to some that actually do the opposite!

Secondly, while not designed to be a weight-loss diet as such, it is a fact that overweight people who follow it will lose weight as sure as night follows day. However, unlike with most other diets, the weight loss will be slow, steady, easily sustainable and, ultimately, much healthier.

Please note that the Yellowtooth Diet Plan is just part of what you need to do to get your body as fit and healthy as possible. The other part is exercise and this is every bit as important as the foods you eat and don’t eat. That’s another story though.

So, let’s take a look at the foods you can and cannot eat on this plan.

Meat
White meat such as chicken is the favored option as it contains less calories than red meat. This is due to its lower fat content. If you prefer red meat though, you need to choose carefully. Go for leaner cuts and trim off as much of the fat as you can.

Of the red meats, beef is the highest in calories with pork and lamb having slightly less. The red meat with the least amount of calories is game animals, such as deer, elk, rabbits, etc.

As regards processed meat, this must be given a wide berth – the processing leaves all types high in calories. The worst are the sausages, such as salami, hot dogs, bologna and chipolata. Not only are they padded-out with highly fattening starches, they contain unhealthy additives.

Seafood
Nutrition-wise, there is little to choose between red/white meat and seafood. However, seafood has the edge with regard to it’s fat content which is much less. As low fat means low calories, this makes seafood an extremely good option for the dieter. There are many different types though – which ones do you go for? Unsurprisingly, the answer is the species with the least fat content – namely, cod, flounder, sole, hake, haddock, pollock and shellfish.

The species with the highest amount of fat, and so the highest calories, are the oily fish like herring, mackerel, sardines and salmon.

Note that with most fish species, the color of the flesh is an indication of their fat content. The leanest species have a white or light color and the fattier species usually have a darker color.

Luckily, the low-calorie fish also happen to be the ones least affected by mercury and other sea contaminants.

Dairy Produce
Let’s start with milk. The skimmed type, from which all the cream has been removed, is the lowest in calories. It is, however, tasteless – little more than water. If you can stomach the stuff, fine; if not, the next best option and the one we recommend, is low-fat milk. While it may have more calories, it does at least have some flavor and nutritional content. Whole and raw milk should be avoided when on a weight-loss diet.

Moving on to cheese, this is in general a high calorie food that is not the best thing to be eating when trying to lose weight. With this in mind, you may be tempted by the low-fat cheeses on the supermarket shelves. Take our advice and give these a miss. Virtually all foods labeled as ‘low-fat’ are the processed food industry’s attempt to cash in on the current trend for healthy eating. While foods given this label may indeed be low in fat, don’t think for a minute they will also be low in calories – they won’t!

However, one cheese in particular is naturally low in calories and so can be incorporated into a weight-loss diet. This is cottage cheese which has only 98 calories per 100g. At the other end of the scale are the hard cheeses such as cheddar and monterey jack – these contain over 400 calories per 100gm and are definitely to be avoided.

The situation with butter is largely the same as with cheese. It is simply too high in calories to be part of a weight-loss diet. There are products marketed as low-fat butter but these are usually spreads made with vegetable oils and margarine. As with low-fat cheeses, steer well clear.

Another very popular dairy food is yoghurt. Is it ok in a weight-loss diet though? Well, there’s no question that the fruit yoghurts are high in calories, typically in the region of 250 calories per carton. Plain yoghurts on the other hand, of which Greek is an example, only have about 150 calories in a carton – much better. Once again, give the low-fat versions a miss – many of these contain alarming amounts of sugar.

Nuts
Nuts are extremely nutritious and offer vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein. They  also have a lot of fat though, which gives them a high calorie count. On the face of it, this would seem to make them one of the last things to include in a weight-loss diet. However, this isn’t the case. There’s plenty of evidence to show that dieters who eat a small quantity of nuts are more likely to stick to their diets. This is because the fat and fiber content of the nuts is extremely satiating and, as a result, they are not as hungry and, ultimately, eat less.

The key to it is portion control. All you need to eat is about one ounce of nuts per day – this equates to just one handful. With almonds, brazils, cashews, pistachios and walnuts, this will be about 170 calories. Peanuts have the lowest calories – 150, while pecans and macadamias are the highest at about 200 calories.

Vegetables
Vegetables are the dieter’s best friend. Very low in calories so you can eat as much of them as you like and, at the same time, high in satiating fiber. Really, what more could you ask for?

First on your diet plan should be leafy greens, such as kale and spinach. They are incredibly nutritious and very high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Next are the cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and cabbage. You should also eat peppers – hot peppers like chilli particularly. They contain a substance called capsaicin which has been shown to help reduce appetite and increase the body’s ability to burn fat.

The vegetables you don’t want be eating are the root varieties – carrots, potatoes, parsnips, etc. These contain more starch and so are higher in calories.

Fruit
Fruits of all types are very good for us. They do, however, have an inherent problem – they all contain sugar to one degree or another. Some have a lot more than others and so can be quite high in calories. The key to including fruit in a diet plan, therefore, is knowing which types to avoid.

In the list of fruits below, the figures given are the calorie content in 100 grams of fruit.

The fruits with the lowest calorie count are:

  • rhubarb 21
  • strawberries 33
  • honeydew melon 36
  • peaches 39
  • blackberries 43
  • nectarines 44
  • cranberries 46
  • oranges 47

Fruits with a medium calorie count are:

  • apricots 48
  • cherries 50
  • pineapples 50
  • apples 52
  • raspberries 53
  • tangerines 53
  • pears 57
  • blueberries 57

Fruits with a high calorie count are:

  • mangoes 60
  • kiwifruit 61
  • grapes 67
  • guavas 68
  • bananas 89
  • figs 107
  • dates 280

Be aware that dried fruits like raisins, sultanas, prunes, figs and dates have the highest sugar count of all. They most definitely should not be part of a weight-loss diet.

The nutrients in fruit are simply too good to miss out on, even when dieting. Accordingly, we recommend that the low calorie fruits should be part of your diet. The relatively small amount of sugar they contain is nothing to worry about.

Carbohydrates
Foods made from refined carbs are simply not worth eating – all the nutrients have been stripped out, they’re starchy, full of sugar, and additives are needed to make them palatable. However, this doesn’t apply to carbohydrates left in their natural state. The main thing these offer to the dieter is fiber. As with the fiber in nuts and vegetables, this is filling and so acts as a powerful appetite suppressant. Accordingly, diets that include them are easier to adhere to.

It is a fact that fruits, vegetables and nuts all contain carbohydrates, and a diet rich in these foods will provide everything you need in this respect. However, you may have reasons of your own for limiting your consumption of them or, indeed, not wanting to eat them at all. If this is the case, there are several carb-rich foods that will be the perfect substitute. The ones we’re talking about are legumes (lentils, beans and peas), whole-wheat pasta, oatmeal, whole-wheat bread and brown rice. Another good reason for including them in your diet is to add variety. Just remember they are quite starchy and so should be consumed in small amounts.

Liquids
With regard to what you can drink on a weight loss diet, there’s only one contender really and that’s water – lots of it. It’s absolutely the best thing you can drink. The worst are soda drinks, juice drinks, sports & energy drinks and alcohol. Very few people, though, are going to stick rigidly to water and nothing else. Nor is there any need to.

Smoothies, which we look at here, provide a very good alternative. Just remember to leave out ingredients high in calories.

The most popular drink in the world next to water is tea. When flavorings and additives are added, such as sugar, milk, herb extracts, oils, etc, it’s calorific content goes up. Taken by itself, however, it is virtually calorie-free and can be drunk in any amount. In this form, it should be part of any diet.

Vegetable juices are another good option. These require a juicing machine as we describe here. Just don’t over-do it – too much of a concentrated dose of vegetable nutrients isn’t recommended.

Currently, coconut water is very popular. This is the clear liquid found inside a green coconut. It’s a healthy drink that has plenty of nutrients. It is also relatively low in calories so can be taken in reasonable quantities. Just remember not to confuse it with coconut milk. Higher in fat and calories, a cup of coconut milk is about 550 calories compared to about 50 calories in a cup of coconut water.

The fruit drinks and squashes available in the stores all have an extremely high sugar content and so have no place in any diet. However, there’s no reason dieters can’t make their own – it’s just fruit squeezed into water after all. By doing so, they can adjust the amount of fruit and, hence sugar, it contains.

Lastly, there is alcohol. There’s no question it shouldn’t be drunk at all, never mind on a diet. However, it is a fact that many people can’t get through life without it. So, for these people, the best options are light beers, wine (both red and white) and neat spirits. Give all alcoholic drinks that contain mixers a miss – this is where most of the calories come from. Sweetened drinks like cider are strictly taboo as well. Never, ever, go near the frozen alcoholic drinks you see in the supermarkets – these are liquid sugar!

Be aware that the calories in alcoholic drinks are not just down to the sugar they contain – their carbohydrate content is also a factor. Beer is a good example of this – virtually no sugar but, thanks to the carbohydrate content, quite high in calories.