After my previous post on foods I don't eat hardly at all or ever, I fished around for the a good chart I have regarding nutrition. This was from a recent Men's Health magazine and while the list is geared towards Abs - the Abs Diet Power 12 to be precise - it is still good to know what is good and what isn't. Some foods typically fool people; yogurt for instance is thought to be a healthy food but it is really not. Too many calories and not enough good stuff to negate such a high caloric intake.
The list is divided up into four parts: Eat Rarely, Eat Occasionally, Eat Often and the Abs Diet Power 12, which presumably you should eat daily. I'm not going to write all of them but I'll break it down by group.
Eat Rarely: The only thing I have a problem with from this group is refried beans. Given my background and upbringing, giving up refried beans is an impossibility. It would be like asking me to give up my left testicle; it's not going to happen. That being said, I try not to eat refried beans often. Honestly if I have them once a week that's a lot for me. But to me eat rarely means eat it once a month at the most and even then feel guilty as hell for indulging - beans dont fit into that category.
I used to eat bagels a lot. I hardly touch them now. I can't remember the last bagel I had. Same, sadly, goes for regular beer. White bread is just not great especially when you can easily swap it out for wheat bread. I used to eat a ton of frozen burritos. Those I can safely say will never see the inside of my mouth again.
Okay, gotta amend the top part. Chips is something you should rarely eat. I suppose when I have to rethink my meal plan - not that it's a bad one but it's good to re-assess it from time to time - I may consider giving them up. For now, they will remain in my diet though I do try and eat only a few at a time.
Croissants, danishes, donuts... pass, pass, pass. Pie is a major gut bomb. Especially when you top it with whip cream, which also makes the list.
Eat Occassionally: I'm taking this to mean once or twice a week max. Still, I may be wrong.
Applesauce makes the list but I make my own applesauce when I get around to making it. I use four apples, 1/8 tsp of cinnamon and a couple of tablespoons of sugar and water and then heat it all for 15 minutes. I peel the apples so that cuts down on calories. I don't think its too bad but again I don't eat it that much. I prefer apples.
Light beer is okay. Honestly I don't crave beer as much as I used to. Granola bars got me through the last few months. I went to Costco recently and purposely didn't buy any. When my current supply runs out, I won't have them around to tempt me. I don't care for guacamole so that's not hard for me to pass on.
There are a lot of low-fat items on the list: cream cheese, ice cream, dips (whatever those are), mayo, margarine, etc. Really, these types of foods can add up if you're not careful. It's better to have them in your meal plan but use the low-fat versions and make smart choices than to not have them at all.
Some of the different types of meats: lamb, ham, lunchmeat, pork tenderloin, veal. I eat lunchmeat regularly. It depends on my schedule though but we have plenty of it at home. I should cut back some.
Eat Often: Alright, here are the foods you shouldn't feel guilty about eating, unless you eat triple portions. Apples are a fixture at my house. I eat about seven a week and maybe a few more on the weekend. The perfect snack.
Some of the veggies: asparagus, corn, eggplant, broccoli, brussels sprouts, garlic, mushrooms, onions, peppers, tomatoes. I love me some onions and garlic and tomatoes. I use so many of those in cooking meals each week it's ridiculous. Asparagus I eat every now and then, usually when it goes on sale at the local grocery store.
As far oils for cooking, the list includes canola, sesame and peanut. I have canola oil and extra virgin olive oil and I think I'll stick to those. I may throw in sesame oil as well.
Sunflower seeds suprising to see here.
Other foods I didn't expect to see here: avocados (lots of calories but lots of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, potassium, folate, fiber), Canadian bacon, part-skim Ricotta cheese, tea, wine (1-2 glasses a day).
Staples: And the main foods of this particular diet. Eat these as much as possible, according to this diet.
Almonds and other nuts - I don't usually eat nuts because they are high in calories but they are very healthy snacks. Not very filling but healthy.
Beans and other legumes - So maybe not refried but beans can make a tasty and apparently healthy addition to many dishes.
Spinach and other green vegetables - Popeye I'm not but I should make an effort to eat more spinach. I suppose an easy way around that would be to make a salad using spinach leaves.
Dairy - Milk is good. I use 2 percent. One serving has 145 calories and 10 grams of protein. Cheese is good as well. I'm partial to Monterrey Jack and parmesan.
Instant oatmeal - Never been a fan of oatmeal. Wouldn't even attemtp to incorporate into my meal plan. Sorry.
Eggs - See above.
Turkey and other lean meats (lean steak, chicken, fish) - I'd say four out of every five dinners we prepare use chicken meat. It's so versatile you can't go wrong.
Peanut butter - Again, not a fan of peanut butter. Perhaps I should be.
Olive oil - An absolute staple at my house. I want to start making my own salad dressing with it. I made some Asian style dressing using olive oil and honey and ginger and other things and it was pretty damned good.
Whole-grain breads and cereal - Another fixture in my house.
Extra-protein powder (whey) - Um, what? I've been called a whey before...
Raspberries and other berries - The only reason I don't buy raspberries more is that they're expensive. But when strawberries go on sale I tend to buy them. Same with blueberries.
Well, there you go. A good list of foods to avoid and incorporate as much as possible. Not definitive but a great resource at the very least.