We’ve seen article after article on the “best” foods to eat if you want to shred, make gains, or just be healthier in general.
And, don’t get me wrong: these are awesome.
However, as great as these lists and foods are, I want to let you in on a huge secret to health most people don’t talk about:
What you don’t eat is typically more important than what you do eat.
To illustrate this, say you eat two salads a day, loaded with greens. Technically, you’re getting tons of nutrients and eating the “right” foods.
Now, let’s say you follow that up with a dinner of, say, a cheeseburger and fries (and not of the organic, grass fed, baked variety!).
The impact of the cheeseburger may not seem as detrimental due to the salads you consumed, but it doesn’t take away the fact that you likely consumed a slew of hormones, antibiotics, chemicals, and toxic preservatives in your cheeseburger meal. Sure, you may have gotten a dose of nutrients from the salads … but you then got a heavy dose of poisons from your dinner, which you body has to then work to detoxify from your system … USING the nutrients from the salad to do so!
Now, imagine if you had one less salad per day, but instead ate a clean dinner of free-range, organic chicken and sweet potatoes or veggies. You may have eaten one less salad, but you also eliminated the toxic dinner and replaced it with albeit different nutrients, yet NOT poisonous ones.
In the second scenario, you’ve spared your body from having to deal with inflammation, spiked insulin and glucose levels (taxing your pancreas and kidneys), and digestive irritation from preservatives. Again, you may have had one less salad, but you saved your body from toxin overload – a much better alternative.
So, long story short: what you don’t eat is equally as important, and perhaps even more important, than what you do eat. And on that note, here is a list of all the things you shouldn’t be eating, if you want to make gains, shred, and enjoy full health.
The Worst Foods To Eat
Did you know that sugar has been labeled a toxin in numerous studies? Yep. Not only does sugar spike your blood sugar levels like nothing else, leading to the “sugar rush, followed by a crash” effect, but plays a key role in the development of diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome.
When you consume sugar, your body releases the hormone insulin in order to move the glucose from your bloodstream and into your cells to be used as energy. However, this system is designed for the consumption of natural sugars (like in whole fruits) that come with enzymes and fiber to help release the sugar more slowly into your blood stream.
Processed sugars, like those found in bread, candy, etc … contain none of these fibers, resulting in a massive and immediate rush of sugar into your blood stream, followed by a massive release of insulin to compensate. And, since your cells likely won’t be able to hold more glucose because they have received more than they can use for fuel, the excess is stored as fat so that it doesn’t cause damage to your body by sitting in your blood stream.
If you continually eat sugar, this process is repeated, leading to an exhausted insulin response, and cells that no longer respond to insulin. Or, in other words, your cells start refusing to take in glucose, so all of the excess glucose is stored as fat. This is called “insulin resistance” and can rapidly lead to obesity.
Now, these are just some of the effects of excess sugar. It has also been linked to attention disorders in kids, and a host of behavioral disorders.
If you’re looking to avoid any of these, avoid eating:
• Candy and candy bars
• Bread, pastas, granola bars, muffins, cookies, etc … (unless these are made with almond or coconut flour and very little natural sugars, like honey)
• Fruit juices
• Sweetened yogurts
• All foods with added sugars on the ingredients list
2. Processed and Boxed Foods
Most processed foods not only spike your blood sugar as mentioned above, but also contain a ton of toxic preservatives and chemicals. These various preservatives and chemicals have been linked to cancer in rodents, asthma and allergic reactions, ADD, neurological problems, and weight gain, to name a few.
Processed foods to avoid:
• Breads, pastas, muffins, cookies
• Granola bars (and even some protein bars)
• Canned foods (unless organic)
• Anything in a box or package
This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to avoid everything in a container, but more than you should reach for organic options and check the label for any additives or chemicals you can’t pronounce. Also, try focusing on more healthy snack foods, like snacks made with only natural ingredients you can pronounce, and avoid anything that sounds chemical in origin, or is “bleached” or “unbleached.”
Like processed foods, dairy comes with its own set of additives that can be extremely harmful to your body. Specifically, commercial dairy contain added hormones and antibiotics that are passed from unhealthy cows to their milk, making its way to you.
These hormones and antibiotics disrupt our endocrine system, throwing our own hormonal balance out of wack. What are the effects of this?
If you must eat dairy, be sure to only eat organic, grass fed, (and, if you can find it) raw/unpasteurized dairy. These lack the hormones and antibiotics found in regular dairy, and raw dairy even contains beneficial enzymes that make it the ideal type to consume.
Other Foods To Avoid
In general, it would be ideal to avoid all produce and packaged foods that aren’t organic and don’t contain added sugars or additives. Along with this, avoid:
• Artificial sweeteners (classified as carcinogenic)
• Genetically modified (GMO) foods such as: soy, wheat, corn, non-organic potatoes, non-organic apples, and non-organic papaya. This have been linked in studies to tumor growth and other negative effects. Only purchase products with “NON-GMO” on the label, or those designated as “organic.”
• Canned soups and things like frozen pizzas, which can contain cream (aka: dairy) and things like cornstarch (GMO). If you do want to purchase these, make sure they don’t have these ingredients.
• ALL fast food and fried foods
As you can see, the name of the health game is to eat as close to nature as possible, and avoid foods that are far from natural.