Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Diet and Nutrition

Foods to stay away from

02/28/2000

Question:

What foods are you best to stay away from when trying to be healthy?

Answer:

Thanks for your question. Ideally, you should be able to eat ALL foods and stay healthy, but some foods are not as healthy as others.

Foods to include in your diet every day are fresh fruits, fresh or frozen vegetables, low fat dairy foods, lean meats (or other low fat, high protein foods), whole grain breads, cereals and rice. Try to choose fruits and vegetables that are dark green, orange or red in color as these have the most nutrients. Typically the less processed foods you eat, the healthier you will be in the long run.

Try to limit foods that contain a lot of simple sugar such as soft drinks, kool-aid, fruit punch, candy, cake, pie, ice cream, cookies and other desserts. These offer lots of fat, sugar and calories, but nothing nutritionally.

In addition, alcohol adds a lot of empty calories to your diet. While moderate drinking is fairly acceptable (1 drink for women/day, 2 drinks for men/day), excess alcohol consumption may cause malnutrition and damage vital organs such as your liver, pancreas and stomach. OUCH!

Other foods to limit in your diet are foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol. A diet high in fat and cholesterol has been linked with heart disease. These foods typically come from animals (fatty meats, bacon, butter, lard, regular cheese, organ meats, etc.). Avacados and coconut are not from animals, but are high in saturated fat as well.

Other foods high in fat to limit in your diet contain trans fatty acid. Foods that contain hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fat are high in trans fatty acids. These foods include margarine, fast foods, fried foods, commercial cookies, crackers and other foods. Choose low fat foods whenever you eat out if possible. Go for baked, broiled or steamed foods over fried foods or foods smothered in cream sauce or cheese.

Keep in mind that diet is only one aspect of maintaining good health. Not smoking cigarettes and getting regular exercise are extremely important to keep your body healthy. In addition, handling psychological stress and getting adequate sleep are also very important.

I hope this information was helpful. Take Care!

For more information:

Go to the Diet and Nutrition health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Lisa Cicciarello Andrews, MEd, RD, LD Lisa Cicciarello Andrews, MEd, RD, LD
Adjunct Faculty
University of Cincinnati