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How To Shop For Groceries Like A Nutrition Expert

The articles on this site (like most other health/nutrition sites) spend a lot of time focusing on what NOT to eat, and for good reason - there's a lot of common foods that are legitimately toxic for the body.

Time to focus on the foods we DO want in our bodies.

Eat 95% (or more) of your foods from the "Eat Abundantly" and "No Problems, per se..." lists, and you'll be eating a diet rich in low-toxin, nutrient rich foods that fight inflammation, detoxify the body, improve your mental function and help you achieve your desired body composition.  

1. Produce

First rule here may be an obvious one, but needs to be emphasized again - *Buy Organic Produce*.  Buying organic doesn't guarantee you more nutrients in your produce, but it does guarantee you'll be exposed to less of the pesticide and herbicide residue, some of which have been shown to disrupt hormone function.  

EAT ABUNDANTLY (the foods that will make you awesome)

  • Kale (anti-inflammatory, packed with nutrients, rich in the insoluble fiber your gut flora love)
  • Other Leafy Greens - (chard, spinach, broccoli, brussel sprouts, etc)

NO PROBLEMS, PER SE...  (but nowhere near the nutritional value of the "eat abundantly" foods)

  • Carrots, Peppers, Asparagus, Cabbage
  • Low-Glycemic Fruits (blueberries, raspberries) 

EAT RARELY (eating once won't kill you, but don't make it a regular thing)

  • Lettuce (minimal nutritional value, and lettuce often gets a "chlorine wash" that leaves a residue that disrupts gut bacteria)
  • Baby Carrots (also get chlorine wash)
  • Higher-Glycemic Fruits (apples, pears, peaches, dates, mangoes, pineapples, banana, etc - why?  Fructose is toxic and triggers your fat-storing hormones)

2. Carbohydrates

EAT ABUNDANTLY 

  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Jerusalem Artichokes ("sunchokes" great source of gut-friendly resistant starch)
  • Squashes

NO PROBLEMS, PER SE...

  • White Rice
  • Other Root Vegetables (taro, beet, parsnip, lotus root)
  • Regular Potatoes

EAT RARELY

  • Quinoa (antinutrients)
  • Brown RIce (mold risk, antinutrients)
  • Corn (mycotoxin risk)
  • Oats and Other Grains (mold risk, antinutrients)
  • Beans (antinutrients)
  • Chips Of Any Type (universally made with low-quality, pro-inflammatory vegetable oils)

NEVER, EVER (not worth it)

  • Wheat!  (not just for celiac/gluten-allergy folks, this is for everyone

3. Meats, Fish, Eggs, Vegetarian Proteins

EAT ABUNDANTLY

  • Wild-Caught, Alaskan Salmon (very clean fish rich in Omega-3 and other nutrients)
  • Other Wild-Caught Low-Toxin Fish (flounder, haddock, mackerel, trout, others - see list)
  • Pasture-Raised Eggs (much higher nutritional value than eggs from grain-fed hens)
  • Synchro Genesis (perfect protein, deeply detoxifying and nutrient-rich.  The most nutritionally-valuable food on this list, in any category)

NO PROBLEMS, PER SE...

  • Grass-Fed, Grass-Finished Organic Beef (If you're going to eat beef, this is the only legitimate option, although it may be difficult to find beef finished on grass in some parts of the country.  I personally eat beef very very rarely, as I feel the time required for digestion has negative effects on digestive health)
  • Hemp Seeds (great, but prone to oxidation when allowed to sit in the light/air)

EAT RARELY

  • Higher Toxin Wild-Caught FIsh (cod, halibut, lobster, mahi mahi, snapper, grouper, yellowfin tuna, etc.  You will be exposing yourself to heavy metals like mercury, but eating these fish on rare occasions isn't going to kill you)
  • Tofu, Tempeh, Other Soy Proteins (very high in antinutrients and phytoestrogens that disrupt hormones.  Most soy these days is also GMO)

NEVER, EVER

  • Conventionally-Raised Meats (beef, pork, poultry - it all has serious issues, and buying organic doesn't help the matter much)
  • Farm-Raised Fish (similar reasoning - farm raised animals are unhealthy and accumulate toxins from the low-quality feed they subsist on)
  • Highest-Toxin Wild Fish (Marlin, Orange Roughy, Shark, Bigeye Tuna, Ahi Tuna) 

4. Milk, Yogurt, Other Dairy, Milk Alternatives 

EAT ABUNDANTLY

  • Coconut Milk

NO PROBLEMS, PER SE...

  • Almond Milk, Rice Milk (some concern over low-quality carageenan being inflammatory - but after researching the issue, I'm pretty confident any high-quality almond or rice milk will be using higher-quality, non-inflammatory carageenan)

EAT RARELY

  • Organic, Pasture Raised Milk And Yogurt From A2 Cows (The only dairy that is safe to consume.  I won't dive in too deep now, but if you drink milk or eat dairy, you need to research A1 vs A2 cows)

NEVER EVER

  • Cheese (sorry!  I know some of you will hate me for this, but it's really not worth it. Apart from all the issues all dairy has, cheese brings with it the additional risk of mold-toxins, histamines and other pro-inflammatory chemicals produced by the bacteria and fungus during the fermentation process)
  • Any other dairy product that does not come from organic pasture-raised A2 cows

5. Cooking Oils, Fats

EAT ABUNDANTLY

  • Coconut Oil (one of two oils that are safe to cook with at medium temperatures and above)
  • Butter and Ghee From Pasture-Raised Cows (the only other fats/oils that are safe to cook with)
  • Coconut Butter (Including, obviously, Cocotella.  If you're on a high-fat diet, these 3 fats are your staples)

NO PROBLEMS, PER SE...

  • Olive Oil
  • Nut-Derived Oils (walnut oil, almond oil, tahini, etc.)
  • Avocados (all three of these are low-toxin, low in pro-inflammatory Omega-6's.  They are, however, longer-chain fats compared to coconut oil and butter and are more likely to be stored in fatty tissue in the body)

EAT RARELY

  • Vegetable Oils (canola oil, corn oil, palm oil, safflower oil, grapeseed oil, peanut oil etc.  All of these are very high in inflammatory Omega-6 fats and are often contaminated with pesticides, herbicides, mold toxins and solvents)

6. Nuts, Seeds, Beans

EAT ABUNDANTLY

  • Chia Seeds, Flax Seeds (good source of Omega 3 fatty acids)

NO PROBLEMS, PER SE...

  • Hemp Seeds (keep away from light/air to prevent oxidation)
  • Almonds, Walnuts, Cashews, Sesame Seeds

EAT RARELY

  • Beans (antinutrients)
  • Brazil Nuts, Macadamias, Hazelnuts (risk of mold contamination)

NEVER EVER

  • Peanuts (risk of aspergilus mold-contamination is too great) 

7. Beverages

EAT ABUNDANTLY

  • Spring Water, Reverse Osmosis Filtered Water (both only if in glass)
  • Kombucha and Other Probiotic Beverages

NO PROBLEMS, PER SE...

  • Coconut Water

EAT RARELY

  • Fruit Juice (again, fructose toxicity)

NEVER EVER

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup Beverages (i.e. "soft drinks" - simply put, this is how you get fat)

8. Packaging

What your food comes in (and thus, sits in for weeks to months before you eat it) has a big impact on the presence of toxins in your food.

GREAT

  • Glass (for liquids, this is the only truly safe option)

OK

  • HDPE Plastic (preferably not for liquids)
  • PETE Plastic (preferably not for liquids)

Avoid

  • LDPE, Other Plastics
  • Aluminum/Steel/Tin Cans (they're lined with LDPE)

What are the recurring themes throughout?  Eating whole, low-toxin foods, avoiding commercially-produced animal products, avoiding grains and processed foods.  Simple in principle, but admittedly complex in application when it comes to identifying the foods that fit these respective principles.  

 

Looking for more on better dietary strategies?

Solving The "Alcohol Dilemma"

The Truth About Caffeine and Coffee

Intermittent Fasting: Improve Energy, Mental Performance And Burn Fat Like Crazy

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