It becomes difficult to eat healthily with continued access to unhealthy foods. However, with so many foods being promoted as “health foods”, it can be difficult to decide which foods to keep and which to detox from your healthy kitchen. Here are the food items needing to be purged from your kitchen and further steps to take to restock:
- Fats and Oils
Let’s begin on the note that fat is essential for good health. However the deal breaker is in the type and quantity of fat consumed. Fats from animal sources are high in saturated fats and calories but low in nutrients and fiber. As fats are high calorie foods and not needed by the body in large quantities, very little fat should be used in food preparation including salad dressings. Too much of even healthy fats introduces excess calories and can lead to obesity.
Detox: butter, margarine, lard, hydrogenated oils, animal products (such as meat, dairy & cheese)
Stock up: Healthier oils such as cold pressed olive oil or coconut oil, nuts (almond, cashew, pecans etc.), seeds (chia seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds etc.), olives & avocados.
- Processed foods
Processing foods usually strips them of vital fiber and nutrients. Grains with their fiber removed tend to be absorbed quickly by the body resulting in spikes in blood sugar levels and consequent crashes, also leaving you hungry sooner than you would have been, had you consumed the grains with the fiber. Apart from grains, any fruit or vegetable that has been processed typically becomes altered so much that it’s not as nutritious any more by the addition of fats (eg. potato chips) or sugar (e.g chocolate).
Detox: Packaged snacks (chips, cookies), candies, sugary cereals, refined grains (white flour, white rice), juices sweetened with sugar, high fructose corn syrup etc.
Stock up: Whole grain breads, whole grain wraps, whole grain pastas, whole grain flours, oats, brown rice, quinoa, wild rice, popcorn (for airpopping) etc.
Detox: Deep fryer
Stock up: Air fryer, Blender, Food Processor, Air popper, Waffle Iron
- More items to stock up
- Black beans, lentils, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, pinto beans etc.
- Almond butter, cashew butter, peanut butter, tahini
- Cranberry, dates, figs, raisins, prunes
- Note: Diabetics should avoid dried fruits due to the higher concentration of sugar
Herbs & Spices:
- Sage, basil, rosemary, cumin, curry powder, onion, garlic, ginger, ground cinnamon, Mrs. Dash herbal seasoning etc.
- Note: Include fresh and dried herbs. Avoid seasonings with added salt and MSG (monosodium glutamate). It is best to use pink himalayan salt in small quantities.
Fresh Fruits & Vegetables:
- Bananas, apples, grapes, kiwi, melons, dragon fruit, passion fruit, star fruit, pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, mangoes etc.
- Kale, spinach, cabbage, carrots, lettuce, brussel sprouts, broccoli etc.
- Note: Fruits and vegetables are not only a nutritious part of a healthy diet but also make healthy snack options to replace the unhealthy snacks you threw out.
- Beans (sodium free or low sodium)
- Coconut milk/cream (unsweetened)
- Tomato paste
- Note: Read the labels and opt for canned items that are sodium free or low sodium, unsweetened and contain little to no additives as possible. If possible utilize cans with BPA free lining
This information should get you off to a great start. For guidance on how to incorporate these foods into delicious, filling recipes check out Incredibly Delicious Vegan Recipes & Meal Plans. The Cooper Wellness & Disease Prevention Center is also here to support your wellness journey. Feel free to contact us at 956-627-3106 or go to www.cooperwellnesscenter.com to find out more about our wellness coaching programs.
Have fun detoxing your kitchen and your body will thank you.
To your health,
Dona Cooper-Dockery, MD