Foods To Avoid

Why You Should Only Eat Sugar, Fast Food, Processed Foods, and Hydrogenated Oils (trans fat) in Moderation:

Balance is a crucial component of staying on course for your fitness goals and personal happiness. We are not saying that you should never eat these types of food, only that limiting them will help you to reach your body goals faster, to be healthier, and to feel better. 

Sugar – Sugar is added to many types of foods, and eating too much of the sweet stuff—even when it seems to come from a natural source—is a risk for weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and even dementia. A diet heavy in added sugar is linked to a risk of dying from heart disease even if you’re not overweight, according to a study that was published earlier this year in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Why does added sugar cause so much trouble? It’s digested immediately and rapidly absorbed, and this causes an upswing in your blood sugar levels. “That challenges your pancreas to pump out more insulin. If the pancreas can’t keep up with that demand, blood sugar levels rise, which can lead to more problems with insulin secretion, and ultimately to diabetes,” says Dr. David M. Nathan, a Harvard Medical School professor and the director of the Diabetes Center and Clinical Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital.

What is trans fat?

Most trans fat is formed through an industrial process that adds hydrogen to vegetable oil, which causes the oil to become solid at room temperature.

This partially hydrogenated oil is less likely to spoil, so foods made with it have a longer shelf life. Some restaurants use partially hydrogenated vegetable oil in their deep fryers, because it doesn’t have to be changed as often as do other oils.

Some meat and dairy products have a small amount of naturally occurring trans fat. It’s not clear whether this naturally occurring trans fat has any benefits or harm.

Trans fat in your food

The manufactured form of trans fat, known as partially hydrogenated oil, may be found in a variety of food products, including:

• Baked goods, such as cakes, cookies and pies

• Shortening

• Microwave popcorn

• Frozen pizza

• Refrigerated dough, such as biscuits and rolls

• Fried foods, including french fries, doughnuts and fried chicken

• Nondairy coffee creamer

• Stick margarine

How trans fat harms you

Doctors worry about added trans fat because it increases the risk for heart attacks, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Trans fat also has an unhealthy effect on your cholesterol levels.

There are two main types of cholesterol:

• Low-density lipoprotein. LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol can build up in the walls of your arteries, making them hard and narrow.

• High-density lipoprotein. HDL, or “good,” cholesterol picks up excess cholesterol and takes it back to your liver.

Trans fat increases your LDL cholesterol and decreases your HDL cholesterol.

If the fatty deposits within your arteries tear or rupture, a blood clot may form and block blood flow to a part of your heart, causing a heart attack; or to a part of your brain, causing a stroke.

Reading food labels

In the United States if a food has less than 0.5 grams of trans fat in a serving, the food label can read 0 grams trans fat.

Products made before the FDA ban of artificial trans fats may still be for sale, so check to see if a food’s ingredient list says partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. If it does, that means the food contains some trans fat, even if the amount is below 0.5 grams.

This hidden trans fat can add up quickly, especially if you eat several servings of multiple foods containing less than 0.5 grams a serving.

How low should you go?

Trans fat, particularly the manufactured variety found in partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, appears to have no known health benefit. Experts recommend keeping your intake of trans fat as low as possible.

What should you eat?

Foods free of trans fats aren’t automatically good for you. Food makers may substitute other ingredients for trans fat that may not be healthy either. Some of these ingredients, such as tropical oils — coconut, palm kernel and palm oils — contain a lot of saturated fat.

Saturated fat raises your total cholesterol. In a healthy diet, about 20% to 35% of your total daily calories may come from fat. Try to keep saturated fat at less than 10% of your total daily calories.

Monounsaturated fat — found in olive, peanut and canola oils — is a healthier option than is saturated fat. Nuts, fish and other foods containing unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids are other good choices of foods with healthy fats. (Mayo Clinic) 

*I have done Independent research but am not a registered dietitian, doctor, or nutritionist so please consult yours before making any changes to your diet.*


How to Get Your Nutrients

We need a variety of nutrients each day to stay healthy, including calcium and vitamin D to protect our bones, folic acid to produce and maintain new cells, and vitamin A to preserve a healthy immune system and vision.

Yet the source of these nutrients is important. “Usually it is best to try to get these vitamins and minerals and nutrients from food as opposed to supplements,” Dr. Manson says.

Fruits, vegetables, fish, and other healthy foods contain nutrients and other substances not found in a pill, which work together to keep us healthy. We can’t get the same synergistic effect from a supplement. Taking certain vitamins or minerals in higher-than-recommended doses may even interfere with nutrient absorption or cause side effects. (Harvard Health Publishing) 

Nutrient Food sources


Milk, yogurt, sardines, tofu,

fortified orange juice

Folic acid

Fortified cereal, spinach,lentils, beef liver


Oysters, chicken liver, turkey

Omega-3 fatty acids

Salmon, sardines, flaxseed, walnuts, soybeans

Vitamin A

Sweet potato, spinach, carrots, cantaloupe, tomatoes

Vitamin B6

Chickpeas, salmon, chicken breast

Vitamin B12

Clams, beef liver, trout, fortified breakfast cereals

Vitamin D

Salmon, tuna, yogurt, fortified milk

Vitamin E

Wheat germ oil, almonds, sunflower seeds, peanut butter

If you’re lacking in a particular nutrient, ask your doctor whether you need to look beyond your diet to make up for what you’re missing—but don’t take more than the recommended daily intake for that nutrient unless your health care provider advises it. (Harvard Health Publishing) 


The excitement over supplements

There are so many supplement companies that love to feed on our insecurities in order to sell us their products. When it comes to fitness related supplements, none of them are 100% necessary to make progress. I’ve personally made progress with and without BCAA’s (branched chain amino acids), creatine, and protein powder. Of all the fitness supplements, protein powder is my favorite and the most widely used. It’s a great way to get high amounts of protein in immediately after a workout. Adding it to smoothies is how I prefer to drink it but mixing it with water, almond milk, etc. is totally fine as well! I tend to stay with certified organic powders so I can avoid proteins with filler/junk ingredients. There is research showing BCAA’s may improve muscle mass and recovery time but there are many other factors required for muscle development as well so it’s tough to gauge how effective BCAA’s truly are.

What you need to know before taking a vitamin or mineral supplement.

The average American diet leaves a lot to be desired. Research finds our plates lacking in a number of essential nutrients, including calcium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, and D. It’s no wonder that more than half of us open a supplement bottle to get the nutrition we need. Many of us take supplements not just to make up for what we’re missing, but also because we hope to give ourselves an extra health boost—a preventive buffer to ward off disease.

Getting our nutrients straight from a pill sounds easy, but supplements don’t necessarily deliver on the promise of better health. Some can even be dangerous, especially when taken in larger-than-recommended amounts. Please consult your doctor to help decide which nutrients you are deficient in before introducing new supplements to your diet. (Harvard Health Publishing) 

Food Sensitivity Testing

Often when people experience chronic inflammation, bloating, fatigue, etc. It can be a result of eating foods that we have an allergy or intolerance to. 

Getting a food sensitivity test can help make us aware of which foods we need to avoid! These foods can also change over time, so it is recommended that these tests be taken every few years. 


What is protein?

Protein is found throughout the body—in muscle, bone, skin, hair, and virtually every other body part or tissue. It makes up the enzymes that power many chemical reactions and the hemoglobin that carries oxygen in your blood. At least 10,000 different proteins make you what you are and keep you that way.

Protein is made from twenty-plus basic building blocks called amino acids. Because we don’t store amino acids, our bodies make them in two different ways: either from scratch, or by modifying others. Nine amino acids—histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine—known as the essential amino acids, must come from food. (Harvard School of Public Health)

How much protein do I need?

This all depends on the person and their goals, hence the importance of a macro calculator! Once you begin tracking macros, the most common observation is you have not been eating enough protein. Increasing your protein intake can  make huge changes over time with muscle development and fat loss. 


’Macro’ is short for ‘macronutrient.’ The three macronutrients are: protein, carbohydrates, and fat. By using our macro calculator to figure out how many of each you need to reach your goals and tracking your daily intake, you can have better control over your progress and reach your goals more quickly.

That all being said, macro tracking is not essential to seeing progress. If you have struggled to maintain a healthy relationship with food in the past or currently, I do not recommend tracking your macros. 

Water Intake

Drinking water does more than just quench your thirst — it’s essential to keeping your body functioning properly and feeling healthy. Nearly all of your body’s major systems depend on water to function and survive. You’d be surprised about what staying hydrated can do for your body. 

A few ways water works in your body: 

• Regulates body temperature

• Moistens tissues in the eyes, nose and mouth

• Protects body organs and tissues

• Carries nutrients and oxygen to cells

• Lubricates joints

• Lessens burden on the kidneys and liver by flushing out waste products

• Helps dissolve minerals and nutrients to make them accessible to your body

Every day, you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements, which is why it’s important to continue to take in water throughout the day. For your body to function at its best, you must replenish it with beverages and food that contain water. (Mayo Clinic).

Nutrition Introduction

Our nutrition is often neglected, yet the most important part of our physical health. When it comes to our progress and seeing physical changes in our body, what and how we’re eating are actually more important than our workouts! If you aren’t refueling your body with the nutrients it needs to rebuild the muscle you’re working so hard for, your workouts are essentially pointless.