Let me know if this sounds familiar…
You make a New Year’s resolution or come home from a trip to the doctor and decide it’s time – you’ve got to lose some weight – right away.
So you make “healthy” changes to your diet.
You start buying “light” or “reduced fat” or even “fat free” foods. Maybe you decide to start drinking diet soda instead of regular. Or – you make the biggest sacrifice of all – you swap that morning donut out for an energy bar.
But, did you know that you may be taking out the things you think are bad? And then unintentionally replace them with things that are worse.
If you’re like most Americans, you’re either trying to lose weight or at least maintain our current weight.
However, there are many supposed “healthy” changes that can hinder these goals.
What “healthy” foods are actually making – or keeping you fat?
We have taken this excerpt from Dr. Gundry’s 2008 book, Diet Evolution, to highlight some foods that you may think are healthy, but actually on the doctor’s Dirty Dozen list. These are foods guaranteed to halt your weight loss and tell your computer program that it’s time to store fat for winter. You should also check out the Dr. Gundry food pyramid for a great overview of what you should be eating.
Avoid these at all costs:
Why are the fattening foods above so bad for you? Well, let’s break it down a little further …
Regular Milk and Casein A1 Dairy
You’ve likely read about this here before, but just in case you missed it the last time …
Centuries ago, Northern European cows experienced a significant genetic mutation. When this mutation occurred, they were left with a was a lectin-like protein in their milk called casein A1.
The thing is, casein A1 transforms into a protein called beta-casomorphin once it’s in your body. The problem here is that beta-casomorphin can prompt immune attacks on your pancreas if you drink too much regular milk or eat too many of the cheeses made from it.1
There are a batch of unmutated cows, however. You can usually find them in the southern parts of Europe. They happen to make a protein called casein A2 – and that one is better for your health. If you think you’re lactose intolerant, most often, you’re simply affected by casein A1 – the mutated protein. So, eliminate that from your diet and you’ll be off to a better start. Speaking of protein, read more about vegetables high in protein.
Grains and Carbohydrate Dense Foods (AKA Cereals, Breads, and Crackers)
It’s really never been as much about “good carbs” and “bad carbs” as you’ve been led to believe. Carbohydrate dense foods can shift the balance of your gut microbes, triggering inflammatory discomfort. Furthermore, grains are lectin bombs.
Let’s be clear: Bagels, breads (especially certain whole-grain breads), crackers, pasta, cereals, rice, pretzels, chips, and the like – even if they say “baked” or “low-fat” – are simply no good for your health. Really, you want to try your best to avoid these foods – especially if you’re serious about trying to lose or maintain a healthy weight.
Okay, so there are a couple kinds of dietary fat that happen to be linked to inflammation and can also help contribute to excess fat in and around your stomach. You’ve likely heard about these bad boys before – trans fats and saturated fats.
- Trans fats– Also called trans fatty acids, these unhealthy substances are made by the chemical hydrogenation of various oils. Hydrogenation takes liquid oils and makes them solid for the ridiculous purposes of either increasing a product’s shelf life or making the flavor of the oils in a product last longer than they would naturally.
Trans fats are often found in packaged foods. Yes – even in “healthy” packaged foods.
- Saturated fats– contain high portions of fatty acid molecules without double bonds and are often thought to be less healthy than unsaturated fats.
Saturated fats hide in processed cuts of meat, lots of dairy, and some candy.
Fruit, Fruit Juices, and Vegetable Juices
Contrary to popular belief, fruit is not a healthy choice when you want to lose weight. Basically, it’s nature’s candy, so you definitely want to limit your intake. Now, when it’s in season, fruit is okay to add to your diet, but do so sparingly.
Certain fruits like pineapples, mangoes, and watermelons are just too high in sugar for weight loss. Instead, stick with dark-colored fruits, like pomegranates – they’re higher in beneficial polyphenols.
And if you feel you’ve just got to have fruits or lectin-bomb veggies (tomatoes, cucumbers, etc) – peel and deseed them. It’ll help you lower the amount of lectins you eat. Often, the most harmful part of a plant is the hull, peel, or rind. They’re filled with lectins! To reiterate, the peels and the seeds are often where lectins are hiding, so you can cut down on your lectin intake in a major way by just getting rid of that part of the fruit or vegetable.
Sugar, Natural, and Artificial Sweeteners
Sugar alcohols and sweeteners simply don’t pass through our cell walls with ease, so the bacteria in your gut have no choice but to digest them. Not only can this cause gas, discomfort, and bloating – but the sugars are often converted to fat, because your body thinks they’re meant to be stored for winter. When it comes to sugar and artificial sweetener – there’s one rule: cut them out!
Now, good news for my sugar addicts: there are some acceptable sweeteners out there, like –
- Monk fruit
- Luo han guo
… but your best bet is to go without. You don’t want to trick your body into craving more sweets.
Why Fattening Foods are Gut Bullies
The processed foods in the list above are bullies to your belly. They’re filled with toxins and preservatives… and they’re chock full of lectins, too.
If you want to soothe and shrink your gut, the first step is: ditching all of those “bully foods”.
In the end, avoid the 12 foods on the “gut bully” list altogether if you can. They could stall or entirely stop your weight loss progress. They might even send signals to your body to store fat, and in that event, you could end up packing on pounds – the exact opposite of what you wanted to do to in the first place.
Article updated on August 17th, 2017.
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