Jeremy Likness

Article Summary:

A list of healthy food choices in each category to help you eat better.

Healthy Food Choices

While this is by no means an all-inclusive list, it's a great start for making healthy food choices;

Lean Proteins
Lean proteins are the main source of amino acids in the diet.

  • All fish and shellfish (cold water fish are generally preferred to double as a source of healthy fats)
  • Buffalo
  • Chicken breast
  • Cottage cheese (use full fat unless watching calories, as there are healthy fats such as conjugated linoleic acid in dairy fat)
  • Eggs (whole eggs from free range or grain-fed chickens contain healthier fats in the yolk)
  • Lamb (leaner cuts or in moderation)
  • Lean beef (10% fat or less - steam and drain excess fat for best results)
  • Ostrich - tip: this meat should be seared on the outside and remain rare or medium rare on the inside or it may be too tough
  • Protein powders
  • Turkey breast
  • Venison

Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are not the evil they have been made out to be. There are certainly "good carbs" and "bad carbs." The classification relates more to a combination of factors than any single criteria.These carbohydrates are on our "good" list:
  • All natural (no sugar-added) applesauce
  • Apples
  • Artichokes
  • Avocados - these double as healthy fats
  • Baked potato (red is better than white)
  • Bananas
  • Beets
  • Black beans - doubles as an excellent source of protein and fiber
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Brown rice - wild rice is best!
  • Buckwheat
  • Carrots
  • Cherries
  • Chickpeas - another excellent source of protein and fiber as well
  • Corn
  • Farina
  • French beans
  • Grapefruit
  • Grapes
  • Green peas
  • Groats
  • Kidney beans
  • Kiwi
  • Leeks
  • Lemons
  • Lentils - one of nature's "perfect" foods, known as "pulse" in the bible
  • Lima beans
  • Limes
  • Mangos
  • Navy beans
  • Oats - old-fashioned, slow-cook variety
  • Okra
  • Oranges
  • Parsnip
  • Peaches
  • Pearled barley
  • Pears
  • Pinto beans - watch the canned variety, as those are high in sodium
  • Plain whole yogurt - excellent source of protein, carbs, and healthy fats - add frozen fruit and let sit overnight to create your own "fruit" style
  • Plums
  • Pumpkin - the seeds rate as a healthy fat
  • Quinoa
  • Raspberries
  • Rye
  • Soy yogurt
  • Squash
  • Strawberries
  • Sweet potato
  • Tangerines
  • Turnips
  • Wheat
  • Whole bread

Healthy Fats
Fats have received a bad reputation lately, when they are an important part of the diet. I typically consume at least one portion of fats for every 45 pounds of weight - a portion being around a tablespoon of liquid, or 1/8 - 1/4 cups or 1 - 2 ounces of seeds or cheese. The fats I consider healthy include:
  • Almond butter
  • Almond oil
  • Almonds
  • Butter - yes, just plain whole fat butter. When used in moderation, I believe this is perfectly fine
  • Canola oil
  • Cheese
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Olive oil
  • All natural peanut butter
  • Peanut oil
  • Peanuts
  • Pecans
  • Pistachio nuts
  • Pumpkin and squash seeds
  • Safflower kernels
  • Sunflower butter
  • Sunflower seed
  • Walnuts

Vegetables
I consider vegetables to be one of the most underrated components of a healthy diet. Not only do these supply incredible amounts of nutrients, they are rich with water and can help with hydration and contain various chemicals that have been shown to fight cancer and other illnesses. Most importantly, they provide fiber and are tough for the body to process, so they may actually raise the metabolism and aid the body with burning fat. I place no restrictions on these vegetables in my nutrition plans, and consume as much of these as possible along with two to four servings of fruit each day.
  • Amaranth leaves
  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Bean sprouts
  • Beet greens
  • Bell peppers
  • Borage
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cardoon
  • Carrots (raw)
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Chicory
  • Chives
  • Collard greens
  • Cowpeas
  • Cucumber
  • Dandelion greens
  • Eggplant
  • Fennel
  • Garlic
  • Ginger root
  • Gourd
  • Green beans
  • Jalapeño peppers
  • Kale
  • Lamb's quarters
  • Lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • Mustard greens
  • Onions
  • Parsley
  • Peppers
  • Radishes
  • Radicchio
  • Scallop squash
  • Snap beans
  • Snow peas
  • Spinach
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Summer squash
  • Zucchini
  • Taro leaves
  • Tomatoes
  • Turnip greens
  • Watercress

In general, focus on whole, unprocessed foods as much as possible. If you are concerned with convenience, create time on the weekend to prepare your meals and then store them in containers and bags to reheat when you are ready to consume them.

Jeremy Likness is a Certified Fitness Trainer and Specialist in Performance Nutrition. He is an International Health Coach and his e-Book, "Lose Fat, Not Faith" has sold hundreds of copies around the world, along with the 5-CD audio program. Jeremy lost 65 pounds of fat himself and his vision is to conquer obesity one success story at a time. For more information, visit Natural Physiques.com

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