Here are some of the good, the bad and the ugly items on the food front. I’ve kept this to an overview level at this stage – more details to follow.
It doesn’t cover everything, and some of the items really deserve a kind of intermediate category, but this list should point you in the right direction in the supermarket (which is towards the first list) and in the fried fast food joint (which is towards the exit).
- Meats (trim excess fat and skin),
- Fish including fatty fish (these are good fats),
- Protein shakes
- Slow-absorbing carbs with fibre such as green stuff, leafy veg, tomatoes, salad
- Items both low in carbs and fat, such as Zero Greek yoghurt
- Coffee / tea
- Fresh fruit (an acceptable fast carb)
- Oats (non-sweetened)
- Low fat dairy including fully skimmed milk
- Great beer and wine (to be social)
- Wholemeal rice
- Potatoes – but only baked, including the skin
- Good bread (wholemeal)
- Nuts and seeds
- Diet drinks
- Starchy / root veg (carrots, swedes, yams, sweet potatoes)
- Oils for cooking – look for Olive Oil or Good Oil or any mentioning Omega-3
Eat rarely (fast carbs or nasty fat):
- Sausages and other fatty meats
- Dried or canned fruit
- Breakfast cereals with any form of sugar
- White stuff (rice, bread, pasta, potatoes, crisps, crackers, croutons in salad)
- Fatty sauces
- Cakes, pastries, biscuits, sweets, chocs, desserts
- Full fat milk and other dairy
- Butter and similar, honey and jam
- Fruit juice, coke and other soft/fizzy drinks (non diet)
- Low quality beer and wine
- Anything else with salt or any form of sugar
- Anything with a large proportion of saturated fats, or any trans fats
Generally, grilled is best, and look for natural, whole, unprocessed items.
And fried is worst, and try to avoid heavily processed or refined items.
The fewer ingredients something has, usually the better it is for you.