Last week I had a nice little rant on the dogmatic fallacy of dietary trends. If you haven’t read it, then please check it out here.
This week I want to stay on the topic of nutrition. Even though the theme of last week’s article was figuring out what works for you, there are a few foods that are common in today’s world that should I feel everyone should avoid. Regardless if you are keto, vegan, pescatarian, or anything else, you should be aware of the food items that are keeping you unhealthy, unhappy, and unproductive. An intelligent man that I follow, Paul Chek, refers to these as the four white devils, which is perfect for the metaphor of religion in nutrition. Let’s face it; there are a lot of things different religions deem as immoral across the board regardless of faith. The same is true for most nutrition experts. So below, I will give a little bit of an overview of my opinion of these demonic foods, why I try to avoid them, and also when I decide to consume them on my beloved “Cheat Days.”
1. Commercial Cow Dairy
I had to start with the food that is the hardest to avoid in my life. Unless you are lactose intolerant, dairy is beloved by all. Even though I love to indulge in dairy from time to time, I am here today to bring you the unfortunate news that commercial cow dairy is no bueno.
If you have been following my articles since the start, then you have seen my article condemning dairy as a staple of the ketogenic diet. Dairy from cows is inflammatory, acidic, and loaded with a bunch of crap that you don’t want to be ingesting. This notion probably doesn’t fit with what you were taught growing up. Unfortunately, capitalistic propaganda is the culprit behind the idea that dairy is a health food. Upon researching the topic, zero independent clinical data shows that dairy has positive effects on one’s health. Even trials funded by dairy companies only show that it is at best, neither positive or negative.
Honestly, I will never entirely give up dairy, though. Let’s be real, dairy is freaking awesome, and ice cream is by far and away, my favorite dessert. I do try to do everything in my power to avoid dairy in large amounts. At home, I use dairy-free condiments, goat cheese instead of cow, and when I do use ghee or butter, it is grass-fed from farms I trust. This tactic for decreasing dairy consumption has helped with my physique, my gut health, and my skin. If you want to get the most out of life, then I strongly suggest you do your best to avoid milk, cheese, and other products from cow’s dairy.
2. White Table salt!
I am going to be real here. If you are eating out, then there is no way to avoid this. Restaurants love to load food up with white table salt because it is cheap and makes people eat more food. So since I am on the road most weekdays for work, it is going to be in my diet no matter what.
Even though it is in my diet, it doesn’t mean it is any good for you. Table salt has no nutritional value, and it doesn’t contain the right nutrients to balance out the sodium intake. My suggestion is to take it entirely out of your home and never look back. When I am cooking at home, I only use unprocessed pink Himalayan salt, which is full of fantastic micronutrients that are needed in life to stay happy and healthy.
3. White Flour (Gluten)
So I realize that there are a lot of alternatives to white flour. Honestly, this is where I deter from some nutrition “experts.” There are a lot of articles and information out there that points to the fact that whole grains can potentially be health food. For me, I put anything that contains gluten in the same category and do my absolute best to avoid it, even when I have a cheat meal. (love me some cauliflower crust pizza!)
The reason for this is because I haven’t found much credible research that supports grains as a healthy option, and also it goes against my core idea that we should eat as our ancestors did. Even though grains and bread have been around for about 12,000 years, that is almost nothing in evolutionary terms. For this reason, our bodies are not built to process high amounts of grain made accessible by agriculture and especially gluten. The inflammation alone from gluten is cause for concern, but when you put the insulin rollercoaster caused by grains, then you have a perfect storm for food that you need to avoid at all costs.
Ahhh, finally, the biggest culprit of most health problems in the modern world, the high and mighty sugar. I have to give sugar some credit; it is the most successful drug in the history of all drugs. The sweet granules are responsible for more death than all other drugs combined, but yet it is so addicting that we give it to kids by the spoonful. It isn’t illegal, and it is FDA approved, but it is the fast track to obesity, heart problems, depression, and dementia. If there is any glaring issue with capitalism, it is the fact that most people are still unaware of the drastic health costs of sugar.
Now I am not going to go into the deep science of why it is bad for you. There is plenty of information out there on the internet condemning sugar, and I am pretty sure you are aware of the negative health impacts if you are reading this article. The big issue here is that sugar is in almost everything on the shelves at the grocery store. There is a concerning amount of so-called “health foods” that are overflowing with sugar. Granola bars, protein shakes, and smoothies almost always have added sugar in them, and more than is suitable for consumption.
So my recommendation is to do your best to avoid added sugar in everyday life. You should view it as a drug and only consume it on special occasions.
I know I just threw a lot at you, but we can still go way more in-depth on the negative impact of all four items. I can’t say this enough, but please do your best to avoid the four things from above. You may have certain beliefs on nutrition, but I promise minimizing your consumption of dairy, table salt, flour, and sugar will have a tremendous impact on your health.
Wait one more thing
Before you go, though, I want to make sure that I talk about something. When it comes to cheat-days or not adhering to healthy nutrition, there is no positive gain from feeling guilt or shame. I struggle with this, and I want to make sure others don’t. Stressing about eating bad is not going to help in the long run. It doesn’t matter if it is a cheat meal or a cheat month; the key to getting back on track is forgiveness. Life is short, and it is entirely OK to indulge from time to time. If anything, a little break from eating clean can be a positive shock to the system if done right. So when you do eat bad, be present and enjoy it to the fullest. You will enjoy the meal more, and it will be easier to get back on the clean train.
For any questions on this article or if you need help changing your approach to wellness, please reach out to me through this website or DM me on Instagram @wellnessrob. Also, I am going to start a newsletter in Decmeber. Please fill in the form on the homepage to receive it every month.
With big love,