Healthy Diet Tips

The healthy diet tips I provide are not merely for weight loss purposes, I believe that weight loss should be the result of a healthy lifestyle. There are many diet fads out there that will certainly lead to weight loss, at least in the short term, but many, if not most of them, are not sustainable as a healthy lifestyle and most of them exploit certain physiological functions to elicit weight loss at the expense of health.

Many healthy diet tips are not designed for optimal health, they are designed to exploit health for weight loss, or to sell you supplements or super foods.

You do not need super foods or supplements for weight loss or health, these healthy diet tips are not truly tips but merely advertising schemes disguised as healthy diet tips.

I provide healthy diet tips based on current scientific research on health and nutrition to provide you with real healthy diet tips you can actually use!

First, you may have to retrain your taste buds.

If you are used to consuming high fat, oil laden food you will need to slowly decrease the amount of fat and oil used in recipes to retrain your taste buds to enjoy the natural taste of fats in whole foods.

It can take up to 3 weeks to adjust, but the benefits of reducing fat consumption are worth a few weeks to get used to a new healthy way of eating.

If you are a sugar addict: Begin by reducing the sugar content of dessert recipes in half, then as you get used to lower sugar try consuming the banana ice cream recipes. If you are unable to get to where you have dessert only once per week or less you can have 4 chocolate almonds per day to help with sugar cravings. It is important to get used to the natural sweetness of fruits and reduce sugar consumption.

It takes about 3 weeks to retrain your taste buds to enjoy simpler foods.

Healthy Diet Tips #1

Slowly reduce the amount of refined oils you use in cooking


Just as we recognize that refined white flour is not healthy, we must also recognize that refined fats are not healthy either.

Why oil is not healthy

Fats oxidize rapidly when stripped from their natural plant source.

Studies have found that those with a high intake of fats in the form of oil in the diet, both omega-3 and omega-6 fats have been associated with increased risk of cataracts.

Lu M, Taylor A, Chylack LT Jr, Rogers G, Hankinson SE, Willett WC, Jacques PF. Dietary fat intake and early age-related lens opacities. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Apr;81(4):773-9.

Why would you see an increase in cataracts? Because fats oxidize rapidly and this causes oxidative damage in the body leading to damage to delicate tissues.

Studies have also shown that consumption of a diet high in fish oils and safflower oils led to a 1000 and 500 fold increase in metastases of cancer than occurred in the livers of rats that were fed a low-fat diet.

18) Griffini P. Dietary omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids promote colon carcinoma metastasis in rat liver. Cancer Res. 1998 Aug 1;58(15):3312-9

Oils do not occur in nature, they are extracted from whole foods, fats are unstable when stripped from their natural food source that contains antioxidants, fiber and other stabilizing components that prevent oxidation. This oxidation is different than oil becoming rancid, oxidation begins within a short period of time after the oil has been extracted.

Yes, this includes olive oil.

What about the Mediterranean diet?

Perhaps the Mediterranean diet is healthy in spite of the olive oil, not because of it. The Mediterranean diet contains a lot of fruits, vegetables and beans which are health promoting foods and yet we decide that it isn't the fruits, vegetables and beans that make it healthy, it is the olive oil.

It is true that when animal fats are replaced by olive oil, heart disease risk does lower, however, this doesn't prove that olive oil is healthy, it proves that it is somewhat better than animal-based fats.

This diet is also low in saturated fat and cholesterol, which again lowers heart disease risk in spite of olive oil consumption.

The diet is healthy because of the whole food it contains, not the oil.

Olive oil comes from the olive
Lets see what is lost when we refine oil from the whole food:

1/2 c. of olives
Protein ...................... 1g
Fat .......................... 7g
Vit. A........................12%
Vit. C.........................1%
Vit. E.........................7%
Vit. K.........................1%

Fiber.........................2.2g or 9% daily value

Olive Oil
2 Tb. of olive oil

Vit. E.........................26%
Vit. K.........................18%

By refining the olive into olive oil, we lost protein, fiber, and most vitamins and minerals!

Fat content in 1/2 c. of olives jumped from 7g to 27g!

Olive oil contains 100% fat!

This is highly unnatural. Foods contain carbohydrates, fats, protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other chemical constituents that are all in perfect balance for health and nutritional needs. Isolated compounds of any kind can have damaging effects on the body.

We do need fat but not in a concentrated form, we need to eat the olive, not the olive oil, the sunflower seed not the sunflower oil etc...

How do you replace oil in cooking?

• Sunsweet lighter bake- use this in baked goods
• Baby food prunes or pears in baked goods
• Applesauce replaces oil in baked goods
• Use liquid sweetener for 1/2 of the sugar like maple
syrup in baked goods or cookies to obtain the necessary liquid for the recipe without the fat.
• Salad Dressings use white beans and peeled zucchini in place of oil and add 1 Tb. of cashews for a little fat or 1 tsp. flaxmeal
• Vegetable broth over high heat for sauteeing

Healthy Diet Tips #2 Consume at least 1 c. of legumes per day


Legumes are high in fiber, protein and complex carbohydrates that are VERY satiating. They are very low in fat and contain no cholesterol

Legumes have Potent antioxidant activity that can prevent the oxidation of fats and subsequent damage to the body.

Pharmaceutical Biology 2001, Vol. 39, No. 4, Pages 300-304 Evaluation of the Antioxidant Activity of Legumes Chun-Ching Lin, Sue-Jing Wu, Juei-Shen Wang, Jenq-Jer Yang and Cheng-Hsiung Chang

The fiber in legumes causes you to feel full before you have consumed more calories than your body needs, encouraging healthy weight loss while allowing you to feel satisfied instead of constantly hungry.

Design your healthy diet menu around legumes and you will notice consistent, sustained weight loss.

Legumes reduce sugar cravings

Utilize this to your advantage if you are a sugar addict and are striving to stop binging on processed foods and sugars. Legumes are excellent at reducing cravings.

Healthy Diet Tips #3

Consume Green Leafy Vegetables Every Day


Green leafy vegetables are potent nutrient powerhouses and should be a part of your daily diet. Green leafy vegetables are an absolute MUST in any healthy diet menu plan!

• Per calorie green leafy vegetables provide more nutrition than any other food!
• Greens are HIGH in Omega 3 fatty acids
• Antioxidant powerhouses high in vitamin K and Vitamin A
• High in protein
• High in calcium
• Vitamin K helps protect against osteoporosis

"Three vitamin-K dependent proteins have been isolated in the bone, they include: osteocalcin, matrix GLA protein and protein S. The synthesis of osteocalcin by osteoblasts [bone forming cells] is also regulated by a form of vitamin D, 1,25{OH}2D3 or calcitriol. The mineral binding capacity of osteocalcin requires vitamin K dependent gamma-carboxylation of three glutamic acid residues." accessed 7/7/10

Greens are low in calories, you cannot eat too much!

This is an important weight loss secret.

If you only ate greens you could not eat enough to even fill your daily calorie requirements, use this to your advantage and have a large green salad before meals, or consume sauteed greens with your meals.

Nutrition Profile of Leafy Greens

1 c. sauteed Spinach [no oil]

Vit. A.............809%
Vit. C..............24%
Vit. E..............25%
Vit. K.............987%

Omega 3's ..........15%

Sauteed spinach has the same amount of calcium per cup as milk!

No other food provides this much nutrition in merely 1 cup!

Only 41 calories, your stomach will feel full but you cannot consume excess calories from green leafy vegetables. They are a weight loss MUST!

Healthy Diet Tips #4

Remove Processed Grains from your Diet


Grains should remain a part of any healthy diet menu plan, however, you need to avoid any processed grain.

Limit Whole Grain flour products

Grinding a whole grain into flour mimics the processing that your teeth do at the beginning of the digestive process, this grinding and masticating increases the surface area of the grain so that the digestive juices can more easily break it down and release the glucose into your blood stream.

The teeth are not as efficient at grinding whole grains as a mill and therefore, grains that are eaten intact have more bulk, fill the stomach and are more satiating and do not raise the blood sugar levels as rapidly as products made from flour.

**This does not mean that you should completely avoid whole wheat bread, it simply means you should limit intake of whole wheat bread and favor less refined foods.

Examples of excellent whole grain products:

Ezekiel sprouted grain english muffins
Ezekiel 4:9 cereal
Ezekiel sprouted grain breads
Arrowhead unsweetened puffed millet, brown rice or wheat cereals

Whole Wheat pasta because it is so compressed has less effect on blood sugar levels and is perfectly acceptable in a healthy diet.

Substitutes for Cereal in the morning:

All Bran
Ezekiel 4:9 cereal
Arrowhead unsweetened puffed millet, brown rice or wheat cereals
Pearled barley with fruit
Cracked wheat with fruit
Brown rice with fruit
Oatmeal or steel cut oats

Healthy Diet tips #5

Snack Tips for a healthy diet menu plan

Snacks are generally where the diet goes drastically off track.

It is very easy to pick up some low fat cracker or diet processed snacks, granola bars or other junk foods as snacks.

These foods have little nutritional value, and contain a high amount of refined grain, oil and other unhealthy ingredients.

Nuts and Trail mix- I have seen so many dieters turn to nuts and trail mix because of research showing lower heart disease from nut consumption and so they mistakenly believe they can snack on an unlimited amount of nuts, only to find their weight will not come down.


Nut Nutrition Example: Limit Nuts to 12 nuts per day

Almonds 1oz or about 23 nuts

Calories.........163 **More than a whole bowl of cereal!
Fat...............16g 50% daily value

Salted nuts should never be consumed, if you consume nuts they should be raw unsalted nuts.

Nuts are HIGH in calories, fat and will derail your weight loss rapidly if you consume too many!

Trail Mix Nutrition Example: Avoid Trail Mixes!

1 Tb. of trail mix


How often do people eat only 1 Tb. of trail mix? Never.

Trail mix is low in nutrients, high in salt, fat and calories.

Avoid Granola and Granola Bars

Example of a popular health brand of granola

In 1 cup of granola


30% of your daily value of fat in 1 cup, this is not health food.

Granola's contain a high amount of oil and nuts which increase calories and fat to excessive levels.

Healthy Snacks:

Carrots and hummus
Cucumber and hummus
Homemade baked pita with hummus
1 apple with no more than 1 tsp. peanut or almond butter orange
1/2 c. grapes
celery and hummus or oil free bean dip
1/2 grapefruit
12 almonds
1/2 ezekiel english muffin topped with 1 tsp nut butter or jam green smoothie

Healthy Diet Tips #6

Limit Foods that contain saturated fat and cholesterol


Study finds that saturated fatty acids play a role in obesity and type 2 diabetes. The study found that saturated fatty acids decreased insulin induced glycogen synthesis, glucose oxidation, impaired mitochondrial function and lactate production. The results indicate that consumption of saturated fatty acids may be a contributor to type 2 diabetes.

J Cell Physiol. 2010 Jan;222(1):187-94. Saturated fatty acid-induced insulin resistance is associated with mitochondrial dysfunction in skeletal muscle cells. Hirabara SM, Curi R, Maechler P.

Arachidonic acid and Palmitic acid are pro-inflammatory fatty acids found in all animal based foods.

For optimal health consumption of meat and dairy products should remain under 12% of your calorie intake.

Osteoporosis and High Protein Consumption

Osteoporosis is found to be prevelant in affluent Western Countries and is fairy uncommon in poor countries where protein consumption is far lower.

In this evaluation of per capita protein consumption, the countries with the highest intake of protein also suffered the highest rates of osteoporosis. This can be explained by the high amount of acidic metabolic waste produced by protein metabolism and the body's self preservation mechanism of using calcium as a buffer to prevent acidosis, leading to calcium loss in the urine and eventual osteoporosis.

Hegested DM. “Calcium and osteoporosis.” J. Nutr. 116 (1986): 2316-2319.

Frassetto LA, Todd KM, Morris C, Jr., et al. “World incidence of hip fracture in elderly women relation to consumption of animal and vegetable foods.” J. Gerentology 55 (2000): M585-M592.

Healthy Diet tips #7

Remove temptation from your life!

If you think you can white knuckle your way through dietary change you will fail every single time.

Healthy eating has absolutely NOTHING to do with will power and everything to do with proper planning!

If you do not plan ahead and set yourself up to succeed you will inevitably fail.

Healthy Diet Tips Step 1:

Go through your kitchen and get rid of everything that you know you should not be eating!

If it is in the house, you will eventually give in and eat it. You will tell yourself that you will just eat it this one last time and then it will be gone. You will dive into it and then feel guilty and horrible afterward. The key is to get rid of it, don't put it in your body. It is garbage and belongs in the garbage, not in your body.

Healthy Diet Tips Step 2:

Think of foods that you enjoy that are also healthy for you, create a menu plan around healthy foods that you already enjoy and make your shopping list around those foods.

Look at your recipes and see what you can change:

Buy some vegetable broth to replace oil in sauteeing and soups Replace hamburger in your favorite soup with black or pinto beans and some seasoning

Reduce sugar, cheese and other unhealthy foods in your recipes. Buy some hummus for sandwiches and dips

Buy white beans and zucchini and replace oil in dressing recipes for salads

You can still use your favorite recipes, just convert them into healthier versions.

Healthy Diet Tips Step 3:

Dining out

You've got your house in order, now the biggest obstacle is dinner out, date nights, lunch with friends and other social functions.

• Be prepared for family and friends to pressure you, question you and be negative toward your new lifestyle. It is just human nature to be uncomfortable doing something you know you shouldn't while someone else makes a better choice. Stick with your choice and don't give in.

• Chinese restaraunt tips:
Brown rice, vegetable stir fry dishes, steamed vegetables with some soy sauce, avoid anything that is fried or contains a lot of meat.

• Italian Restaurant tips: Pasta with marinara and veggies, pizza with veggies and light on the cheese or no cheese, salad bar, any pasta dish without a cream sauce or red meat.
• Mexican Restaraunt: black bean and rice burritos, taco salad minus the red meat and light on the dressing any dish with rice and beans is a good choice.

• Steakhouse restaruants: They all have vegetable sides, salads and baked potatoes. Ruby tuesdays has an excellent veggie burger, some serve pasta dishes, I have also asked for vegetable fajitas if they offer fajitas. Stay away from red meat, fries and anything with a lot of cheese or cream sauces.

• Dinner at friends: Offer to bring a big salad or vegetable or pasta dish and then eat that as the largest part of your meal. Eat a salad before you go so you are not really hungry when you get there so you can eat small portions. Make the best choices available to you when you are there.

Many people worry about offending friends when dining out or being invited to dinner. My philosophy is that it is your body and your choice what you eat and you should never feel forced to eat something. If they are a true friend they will respect you and your personal choices.

Food is a very personal thing and if they are going to get in the habit of inviting others to a meal they should be prepared to accommodate a variety of dietary choices. If you take offense to others dietary choices and find it rude that they don't eat whatever to dane to prepare, don't have dinner parties.

Healthy Diet Tips Step 4: Set Backs

We all have times when we fail miserably and overeat, or binge on dessert or eat something that we know we shouldn't. It's okay.

Get right back on track immediately!

Don't wallow in self pity, give up, or continue consoling yourself with unhealthy food because you messed up.

Pick up and keep going. The only way you will fail is if you give up.

I will continue to add to this list of healthy diet tips to provide you with the most up to date nutrition information. Realizing optimal health is a journey, not a destination. There may be set backs or adjustments along the way but ultimately you should always be headed in the direction toward optimal health.

I do not provide healthy diet tips that have not been thoroughly researched, many scientific studies and research are paid for by companies that have a financial interest in the outcome of the study, leading many well respected 'experts' mislead in their recommendations.

It is critically important to me to find true research that is valuable when creating healthy diet tips and nutrition recommendations. Please feel free to contact me with questions and I will add them to the FAQ page.