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More Foods Doctors Won’t Eat and Why

More Foods Doctors Won’t Eat and Why

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There are a few select professionals you consult when making decisions in life. No matter whom the expert it is that you are consulting, a part of you always wants to know what it is that they would do if they were in your shoes. After all, these authorities are human too.

Click here for the More Foods Doctors Won't Eat and Why slideshow.

This is especially true of the medical professionals in your life. From your specialists to your primary care physician, these trusted health resources guide you in important decision making regarding your wellbeing. It is only natural to assume most doctors in their respective fields with their advanced years of study will do right by their own body, practicing what they preach. So what exactly is it that they are preaching and practicing?

To find out we asked various doctors (once again) across the country from our own primary physicians to high profile doctors like Dr. Oz, to share with us what foods they avoid in their personal lives and what they think Americans can do to get healthy.

The problem, they say begins with a lack of awareness. “We only have to look at statistics on obesity to understand the lack of awareness Americans have regarding a healthy diet,” says Dr. Joe Alton, a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American College of OB/GYN and co-author of The Survival Medicine Handbook.

Alton cites data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2009–2010

● More than 2 in 3 adults are considered to be overweight or obese.

● More than 1 in 3 adults are considered to be obese.

● More than 1 in 20 adults are considered to have extreme obesity.

● About one-third of children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 are considered to be overweight or obese.

● More than 1 in 6 children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 are considered to be obese.

“The statistics above also explain the recent upsurge in Type 2 Diabetes,” Alton further explains. “Clearly, U.S. citizens needs more education about what a healthy diet is and its importance in avoiding medical issues.”

While other doctors concede that it isn’t all doom and gloom, the best practices of healthy living haven’t truly been put into effect either.

“The reliance on restaurants, take-out, and pre-made foods is a problem in America,” says Dr. Frank Lipman, Integrative & Functional Medicine Physician, founder of Eleven Eleven Wellness Center, and author of The New Health Rules. “If more people cooked for themselves, even simple meals like an omelette, it would make a huge difference in how they felt! When you can control the ingredients in your food, especially the oils used and the sugar added, you are much more likely to eat more nutritious and less damaging food. First, I suggest buying mostly foods that don't even come with labels... Then, if buying a packaged food, always look for how many grams of sugar it has! Anything over five grams should be considered dessert and not a health food. Also, always read the actual ingredient list! Watch out for vegetable oils of any kind, hydrogenated oils, corn syrup, and MSG – and basically any word that you can't pronounce. Additionally, choose products with the Non-GMO stamp and organic labels to make sure you're avoiding GMOs and any extra toxins.”

Even those who are cooking at home are still making major errors, though. “I think there are several mistakes people make with their diets,” concedes Dr. David Dragoo, Aurora , Colorado anesthesiologist and medical expert for MoneyCrashers. “But one of them is focusing too much on calorie counts. It is important, but people should also be making sure they consume more fresh, unprocessed, and whole foods.”

While it may not be entirely unanimous, there are foods that doctors have repeatedly warned against, and a few new ones that may surprise you. Find out what foods doctors added to this year’s list and decide for yourself if you shouldn’t be eating these foods either.


It is probably no secret to you that this practically universally loved food is on this list, but are you entirely sure why?

"I would not eat bacon, because it is full of fat and cholesterol, and the nutritional value is very minimal," says Dr. Omid Javadi, cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon at Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose, California. "I think bacon is probably one of the worst foods on the planet. People love the taste and it is very palatable because of that fact, but when you look at its content, it is pure fat and cholesterol -- and fat is just hanging from it.”.

Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, cardiologist with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City goes on to say that bacon “is a processed food, with no exact benefits, but carries with it all that is bad for a diet — chemicals, salt, and fat.”

Breads or Pasta

“I wont eat bread or pasta," declares Dr. Patrick Roth, author of The End of Back Pain, chairman of neurosurgery at Hackensack University Medical Center, and founding member of the North Jersey Brain & Spine Center. "This choice is based on the belief that each of us has a distinct susceptibility to foods with a high glycemic index. I subscribe to focusing on keeping my insulin level low with low glycemic index foods rather than on counting calories. Bread and pasta present three problems: They are high glycemic index, they are not whole foods (man made), and they are tremendously delicious and addictive.”

This article way originally published on February, 11, 2015.

The Top 19 Things Food-Safety Experts Won't Eat

Find out what foods top nutrition-safety experts around the country just won't touch. You may be surprised at what made the list.

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The Food Safety Diet

Food safety experts live and breathe the words they preach (I call it the "food safety diet"). They have seen cases and read studies on what happens after eating high-risk foods and know the gruesome details of what happens when you eat tainted food. I asked nine other food-safety experts (besides myself!) which food they just won't touch. You’ll be surprised at what made the list.

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Sliced Lemons

"Many bars and restaurants serve a wedge of lemon or lime on the side of sodas, water or beer. I always ask for mine without it, or pull it off right away. I do not know who handled the lemon and if they washed their hands properly before slicing it." , M.S., R.D., nutrition expert and dietitian &mdash Toby Amidor author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen

Photo: Floortje/iStock

Raw Sprouts

"Despite the health benefits, I won't eat raw sprouts. I stay clear of any food with raw sprouts in it, because they have the propensity to cause foodborne illness just by their nature and also by how they are grown. Sprouts have been documented as being hosts for many foodborne-illness pathogens. The best conditions for sprouting also support the rapid growth of foodborne-illness pathogens if present in the seed. Recent foodborne-illness outbreaks associated with raw-sprouts consumption have included E. coli 0157, Salmonella and Listeria. I will consider eating sprouts, however, only if well cooked." — Daniel E. Archer, MPH, REHS, senior manager of food safety, workplace safety and environmental compliance for Stanford University Residence & Dining Enterprises (R&DE)

Photo: Handmadepictures/iStock

Undercooked Ground Meat

"We do not eat raw or undercooked ground meat of any kind at our house. All raw meat has bacteria on the surface. Some are harmless and beneficial in breaking down the muscle fibers, as takes place in the aging process. However, raw meat can also have bacteria that could be harmful if the meat is not handled and cooked properly. Since these bacteria live on the surface of the meat, a steak can be enjoyed medium rare — about 145 degrees F internal temperature — but ground meat should be fully cooked to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. This is because the grinding process could potentially introduce bacteria into the middle of the patty. This is true for all types of ground meat — including pork, poultry or beef — whether it is local, organic, grass-fed or ground by hand at your local butcher." — Dr. Mindy Brashears, director of the International Center for Food Industry Excellence and professor of food safety and public health at Texas Tech

Photo: Owen Franken/Getty Images

Raw Oysters

Food from Bulk Bins

"Since I need to avoid gluten, I don't eat from bulk bins at supermarkets. Anyone with celiac disease, gluten sensitivity or a serious food allergy should do the same, due to the possibility of cross-contact because the food is not packaged and tongs are often shared between bins." &mdash Rachel Begun, M.S., RDN, culinary nutritionist and special-diets expert

Photo: Janine Lamontagne/iStock


"I see no reason to consume uncooked fish proteins. Well-seasoned and gently cooked, sauteed and steamed fish is nutritionally rich and food-safe! The goal for safe food consumption is to reduce and, when possible, eliminate any risk for foodborne illness. So when folks brag to me about eating sushi, I compare it to someone boasting about going through a red light. Sometimes nothing happens, but [other times] illness follows." — John A. Krakowski, M.A., RDN, CDN, FAND, food safety coach and trainer in Flanders, N.Y.

Photo: Alexander Spatari/Getty Images

Raw Milk

"Raw milk has been associated with numerous outbreaks over the past decade or two. Additionally, the threat from raw milk isn't even from one bacterium, but rather from many. It may be contaminated with Listeria, Salmonella, E. coli or Campylobacter. Pasteurization of milk began back in the late 1800s because of the association of raw milk with foodborne illness. It just isn't worth the risk!" — Jennifer J. Quinlan, PhD, food microbiologist and associate professor at Drexel University

Packaged Lunch Meats


Food Samples

"While sampling programs at major retailers are required to follow proper food safety and sanitation regulations, there are many unsanitary opportunities that present themselves &mdash thanks to the customers. Often, the customer is the one that doesn&rsquot abide by the rules and contaminates the product by reaching into a covered bin with their hands, disregarding a covering or a hood over a tray of food, not using proper utensils to take food, etc. Having worked in the land of retail supermarkets, I have seen this behavior time and time again." &mdash Robin Plotkin, RDN, Culinary Nutritionist and Founder of Board Mama, a charcuterie board and grazing table company

Photo: Noel Hendrickson/Getty Images

Preserved Foods

"I won&rsquot eat home-preserved foods given to me as gifts. Many people don&rsquot use recipes that have been tested for safety (in terms of acid levels, processing time, pressure if applicable). Botulism from home-canned goods can be deadly, so I won&rsquot take any chances." &mdash Leia Flure, MS, RD, LDN of Moderation Maven

Photo: Inna Klim/Eyeem/Getty Images


"Tartare is raw, ground up meat or fish. Unless your meat or fish is cooked to the proper minimum internal cooking temperature, bacteria have the ability to thrive and potentially make you very sick. That is why I avoid eating any sort of tartare." &mdash Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, FAND Wall Street Journal bestselling cookbook author and Healthy Eats contributor

Photo: Istetiana/Getty Images

Crab Salad

"Though I fully support eating seafood at least twice a week, I can't jump on a board with crab salad because of how susceptible it is to foodborne pathogens. Oftentimes cooked crab used in a store-bought crab salad is only partially cooked, meaning it hasn't been heated to the temperature needed to kill off any potential bacteria or pathogens present. Plus, traditionally speaking, crab salad is made with mayonnaise, an egg-based ingredient that needs to be kept cool when serving at say a luncheon buffet. Too often I've seen these sorts of dishes enter the temperature danger zone and putting you (and me) as the consumers at risk of getting a food borne illness." &mdash Elizabeth Shaw MS, RDN, CPT, nutrition expert at

Photo: MSPhotographic/Getty Images

Damaged Canned Goods

"As a food safety expert, I would not eat food from a can that is deeply dented, rusted and/or bulging. Part of the canning process involves processing food at high temperature to destroy harmful bacteria and inactivate enzymes before vacuum sealing it to keep air out. If the seam is broken, air gets in, potentially contaminating the food inside the can. It is not always easy to tell when this seam is broken but a a dent so deep you can lay a finger in, rust that will not easily rub off, or a bulge in a can are telltale signs that air and possibly harmful bacteria have been introduced into the food." &mdash Cordialis Msora-Kasago, MA, RDN Media Spokesperson Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Photo: Piotr Wytrazek/Getty Images

Mixed Nuts

"I would never eat from the dish of mixed nuts that sit out at a bar. It is hard to know how many dirty hands have touched them and how long they have been out. If you really love nuts, ask your bartender to pour a fresh bowl just for yourself." &mdash Laurel Ann Deininger, MS, RD, CDE of Laurel Ann Nutrition

Photo: ZeynepOzy/Getty Images

Raw Cookie Dough

"Raw cookie dough is something I will never eat. Raw cookie dough (generally) contains two raw ingredients that can be the source of germs that might cause food poisoning: eggs and flour. Yes, flour is a raw ingredient. It is made from wheat that is minimally processed and then packaged for home use. Flour and eggs should be cooked to a safe temperature before eating. So, BAKE your cookie dough. Eat it in the form of the final product &mdash your delicious cookie." &mdash Shelley Feist, Executive Director of Partnership for Food Safety Education

Photo: Cathy Scola/Getty Images

Raw and Undercooked Eggs

"I won&rsquot eat raw and undercooked eggs, including homemade Caesar salad dressing, raw batter and egg nog. Eggs contain bacteria called salmonella that can cause food poisoning if raw or undercooked eggs are consumed. It is best to cook eggs thoroughly until the yolks and whites are firm. And as tempting as it is to try that raw chocolate chip cookie dough, it is not worth the risk." &mdash Emily Rubin RD, LDN Thomas Jefferson division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Why You Should No Longer Worry About Cholesterol in Food

High levels of “bad” cholesterol in the blood, which have been linked to heart disease, are still a health concern.

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But evidence shows people no longer have to be concerned about eating foods that are high in cholesterol. What’s changed is that many researchers and physicians believe that eating cholesterol-rich foods such as eggs may not affect the cholesterol that is in your blood.

“However, people with certain health problems, such as diabetes, should continue to avoid cholesterol-rich foods,” says cardiologist Steven Nissen, MD.

It’s complicated

Is cholesterol good for you? Is cholesterol bad for you? It’s complicated.

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that ultimately ends up in the walls of arteries. It causes the plaque that lead to heart attacks and strokes. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines call for a daily cholesterol limit of 300 milligrams.

The relationship between cholesterol and the body is extremely complicated. Some of the ways its complicated are:

  • The body regulates how much cholesterol is in your blood.
  • There’s different kinds of cholesterol. Low-density lipoprotein or LDL (bad) cholesterol contributes to plaque buildup along with triglycerides, another lipid. High-density lipoprotein or HDL (good) cholesterol discourages plaque buildup.
  • LDL is the bad cholesterol that you should avoid because it can increase your risk of heart disease.
  • The way people process cholesterol differs. Some people appear to be more vulnerable to cholesterol-rich diets.

“Your genetic makeup – not diet – is the driving force behind cholesterol levels, says Dr. Nissen. “The body creates cholesterol in amounts much larger than what you can eat, so avoiding foods that are high in cholesterol won’t affect your blood cholesterol levels very much.”

About 85% of the cholesterol in the circulation is manufactured by the body in the liver. It isn’t coming directly from the cholesterol that you eat, according to Dr. Nissen.

It’s also likely that people with family history of heart disease share common environments that may increase their risk, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What you should worry about

Should you actually worry about cholesterol in food? The greater danger for everyone is in foods that are high in trans fats.

“Those often appear on food labels as hydrogenated oils or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil,” he says. “Those types of fats do tend to raise cholesterol and do tend to increase the risk of heart disease.”

All in all, look for trans fat and saturated fat on labels at the grocery store. The American Heart Association recommends limiting dietary saturated fat intake and focusing more on eating fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean animal protein or plant protein sources.​

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This doctor prescribes both medicine and plant-based recipes

Linda Shiue's new cookbook, "Spicebox Kitchen," bridges her medical expertise with the joy of cooking healthy, accessible meals.

Linda Shiue's new cookbook, "Spicebox Kitchen," bridges her medical expertise with the joy of cooking healthy, accessible meals.

Linda Shiue's new cookbook, "Spicebox Kitchen," bridges her medical expertise with the joy of cooking healthy, accessible meals.

Linda Shiue's new cookbook, "Spicebox Kitchen," bridges her medical expertise with the joy of cooking healthy, accessible meals.

Linda Shiue's new cookbook, "Spicebox Kitchen," bridges her medical expertise with the joy of cooking healthy, accessible meals.

On this episode of the Extra Spicy podcast, Dr. Linda Shiue talks about how she started prescribing kale chips to patients and her new cookbook, "Spicebox Kitchen," which bridges her medical expertise with the joy of cooking healthy, plant-forward meals. She talks to hosts Soleil Ho and Justin Phillips about her journey from doctor to chef, the ancient tradition of food as medicine, and the power of the prescription pad to motivate patients towards better eating habits.

Listen to the episode by clicking on the player above, and scroll down to read an edited transcript of Soleil Ho and Justin Phillips&rsquo conversation with Linda Shuie.

Here is a partial transcript of Soleil Ho and Justin Phillips' interview with Linda Shuie, edited and condensed for clarity. The interview was conducted on February 26.

Soleil Ho: So one anecdote in Spicebox Kitchen that I love is your story of prescribing kale chips as a recipe to a patient. And I feel like that's such a great encapsulation of what you do. Would you mind telling us that story?

Linda Shiue: So I was looking for literally another tool in my figurative doctor's bag. And I thought all I ever do is write more prescriptions for more blood pressure meds, cholesterol meds or diabetes meds. And of course, we have to, but I thought, what else can I use this for?

There is a distinct power in a doctor's signature on a prescription pad and what it says on it that becomes not a mandate, but a very strong and very official recommendation. And so as kind of an experiment I thought, okay, I'll try this with a patient that I know well, and who I know has a sense of humor might not feel really weirded out by this.

And I remember that patient was a guy who didn't actually work in food professionally, but he loved food and he was a volunteer at the local farmer's market. He had a lot of struggles with all the chronic illnesses related to food like blood pressure and cholesterol, and I think he was pre-diabetic.

And so in most of the visits I've had with him over years, it was kind of like, &ldquookay, blood pressure's okay, your cholesterol is still a little bit high, blah, blah, blah. you've got to lose some weight or else you're going to have diabetes one day soon.&rdquo So then I thought, &ldquowell, okay, I'm more interested in hearing actually about the specifics of what he was eating. What did he like about the farmer's market?&rdquo

And so he told me the weekend before that there are all these great mushrooms. And he told me at great length how he enjoyed cooking them with a lot of butter. And he was very excited. And when you're trying to connect with somebody about anything, that moment of excitement is your opening, right?

So he was excited and talking about his kind of recipe, his way of enjoying produce, which is great. Mushrooms are great. And so I said, &ldquothat sounds really good. What other vegetables do you like?&rdquo And he's like, &ldquoOh, you know, I know that you're going to tell me to eat more green vegetables. I don't really like them.&rdquo I was like, &ldquoare you a salty snacker or a sweet snacker?&rdquo And he's like, &ldquooh yeah, chips. I just eat chips all night long when I'm watching TV.&rdquo And I was like, &ldquowell, I have an idea for you.&rdquo So that's how the kale chips came about.

I was like, &ldquoif you like chips, why don't you try this recipe for kale chips? They will have that same salty satisfaction that you like from potato chips. They won't be as crunchy, but they'll be crisp and they're much better for you. And I think it might be a way that you can start to enjoy some greens.&rdquo

And he was like, &ldquohuh?&rdquo But he wasn't offended. He was intrigued. Cause it was kind of like I was speaking his language with this and it wasn't just a lecture of, &ldquoyou gotta stop doing that. No more potato chips for you ever.&rdquo

So that emboldened me. And so then I came up with my second recipe for the sweet snacker. Often when that person with a sweet tooth is eating something mindlessly while they're watching TV at night, it's ice cream. And so that became a recipe for Banana Nice cream where you just basically freeze over ripe bananas that otherwise would go into pandemic banana bread. And you can add anything: nuts, chocolate, berries, spices.

So that's another thing, not just reaching people when they're kind of feeling excited or emotional, but doing something that's a little bit off gets people's attention.

Soleil Ho: Oh, wow. It feels very avant garde, right? That's how the avant garde reaches people too, just by freaking them out.

It seems what you're practicing is for instance, you go to the doctor and they give you a handout that says to eat more leafy greens and that sort of thing. What you're doing is telling people how to eat the greens, essentially? Is that it?

Linda Shiue: That's basically it. I didn't have to go to medical school to tell people how to cook greens, right? I didn't need to do that at all. And yet I actually thought this is actually the most powerful innovation that I've made as a doctor.

There are lots of doctors out there who could have done this, but most doctors don't do this. And I thought, just like with anything else, we are all subject to information overload. We're all given too many handouts. There are too many emails. How much of that do you actually read and retain?

And even if you want to, let's say you are the patient who is told to eat more leafy greens, you look at the list and you're like, &ldquookay, I guess I'll pick some of the stuff up when I go to the grocery store.&rdquo The next time you bring it home. And you're kind of like, &ldquough, I don't usually eat this. What do I do with this?&rdquo And then it would take many more steps to go from being that sort of non-home cook, or who doesn't cook vegetables to, &ldquoI guess I'll look up a recipe,&rdquo to &ldquoI guess I'll figure out how to cook this recipe,&rdquo right? A recipe is still only a list of instructions and ingredients.

And so I thought, why not cut out the middleman? Let me actually show you, let me inspire you. If you eat this and you like this, you're going to do it once you see how easy it is once you've done it. The beauty of teaching, cooking, what's so exciting for me is that we make mistakes all the time and it's not a disaster. It's not the end of the world. It's all a learning opportunity.

People don&rsquot need to be spoon-fed. It's to actually be like, &ldquocome with me. Come cook next to me and we'll figure this out together and make sure that you like eating this.&rdquo


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Doctor, I’m sorry, but this doesn’t look very well balanced. This would not fly in a college Nutrition 101 course. This is why doctors should be required to take at least one accredited college nutrition course, and until they are required to, should not be charged with interfering with anyone’s diet or weight, and should make no comments related to nutrition or weight. It is deeply problematic that MDs are not required to take a nutrition course, which differs dramatically from the diet and nutrition advice in books and articles, even those from dietitians and especially those from MDs. Many dietitians write articles and provide menus that are not consistent with college nutrition courses. And even those courses typically include disordered eating-promoting advice. I have not once seen a nutrition book written by an M.D. that is sound advice. Not once! Most books by MDs promote disordered eating beliefs! The medical schools teach disordered eating! (If you don’t believe me, ask any dietitian or M.D. who has worked for at least one decade, full time, in an inpatient eating disorder facility, if they agree with that statement.) Simply eating the same breakfast every day is rather disordered andeating dogmatic. Most bodies crave more variety. That’s evolution’s way of ensuring we get in the necessary wide variety of nutrients.

To simplify meal planning and shopping, using an exchange plan, each week, I plan 2 breakfast menus, 2 lunch menus, and 2 dinner menus,
and alternate between the two during the week. (I use an exchange plan as the basis because I’m in recovery from decades of harmful medical advice to lose weight, which is terrible advice, there is no proven method of losing weight and keeping it off for even 5 years that works for even a tiny percent of a study population, destabilizes eating behaviors, and is more likely than not to promote weight GAIN, so NO such advice has been proven, and all should be treated as experimental and patients should be told they are being given advice – to lose weight – that has been shown to cause harm, and weight gain,.and not been proven otherwise. Until researchers can provide replicable studies showing that ANY weight loss method can result in at least 5 years of keeping the weight off for even a simple majority of study subjects, no patient should be told to lose weight, because they will have to resort to unproven or disproven methods in order to try to achieve an unachievable goal through unproven -and risky – methods that make their eating more disordered with each new attempt.) Patients should be encouraged to follow Health At Every Size®: for they and their doctors to shift from a focus on weight, to a focus on healthy llifestyle, and letting their weight fall where it may. Period.

Regarding the meal you described,
I’m concerned that 3 cups of fruit at one sitting is too much simple sugar for one meal. Is that amount of fruit at breakfast pleasurable? Don’t you crave some whole grain cereal or toast with it? Are you listening to what your body is asking for, and being kind to it, and responding to that?
That’s 6 servings of fruit at one meal, or over the course of the morning (1/3 of the eating day): breakfast and snack.

It would probably be healthier to have the meal be mostly whole starches (complex carbs), which act as slow-release carbohydrate, balanced with protein and fat, and some fruit for quick energy, fiber, vitamins, minerals and enjoyment. To get in enough protein from yogurt for one serving of protein would require a cup of yogurt (7 g of protein). Ideally, a meal (if eating 3 meals/day), would contain 1-2 servings of protein low in saturated fat (no more than 5-10 g sat fat per meal, on average). The meal also would not be the same thing every day. The motto of dietitians, taught on Day 1, textbook page 1 in a college nutrition course is “balance, variety, and moderation.”

The meal plan I follow, which allows a healthy.(for women) 2100 – 2500 calories a day, developed with my dietitian, who specializes in the treatment of eating disorders, so this is a sound meal plan for prevention of these serious and increasingly common conditions, is 3 meals per day, each consisting of the following exchanges (these meals can also be divided easily into 6 meals, eaten every 3 hours).

At each of 3 meals per day:

2 fruit exchanges (1/2 c or 1 small piece per exchange)
1 veg exchange (1/2 c cooked or 1 c. raw leaves)
4 complex carbohydrate exchanges (

1/3 – 1/2 c. raw grain or starchy veg per exchange)
2 medium-fat protein exchanges
2 fat exchanges

Within this meal should be

1000 mg of calcium, on average, from dairy or non-dairy sources.

So here are a few examples of what that might look like:

1 c. carrot, tomato, or green veggie juice
1 c. dry oat bran or oatmeal, cooked (makes 2 cups)
1 diced apple
1/4 c raisins (these fruits stirred in and cooked, or raw on top)
1/4 c almonds or cashews stirred in and cooked
1 c low-fat yogurt

(Or instead, half the oat bran and yogurt, plus 2 servings of Shredded Wheat, Cheerios (which are whole grain and low sugar), or low-sugar granola, with 1/2 c. full-fat soymilk or low-fat (1.- 2%) cow’s milk).

1 c. veg juice
1 whole large banana or 2 small fruit
4 slices 100% whole grain toast
4 T nut butter

2 eggs scrambled with 1 c raw spinach or zucchini
2 servings of low-sugar cereal
1c. soymilk
2 whole grain toast
1 T butter
1 T all-fruit spread

For the cereal or toast, substitute 1 large baking potato, diced, tossed in olive oil, rosemary, dried onion, and a pinch of turmeric and garlic powder, microwaved for 10 minutes in a covered casserole.) Or 1 c frozen corn, microwaved and buttered.

1 c veg juice
2 whole grain pancakes
1 sliced apple or banana on pancakes
2 whole grain toast
2 veggie bacon (and occasionally the real thing)
1-2 scrambled eggs
2.T all-fruit

2 fruit
4 100% whole grain tortillas
1c. shredded cheddar, Jack, or veggie cheese
1/2 salsa, or diced roma and small avocado
1 T oil of butter for sauteeing 2 quesadillas in

1 c veg juice
2 fruit
2 servings low-fat, low sugar cereal
2 servings high fat granola

1c. Veg juice
2 fruit
2 servings of low or high fat cereal, cooked or ready-to-eat
2 whole grain toast
2 T butter, fruit spread, or nut butter, depending on hunger level and taste preference.

What do you think of these?

These are designed to be balanced, ample, and pleasurable. Leftovers can be packed up and eaten as a mid-morning snack.

There is no one right way to eat. Some people may not like eating so much complex carbohydrate. (Following a low-carb diet for weight loss is NOT healthy, and is not a good reason to skip starch servings. I’m talking about this amount of whole starches being too filling for some people who dont eel physically comfortable eating that much starch, who might want more protein.) People should always eat until full, of what their body is asking for, at regularly scheduled meals. If meals are eaten at consistent times each day, the body will adjust the quantities to what keeps it satisfied until the next meal but not uncomfortably full, and this will be right for their body over time.

I urge everyone, especially doctors, to go to dietitian expert Ellyn Satter’s website, click the How To Eat tab, and read. Simple, brilliant, easy to follow, gentle principles, with eating disorder prevention and weight concerns in mind. She intentionally does not include dieting. Kind, genius advice.

Thank you for sharing your breakfast with us. Sorry to take it over the coals, but I have to wonder if you wouldn’t enjoy andthe crave more variety and balance with substantial complex carbohydrates, which is whatterrible most people in the world primarily eat for their meals: whole starches, with protein, fat, and fruit.

My apologies for the autcorrect typos! Please disregard the word “terrible” that snluck into the last paragraph. I was trying to to write that most people in the world eat meals of primarily complex carbohydrates.

Where do you get the idea that bacon and animal fat goes into our arteries to clog them? Ridiculous!!
Good breakfast? Fried eggs and bacon! And NO carbs!
Our body doesnot know the difference between sugar or fruit!
All carbs raise insulin and that makes us fat and ill !

Well, enjoy, but do make sure to have regular medical care, as well.

A debt of gratitude is in order for sharing I don’t generally like sweet sustenances at breakfast. My best breakfast it appears to inspire me to lunch is by all accounts an egg white omelet with an assortment of greens cooked with at least splash in the container.

Thanks and that sounds perfect– loads of veggies and egg, like the veggie omelet you describe, will also get you the fiber/ protein/fat combo you need at a meal.

My favourite breakfast is unsweetened museli with fresh fruit and plain yogurt

Sounds great, especially if the fruit are the bulk of the meal, the star of the show.

Your recipe states to mix together all ingredients up to the cinnamon, but it does not tell me when to add the cinnamon. Please clarify and thanks for this great granola mix recipe!

Yes, someone else said the same- I meant including the cinnamon when I wrote “up to the cinnamon”. I will ask the editors to change it for clarity.

I don’t really like sweet foods at breakfast. (maybe I should try again), my best breakfast it seems to get me to lunch seems to be an egg white omelette with a variety of greens cooked with a minimum of spray in the pan. How bad is that.

Hello doctor. ! Thanks for sharing ! Well , I like. Smoothies with kale , carrots , beets. Apple. 8 almonds For breakfasts Then plenty of water , small sandwich with protein for lunch like egg whites and vegetable Rice soup with fish or chicken for dinner . Some days I crave bread so I get a small toast with plain yogurt . I have hypertension and prediabetic, I eat kiwis . Persimmons apples and cooked vegetables. I go bad too with rice pancakes I’m in the gluten free zone . Then I drink black tea with almond milk with 1 or 2 cookies like 2 pm . I’m a nurse Lol.

Sounds very good except for a fair amount of processed carbs (bread, rice, if it’s white rice). If you can switch those out for more veggies, you may be able to improve your blood sugars and blood pressures.

How can the general public know what is healthy to eat with the medical community can’t agree? Thomas Turk…..where do you shop for groceries? Perhaps not where the general public can.
Very confusing all around!

Wake up a little earlier and relax while having breakfast. The rush inherent in a routine based on words like “quick,” “grab,” and “transportable” is hard on the body. Stress is more dangerous than just about any foodstuff. My advice to you, Doctor, is to emphasize the “break,” rather than the FAST!

Whole grains

It is usually advised to reduce intake of carbohydrates if you want to flatten the belly. But white swapping grains to whole grains may aid in weight loss. Foods like brown rice, porridge and some types of granola can help in keeping your body’s insulin levels low. This can result in shrinking fat cells and help you lose weight much quicker. As we mentioned above, your stomach contains a high amount of fat cells that don’t respond as easily to lipolysis, the fat breakdown process. Therefore, eating foods that can help reduce the level of these cells will help you lose weight.

Why the Mediterranean Diet Is So Healthy

Learn more about the world's healthiest diet and how it can help you look and feel better.

Amid all the superfoods and fad diets, one style of eating consistently comes out on top as the best: the Mediterranean diet. In 2019, it was ranked as the best diet to try by U.S. News & World Report. It earns first-place rights for its impressive roster of health rewards, including heart protection, weight regulation and cancer reduction.

The foods in a typical Mediterranean diet-fish, nuts, plant oils, fruits and vegetables-help lower inflammation in your body, improve blood vessel function and reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetes. All of these benefits serve to keep your ticker ticking and your mind sharp. Decades of research bears this out, too.

What Is the Mediterranean Diet?

This way of eating focuses on foods like olive oil, nuts, fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains and fish. Wine is part of the typical Mediterranean diet, too, but you should drink it in moderation. This style of diet can also include some dairy and poultry ingredients-but, like wine, these are usually limited.

The Mediterranean diet places an emphasis on fresh, colorful eating and shuns heavily processed ingredients. Trust us, your plate will never be boring. Even better news: though "diet" is in the name, this plan is more of a holistic approach to eating that relies on real foods. You won&apost be counting calories or macronutrients like you would with a typical "diet."

Here are 3 reasons it&aposs so healthy to eat Mediterranean.

Healthier Heart

In a 2013 study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that people on a Mediterranean diet were far less likely to have a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular event than people who ate a low-fat diet. The study participants who ate a Mediterranean diet supplemented with olive oil or nuts saw their risk of cardiovascular disease drop by 30 percent.

Weight-Loss Benefits

In a study on younger women, those who most closely followed a Mediterranean diet had a lower body mass index (BMI) and smaller waist and thighs than those who adhered to the diet&aposs style the least. This is likely because the diet is high in antioxidants and provides rich anti-inflammatory properties. It&aposs also packed with fiber, a nutrient known for keeping you full.

Stronger Brain

A 2016 review of 18 studies in Frontiers in Nutrition found that eating Mediterranean was associated with less cognitive decline, reduced risk of Alzheimer&aposs disease, and better memory and executive function. Additional research in the journal Neurology likened the diet&aposs effects to reducing the brain&aposs age by five years.

Bottom Line

With all of these accolades, it makes sense that you may want to start a Mediterranean diet. Here are 8 ways to follow the Mediterranean Diet to help you get started and a week of Mediterranean lunches you can meal-prep in under an hour.

Whether you decide to fully adopt the philosophies of the Mediterranean diet, or you think small, incremental steps are more your speed, every little bit can help you eat-and feel-healthier. The great thing about eating this way is that you&aposre sure to find many of your favorite foods are still available to you. Even better, you&aposre bound to find many new ones you love.

Why Your Child Won’t Eat Anything But Junk Food

I’m sure you know the most obvious reason that lies on the surface, its the reason many adults eats lots of junk food… it tastes good. Plain and simple, right? Well, there’s actually a little more to it than that. Some kids start off only accepting junk food, even from a very early age because eating typical foods like diced fruit and toast was literally too challenging for them to eat. In this case it is very possible that a child may have had some underlying feeding difficulties, which is very common. You can read more about that in Why Kids Refuse to Eat.

Junk foods are easier to eat because they have a flavor that kids respond to, and most junk food is carb based. Children are literally wired to eat carbs. Seriously, they seek out foods that are sweet from a biological perspective because it gives them energy and a super long long long time ago it helped prevent them from putting poisons in their mouth that they came across in the wild. Not to mention that a few years ago a study found that kids may actually become addicted to junk foods from a physical stand point, you can read more about the study here.

Also, many junk foods are crunchy, and this is a texture that many picky eaters prefer. Believe it or not in a lot of cases the crunch actually makes it easier for kids to eat than soft foods like a baked potato because kids can feel exactly where the chip is in their mouth. The mushy potato either feels weird or they lose track of it in their mouth while they’re trying to chew it. (Find more about sensory issues with foods.)

Once a child won’t eat anything but junk food it can spiral deeper as the child gets older and continues to never be exposed to or be presented with other healthier foods. And, I know that it isn’t always for a lack of trying! Your child may scream, tantrum, or even gag when they see a piece of broccoli or fish on their plate, or even at the table. Take it a step further and if a child tries other foods or even used to regularly eat fruits and vegetables, but then has a major illness or is hospitalized, the traumatic events from being sick can make them eliminate large categories of foods.

If your child is at this point, they likely have a food aversion or fall into the extreme picky eating category. While that sounds scary, it really just helps us understand that your child, for a variety of reasons, may be legitimately unable to just pick up a carrot and take a bite. When eating has reached this point, kids will continue to only eat the foods they know are okay for them, even if those foods happen to be junk food, which they commonly are.

Before you start worrying, remember, by the end of this post you’ll have solid strategies from a feeding therapist and mom (that’s me) to help you successfully introduce new foods into your child’s diet. But, if your child eats a wide variety of foods but is simply obsessed with goodies and sweets then you’ll want to check out this advice on how to manage the freak outs for another lollipop here.

Do You Need to Worry About How Much Junk Food Your Child is Eating?

The short answer is no… probably not. Most of us don’t want to see our kids eating massive amounts of junk food and never a real meal, and working towards eating new foods is a great goal, but if your child is growing on a curve (according to their doctor) on their growth chart they are probably okay.

I’m going to try and keep my soap box tucked behind my couch, because I can get really passionate about the culture around food, especially in America. But, it is important to know that junk food IS a part of our American culture, and unless you’re living on a commune with no television, internet, or grocery stores children are going to be exposed to it and honestly given the opportunity to eat it at times.

I know you’re hear reading because your child is eating junk food all the time, but when we demonize or label the junk food constantly as healthy or bad for their bodies it sends mixed messages and can make them feel badly.

If your child is ONLY eating junk foods and never eats any other types of food I would highly recommend using at least some of the strategies you’re going to learn below because there are obviously other nutrients and vitamins that will greatly benefit them. While its temping to totally freak out about their current state of eating it really can improve with some patience and consistency. Feel good about your long term goals and look for the small wins each week. If your child is moving in that direction then you don’t need to worry!

Want some more piece of mind? Then head to Does My Picky Eater Need a Vitamin (I know you’re wondering) and Is Your Picky Eater Healthy, both will be well worth your time!

Extreme Picky Eater: Why this mom-pediatrician finally bought Pediasure

True confession: I used to roll my eyes at parents that fed their picky eaters Pediasure (a nutritional shake for kids) or gave in to their desires for comfort foods. But last month I broke down and bought a case of Pediasure for my 7-year-old extreme picky eater. I’m a pediatrician — I never thought I’d have a kid that just wouldn’t eat healthy food. But I do.

I always believed that if kids were hungry enough they would eat healthy food. I’ve preached that if you just limit sugar and junk food, kids will learn to eat well. I’ve advocated for family meals and written articles on how to get kids to eat well at school. And all this has worked for four of my five children. But my 7-year-old has humbled me.

I’ve been a pediatrician for more than a decade, but I had never heard of avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID, also known as selective eating disorder or SED) until my own child developed it. Kids with ARFID are extreme picky eaters — the kind that will go months eating only a few favorite foods, or go 24 hours between meals to avoid things they don’t like. Many extreme picky eaters have other disorders such as autism, anxiety disorders or GI issues. Our son did have multiple food allergies as a toddler, but he has grown out of them all now. He is otherwise healthy, happy, and does well academically. Until he has to eat something other than pizza, sweets or sugary cereal… then the crying and whining start.

When I first introduced solid foods to him as an infant, he refused vegetables but gobbled up fruit. When he was 2-years-old, he would cry through every family meal and refuse to eat anything other than a few comfort foods, usually high in carbohydrates, fat and sugar. “It’s a stage,” we thought. “He’ll grow out of it if we just keep offering healthy food, limiting sugar and modeling healthy eating habits.”

But he never grew out of it.

How we’re handling ARFID

At age 7 he is still refusing rice, pasta, vegetables, lunch meats and most home-cooked meals. He won’t even eat macaroni and cheese. He eats tons of breakfast cereal in the morning and will go 24 hours without any more food just to avoid eating the family meals our other kids eat joyfully. By mid-afternoon he’s grumpy and angry. Discipline never fixes it. We knew the problem — he needed to eat. And so I finally broke down and bought him Pediasure. He drank a bottle and his attitude changed in minutes.

Finally, there is peace in our house. All it took was the humility to recognize that my child was not stubborn or spoiled. ARFID is an eating disorder that, if untreated, can persist into adulthood. There are many options for treatment, but none includes using dessert to bribe kids to eat veggies, talking about starving kids in other countries, or insisting that a child try one bite of everything served.

What to do about your extreme picky eater

If you have an extreme picky eater, it’s time to stop the mealtime battles and seek treatment. Start by speaking with your pediatrician, but if your pediatrician isn’t familiar with ARFID, make an appointment for a feeding evaluation by a team of health care providers that specialize in children’s eating disorders. At St. Louis Children’s Hospital, feeding evaluations are performed by a multidisciplinary team usually consisting of a speech-language pathologist and an occupational therapist. Evaluations may also include a consultation or referral to a dietitian, psychologist, lactation consultant, social worker, or other specialist. Learn more about feeding evaluations at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

I also recommend two websites with associated Facebook groups, where parents of kids with ARFID can find guidance. The first is Mealtime Hostage, a blog written by a mother of a child with ARFID. The second is Extreme Picky Eating, a website by a physician and a speech therapist who specialize in ARFID.

As for my son, he now has the option to drink Pediasure Sidekick at each meal to supplement the food he is willing to eat. It’s a slow journey, but now that the stress of eating is gone he’s already started to experiment with new foods.

7 foods you should never eat

Food scientists are shedding light on items loaded with toxins and chemicals--and simple swaps for a cleaner diet and supersized health.

Clean eating means choosing fruits, vegetables, and meats that are raised, grown, and sold with minimal processing. Often they're organic, and rarely (if ever) should they contain additives. But in some cases, the methods of today's food producers are neither clean nor sustainable. The result is damage to our health, the environment, or both. So we decided to take a fresh look at food through the eyes of the people who spend their lives uncovering what's safe--or not--to eat. We asked them a simple question: "What foods do you avoid?" Their answers don't necessarily make up a "banned foods" list. But reaching for the suggested alternatives might bring you better health--and peace of mind.

1. The Endocrinologist Won't Eat: Canned Tomatoes
Fredrick Vom Saal, is an endocrinologist at the University of Missouri who studies bisphenol-A.

The problem: The resin linings of tin cans contain bisphenol-A, a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to ailments ranging from reproductive problems to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Unfortunately, acidity (a prominent characteristic of tomatoes) causes BPA to leach into your food. Studies show that the BPA in most people's body exceeds the amount that suppresses sperm production or causes chromosomal damage to the eggs of animals. "You can get 50 mcg of BPA per liter out of a tomato can, and that's a level that is going to impact people, particularly the young," says vom Saal. "I won't go near canned tomatoes."

The solution: Choose tomatoes in glass bottles (which do not need resin linings), such as the brands Bionaturae and Coluccio. You can also get several types in Tetra Pak boxes, like Trader Joe's and Pomi.

Budget tip: If your recipe allows, substitute bottled pasta sauce for canned tomatoes. Look for pasta sauces with low sodium and few added ingredients, or you may have to adjust the recipe.

2. The Farmer Won't Eat: Corn-Fed Beef
Joel Salatin is co-owner of Polyface Farms and author of half a dozen books on sustainable farming.

The problem: Cattle evolved to eat grass, not grains. But farmers today feed their animals corn and soybeans, which fatten up the animals faster for slaughter. But more money for cattle farmers (and lower prices at the grocery store) means a lot less nutrition for us. A recent comprehensive study conducted by the USDA and researchers from Clemson University found that compared with corn-fed beef, grass-fed beef is higher in beta-carotene, vitamin E, omega-3s, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), calcium, magnesium, and potassium lower in inflammatory omega-6s and lower in saturated fats that have been linked to heart disease. "We need to respect the fact that cows are herbivores, and that does not mean feeding them corn and chicken manure," says Salatin.

The solution: Buy grass-fed beef, which can be found at specialty grocers, farmers' markets, and nationally at Whole Foods. It's usually labeled because it demands a premium, but if you don't see it, ask your butcher.

Budget tip: Cuts on the bone are cheaper because processors charge extra for deboning. You can also buy direct from a local farmer, which can be as cheap as $5 per pound. To find a farmer near you, search

3. The Toxicologist Won't Eat: Microwave Popcorn
Olga Naidenko, is a senior scientist for the Environmental Working Group.

The problem:
Chemicals, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), in the lining of the bag, are part of a class of compounds that may be linked to infertility in humans, according to a recent study from UCLA. In animal testing, the chemicals cause liver, testicular, and pancreatic cancer. Studies show that microwaving causes the chemicals to vaporize--and migrate into your popcorn. "They stay in your body for years and accumulate there," says Naidenko, which is why researchers worry that levels in humans could approach the amounts causing cancers in laboratory animals. DuPont and other manufacturers have promised to phase out PFOA by 2015 under a voluntary EPA plan, but millions of bags of popcorn will be sold between now and then.

The solution: Pop natural kernels the old-fashioned way: in a skillet. For flavorings, you can add real butter or dried seasonings, such as dillweed, vegetable flakes, or soup mix.

Budget tip: Popping your own popcorn is dirt cheap

4. The Farm Director Won't Eat: Nonorganic Potatoes
Jeffrey Moyer is the chair of the National Organic Standards Board.

The problem:
Root vegetables absorb herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides that wind up in soil. In the case of potatoes--the nation's most popular vegetable--they're treated with fungicides during the growing season, then sprayed with herbicides to kill off the fibrous vines before harvesting. After they're dug up, the potatoes are treated yet again to prevent them from sprouting. "Try this experiment: Buy a conventional potato in a store, and try to get it to sprout. It won't," says Moyer, who is also farm director of the Rodale Institute (also owned by Rodale Inc., the publisher of Prevention). "I've talked with potato growers who say point-blank they would never eat the potatoes they sell. They have separate plots where they grow potatoes for themselves without all the chemicals."

The solution:
Buy organic potatoes. Washing isn't good enough if you're trying to remove chemicals that have been absorbed into the flesh.

Budget tip: Organic potatoes are only $1 to $2 a pound, slightly more expensive than conventional spuds.

5. The Fisheries Expert Won't Eat: Farmed Salmon
Dr. David Carpenter, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany, published a major study in the journal Science on contamination in fish.

The problem: Nature didn't intend for salmon to be crammed into pens and fed soy, poultry litter, and hydrolyzed chicken feathers. As a result, farmed salmon is lower in vitamin D and higher in contaminants, including carcinogens, PCBs, brominated flame retardants, and pesticides such as dioxin and DDT. According to Carpenter, the most contaminated fish come from Northern Europe, which can be found on American menus. "You could eat one of these salmon dinners every 5 months without increasing your risk of cancer," says Carpenter, whose 2004 fish contamination study got broad media attention. "It's that bad." Preliminary science has also linked DDT to diabetes and obesity, but some nutritionists believe the benefits of omega-3s outweigh the risks. There is also concern about the high level of antibiotics and pesticides used to treat these fish. When you eat farmed salmon, you get dosed with the same drugs and chemicals.

The solution: Switch to wild-caught Alaska salmon. If the package says fresh Atlantic, it's farmed. There are no commercial fisheries left for wild Atlantic salmon.

Budget tip:
Canned salmon, almost exclusively from wild catch, can be found for as little as $3 a can.

6. The Cancer Researcher Won't Drink: Milk Produced With Artificial Hormones
Rick North is project director of the Campaign for Safe Food at the Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility and former CEO of the Oregon division of the American Cancer Society.

The problem:
Milk producers treat their dairy cattle with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH or rBST, as it is also known) to boost milk production. But rBGH also increases udder infections and even pus in the milk. It also leads to higher levels of a hormone called insulin-like growth factor in milk. In people, high levels of IGF-1 may contribute to breast, prostate, and colon cancers. "When the government approved rBGH, it was thought that IGF-1 from milk would be broken down in the human digestive tract," says North. As it turns out, the casein in milk protects most of it, according to several independent studies. "There's not 100 percent proof that this is increasing cancer in humans," admits North. "However, it's banned in most industrialized countries."

The solution: Check labels for rBGH-free, rBST-free, produced without artificial hormones, or organic milk. These phrases indicate rBGH-free products.

Budget tip: Try Wal-Mart's Great Value label, which does not use rBGH.

7. The Organic-Foods Expert Won't Eat: Conventional Apples
Mark Kastel, a former executive for agribusiness, is codirector of the Cornucopia Institute, a farm-policy research group that supports organic foods.

The problem: If fall fruits held a "most doused in pesticides contest," apples would win. Why? They are individually grafted (descended from a single tree) so that each variety maintains its distinctive flavor. As such, apples don't develop resistance to pests and are sprayed frequently. The industry maintains that these residues are not harmful. But Kastel counters that it's just common sense to minimize exposure by avoiding the most doused produce, like apples. "Farm workers have higher rates of many cancers," he says. And increasing numbers of studies are starting to link a higher body burden of pesticides (from all sources) with Parkinson's disease.

The solution: Buy organic apples.

Budget tip: If you can't afford organic, be sure to wash and peel them. But Kastel personally refuses to compromise. "I would rather see the trade-off being that I don't buy that expensive electronic gadget," he says. "Just a few of these decisions will accommodate an organic diet for a family."


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