Although a hard training session can help with weight loss, food consumption is of the utmost importance. The biggest key to note is a lot of weight loss has to do with the calories consumed and those burned. However, although calorie intake is very important the foods used is the true hero of the story. Getting to 2,000 calories while consuming white bread and meat isn’t the same as a diet filled with the likes of salmon, avocado and quinoa. We’ll elaborate explaining the benefits and negatives of these foods throughout the article.
So what makes a food a superfood? Simple: the food most be nutritionally dense and not one dimensional. Most superfoods contain the best of the best when it comes to vitamins and minerals. For the most part, they also contain protein and healthy fats. The opposite is true for foods to avoid. These tend to be one dimensional with hardly any benefits. In some cases, the negative effects far outweigh the good ones. We’ll take a look at 10 of the foods to avoid, especially during a diet. However, one should also watch out for these foods for their overall well-being in general.
Enjoy the article folks as we take a look at 15 superfoods everyone should be eating while also featuring 10 foods to avoid. Like always, be sure to share this article with a fellow foodie or health nut! Let’s get started.
25 Superfood - Kale
Mom wasn’t messing around when she told you to eat those greens. These days, mighty Kale stands on top of the mountain as one of the best green sources out there. Along with the numerous benefits, this food is so easy to consume whether it be in a salad, vegetable/fruit shake or as an add-on in a recipe. And hey, a dieter can also have some fun and make some crunchy Kale chips!
High in water and fiber, this superfood makes digestion so much easier, a huge key for those trying to shed some pounds. Kale also contains an abundance of goodness from vitamin B and C to omega-3s.
24 Avoid - Fruit Juices
“After being squeezed from the fruit, the juice is usually stored in massive oxygen-depleted holding tanks for up to a year before it is packaged. The main problem with this method is that it tends to remove most of the flavor, so the manufacturers need to add so-called "flavor packs" to the juice, to bring back the flavor that was lost during processing. So even if you're buying the highest quality juices at the supermarket, they are still far from their original state.”
Health Line perfectly explains why the so called “pure juices” aren’t as healthy as a consumer might think despite the misleading packaging. Due to being processed, sugar is added to the drink comparable to any soft drinks out there. This won’t help for those that are trying to shed some extra pounds.
23 Superfood - Avocado
During a typical weight loss, the carbohydrate consumption is lowered while the fat consumption goes up. This means, superfoods like avocado should be incorporated in the diet. Avocado is one of the healthiest fats out there. In fact, it contains more potassium that a fruit like a banana.
Similar to quinoa and chia seeds, avocado is also rich in fiber, this aids in feeling full and avoiding such problems like constipation – a real pain to deal with during a weight loss program. Avocado also lowers cholesterol levels. This superfood is a must for those that follow a diet rich in fats.
22 Superfood - Oatmeal
Carbohydrates have a bad reputation. This causes superfoods like oatmeal to be forgotten about for whatever reason. In truth, neglecting oatmeal is a big mistake – this superfood can play an essential role in smashing those nightly cravings. Loaded with fiber, this food can allow a dieter to feel full for longer stretches.
Oats also contain a variety of benefits. They aren’t a typical carb with only minor positives (if any). Oats are rich in antioxidants, lower cholesterol levels and contain protein as well. Make sure to stick to the basic and simple oats, others that are flavored or pre-packaged might not have same benefits usually containing elevated amounts of sugar.
21 Avoid - White Bread
As we discussed with quinoa, the benefits of this carbohydrate aren’t in the calories but in the quality of the calories. The same cannot be said for white bread. This tends to be one of the hardest foods for dieters to give up. However, consuming this food can do a lot more harm than good in the long haul.
White bread is basically one dimensional with few benefits due to its flour base. There’s hardly any fiber or protein in the food – meaning, it is that much harder to digest and basically just stored as fat. For those trying to keep bread in the rotation lots of gluten-free and other healthy alternatives exist.
20 Superfoods - Asparagus
Asparagus is a superfood not only for its benefits but due to the fact that it is so low in total calories. This makes it a desired option especially for those looking to consume volume meals during tough diets.
Both soluble and insoluble fiber exists in this food, meaning, weight loss is a lot more likely to occur. Asparagus contains nothing but health with various vitamins such as A, C, E and K. For those that struggle with sugar foods, this food has the opposite effect. It facilitates digestion instead of putting a damper on it.
19 Superfoods – Blueberries
No need to go out and buy a vitamin supplement. A dieter can easily obtain enough vitamins per day by simply enriching their fruit intake. Don’t worry about that pushy GNC salesman tying to sell those vitamin supplements, just tell him you get more than enough in a daily diet!
Blueberries are one of the top fruit sources out there. This fruit contains a low calorie base along with a plethora of benefits such antioxidants, potassium, fiber, vitamin C and vitamin B6. Blueberries are also known to reduce heart disease and protect cholesterol levels. Clearly, this is a super-fruit every dieter needs to incorporate.
18 Avoid - “Healthy” Cereals
Sadly, it is so easy to fall into this trap. Big box companies can write whatever they please on the packaging. Anything from low calories to high protein source - such statements can fool a consumer into believe it is actually healthy.
The truth is, typically, the same cereal is highly processed. Although it might be low in calories that doesn’t mean the calories are a good source. With elevated sugar levels, this type of food can actually spark weight loss in the opposite direction despite the lower calorie levels. Nutritionally dense is the key, lots of “healthy cereals” just don’t offer that.
17 Superfood - Almonds
Similar to avocado, almonds are a healthy super-fat that aid in suppressing food cravings. This has to do with the fiber content found in almonds. This nutritionally dense food also contains protein, vitamin E and magnesium. Remember, it's all about getting in as many benefits as possible when consuming a certain food.
Almonds are also proven to lower blood pressure and blood sugar level, a major factor especially for those that struggle with the ingestion of certain foods. A top of the line fat, this food is a major superfood when it comes to promoting weight loss. For those that follow a high fat diet, almonds must be included according to your caloric needs.
16 Superfood - Broccoli
Don’t roll your eyes at us! This is a superfood and one you should have listened to mom about, back in the day. It might not smell like the most eatable food or taste like it either, however, the benefits far outweigh the lackluster taste.
Broccoli contains numerous vitamins such vitamin C and K. The vegetable also includes potassium and you guessed it, fiber. This makes broccoli a super-veggie and one that can give a dieter that full feeling. Broccoli is also known for building both body tissues and bone tissues. Whether it be fat loss or muscle gain, this food needs to be incorporated.
15 Avoid - High Fat Dressings
We commend dieters for changing things up and dedicating their lunch time to a salad. That’s a step in the right direction. However, what tends to be a step backwards is the sauce that is typically added the salad. This can spike up the calorie intake rather easily. A sauce like Caesar salad dressing can ramp up the calories very quickly due to its thick base. The sauce is also heavy on sodium which won’t make you feel all that great either.
In order to overcome this hurdle the solution is rather easy. Take an extra second and look for low calories sauces containing low fat and low carb. In this day and age, lots of options exist.
14 Superfood - Sweet Potato
This is a superfood lots of trainees love to consume. Not only does it taste great but it is also low in calories and contains iron, a great source that helps in strengthening the muscles.
Sweet potatoes also contain a deceptively high amount of fiber; this is one of the underrated aspects of this superfood. Along with iron and fiber, sweet potato also contain vitamins and minerals such as calcium, vitamin B and C. And oh, it also has a strong antioxidant presence. You really can’t go wrong with this superfood.
13 Avoid - “Gluten Free” Snack Trap
This one is similar to cereal in the sense that companies can try to trick the consumer with such a statement. In truth, gluten free really applies for those that have an intolerance to gluten. There is no added benefits nutritionally speaking to avoiding gluten. In fact, lots of vitamins and minerals are lost when gluten gets pulled back.
The result, gluten free foods contain less of a nutritious density compared to what the regular gluten option had. Of course, for those that have a gluten intolerance completely avoid this. However, those that opt for gluten-free options should also make sure just how healthy the snacks really are by looking at the sources used and the overall caloric density.
12 Superfood - Salmon
Salmon at times gets the cold shoulder from dieting consumers due to its elevated fat content. However, a dieter must keep in mind and what might be just as important is the quality of the calories. Salmon certainly fits the bill in that regard.
Salmon contains so much goodness from quality protein levels to vitamins and minerals. Potassium is another strong source found in salmon. This is a great superfood to use in order to control or stabilize weight. Salmon is also known to reduce the risk of heart disease.
11 Avoid – Red Meat (Minus Some Exceptions)
On the opposite end of salmon is red meat. Now not all red meat should be labelled as a food to avoid. Bison and horse meat are great options with a reduced amount of fat. However, the same cannot be said for other red meat sources.
Due to the amount of saturated fat, red meat has a clear correlation with the risk of heart disease. Basically, the high amounts of fat raise the blood cholesterol levels. This is very risky especially for those that eat red meat on a regular basis. The cookery of the meat is also very important and linked negatively if not cooked at the correct temperature.
10 Superfood – Chicken Breast
There’s a reason why so many fitness enthusiasts turn to a chicken breast when looking for an optimal protein source. Typically, the reason is very simple. Chicken is a low fat food with a high protein ratio. This makes it among the top protein sources out there.
However, chicken breast has some extra goodness that tends to be forgotten about. Selenium, vitamin B6, niacin and phosphorus can all be found in chicken. For those looking to gain strength or build muscle, this superfood is definitely the way to go. Organic options tend to be the best choice in terms of quality.
9 Avoid - Frozen “Healthy” Meals
A fresh piece of organic chicken breast is a lot different than a piece of pre-made, frozen chicken. Unfortunately, labelling the package is so misleading that it leads unknowing consumers into buying it anyways.
Frozen foods contains lots more fat, sodium and overall calories because of the spike of carbohydrates as well. For those that are on the lookout for sodium levels, such processed foods aren’t a good idea. It is all about feeling good, unfortunately, such foods won’t give that feeling comparable to anything that’s fresh.
8 Superfood - Spinach
Popeye had it right all along! Although he used spinach to crank up the guns he forgot to tell us about the great benefits spinach has on skin. Due to multiple vitamins found in spinach, this can help your skin as well believe it or not.
It is also a great way to add volume into a diet – a major key when following low calories. Along with its low calorie base, spinach includes vitamins C, A and E. Fiber, zinc and calcium can also be found – two components (calcium and fiber) that lots of dieters have trouble consuming.
7 Avoid - Margarine
Trans-fats need to be avoided in a diet. One of those trans-fats happens to be something a dieter might opt to use in food, margarine.
It has elevated amounts of fats. These aren’t the good fats found in foods like avocado, these are dirty fats associated with health risks such as saturated and trans fats from vegetable oil (another food to avoid). Both trans fats and saturated fats have a heavy association to cardiovascular illnesses. Therefore, eliminating margarine becomes that much more important for one’s overall health.
6 Superfoods - Eggs
There is a myth that an egg per day can actually be harmful. This is just untrue and the exact opposite. In fact, studies show that three eggs per day have no harmful effect despite the “cholesterol scare.”
For those trying to avoid the extra grams of fat, then egg whites can be a great alternative as well with no fat and elevated amounts of protein. More than half of the protein content from an egg is found in the white part.
Eggs in general, contain rich fuels such as numerous vitamins. Eggs also contain minerals; iron, copper and zinc.
5 Superfood - Quinoa
Quinoa has to be the top carbohydrate choice out there. Not only does it contain fewer calories than a food like white rice but the real winner is that quinoa is loaded with benefits. Quinoa has an abundance of both fiber and protein. Compared to other grainy carbohydrates the fiber level is a lot higher. It is also a food that doesn’t contain gluten, for those that have intolerances.
Most important, this food has a low glycemic index meaning that it aids in stabilizing and losing weight – not the other way around like lots of grainy carbohydrates.
4 Avoid – White Rice
White rice isn’t the worst food we include on the list. For those that are looking to gain muscle this carbohydrate option is totally fine. After all, a lot of muscle gain has to do with carb consumption.
However, for those looking to lose weight, Quinoa is by far the better alternative. Rice does contain vitamins and minerals but it lacks in fiber. Typically, white rice has no fiber content at all. It also has a high rating on the glycemic index. Meaning, those that struggle with sugar digestion might have a hard time digesting such a food option.
3 Superfood – Chia Seeds
Fiber is essential to weight loss. It helps in a dieter feeling full while it also allows a dieter to process the food that much quicker. According to recent studies, it is actually a proven fact that chia seeds aid in the weight loss development.
This is a superfood containing protein, fats and carbohydrates, it is truly a nutritionally dense food option featuring all of the big three nutrition sources. Chia seeds also contain various antioxidants along with calcium (which those with a dairy intolerance lack) and omega-3.
2 Avoid - Added or Artificial Sweeteners
Added sweeteners raise insulin levels. For those that have intolerances to sugar, it can lead to a weight spike in the opposing direction. This can be found in healthy items such as oatmeal. Take apple oatmeal for example, this contains lots of added sugars – despite the similar calorie content to regular oatmeal a dieter won’t feel the same way because of the elevated sugar content.
The same goes for artificial sweeteners. Numerous studies associate artificial sweeteners with lots of health risks. Again, the overall calorie content might be appealing. However, the benefits of artificial sweeteners really aren’t and have the opposite effect in truth.
1 Superfoods - Greece-styled Yogurt
Need some sweetness in your life! Try to incorporate some Greece-styled yogurt! Not only is this an excellent protein source but it also goes with just about anything. Greece-styled yogurt mixed in with oatmeal and a bit of peanut butter can help to suppress those sugar cravings.
In addition, along with protein, Greece-styled yogurt contains vitamin B12 along with calcium and potassium. Calcium is a great source to have on your side when battling against weight loss. Without a doubt, this is a superfood to incorporate.