You may not look up to a nutritionist the way you do an athlete or your best friend, but maybe you should reconsider. The truth is that nutritionists know a lot more than what we hear them tell us when they talk about food. They know how to heal the body with nutrition. They know how to strengthen the body to combat illness, fatigue, and weight gain. They also know what not to eat. And what a nutritionist eliminates from her diet should definitely be on your list of must-skip foods, too.
What you may not realize, however, is that often your nutritionist passes on foods you might think are not only perfectly healthy, but foods you probably think you need to eat to lose weight. Ready to be surprised? We consulted Keisha Luke, a Toronto-based culinary nutritionist, and she gave us the skinny on the foods she avoids as much as she possibly can!
1. Any Diet Food
Diet Coke-lovers, you may want to take a step away from this story. Same for you, low-calorie ice cream fans, as well as anyone thinking that their diet snack is immune to this rule. The sad truth is that anything labeled with the term “diet” isn’t likely to be all that good for you. It may be lower calorie than another nondiet product, but by taking out the calories or fat, they also had to take out good stuff – and likely put in a lot of bad stuff or unnatural stuff as well.
Luke’s rule: “As a culinary nutritionist, the emphasis is not on dieting as much as it is on maintaining a healthy lifestyle using whole foods. ‘Diet’ foods do not mean healthier. Balance is important for the body, so that we are fueling it with the proper vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Depriving our bodies of such vitamins, minerals, and nutrients lends itself to binge-eating and a roller coaster of cravings.”
2. Canned Fish
Wait a minute! Fish is pretty much the healthiest protein out there, right? Well, with very few exceptions, fish can be the best bet for anyone wanting to lose weight or maintain a healthy diet, but when it’s canned, it loses a lot of its positive capabilities. Additionally, a lot of canned fish contains potentially harmful chemicals and added salt and oil!
Luke’s rule: “Canned fish (especially salmon) contains high levels of mercury, which causes excess toxins in the body, and the preservation process of canned foods such as tuna makes the food lose nutritional value, not to mention the hazards of BPA-laced cans, which can be very detrimental to your health!”
OK, so you’ve heard you shouldn’t be slapping butter on everything and you already knew not to put mayonnaise on much of anything (if at all), but even margarine? Say it isn’t so! We know. It would be great to be able to keep using that miraculous yellow stuff that can make anything from a sandwich to popcorn so much better with each bite, but your nutritionist stays away from it without exception. Why? It may have less fat, but the fat in it is the worst kind.
Luke’s rule: “Yes. I know we hear this a lot: ‘I can’t believe it’s not butter.’ And that is because it’s truly not butter. Although it is deemed as a healthier alternative for butter or even coconut oil, margarine contains trans fat, which is not the best for our health.”