This is one of the top questions I get asked on a daily basis. Many just don't know where to begin and say "just tell me what foods are healthy and what foods aren't". I created this list to answer that question but remember you don't have to follow that all-or-nothing concept. If you're trying to do more of a plant-based diet it is important to have this knowledge but take your time making adjustments. You don't have to cut out all of your favorites if many are on the unhealthy list. It's important to make changes you're comfortable with and have some grace with yourself. You can make some realistic changes without overdoing it. As you go through the unhealthy list, keep in mind that your goal is to limit these foods as much as possible, not avoid completely if you're not ready. Make changes at a comfortable pace.
Let's look at some samples from the healthy list. The recommended portions are next to each item as well.
Fruits (3 servings/day)-see below
Veggies (2-3 cups/day)
Whole grains (3 servings/day)
Potatoes, all kinds
Legumes, lentils, peas (1.5 cups/d)
1-2 T Natural Peanut Butter
1/3 Cup nuts –get a variety
2T Seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, hemp seeds)
1T Ground flaxseed
1T Chia seeds
1-2T Olive oil
Now let's look at some samples from the unhealthy list.
Tropical oils -palm, coconut
Potato chips -although there are healthy alternatives
Fried foods, French fries, etc.
Vegan cheese or mayo
Some vegan yogurts
Some protein bars
Sweets (cake, cookies, candy, pie)
Most non-dairy ice creams
Coconut -I’d love more research
Fake meat (turkey, bacon, etc)
Some frozen veggie burgers