You may have seen it on fitness websites or on your Facebook newsfeed: the laundry list of foods that registered dietitians “won’t eat.” The list is usually about a mile long and contains any food product that’s not a leafy green, an “ancient grain,” or some “magic superfood.” My dietary recommendations typically focus on what to eat (and how much), rather than what not to eat. But I decided to mix it up, and create my own list of some things that I would never eat:
Most women need about 25 g of fiber a day. In a quest to reach our daily needs, sometimes it can be tempting to go to extremes. Paper is packed with insoluble fiber, but not the best option to round out a meal. Because it’s not food.
Instead try: High fiber, whole grain staples like brown rice and bran cereal.
I’ve tried for years, but there’s just no hope for me and cauliflower. I just don’t like the taste, and I probably never will, so I won’t eat it. Luckily, I’ve got plenty of other nutrient-packed veggies to choose from.
Instead try: Roasted brussel sprouts or a kale salad.
3. Chicken Salad that Sat in a Hot Car for 3 Hours
If a perishable food has been in the temperature danger zone for over 2 hours, I won’t touch it. And neither should you! Two words: foodborne illness. And two more words: yuck, gross.
4. Dog Food
A quick, convenient protein source should be a staple of everyone’s pantry. Dog food is protein-packed and shelf-stable. But this dietitian would never eat it. Why? Because it’s for dogs.
Instead try: Tasty, on-the-go protein sources like beef jerky or packaged tuna.
Ok, it’s obvious. I don’t think these lists are helpful. As long as a food is safe, there isn’t anything that needs to be completely off-limits. “No-no lists” from celebrity dietitians make for great clickbait, but they don’t empower you to build and maintain a healthful diet. Fill your diet with a variety of foods, including lean protein, whole grains, fruits and veggies. Also, save room for a treat every now and then, because it’s “no-no lists” themselves that should be off-limits.