Chef V's organic food pyramid
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You probably don’t need me to tell you to lay off the soda, donuts and Twinkies.

But because of conflicting diet advice, certain foods that aren’t clearly junk seem to straddle the fence. Maybe it’s healthy. Maybe it’s not.

Take eggs and butter, for instance. In years past, both these foods have been vilified by cardiologists. But in more recent years, as the link between saturated fat and heart disease has become not so evident, eggs and butter are no longer necessarily bad for you.

As a certified nutritional therapist, my mission is to help people reach their health goals as quickly as possible. And it’s for that reason, I still think butter and eggs, along with all dairy and most, animal products should be avoided.

Not forever, mind you. But at least when you’re embarking on a new health goal, you should avoid certain foods. This is especially true if your goals are to lose weight, increase metabolism, and cleanse your vital organs.

Now, if you want to skip the rest of this article and download my Eat This Not That guide, no worries. Just scroll down and download it. But if you want to understand my rationale for advocating for certain foods while bashing the others, keep reading…

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Should I Eat Dairy? 

The short answer is no. Not if you want to reach your health goals as quickly as possible. Here’s why you should avoid all dairy. Excluding the obvious reasons for avoiding dairy, such as lactose intolerance and dairy sensitivity, one of the biggest things that dairy can do to your body is cause inflammation. I’d even avoid organic dairy in the beginning of your health transformation.

Inflammation can manifest in several different ways. It can cause belly bloating, acne, joint stiffness/pain and gas. But don’t just take it from me. According to the Arthritis Foundation, a diet high in saturated fats – which are plentiful in cheese and full-fat dairy products – can increase inflammation. A study published in The Journal of Nutrition in 2015 found that eating dairy foods increased low-grade inflammation in German adults.

Can you see why I’m not down with dairy? But if you love dairy, there are several substitutes I list in my Eat This Not That guide, below.

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best foods to cleanse your liver
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What About Animal Protein? 

Even when you do one of my cleanse programs, I make sure you’re getting adequate protein intake. Consuming sufficient protein is vital for preserving lean muscle mass, and for maintaining healthy hair and nails. Unlike carbs and fat, which your body can use for energy, your body only burns its own protein in a desperate last resort.

So, yes, protein is super important to eat—every single day (with the exception being an occasional 24-hour fast). But perhaps no other category of food can be super healthy and totally egregious to your health at the same time.

Take for instance wild salmon. It’s a superfood. On the flip side, there’s bacon. Both come from the flesh of animals. But the former is heart-healthy while the latter may contribute to cancer. Certain animal protein can help you reach your health goals while others will make it more difficult to notice positive results. See the chart below to find out which animal proteins I recommend.

Keep in mind you don’t need a ton of protein. In general, I recommend limiting intake of animal protein to once per day, with a portion about the size of your fist.

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antioxidant vegetables
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Can I Eat Grains? 

If you love grains, the good news is you don’t have to totally avoid them to reach your health goals. In fact, you can have brown rice, quinoa and several other types of healthy grains. See the chart below for more ideas.

But there are certain grains, such as white rice, which are lower in nutrients and tend to be digested very rapidly. You want to avoid carbs (grains are carbs) that are digested rapidly. That’s because when you eat something that burns up quickly, your stomach will send a signal to your brain that you’re hungry again.

And most often, that false hunger results in cravings not for healthy food like steamed broccoli, but for more empty carbs.

Print It Out!

Print 3 copies of the Eat This Not That guide. Hang one on the fridge. Bring one to work. And keep one in the car so that if you go to a restaurant or get invited to dinner, you’ll know exactly what to eat and what to avoid.

Try your best to stick to this list until you reach your health goals. Then, you can celebrate by introducing one or two foods on the right side of the list.

But there’s a good chance that after you reach your goals, your taste buds will be totally reset—you won’t even want to eat the “Not That” foods on the list.

Eat as much as you need to of the foods on the Eat This side of the list so that your belly is three-quarters full.

You’ll notice I suggest in the list to avoid certain fruits that are high in sugar. That being said, you can use some common-sense moderation. If you are craving something sweet and you don’t have any blueberries handy, eating a few grapes won’t knock you down a step.

So without further ado, download the guide: Eat This Not That

Bonus Guides:

How Much Should I Eat? 

Download Chef V’s Healthy Portions Eating Chart

When Should I Eat? 

Download Chef V’s Healthy Routine Schedule

What Should I Eat For Breakfast? 

Download Chef V’s Healthy Breakfast Recipes (Smoothies Included)

What Should I Eat For Breakfast & Lunch?

Download Chef V’s Entree Ideas for Healthy Lunches and Dinners

****For convenient access to these guides, access your account to download anytime.