Dr. Laura: Fibromyalgia helped by a gluten free diet

There is evidence of non-celiac gluten sensitivity in those suffering with fibromyalgia.

Gluten Free Diet Part of Fibromyalgia Treatment

Research shows those patients with fibromyalgia have remarkable improvement when on a gluten free diet. Other interventions can be additionally helpful, such as a lactose free diet and some basic supplementation to help correct any nutritional deficiencies that are likely due to poor absorption.

How does it make a difference?

Patients experienced reduced gastrointestinal inflammation, and one or more of the following improvements: remission of FM pain criteria, return to work, return to normal life as judged by the patient, or opioid discontinuation.

How to test?

This study used before and after criteria as well as a duodenal (part of the small intestine) biopsy. A simple blood test called Cyrex Array 3 can also show the type of damage wheat can have on the brain, skin, intestine or other body tissues. This type of lab test can be ordered through your naturopathic doctor.

References:

Isasi C, Colmenero I, Casco F, et al. Fibromyalgia and non-celiac gluten sensitivity: a description with remission of fibromyalgia. Rheumatology International. 2014;34(11):1607-1612. doi:10.1007/s00296-014-2990-6.

Dr. Laura: Probiotics to Treat Depression

Research strengthens the GUT-Brain axis connection; McMaster University find benefits of probiotics in cases of depression.

Probiotics may relieve symptoms of depression, suggests a new study.
Credit: © WrightStudio / Fotolia

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170523124119.htm

Specific Strains Identified

A number of patients come to me with a history of depression. Some may or may not be medicated at the time. Probiotics are a safe addition to current regimes and there are specific strains which have been researched for helping depression. One of my clinical favourite multi-strain probiotics happens to carry these four strains, in addition to seven others. This together with other forms of supplementation like B-12 injections, fish oil in the proper format and doses can make a big difference in over all mood and productivity.

Are you a candidate?

After a full intake and physical screening, a review of your latest blood work and any imaging, Dr. Laura M. Brown ND can help you build a plan for a happier healthier you.

Book now

Dr. Laura: Gluten and the Brain

 You don’t have to be celiac to be affected by gluten. In fact there are 6 fold more people negatively affected by gluten than those diagnosed with celiac disease.

How Does Gluten Affect the Brain?

Gluten consumption has been linked to inflammation and damage not only in the gastrointestinal tract, but also in the brain.
Gluten has been linked to ADHD, schizophrenia, autism, anxiety, depression, ataxia (gait or walking disturbances), brain fog, bi-polar disorder, multiple sclerosis, neuromyelitis optics, myelitis and neurodegenerative diseases.
The tests regularly done to diagnose Celiac are blood tests for tissue transglutaminase and anti-gliadin antibodies. Sometimes these tests are not enough to tell if you are sensitive to gluten. This is because they are markers that will show positive only when the brush border of the intestinal track is completely damaged, as it is in full on Celiac disease. But what if you are on the spectrum of Celiac – your brush border is not completely damaged?

GUT, Brain, Anything Else?

In order to find out if you have gluten or wheat related tissue injury, ask Dr. Laura about a CyrexArray3 test. It will help you understand if gluten affects your brain, your skin, your organs or your gut.
 
Below is a link to an article my friend Chris presents. It’s really well done. Also is another article I found on multiple sclerosis and gluten: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/305696407_Serological_prevalence_of_celiac_disease_in_Brazilian_population_of_multiple_sclerosis_neuromyelitis_optica_and_myelitis.
You may click on the link or copy and paste in your browser:

Is Gluten Killing Your Brain?

Dr. Laura: Micro biome linked to fatigue, insomnia and hormone regulation

Did you know? You can fix your fatigue, insomnia, and hormones by focussing on your flora. Find out how and why your gut affects your biorhythms in the next complimentary seminar with Dr. Laura M. Brown.

The GUT-Circadian Rhythm Connection

Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND, is a licensed naturopathic doctor, Certified HeartMath Practitioner, Ceritified Gluten Practitioner and has a Functional Medicine approach in her practice. What she really does is help people better digest their food and the world around them.

Wednesday, July 12th 6:30-8:00pm @ Goodness Me

Register Now!

Dr. Phil Shares: 12 Food Storage Tips to Make Your Groceries Last Longer

 

12-Grocery-Storage-Tips-to-Make-Food-Last-Longer

We’ve all been there before — tossing fuzzy raspberries, wilted parsley, and mushy apples into the trash bin with a heavy heart thanks to subpar food storage.

It’s all too easy to forget about your groceries until they start stinking up your kitchen, but here’s the good news: knowing how to store them properly isn’t rocket science.

Not only does proper food storage prevent unnecessary waste (and sudden bouts of frustration), but it also lessens your grocery bill and minimizes the risk of a contracting a food-borne illness.

12 Food Storage Tips to Help Your Food Last Longer

These 12 simple food storage tips will help ensure your food stays fresh as long as possible.

Store dairy products at the back of the fridge
Take your jug of two-percent out of the fridge door. That location might make it easy to grab quickly for your bowl of cereal, but it might make it spoil faster because of the temperature. Ani Aratounians, R.D., says it’s crucial to keep your dairy products at the back of the fridge where it’s coldest.

Put meat on the bottom shelf
Nothing ruins a container of broccoli faster than a soak in pork juice. “Meats should be on the bottom shelf so juices don’t drip on other foods,” Aratounians says. If you’re out of precious lower shelf space, put the meat in a tray with a raised lip to catch any liquid that might try to escape. She also advises keeping cold cuts separate from other raw meat to prevent cross-contamination.

Treat herbs like flowers
Fresh herbs, asparagus, and green onions can all be stored upright in a tall glass of fresh water. Just trim the stems, cover them with a bit of plastic wrap, and place them in the fridge.

Know where to store fruits and vegetables
Not all fruits and veggies need to live in the fridge. Avocados, citrus, bananas, nectarines, pears, peaches, onions, tomatoes, and potatoes can all be stored at room temperature or in a cool pantry. But don’t store onions and potatoes together. Because of ethylene gas that some kinds of produce release, they cause each other to spoil faster.

Wrap your greens in paper towels
To prevent slimy residue from accumulating in your bag of lettuce, spinach, or other leafy greens, stick paper towels inside to soak up excess moisture. You can do the same with leftover salad greens in food storage containers.

Use plastic wrap on bananas
Cover the crown of a bunch of bananas in plastic wrap to slow the release of ethylene gas. This will prevent them from ripening too quickly if you’re not going to use the whole bunch right away. But even if you find yourself with some bananas that are past their prime, that doesn’t mean you have to toss them into the trash. There are a number of tasty recipes that call for overripe bananas.

Wrap celery in foil
Wrapping the entire bunch of celery in foil helps it stay fresh and crunchy for up to four weeks in your crisper drawer. The foil helps to keep just the right amount of moisture in, and the ethylene gas out.

Wash produce as you go
If washing fruits and veggies is the first thing you do when you come home from the grocery store, you might want to switch up your routine. Unless you plan on freezing your food, Aratounians advises only washing things you’re ready to eat right away or soon after. That lessens the chance of mold growing on damp produce. And if you’re going to chop up your food in advance to save time, just wait to wash it right before you eat it.

Soak berries in vinegar
If you don’t eat all the berri quick soak in a three-parts water, one-part vinegar solution will kill bacteria and prevent molding. Rinse the berries thoroughly then pat dry once you’re done.

Roast veggies
Nutritionist Jodi Geigle recommends roasting vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower to extend their shelf life. “It’s also a great meal prep tip to have cooked veggies on hand that you can quickly throw in as an addition to any meal,” Geigle says.

Store grains in air-tight containers
Buying in bulk is a great way to save money when grocery shopping, but you want to store it correctly so the extra food doesn’t go to waste. “If you buy grains in bulk, be sure to transfer them to an airtight container to maintain freshness, as well as keep bugs away,” says Aratounians.

Go a step further and label your containers with the purchase dates so you know how long you’ve had your grains.

Double-check your fridge’s temperature
Finally, after you’ve wrapped and placed all your perishables in the refrigerator, be sure that it’s set at the right temperature. “Make sure your fridge thermometer is working correctly to prevent spoilage and reduce the risk of food-borne illness,” says Geigle. The temperature should be set to at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit (five degrees Celsius), or a few degrees lower.

Food Storage Tips to Help Your Groceries Last Longer

Dr. Phil Shares: 6 Important Things to Do After Your Workout

 

6-Important-Things-to-Do-After-Your-Workout

So, you had an intense workout. You legs are shaking, your mouth is dry, and your shirt is drenched. All you want to do is collapse on the ground and not move until you stop wheezing and your face stops beating bright red.

But before you call it a day and throw in the sweat-soaked towel, there are a few crucial things you need to do to jumpstart your recovery process, prevent injury, and make sure you’re prepared for your next workout.

Don’t worry, these post-workout tips aren’t complicated and they won’t add too much time to your exercise regime. Plus, you may even seriously enjoy a few of them! (Hint: there’s chocolate involved.)

These six tips will help you cool down, refuel, and recharge after your workout so you can be ready to give it your all the following day.

1. Keep moving.

It’s tempting to just plop down on the couch or jump in the shower the second you finish your final rep, but our bodies need time to transition back to our natural resting state. That’s where the cool down comes into play.

There are two different ways to cool down – dynamically and statically. Dynamic cool downs keep your body moving, and include walking or light jogging. This helps lower your heart rate, reduce post-workout soreness, and promotes healthy blood circulation to carry nutrients and oxygen to the muscles you just exercised, says Meghan Kennihan, NASM Personal Trainer and RRCA and USAT Run Coach. She recommends five to 10 minutes of light jogging or walking after your workout.

2. Stretch and/or foam roll.

The second way to cool down is by doing static stretches. Your muscles are constantly contracting during exercise, which leaves them tight unless they’re properly stretched out. Too much tightness in your muscles can set you up for injury down the road.

Kennihan recommends doing some basic stretches for your back, chest, hips, quads, hamstrings, and calves for 30 seconds each after you finish exercising to loosen all your muscles.

To further reduce tension in your muscles, try foam rolling. “As you reduce tension, you’ll boost blood flow, which will help speed up recovery,” says Trevor Thieme, C.S.C.S. and Beachbody Fitness and Nutrition Content Manager. “Don’t just roll the muscles you targeted in your workout — give every muscle group at least five rolls, starting with your calves and working your way up your body.” Don’t have a foam roller yet? Get one here.

3. Hydrate.

“One of the most critical things to do after you workout is to rehydrate effectively and fully replenish any fluids and electrolytes lost,” says Priya Khorana, M.S. and ACSM-accredited Exercise Physiologist.

Water is the best option for hydration, but if you’re significantly dehydrated, Khorana recommends sipping a hydration formula to replenish your salt and electrolytes. Beachbody Performance Hydrate provides both electrolytes and carbohydrates to maximize absorption to keep you properly hydrated during and after your workouts.

4. Refuel.

How you refuel your body after a workout is key to the recovery process.

“Post-workout, your mission is to supply your muscles with the building blocks (amino acids) they need for repair and growth,” says Thieme.

Endurance athletes should also replenish glycogen, which Thieme describes as “the stored form of glucose — your body’s go-to fuel source.”

Beachbody Performance Recover is ideal for both these purposes. This post-workout supplement is full of fast-absorbing whey protein, pomegranate extract to help reduce exercise-induced soreness, and “just enough carbs to give you a head-start on glycogen resynthesis,” says Thieme.

If you want to eat whole foods after your workout, Denis Faye, M.S. and Beachbody Senior Director of Nutrition, says it’s important to eat something balanced with not too much fat. Think of tasty snacks like chocolate milk, a turkey sandwich, or cottage cheese with chickpeas.

5. Record your progress.

Before you mentally check out after a workout, take a couple minutes to record what you did. Along with specific details about what the workout entailed (heaviness of the weights, number of reps, distance, etc.), include notes about how you felt before, during, and after exercising.

“If you keep a workout journal, it helps you to figure out which exercises energize you, which drain you, and which are the best workouts for your body overall,” says Kennihan. “Also, if you get injured you can look back at your journal and see instances where you may have gone too hard or worked out through soreness or pain.”

If old-school journaling isn’t your style, invest in a watch, fitness monitor, or app that automatically tracks your workouts or lets you log your progress quickly. And if you’re an Apple Watch user, then you can track your caloric burn and heart rate during your workouts by connecting to the Beachbody On Demand app. It then stores the data for you to review later on.

6. Clean up.

Cleanliness isn’t usually high on the list of post-workout priorities — but it should be. Whether you work out at a gym or in your living room, exercise equipment like mats, benches, and weights can be breeding grounds for germs. Before you carry on with your day, and especially before you eat, take a few minutes to freshen up. Check out our tips for cleaning up and killing germs in your home gym.

Shared by Dr. Phil McAllister @ Forward Health Guelph

Thanks To Beachbody.com

Dr. Phil Shares: 14 Unique Ways to Get Your 10,000 Steps In

 

14 Unique Ways to Get Your 10,000 Steps In

Part of reaching your health and fitness goals is literally putting one foot in front of the other… again and again and again.

We’ve all seen the ominous headlines blaring that sitting will kill you and how sitting is the new smoking. But before you throw out every chair in your house (and office), it’s important to remember that it’s more about the lack of movement than the act of putting your butt in a chair that’s not good for your body.

That said, sitting for extended periods of time isn’t great even for people who exercise on the regular: According to 2015 research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, constant sitting — during your commute, at your desk, or on the couch— may blunt the positive effects of your workouts.

That’s partially because long bouts of inactivity inhibit the flow of blood and nutrients to your muscles between exercise sessions, explains Jason Raynor, C.S.C.S., a Nike Master Trainer with the Spa at JW Marriott Chicago. Performing regular activity like walking throughout the day, however, can help your muscles recover and reduce exercise-induced inflammation, Raynor says.

14 Unique Ways to Get Your 10,000 Steps In

What’s more, outside of your workout, your non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) — the energy you burn doing things like walking from point A to point B — is the biggest source of your daily caloric burn, says Kimberly Mills, owner of FitPossibilities Personal Training and Nutrition Coaching in Missouri. And remember: Hitting 10,000 steps a day is not a substitute for exercise — pair your workouts with regular movement throughout the day.

 

Do You Really Need to Take 10,000 Steps a Day?

“There’s nothing magical about the 10,000 number,” Dr. Campbell says. “The number came from pedometers sold in Japan in the 1960s. They were marketed under the name ‘manpo-kei,’ which translates to ‘10,000-steps meter.’ The 10,000 step count then just kind of caught on since then.”

That said, performing regular movement — taking more steps than you did last week or last month — is the goal.

Research published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity suggests that most healthy adults rack up between 4,000 and 18,000 steps per day, while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) doesn’t even bother making a step recommendation. Instead, it recommends that adults do strength training and 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week, which is roughly 8,000 steps a day, according to Campbell.

 

14 Easy Ways to Take More Steps

1. Get a dog. Nothing will get you out of the house faster than a puppy that needs to do some business. Not sure if you can commit? Check your local animal shelter or pet rescue sites for foster home programs; you’ll be doing your body and a homeless pooch a favor.

2. Take the stairs. At work, at the mall, at the train station, anywhere. If you wear a fitness tracker, you’ll score both steps and flights.

3. Take a moving break. During your lunch break, go on a 15-minute walk around the block. Not only will you get your steps in, but you may feel more focused at work. And remember to get up frequently during the day, not just at lunch.

4. Get a treadmill desk. Check with your company to see if they provide treadmill desks (yes, it’s a thing) for employees. Walking while you’re typing takes some getting used to, but it’s worth it.

5. Park far away. Every couple of hundred steps walking to or from your car adds up quickly. Plus, if you park at the back of the parking lot, you’ll help save your car from dings and dents.

6. Take the long way. When you’re at work and need to go to the restroom, skip the closest one and take a detour. Hit the stairs and use one on a different floor, or just take the longest route there. The same goes for doing errands (on foot) or strolling to a friend’s house.

7. Take a post-meal walk. Put your shoes on after you put down your fork. Taking a 15-minute walk after dinner can help you digest your meal faster, too.

8. Get off the bus or train one (or two) stops early. Two birds, one stone: You’ll help reduce carbon emissions and do your body good at the same time.

9. Play with your kids. Hide and seek can take a lot of steps!

10. Walk and talk. Take your business calls on the go, or skip the conference room and have walking meetings with your colleagues.

11. Don’t fast forward your DVR. The next time you binge-watch “The Walking Dead,” don’t fast forward through the commercials. Stand up and march in place or pick stuff up around the house until the zombies get walking again.

12. Drink up. All of those trips to the water cooler at work—and the restroom—will make a big dent in your day’s step total.

13. Go on a walking date. It’s a kind of a throwback, but there’s something charming about taking a stroll, especially a sunset one, with your S.O. (If it’s a first-date-gone-wrong, then you can keep walking — away.)

14. Take extra trips. When unloading grocery bags from the car or carrying laundry to the bedroom, it’s tempting to try to take as few trips as possible. Instead, try taking one more trip than you absolutely have to.

With all the technology and machinery available to move us around with the least amount of effort, it’s easy to get in the “why walk?” mindset. We’re not saying you need to pull a Forrest Gump and traverse the U.S. on foot, but you’ll be surprised at how fast you’ll hit your daily goal (whatever it is) when you use your feet for what they were meant to do.

Dr. Laura’s Rosemary Nut Recipe

Rosemary Nuts

1 pound raw unsalted nuts of your choice

(I love an assortment of almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, pumpkin seeds, pecans)

2 tablespoons butter OR coconut oil, melted

1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)

2 tablespoons dried rosemary

½ tsp Himalayan sea salt

One serving is about 1/4 cup.

  1. Heat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Spread the nuts evenly on a baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes or until fragrant and beginning to brown. Transfer the nuts to a large bowl (set the baking sheet aside). ( Note! in our oven only took 6 min and be sure to place on lower level rack and watch closely.)
  3. Mix the melted butter or coconut oil with the rosemary, and salt, optional to add a little maple syrup, pour it over the warm nuts, and toss with a wooden spoon. Spread the nuts back on the baking sheet and let them cool on the counter for 30 minutes, or until all elements have solidified and cooled. Serve at room temperature. (They’re not as good if you try to eat them while they’re still warm.)

Nuts are a good source of magnesium, healthy fats and protein. Magnesium is critical in relaxing muscles, regulating the HPA axis and in many other metabolic transactions in the body. Brazil nuts are a source of selenium, important for thyroid health. Almonds are a source of vitamin E. Pumpkin seeds are a good source of zinc, important in a healthy gastrointestinal tract, immune function, thyroid health and sperm production. Rosemary helps the liver’s detoxification process. Olive oil is a healthy fat important in cardiovascular health. Coconut oil is high in caprylic acid and helps regulate healthy intestinal flora. Sea salt is a good source of minerals.

From the kitchen of Dr. Laura M. Brown,  ND.

Picture from www.kitchenparade.com

Dr. Phil Shares: 4 Exercises for Knee Pain That Will Strengthen and Protect

4-Exercises-for-Knee-Pain

Even the fittest of us can experience knee pain during activity and exercise. If you’re feeling discouraged about getting back into shape because of knee pain, you’re not alone: The Centers for Disease Control estimates that nearly half of all North Americans will suffer from knee arthritis at some point. That includes two out of three obese Americans.

But don’t let a little discomfort push you off track. Sometimes targeting the area, gently and safely, with some basic exercises for knee pain is the best recourse—as long as you check with a doctor first.

 

Why Do Your Knees Hurt to Begin With?

Many factors can contribute to knee pain—bad posture, certain shoes, and excess pressure on the joints are all possible culprits. But there are also a number of diseases and conditions of which knee pain may be a symptom. According to chiropractor Josh Axe, D.N.M., these include—but are not limited to—chronic knee pain including rheumatic arthritis, Lyme disease, lupus, and even psoriasis. Because of this, we recommend seeing a doctor or physical therapist instead of guessing at the cause of your pain—and potentially exacerbating it.

 

How to Exercise When You Have Knee Pain

Once you’ve met with a doctor and have been cleared to exercise, the Mayo Clinic recommends the following three strategies that may help alleviate and prevent future knee pain.

  1. Strengthen the muscles around your aching joints to help brace them for the load.
  2. Maintain strength in your bones. One of the reasons why you’re in pain may be because the joints aren’t used to being exercised.
  3. Lose excess body weight, removing one potential source of stress from your joints with consistent exercise that’s safe for your knees.

Assuming you get the go-ahead from your doctor, here are some basic exercises for knee pain you can most likely do without causing discomfort or further injury.

 

Stretches for Knee Pain

Stretching, warming up and cooling down are particularly important when training through discomfort like knee pain. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons has an insightful guide to stretching out the knees before a workout, including:

Basic Exercises for Knee Pain That Will Protect and Stabilize standing quad stretchSTANDING QUAD STRETCH
You’ve probably done this a zillion times without knowing the benefits: Stand up, bend your right knee so that your heel nears your right butt cheek, and grab the top of your foot. Keep knees close together, press your hip forward, and stretch the front of your hip and knee for 30-60 seconds before you switch sides.

Basic Exercises for Knee Pain That Will Protect and Stabilize hamstring stretchHAMSTRING STRETCH
Stand with your right foot extended about a foot in front of you, heel flexed upward. Hinge at the hip and bend your torso toward the right thigh. Square your hips and straighten the right leg, flexing the toes up. Aim for 30-60 seconds of stretching around the back of the knee. (These will get you ready for a more strength-oriented knee rehabilitation program too.)

 

Leg-Strengthening Exercises for Knee Pain

You might find that the mere act of daily stretching goes a long way toward soothing your achy knees. Weekly strength training will also help you to go an extra mile toward stabilizing the muscles and joints around those precious patellas.

Basic Exercises for Knee Pain That Will Protect and Stabilize half squatHALF SQUAT
For those experiencing knee pain, the half squat—going halfway down and holding the squat for five seconds—can be the best place to start.

• Stand with your feet hip- to shoulder-width apart

• Keeping your back flat and core braced, push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body to a comfortable depth.

• Pause for five seconds, and then push yourself back up to the starting position. Do 10-15 reps.

If it gets too easy, hold five- to 10-pound dumbbells. Three sets of 10-15 perfect squats ought to do the trick.

 


Basic Exercises for Knee Pain That Will Protect and Stabilize leg pressRESISTANCE BAND LEG PRESS
You’ll need a strong resistance band for these.

• Lie down and hook your right foot in the band like a stirrup, with the left foot extended on the floor.

• Slowly bring your right knee to your chest, fighting the resistance of the band and keeping your pelvis square, until it’s bent at 90 degrees.

• After a beat, slowly push out to full leg extension. Do 10-15 reps and switch sides for three sets.

Performing these gentle moves and soothing stretches under a doctor’s care may potentially help rehab any minor knee problems without surgery, while allowing you all the benefits of healthy exercise and continued weight loss. Once your health practitioner gives the OK, don’t quit some of your favorite workouts because they can actually help stabilize and protect your knee from pain.

Shared by Dr. Phil McAllister @ Forward Health

Thanks for Sharing the Content Beachbody

Dr. Phil Shares:5 Foods to Avoid if You Want to Shed The Pounds

 

"Home made loaf of white bread, sliced.Similar:"

Losing weight can seem like an uphill slog at times. It doesn’t help that food companies use targeted marketing and packaging to make unhealthy foods enticing to us from the minute we start eating solids.

As an adult trying to lead a healthy (-ish) lifestyle, you may be able to resist the flashy cereal boxes and giant bags of chips. And probably know your way around basic nutrition facts.

But what other foods, besides the obvious culprits, should take a back seat? Read on to learn what you should keep out of your pantry and refrigerator if you want to lose weight.

A Calorie Is a Calorie (or Is It?)

First things first: Cutting back on calories can result in weight loss, says Katy MacQueen, a senior bariatric dietitian who specializes in weight management. But that doesn’t mean all calories are the same.

“100 calories of potato chips and 100 calories of almonds have very different effects once they hit your digestive system,” Alissa Rumsey, RD, says. The almonds have protein, fat, and fiber — all of which help keep you fuller longer than a handful of potato chips.

It’s best to choose nutrient-dense foods — meaning they have plenty of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other healthy nutrients for their calories. A smart, healthy way to cut calories — and shed some pounds — is to cool it on foods that have little nutritional value associated with them, such as added sugars, fried foods, sugar-sweetened beverages, and alcohol, MacQueen says. And it all starts with your grocery cart.

5 Foods to Avoid if You Want to Lose Weight

Shop Smart to Lose Weight

For most people, the food in your refrigerator and pantry dictates what you’ll be eating for most of your meals. While a little treat (hi, Nutella!) here and there isn’t going to completely sabotage your weight-loss efforts, having a shelf full of unhealthy foods can.

“Seeing junk food is a cue to your brain to eat it,” MacQueen says. Her suggestion? Keep less healthy foods out of the house (or hidden) and putting healthy foods at the front of the pantry or fridge so they’re the first foods you see.

Rumsey says this is especially important if certain foods are “triggers” for you, meaning you tend to lose control and overeat them. Moral of the story: When it comes to junk food, practice the adage “out of sight, out of mind.”

5 Foods to Avoid if You Want to Lose Weight

Tips to keep healthy food top of mind:

  • Keep a stocked fruit bowl on your counter.
  • Wash and prep some fruits and veggies so they are ready to eat.
  • Prep snack boxes that you can grab and go.
  • Keep refrigerated produce front and center.
  • If you live with someone who doesn’t eat that healthy — or has a year’s supply of Girl Scout cookies on hand — ask if it’s okay to store your healthy food at eye level and the junk food out of immediate sight.

5 Foods to Avoid if You Want to Lose Weight

Foods to Keep Out of Your Kitchen

1. Refined Grains

This category includes: White bread, white rice, many baked goods

For many people, white pasta, rice, cookies, cereal, and bagels make the world go ’round. But refined grains have been processed in a way that removes fiber and important nutrients, and taking the fiber out means you’ll feel less full, making it easier to overeat.

Since there’s no fiber, refined grains are digested much more quickly than unrefined ones. This can result in a spike in your blood sugar, which can then cause the body to over-secrete the hormone insulin. “A surge of insulin can then result in low blood sugar, which makes you hungry again,” she says. “Insulin is a storage hormone, so when a lot is released, we end up storing most of those calories as fat [if not used for energy],” Rumsey adds.

Whole grains, on the other hand, aren’t stripped of fiber and key nutrients. They’re digested much more slowly, which leads to more stable blood sugar levels and less “I WANT MORE PASTA!”

The good news: Plenty of refined grain favorites have healthier unrefined versions. Try swaps like brown rice for white rice, and nutty, whole-grain wheat bread for white bread.

2. Foods and Drinks With Added Sugar

This category includes: Pasta sauce, fruit juice, yogurt, condiments

Sugar can sneak into your daily diet in some of the most unlikely foods. Manufacturers often add sugar (in the form of cane juice, fruit juice concentrate, high-fructose corn syrup, and more) to foods and drinks like yogurt, fruit juice, sports drinks, pasta sauce, granola, and condiments.

Research suggest that a diet high in excess sugar can contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Don’t overlook drinks, either: Sugary drinks — whether soda or happy hour margaritas — also play a role in obesity and obesity-related health issues.

Even the natural sugars in fruit may lead to weight gain if you go overboard — depending on how you consume it. Fruit juice no longer contains the filling fiber and pulp of the whole fruit.

But if you’re eating whole, fresh fruit, then you’re also consuming water and fiber, which helps slow your body’s absorption of the sugar. “The benefit to having natural sugars versus added sugars is that with natural sugars, you get other beneficial nutrients at the same time,” MacQueen says. Take fruit, for instance: One large apple contains 23 grams of natural sugar, but you’re also eating fiber, as well as vitamins A and C.

Milk is another good example: One cup of 2% milk has 13 grams of natural sugar. But each cup also has almost 10 grams of protein, and important vitamins and minerals like vitamins A, D, and calcium and potassium.

3. Processed Foods

This category includes: Processed meats, packaged snacks, canned foods packed in syrup

“Some foods undergo a low level of processing that doesn’t affect their nutrition, like freezing fruits and vegetables. Other foods are more highly processed and have sugar, salt and/or fat added,” Rumsey says.

Ultra processed foods” can include sweeteners, emulsifiers, preservatives, colors, and flavors, many of which are artificial. The unnecessary salt, sugar, fat, and artificial additives in this type of processed foods can promote weight gain. Even worse? “Highly processed foods appeal to our taste buds and make it hard to eat just one serving,” adds Rumsey.

5 Foods to Avoid if You Want to Lose Weight

4. Greasy and Fried Foods

This category includes: Burgers, fried chicken, pizza — namely fried foods made outside of your own kitchen where the oils are lower quality and potentially less healthy

Research suggests that eating fatty fried foods on a regular basis could raise your risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. But while we do suggest ditching greasy fried food, don’t forget that healthy fat is an essential part of a balanced diet. Just aim to get most of your fat from unsaturated sources, such as nuts, seeds, avocados, and fatty fish like salmon and tuna, Rumsey says.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, it’s a good idea to avoid many low-fat or nonfat foods. Manufacturers often add more sugar or refined grains to reduced-fat foods to make them tastier.

5. Alcohol

This category includes: Beer, wine, liquor

“People often overlook the role that caloric beverages — especially alcohol — have on weight, as many dieters solely focus on food choices,” MacQueen says. While moderate alcohol intake doesn’t appear to be linked to obesity, “heavy drinking and binge drinking” are associated with increased body weight.

We’re not saying you can’t ever have a glass of wine or a celebratory mojito, but a drink — or more — each night can make it harder to lose weight, both because of the extra calories and because getting boozy can lower your inhibitions.

After a few drinks, you may lose the drive to stay on the healthy eating track and eat more (and maybe less healthfully) than you intended.

But Don’t Eliminate Entire Food Groups

Now that we just spent the bulk of this article telling you why you should keep bagels, cookies, packaged snacks, and booze out of your home, it’s time to play devil’s advocate. Sometimes it’s not a good idea to eliminate an entire food group.

Here’s why: Completely restricting certain foods or entire food groups can increase temptation or lead you to miss out on important minerals and vitamins.

“Each type of food, or food group, provides certain nutrients that the body needs to carry out specific functions,” MacQueen says. “If you eliminate an entire type of food, you jeopardize your health in various ways depending on the nutrient you avoid.”

In addition, an overly restrictive diet — let’s say super low carb, for instance — can leave you feeling deprived. “Making something off limits increases the chance you want to eat it, which can lead to restriction followed by a binge,” Rumsey adds.

Focusing on healthy habits that are sustainable and realistic, on the other hand, will likely be more successful over the long haul.

The Bottom Line

You don’t necessarily need a long, detailed list of specific foods to ban from your kitchen. By prioritizing healthy, whole foods when you’re stocking your fridge and pantry, the foods that you should avoid will naturally disappear from your shelves.

Shared by Dr. Phil McAllister @ Forward Health

Thanks For Sharing Beachbody.com