Hey @drlibasci !
Congrats on making the decision to eat better and improve your lifestyle.
As a dietitian, I can without a doubt tell you that the best changes to make are ones that you can maintain for the long haul. Eliminating entire food groups is typically not a change that most people can sustain.
Moreover I don’t believe in labeling foods as “good and bad” as there can be a place for “bad foods.”
For example, eating gummy bears while sitting at your desk is not “good” but eating Gu chews on a ride is good for your performance. Also foods super high in sodium are not good for the lay person, but for athletes they can play a key role in replacing electrolytes lost through sweat.
That said there are some foods you should try to decrease your consumption of like:
- Trans fats (usually labelled on ingredients lists as “partially hydrogenated oils”). These raise your bad cholesterol and lower your good cholesterol.
- Foods high in saturated fat (aka fatty meats, processed meats, cheese)
- Foods you don’t enjoy eating
- Foods you are allergic/ intolerant to
- Foods with excessive amounts of added sugar (outside of ride nutrition and post ride recovery)
Now let me again emphasize that I am saying to decrease your intake. That doesn’t mean you have to completely eliminate them forever.
What is even better than just focusing on eliminating foods is to shift your focus to including more nutritious foods in your diet like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, etc. By eating more of these foods you will be satiated and as a result, eat less of the “less nutritious” foods I listed above.
One of my favorite quotes from Michael Pollan sums up what I am saying here very well…
“Eat food, not too much, mostly plants”