Nutrition Cheat Sheet

I got this comment via email recently…

“Yo Raj! I try to read your blog regularly, but I don’t have time to go over all the nutritional/scientific mumbo jumbo you write and to follow all your links. Say, I trust you blindly. Just give me a quick list of stuff I should not eat and a list of stuff I should eat! Thanks!”

I get similar stuff pretty often and hence decided to come up with a little Nutrition Cheat Sheet of sorts. Here is something you can print, laminate and glue on to your fridge/cubicle/wallet or get tattooed on your arms or perhaps just read, remember and be less obsessive.

Drop any and all forms of…

  • Sugar – Candy, cookies, soda, fruit juice, cake, donuts, muffins, flavored coffee, flavored tea, agave, honey, ice cream, energy drinks etc.
  • Processed foods – Pizza, chips, cheese puffs, fake (soy) meat etc.
  • Grains – Bread, tortilla, roti, rice, quinoa, couscous, pizza, risotto etc.
  • Anything that says “low fat” or “non fat” or – milk, yogurt, cheese, coffee, ice cream etc.
  • Vegetable oils (except olive oil) – corn oil, canola oil, vegetable oil etc.
  • Deep fried foods – French fries, donuts, tortilla chips, falafel etc.
  • Breaded/sweetened/flavored foods – yogurt (any flavor), breaded meat, sweetened sauces, ketchup etc.

Get plenty of…

  • Protein – Free range poultry, grass-fed/pastured meat, wild caught seafood, free range eggs, tofu, tempeh, cottage cheese/paneer
  • Saturated and monounsaturated fats – Coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut, butter/ghee, animal fats, olive oil and fish oil.
  • Vegetables – Everything except tubers.
  • Unprocessed full fat dairy – Milk (preferably raw), cheese, kefir, yogurt, heavy cream

Get moderate quantities of…

  • Nuts – Macadamia nuts, almonds and walnuts
  • Tubers – Potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams etc.
  • Beans/legumes (soaked in water for 18-24 hours before cooking) – Kidney beans, black beans, lentils, sprouts etc.
  • Protein supplements – Whey protein powder etc.

Now, how much of what should you eat? How strict should you be? How often can you cheat? What does ‘moderate’ mean? Well, all that depends on you, your current fitness level and your goals.

Understand that fat loss is just a side effect of healthy eating. There is much more to be gained!



21 responses to “Nutrition Cheat Sheet

  1. themunchkinblog February 4, 2011 at 9:05 am

    Just a reminder…please do put up a sample non veg diet (and recipes if any). Also is there a protein supplement brand you prefer?

  2. K Vasudevan February 5, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    Can you give a suggestion for a person who is in his early fifties, who has high blood pressure, under medication for Bp ,and is about 100kg in weight, sedantry occupation .

    • RG February 13, 2011 at 10:29 pm

      it is very hard to give customized/specific dietary advice with limited information. I’d need to know much more about the person before I suggest anything. Shoot me an email.

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  4. M_JM February 13, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    thanks for the nutrition cheat sheet! among south indian foods, are idlies, dosas, uttapas and the like healthy to eat? which south indian foods have high amounts of protein? I’m a strict vegetarian (eggs restricted too) and don’t prefer any supplements.

    • RG February 13, 2011 at 10:30 pm

      idlies, dosa etc – depends on your goals. if youre looking to lose fat you def want to stay away from those due to the enormous carb load.

      protein sources – paneer, milk, whey protein powder, hemp seed protein powder.

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  6. Taj February 21, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    Been following your blog for some time now Raj – great inspiring stuff. I will tell you my story shortly via an email. I have a quick question here – could you tell me the reason we avoid low / non-fat milk products or point me to a resource, would love to understand it. I was under the impression that whole milk contributed largely to my weight when I got to the US. I would be glad to get back to whole milk.

    Also I had stopped cheese, ghee / butter completely since I began my diet / exercise routine a year ago. Now reading your blog and recipes, I am completely blown away. My diet now largely consists of green vegetables, egg, chicken. I have slowly reduced my grain content – though difficult cause I have to cook more 🙂

    • RG February 21, 2011 at 10:41 pm

      Low fat or non fat products in general are heavily processed and you want to stay away from processed stuff unless absolutely necessary (eg. whey protein powder for a vegetarian).

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  8. rachana May 17, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Hi Raj, Can you please give me a veg meal plan ( no meat/ eggs).I want to loose some weight.
    Thank you and appreciate your help.

  9. joysandrevelations June 22, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    is whey protein powder not a processed food?

    • RG June 22, 2011 at 3:50 pm

      It is.

      Highly processed in fact. And hence only recommended for folks who perform intense physical activity and people who dont get any protein from their diets (indian vegan diet for eg.).

      Check out my article on macronutrients. You’ll see that whey and white rice fall under performance enhancers and are best used by the body immediately post workout.

  10. Giri July 11, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    In your “leave out” list you have Yogurt (any flavor). So I would assume that you are talking only about flavored yogurt. What about the Indian homemade plain yogurt (with whole milk of course)

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  12. jb November 11, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    Couple of ?’s

    olive oil you said is to keep – is all olive oil legit or is it mixed with hazlenut oil which was the case a while back? also what kind of olive oil – as not all olive oil has a high smoke point and that can be bad. why is canola oil bad? what about ghee, coconut oil?

    what about steel cut oats?

    also the talk about going grox/paleo diet as what our ancestors did, hasn’t the time changed and our dna code changed as well that our bodies have adapted to the new environment changes? the paleo diet worked as our ancestors roamed the earth and had a different living condition.

    I assume there is no hard data that paleo diet did not cause issues, i would assume it did. so how would one justify the diet?

    When you hear most trainers preach about how much protein should be in a person, how do they justify that amount given that protein requirements vary from person to person and also based on the race/dna make up of person. if you look at a person in india their protein need may be different than one from say sweden or one from sahara

    Coming from Chennai region myself – what about the diet of the dravidians in our area?

    I heard talk about grass fed beef, and fish – the air is polluted enough that some of those toxins find their way to the grass – through rains and the fishes are swimming in contaminated oceans. isnt that more deadly – consuming toxins like mercury , plastics, industrial waste, radiation etc?

    True we tend to eat more now, but if we ate in moderation-more so for indians, am sure us indians can eat our wonderful cuisine and stay healthy?

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  14. prashant kumar February 14, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    i am 20 years old. my height is 5’8”&weight is 45. I have to gain weight please help me..

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