What NOT to eat

by Gabi Anderson Courtney

We have all been there. In your 20s you can literally eat and drink anything without putting any weight on or without any effect on your body and skin. Unfortunately it is totally different once you have hit 40. So, what is that we should avoid?

Sugar. Pretty obvious, right? Not so. Sugar is hiding everywhere. Nearly all processed foods contain sugar. It has the same effect on the body as opiates. The more you have it, the more you crave it. It's cheap to produce and it gets you hooked while ruining your body, your teeth and your skin.

Best alternative: Stevia

Soft drinks. Now these are the things what makes you really fat. Besides being packed with sugar, they also have a tonne of artificial colours and flavours. And don't be fooled by the low sugar or zero sugar hype, the substitute is aspartame, which might be even worse than sugar. It will mess with your body on a cellular level. After all, it was only approved for human consumption because it kept killing the turkeys, who it was originally developed for as a cheap feed.

Best alternative: Water, soda water

Fast food. Honestly, just don't. Have you ever asked yourself how can some fast food outlets sell burgers for $2 and still make a profit on it? You are literally eating garbage. Cheap, nasty, fattening garbage. If you are on the go, pick up a salad or a sandwich instead, or even better, make your own food from fresh ingredients.

Best alternative: Fresh food with natural ingredients

Dairy. Sometimes it's very hard to avoid and it's ok every now and then in small quantities. Sometimes a small portion of Greek yoghurt is not the end of the world, but a lot of dairy will clog up your system and will make you feel sluggish. Cow's milk is meant to fatten up the calf and that's exactly what it will do to you.

Best alternative: Almond milk

Meat. Meat sits in your stomach for a really long time, and the body has issues converting it to energy. Through evolution our teeth have developed for grinding plant based food. Meat that has large fat content is especially bad for your body. If you must eat meat, fish and seafood are best for you.

Best alternative: Plant based protein. Tofu, falafel, legumes, and there's a lot of veggie alternatives out there. 

Gluten and carbs. Your body does need some carbohydrates for your brain to function properly, but it does matter where you get your carbs from. Choose bread with grains instead of white bread. Brown rice or quinoa instead of white rice. And avoid gluten. Gluten is a by-product, the food industry is using it as it holds things together and acts like glue. The body cannot process it.

Best alternative: Gluten-free products.

Alcohol. Yeah, I hear you sister. Alcohol is not a bad thing in limited quantities. Red wine can be good for your heart (it has lots of antioxidants), it's a very social thing to have a drink together and sometimes it's a great stress reliever. Unless you are someone who is happy not to drink at all, alcohol is very hard to avoid. But not all drinks are created equal. So what to choose? Vodka (mixed with soda water, if you like), tequila, crisp dry white wine or red wine. Stay away from anything sweet or mixed drinks.

Best alternative: There isn't any, but if you drink, choose wisely.

MSG or GM. MSG is generally added to food that otherwise lacks flavour, it can be found in most unhealthy foods and will drive your sodium intake right up. It can increase your blood pressure and can contribute to weight gain. Genetically modified food is in its very early stages and we simply don't know what it does to the body. Not enough research has been done yet and no one can prove without the shadow of a doubt that it is safe.

Best alternative: Check the labels and eat organic fresh food.

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