Goal/Objective: To establish regular consumption of whole-food non-starchy vegetables to replace highly refined processed foods and trans fats.
Time Frame: Ongoing (take as much or as little time as you need).
If you are taking these five essential habits in consecutive order, you will continue to monitor your blood glucose daily, drink your optimum amount of water every day, eliminate sugar from your dietary protocol, and now you must add 3-5 servings of non-starchy vegetables every day. If you wonder how you’re going to get in that many vegetables every day, start by replacing a processed food with a whole food, raw or cooked, non-starchy vegetable. Every day. Every meal. Eliminate as many processed foods as you can!
What Is a Processed Food?
If it comes in a can, box, bag, or jar with a label, it’s probably a processed food. Blogger Andrew Wilder writes, “Unprocessed food is any food that could be made by a person with reasonable skill in a home kitchen with whole-food ingredients. I call it ‘The Kitchen Test.’ If you pick up something with a label (if it doesn’t have a label, it’s probably unprocessed), and find an ingredient you’d never use in your kitchen and couldn’t possibly make yourself from the whole form, it’s processed.”
Blogger Hilary Brueck writes in more detail in her article, “But what exactly is a processed food?” giving different levels of processing as: unprocessed foods (whole foods), processed culinary ingredients (like butter), processed foods (added sugar, salt, and fat), and ultra-processed foods (all ready-to-eat products).
Finally, if you still have any question about processed foods, read this article, “A Complete List of Monsanto-Owned Food Products You Should Avoid At All Costs.” It lists many of the brands we are familiar with (and probably grew up with), such as Campbells, Frito Lay, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Loma Linda, etc.
When I started on this low-carb whole-foods journey, I had to get rid of:
- All commercial faux “vegemeats” (canned and frozen)
- All “vegetable oils” and PAM sprays
- Cake and muffin mixes
- Canned soups
- Chili and baked beans
- Frosting mixes
- Most salad dressings
- Packaged chips, cookies, and candies
- Prepared sauces and gravies
- Seasoning packets
What About Vegetable Oils?
Some of the most insidious of processed foods are the oils we grew up with identifying as “vegetable oils” such as canola, corn, cottonseed, grapeseed, safflower, soybean, and sunflower. None of those are actual vegetables! I now identify these products as “industrial seed oils.”
“Most vegetable oils don’t come from a vegetable at all. Instead, they come from waste products like cottonseeds or seeds specifically designed for the food industry, like canola seeds, rice bran, and things like that. These seed oils make up the vast majority of what is in food labeled as vegetable oils.”
(Moore and Westman. Cholesterol Clarity.)
What Can I Eat?
You have a tremendous choice of non-starchy vegetables (and a few fruits). There’s a list of foods that are suitable for any diabetes dietary protocol. You can download a printable PDF copy at Low-carb Food List for Diabetics [PDF]
Adventist Vegetarian Diabetics™ Recommends:
- Perform a refrigerator/freezer/pantry purge of processed foods (including “vegetable oils”). Give unexpired products to family, friends, and local food banks. Discard any expired food products.
- Replenish your refrigerator/freezer/pantry with diabetic-friendly foods, preferably whole foods from local farmers’ markets, if available.
Brueck, Hilary. “Processed foods make us fatter, lead to cancer, and are linked with early death. But what exactly is a processed food?” Business Insider (May 17, 2019). https://www.businessinsider.com/what-is-processed-food-2019-5 (accessed on 7/17/2020).
Fraser, Carly. “A Complete List of Monsanto-Owned Food Products You Should Avoid At All Costs,” Live Love Fruit, September 13, 2016 (updated June 13, 2019). https://livelovefruit.com/complete-list-monsanto-owned-food-products-you-should-avoid/ (accessed on 7/17/2020).
Moore, Jimmy and Christine Moore, NTP. Real Food Keto: Applying Nutritional Therapy to Your Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet. Las Vegas: Victory Belt Publishing, 2018. https://www.amazon.com/Real-Food-Keto-Applying-Nutritional/dp/162860316X/
This book attempts to educate readers about why whole foods are a critical element in optimizing your pursuit of nutritional ketosis. Real Food Keto also shares information about specific foods that provide the proper vitamins and minerals, resources on where to find quality foods, and a nice collection of good keto recipes.
Moore, Jimmy, and Eric C. Westman, MD. Cholesterol Clarity: What The HDL Is Wrong With My Numbers? Las Vegas: Victory Belt Publishing, 2013. https://www.amazon.com/Cholesterol-Clarity-What-Wrong-Numbers-ebook/dp/B00ESMDGE8/
Wilder, Andrew. “Welcome to October Unprocessed 2019!” Eating Rules (October 2019). https://eatingrules.com/october-unprocessed/ (accessed on 7/17/2020).