General Question

rockfan's avatar

For those on a committed diet of whole, healthy foods; what foods have been the most difficult to give up?

Asked by rockfan (14598points) July 27th, 2013

And have you replaced any unhealthy foods with healthy ones?

My biggest vice used to be french fries, but I’ve found that oven baked sweet potato wedges taste just as good, and are remarkably healthy.

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24 Answers

Mama_Cakes's avatar

Refined sugar.

Unbroken's avatar

Refined sugar! Must agree with @Mama_Cakes.

I have to keep going on detoxes. Eating fruits and going back to process sugar is yucky. For my body and tastebuds but I still do from time to time and then strt spiraling downward.

The more I learn experience and complete the process the easier it gets but I am stubborn apparently and it takes so little to slip.

I do love sweet potato home fries. really god with mustard sweet with spicy salty… yum.

Good luck.

Headhurts's avatar

Roast potatoes and Yorkshire Puddings.

Brian1946's avatar

I’m still trying to completely give up chicken.

So far I’ve managed to eat twice as much salmon and half as much arsenic bird as I used to.

snowberry's avatar

Coffee with yummy stuff in it.

rockfan's avatar


Why are you giving up chicken?

Brian1946's avatar


I heard on the news that most inorganic chicken has at least some arsenic, and my doctor says that it’s a poor source of protein.

marinelife's avatar

I have to agree with sugar. I have not had any since November of last year, but the temptations are everywhere.

GoldieAV16's avatar

Sugar, specifically ice cream. Sometimes the calling is too powerful, and I just have to hook up.

livelaughlove21's avatar

I didn’t give up anything. Everything in moderation. Completely cutting out something unhealthy that you enjoy is just setting yourself up for failure. Eating tasty, fattening foods here and there won’t hurt your body (or your waistline). I’m consistently losing weight and I still enjoy eating out once a week (and no, not ordering from the light menu), having an ice cream cone when I really want one, and pigging out on movie popcorn when I go to the theater. In fact, I’ll be happily eating Olive Garden and movie popcorn before the night is over. More often than not, I make healthy food choices and stay active, and that keeps me feeling and looking good. I don’t believe in completely denying myself something I enjoy. You can be healthy without force feeding yourself salads san dressing every day. I don’t remember the last time I are a salad. If I don’t enjoy it, I don’t eat it.

I have, however, swapped out a few foods for healthier alternatives to save some calories. Bagel thins with low fat cream cheese saves over 100 calories when compared to a regular bagel and cream cheese. Switching out whole or 2% milk for skim or 1% also helps. But I don’t sacrifice taste by making these swaps.

tom_g's avatar

@livelaughlove21: “I didn’t give up anything.”

Right. It seems that as soon as someone sets out to get healthier by cutting foods out of their diet, they make themselves miserable, resent the whole thing, it becomes a chore, and suddenly they forgot that they were even supposed to be eating healthy.

I find that eating more good stuff leaves less room for the bad stuff. Then, when you’ve determined that it feels better to eat better, the bad stuff looks less appealing. A tiny cup of quality ice cream is perfect, when in the past it was a pint of the crappy kind.

Also, guilt about the inability to stick to very strict restrictive diets is a difficult emotion to carry around when you’re trying to be healthy. Those times when you break down and eat the thing you’ve given up shouldn’t be a “I’ve fallen off the wagon” moment. If you’ve scrapped the idea of “the diet” (temporary), and accepted a new healthy attitude towards food, you needn’t bring any screwy emotions to the situation. You didn’t “fall off the wagon”. Rather, your body will tell you what to do. You shouldn’t be exercising your guilt.

For my son’s birthday the other day, I had ate a ton of carbs in place of a balanced, decent assortment of foods. My body felt like shit, and all I wanted to do was eat salad for the next couple of days so I could get back to feeling good again. If I had beaten myself up about eating all of those crappy carbs, I would have missed out on the fact that my body was telling me everything I needed to know.

Kardamom's avatar

I’m in @livelaughlove21 ‘s camp. It’s OK to occasionally eat some of the items from the bad list if you simply do it in moderation, and eat very healthy most of the rest of the time. You aren’t trying to punish yourself, concentrate on being a better eater and a more healthy person.

Although being a vegetarian, I did cut out meat/fish/fowl completely, but that is for other reasons rather than being health-conscious. Luckily I do not get tempted by meat, mostly because I’ve found so much other vegetarian stuff (that I didn’t know existed or had never tasted before I became a vegetarian) that is totally yummy and satisfying.

My biggest weakness is cheese, and I do try to limit my intake, just because it’s got a lot of fat. But I would never consider giving it up completely. Some of the lower fat versions of some cheeses are readily available and I can barely taste the difference. On the other hand, I’ve yet to find a fat-free cheese that tastes good. Until recently I had never found a vegan “cheese” that tasted any good until I tasted Daiya Cheese Wedges. Daiya also makes several shredded cheeses (that I have not tried) but some people said that they have a different taste and texture and that the Daiya wedges are superior in taste in texture. I had some of this cheese at a vegan restaurant in Los Angeles (I’m in the U.S. not sure if you are) called The Loving Hut

One thing that we did change at our house was switching from regular margarine (we do eat butter, but usually only on Thanksgiving and Christmas when we have company) to Smart Balance Buttery Spread which contains plant sterols that help to lower cholesterol, plus it contains no trans fats. Even my Dad, who is a picky eater loves this stuff. It tastes pretty much like butter.

My Mom and I gave up white bread a long time ago. Any bread that we eat has to be 100% whole grain. I’m so used to that now, that white bread seems very unappealing to me. We tend to eat Oroweat, Milton’s, Nature’s Own, or Trader Joe’s breads. They’re all soft and neutral tasting, not dry or bitter (some brands are way too dry and crumbly and don’t taste good).

Back in the olden days we used to eat iceberg lettuce, but a long time ago we realized that iceberg lettuce doesn’t have much nutritonal value compared to some of the other lettuces such as green leaf, red leaf or Romaine, which is what we usually eat. Here is the nutritional differences between Iceberg and Romaine

I used to eat baked potatoes with sour cream. Now, I use non-fat Greek yogurt as a topping for taters.

And speaking of yogurt, I used to eat regular full fat yogurt, now I only eat non-fat yogurt, which tastes pretty much the same as regular.

When I was a little kid, around aged 3 (in the mid 60’s) my Mom stopped putting sugar in tea. Since then, neither one of us can stomach the idea of putting sugar in tea. Tea has such a wonderful flavor of it’s own and sugar masks that delicious flavor. No sugar in my coffee either.

Been finding some frozen meals and dried pasta that is partly whole grain lately. Completely 100% whole grain pasta tastes too bitter to me, but these new and improved pastas that are partially whole grain (some also have added protein, calcium and fiber) taste almost identical to regular pasta. Yay! Here is some info regarding taste tests with whole grain pastas from Consumer Reports

I’ve also switched out from eating regular Ramen Noodles (which are fried and loaded with preservatives and sodium) to eating Baked Organic Ramen Noodles

snowberry's avatar

By experimentation I have figured out that I actually FEEL BETTER if I follow the diet. It’s soooo worth it.

hearkat's avatar

I’m with those who say not to give anything up. We’ve simply looked for healthier options, such as buying our poultry directly from the free-range farm, and our pork, lamb, beef, and yak directly from the grass-fed mostly organic farmers, and the same for our dairy and produce. The things we get from the grocery store we choose hormone-free, mostly organic items, too. I use organic fair-trade sugar in my coffee, and local honey to sweeten most other things.

Our biggest battle is portion control, because we just love food.

rockfan's avatar

@livelaughlove21 I’ve stopped eating many foods (such as fried chicken, ice cream, hotdogs, bacon, white bread, refined grain) and I’ve never felt better. And I also don’t feel like I’m depriving myself of anything.

JLeslie's avatar

Nothing is 100% taboo for me, but I have changed my diet significantly in the last three months. Mostly I am avoiding cholesterol ridden foods, which means any foods from animals, and I have added more fruit and vegetable and some more legumes. Your question is about what we have given up so I will focus my answer on not eating meat and most dairy. I actually don’t really miss those foods very much, but I am still trying to find more foods I like that are vegan. Now when I eat meat (I cheat sometimes when I eat in a restaurant) the portion is always way too big for me now. I miss chicken the most, which surprises me. I don’t crave it daily or anything, but chicken picatta sounds great every time I see it on a menu. LOL.

I love that my diet change means cleaning fewer pots and pans in the kitchen and my grocery bill is lower.

For those of you who cut out sugar, do you mean just refined white sugar? Do you still eat sweet things as long as they are sweetened with honey or agave or some other natural sweetner?

snowberry's avatar

I don’t eat white sugar as a rule, but after 3 months on the wagon, I splurged and had a half a cookie today. It wasn’t as good as I thought it would be. Instead of sugar I use pure stevia from KAL (I have researched stevia a fair bit, and there is a lot of corruption in that industry now. KAL was the first to produce it, it has no other ingredients, or toxins in how it’s made.) Although it’s quite expensive, a tiny bit goes a long way. Use too much and it’s not so yummy anymore.

JLeslie's avatar

@snowberry I have never liked the idea of using sugar substitutes, and Equal in particular (whichever one that is) sticks in my throat. I guess white sugar goes through a chemical process, not sure, so it also has chemicals? That I would see as a negative, I haven’t read up about the process. Do you avoid all carbs? If a cookie or cake is made with maple syrup then do you eat it without thinking about it? Is it just refined sugar you avoid? Is it to lose weight? Or, you just feel better? Or, afraid of diabetes?

snowberry's avatar

@JLeslie Stevia is not your typical sugar substitute. The plant itself is sweet to the taste. I know, because I have eaten it. it is possible to get a plant or seeds and grow your own, or even grow it from cuttings. I have several friends who do just that because they don’t want to mess with the expense or perhaps buying stevia from what might be a questionable source.

Although pure stevia powder is white (just like any man-made sugar substitute), it is not nearly as highly processed as NutraSweet.

I do not avoid all carbs, but I do avoid (with few exceptions) all sugar with the exception of fresh fruit. I do not drink fruit juice. In general I try to eat low glycemic foods, not because I have blood sugar problems, but I know it’s easier on my system, and I have enough health challenges as it is.

I also follow an alkaline diet.

My medical doctor suggested I use stevia.

JLeslie's avatar

@snowberry From what I remember about what I read about stevia, the studies that have been done have been done on one type of chemical from that plant; whatever has been being used in Japan; but what we use in America after the chemical processing (I think they use ethanol to process it) they really don’t have significant studies done. I should read up about it again, but maybe you know what I am talking about. A doctor’s recommendation means nothing to me except that it is a starting place. I never follow a doctor’s advice blindly. Most doctors have very little fear of taking drugs and following the latest craze if there is one study to say it is a good idea. Don’t get me wrong, it sounds to me like you have done plenty of research and are not just doing what you were told. Anyway, it seems like the Stevia is processed, so if chemicals concern you I think there is a chemical in the process. While things like maple syrup and honey wouldn’t have that. I should say me not you, because I am never comparing new sugar substitutes to other artifical sweetners, I never use artficial sweetners, never have. I would only be comparing to sugar. But, I guess the Stevia has much fewer calories since it is so sweet. I don’t worry about the calories much from sweetners, so that isn’t in my mindset. But, I still don’t want to consume a ton of “sugar.” The things I add sugar to like tea; I use very little sugar anyway. Things like cake, I am way more worried about the fat and cholesterol in it. However, juice, I do think of the huge load of sugars in it, which is basically equal to coca cola. I rarely drink juice anyway, and when I do it is the old fashioned very short glass.

snowberry's avatar

@JLeslie Uh, yeah. I very carefully picked this doctor. He’s done things for me that your average run of the mill MD here in the states would never bother doing. I have problems which none of any of the other MD’s I’ve seen have ever bothered to address. I pay him out of pocket (meaning he doesn’t take insurance so he doesn’t have to bow to their rules, and therefore is free to actually help his patients)!

I only mentioned that my doctor recommended stevia to me because people on Fluther are so big on MD’s, and with some people it might mean something. Whatever.

By the way, I have learned from experience to never take any doctor’s word at face value. I always check it out as much as I am able.

JLeslie's avatar

@snowberry :). I just had a horrible first appointment with a doctor. I am so on the defense with them, because they have done so many horrible things to me.

snowberry's avatar

@JLeslie I have spent my life and my inheritance trying to fix the misdeeds that “medical” doctors have done to me. I don’t have a lot of money or time left, but I finally have found someone who is really helping me. For that I am truly thankful.

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