Adapted from Dr. Hyman’s book “What the Heck Should I Eat?”

Healthy Options, Meat:

■■  Grass-fed beef 

■■  Grass-fed lamb 

■■  Pasture-raised pork 

■■  Bison, Venison & Elk

■■  Small amounts of high-quality, organic, nitrate-, additive-, and sugar-free bacon, ham, turkey, salami, and sausages 

Meats to Avoid:

■■  Conventionally raised beef, lamb, or pork (do your best) 

■■  Deli ham and other processed meats 

■■  Hot dogs (if not 100 percent beef or pork) 

■■  Conventional sausage 

■■  Conventionally made bacon 

■■  Conventionally made salami

Healthy Options, Poultry:

■■  Organic or pasture-raised whole chicken 

■■  Organic or pasture-raised turkey or duck 

■■  Pasture-raised, organic, or omega-3 whole eggs 

Poultry: What to Avoid:

■■  Conventionally raised chicken, turkey, or duck 

■■  All processed poultry (no chicken nuggets!)

■■  Eggs from conventionally raised poultry 

■■  Egg whites 

Healthy Options, Seafood:

■■  Wild salmon, either canned or fresh, or salmon labeled Alaskan (since all salmon from Alaska is wild). 

■■  Small, toxin-free fish (the smaller the better) such as sardines, ancho- vies, herring, and mackerel. 

■■  Clams, scallops, mussels, and oysters, which are loaded with beneficial zinc. You should eat shrimp, too, if it comes from the Gulf of Mexico. 

Seafood: What to Avoid

■■  Big fish such as shark, swordfish, Chilean sea bass, king mackerel, marlin, grouper, halibut, tilefish, and orange roughy. 

■■  Most farmed fish, with rare exceptions.

Vegetables & Eating the Rainbow: explained


Indicates the carotenoid lycopene in tomatoes, bell peppers, and carrots.8 Lycopene protects against heart disease and genetic damage that may cause cancer. 

Blue- purple 

Is caused by anthocyanins in eggplant, beets, red cabbage, and purple potatoes. Anthocyanins prevent blood clots, delay cell aging, and may slow Alzheimer’s onset. 


Is found in the brassicas — broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, collards, arugula, and others — and indicates phytochemicals, sulforaphane, isocyanates, and indoles, which inhibit carcinogens and boost detoxification. 

Pale green- white 

Appears in garlic, onions, leeks, and other vegetables and alliums and is caused by allicins, which have powerful anticancer, antitumor, immune-boosting, and antimicrobial properties. These vegetables also contain antioxidant flavonoids like quercetin and kaempferol. 


Represents alpha-carotene and beta-carotene in carrots, pumpkin, acorn and winter squash, and sweet potatoes. Alpha- carotene protects against cancer and benefits skin and vision. 

Yellow- green 

Signals the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which benefit our eyes and safeguard our hearts against atherosclerosis. Vegetables in this group may not always appear yellowish to the eye: They include spinach, collard, mustard, and turnip greens, yellow corn, peas, and even avocado. 

Veggies: Which to eat? 

■■  Broccoli, kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and the other members of the cruciferous family 

■■  Dark leafy greens like arugula (which is also a crucifer), spinach, Swiss chard, and collard greens (also a crucifer) 

■■  Alliums such as garlic, shallots, and onions 

■■  High-fiber veggies like celery and asparagus 

■■  Shiitake, oyster, and cremini mushrooms 

■■  Radishes, turnip greens, and beet greens 

■■  Cucumbers, escarole, and watercress 

■■  Zucchini and okra 

■■  Sweet potatoes and winter squash (they’re starchy but packed with nutrients, so don’t binge) 

■■  Dandelion greens 

■■  Mustard greens 

■■  Broccoli sprouts (they have much more nutrition than even broccoli) 

■■  Kabocha or pumpkin squash 

■■  Sea vegetables such as seaweed 

■■  Purple or red or white fingerling potatoes 

■■  Japanese eggplants 

■■  Red, yellow, or purple carrots 

■■  Sorrel 

■■  Jerusalem artichokes (also called sunchokes)

Veggies: Which to avoid? 

■■  Iceberg lettuce 

■■  White potatoes 

■■  Raw white button mushrooms 

■■  Alfalfa sprouts 

■■  Most supermarket tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, and other night- shades (if you have arthritis or inflammation) 

■■  Ketchup and tomato sauce, unless you make it yourself or buy the kind made without sugar

Fruits: Healthiest Options 

■■  Wild, organic, fresh blueberries, cherries, blackberries, and raspberries

■■  Frozen organic berries, either thawed or in shakes or frozen desserts

■■  Organic plums, peaches, nectarines and cherries

■■  Organic oranges, grapefruits, tangerines

■■  Pomegranates, kiwis, and papayas 

■■  Goji berries, snake fruit, acai berries, gooseberries,
mangosteen, or dragon fruit

■■   coconut, avocadoes and olives 

■■  Lemons and limes—keep them in the kitchen and use them to flavor food and your drinking water 

Fruits to Limit:

■■  Grapes: delicious, sugary and easy to overeat.

■■  Bananas are quite starchy and high in sugar. 

■■  Dried fruits like figs, dates, raisins, and currents are highest in sugar, and they sometimes contain added sugar or the preservative sulfite. 

■■  Pineapples are a good source of an enzyme called bromelain, which helps alleviate inflammation and improve joint health. However, pineapple is very high in sugar so limit to no more than 1 cup a day. 

■■  Conventionally grown apples and strawberries: they are highest in pesticides so always buy organic. 

■■  Any and all fruit juice!

Fats & Oils: healthy options 

■■  Organic avocado oil

■■  Butter from pastured, grass-fed cows or goats 

■■  Grass-fed ghee (clarified butter) 

■■  Organic virgin coconut oil 

■■  Organic, humanely raised tallow (beef fat) 

■■  Organic, humanely raised lard (pork fat) 

■■  Organic, humanely raised duck fat 

■■  Organic, humanely raised chicken fat 

Use these raw, on salads or other foods, but don’t cook them: 

■■  Organic extra virgin olive oil 

■■  Walnut oil 

■■  Almond oil 

■■  Macadamia oil 

■■  Sesame seed oil 

■■  Tahini (sesame seed paste) 

■■  Flax oil 

■■  Hemp oil 

Fats & Oils to Avoid:

■■  Soybean oil 

■■  Canola oil 

■■  Corn oil 

■■  Safflower oil 

■■  Sunflower oil 

■■  Palm oil 

■■  Peanut oil 

■■  Vegetable oil 

■■  Vegetable shortening 

■■  Margarine and all other butter substitutes

■■  Anything that says “hydrogenated”; it’s poison!


■■  Buckwheat, from which pancakes, soba noodles, and kasha are made (it’s a cousin of rhubarb, not wheat at all, despite the name) 

■■  Whole-kernel rye (if you’re not gluten-sensitive) 

■■  Amaranth 

■■  Millet 

■■  Teff

Grains to avoid if Gluten Sensitive:

■■  Wheat (try einkorn or ancient wheat) 

■■  Barley 

■■  Rye 

■■  Spelt 

■■  Kamut 

■■  Farro 

■■  GMO wheat 

■■  Bulgur 

■■  Oats 

■■  Semolina 

■■  Couscous 

■■  Any refined grains 

Healthy Nuts & Seeds:  (unsalted for portion control)

■■  Almonds: lower bad cholesterol and the risk of heart disease; the magnesium they contain lessens the chance of sudden heart attack; they help prevent diabetes by stabilizing blood sugar, and they deliver minerals like copper and manganese, along with antioxidants such as vitamin E. 

■■  Walnuts are good for everything from bone health to cancer prevention to blood sugar control, but the main benefit is to our arterial function. They also contain a good dose of omega-3 fats (ALA, or alpha-linoleic acid). 

■■  Pecans are high in minerals (especially manganese and copper) and are as powerful as walnuts when it comes to cancer-fighting antioxidants. They’ve also been associated with favorable cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

■■  Hazelnuts (filberts) Like walnuts, hazelnuts are good for endothelial function and keep bad cholesterol from oxidizing. Their total antioxidant capacity is more than double that of almonds.

■■  Brazil nuts are valued mostly for their high levels of selenium, a mineral that’s important for our metabolism, digestive health, thyroid function, detoxification, and protection against arthritis. Just two Brazil nuts a day is all it takes, and they’re proven to improve cholesterol and cardiovascular health, too. 

■■  Pistachios: Arginine is an amino acid found in meat, fish, shellfish, seeds, and abundantly in pistachios. It produces nitric oxide in the body, which improves arterial function and blood flow. In fact, men who ate three to four handfuls a day for three weeks had better penile blood flow and harder erections. (ok, I admit that I put this in here to see if anyone is actually reading this handout… but it is true!)

■■  Macadamia nuts contain the same monounsaturated fats as olive oil and can improve overall cholesterol.

■■  Cashews 

■■  Pumpkin seeds 

■■  Chia seeds 

■■  Ground flaxseeds 

■■  Hemp seeds 

■■  Sesame seeds 

Nuts & Seeds: Which to avoid?

■■  Nuts enrobed in sugar, chocolate, or any form of candy 

■■  Nut butters with added oil, salt, or sugar (which often contain toxic trans fat and high-fructose corn syrup) Nutella is not a nut butter (is anyone reading this?)

■■  Peanuts, except in small amounts (they’re not nuts anyway)

Sweeteners: safe

■■  Fresh, pureed fruit or fruit juice 

■■  Molasses 

■■  Organic palm sugar 

■■  Date sugar 

■■  Coconut sugar 

■■  Monk fruit

■■  Organic maple syrup

Beverages: There’s nothing you absolutely need to drink to be healthy other than clean, pure water.

■■Water, as pure as possible — ideally, filtered 

■■  Tea, especially green tea

■■  Coffee, before 2pm

■■  Wine in moderation (1 glass a day, 5 ounces) 

■■  Spirits in moderation (1 drink a day, 1 ounce) 

■■  Homemade green juices, shakes, and smoothies, as long as you don’t include high-sugar fruits 

■■  Coconut water and watermelon water 

no aspartame or artificial sweeteners

Beverages to avoid:

■■  Bottled water (also because of the harm to the environment of waste plastic) 

■■  Vitamin water or other “enhanced” waters 

■■  Waters containing flavoring, coloring, or sweetening 

■■  Any fruit juice you didn’t squeeze yourself (and even then in

■■  Any fruit or vegetable smoothie or shake you didn’t make yourself (because it’s probably loaded with sweeteners and other junk) 

■■  Sugary or artificially sweetened coffee drinks 

■■  Sweetened or flavored iced teas 

■■  Milk 

■■  Beer (gluten plus a ton of calories) 

■■  Soda, Pop or anything with aspartame, splenda, nutrasweet