Two Foods You Should Stop Eating Yesterday

What if I told you that most people could cut out a huge chunk of health problems just by eliminating two groups of food? Well, you can.

what if

Cutting out these two food groups can help regulate your hormone levels, make it easier to lose weight, improve gut health, normalize blood sugar levels & even improve allergies. If you take a look at food groups through the lens of the 80/20 Principle, these two foods would be the 20% of foods that cause 80% of the problems in most people’s diets.

So what are they? Well here are the two foods you should stop eating – yesterday preferably. Here we go.


What Standard Nutrition Advice Would Have You Believe:

“It’s great for you! It’s got calcium! But be careful of that fatty, whole milk. Better drink either skim or 1%, just to be safe – and try to forget that 1% tastes like water. I mean it has to be good for you right? Besides thousands of terrible milk mustaches & “got milk” campaigns can’t be wrong – can they?”


Why Dairy Is Actually Terrible For You

Dairy has different levels of bad, but particularly low-fat, 1% and skim milk are highly insullogenic – that means they cause your insulin levels to spike and causes your body to stop burning fat.  And don’t get me started on the fact that it’s nearly impossible to find chocolate milk without HFCS and corn starch in it. Really, corn starch in your milk? When’s the last time you said “yum” to corn starch? Toss in the fact that a huge portion of the population is lactose intolerant and the links to cancer that milk is known for and the picture isn’t looking too pretty.

If you’re going to have dairy, make it either fermented (cheese, whey protein, grassfed butter, or yogurt – without a ton of a sugar). Sure, ice cream is delicious  but there’s really no need for a daily shellacking of dairy in your diet.


Standard Nutrition Advice:

You need grains more than you need oxygen – they’re that important! Why else would we need 6-11 servings a day? I mean, just look at this chart!



“They help with digestion & give you fiber! Not to mention, it’s completely UNREALISTIC to actually cut out ALL grains from your diet. I’m Italian, I can’t live without grains – we’re not animals, you know?”


Why Grains Are Terrible For You

Grains are actually pretty unnecessary. They contain gluten, lectins and phytates that make minerals unavailable to your body & create situations prime for obesity.

Oh, and that’s just the start. It can lead to leaky gut, weight gain and even cause type 2 diabetes. That’s before we get into how these simple carbohydrates affect your blood sugar & insulin levels and cause you to store fat instead of burning it and using it for fuel. Whether you’re into paleo or not, when you look at grains (and wheat especially), there’s a ton of really, really good reasons not to eat them.


Despite all of this, 6-11 servings of grains was common nutritional advice from the government up until 2011!

The truth is, for most people, there’s really very little reason to include many (or any) grains in their diet on a regular basis and once you try it, they’re not so “impossible” to cut out of your diet either. If you need a substantial amounts of carbohydrates (endurance athletes or power lifters come to mind), you can get them from vegetables & squashes that give you the energy sources you need without the added side effects of feces in your blood stream & type 2 diabetes (sounds like a good tradeoff to me).

Note: It’s funny that somehow both of these have made it into a standard american breakfast of cereal with milk – which is the absolute worst time to do this as the morning is your body’s prime time to burn fat and both of these “foods” bring that process to a screeching halt. Do yourself a favor & choose eggs & bacon for your morning breakfast instead.

80/20 your diet and take out these two foods from your diet. You might be surprised at the results.

Want to clean up your diet? Start with these two foods & cut out dairy & grains. Notice how you feel and see what happens. 

photo credit: Dustin Diaz

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  1. Brennan Miller says

    Great article. Let’s hope people follow your guidelines. Three great sources that validates your arguement is “Wheat Belly” by William Davis, “Good Calories Bad Calories” by Gary Taubes and the first 100-pages of “Enter the Zone” by Barry Spears.

    These use scientific evidence to prove that wheat and dairy (mostly wheat) are the root causes of obesity and IS the root cause of Type-II diabetes. Also, they use imperical & scientific evidence to prove how by removing these two food groups from your diet a person can perform significantly better in sports, reduce possibiliy of cancer, and can reduce the affects of Type-II diabetes (if the person already has it).

  2. says

    Who makes the food guide pyramid? The FDA you say? Oh wait…no….the Dept. of Agriculture.

    Why is a government department that subsidizes grain farming telling us to eat more grains? Hmmmm……

    • roy says

      I’ve noticed a pattern here it seems that no matter what advice our govt gives us the opposite seems to be true.Maybe someone got paid or just fooled into recommending cereal over eggs.The preservatives in cereal alone may beenough to kill us not to mention that eggs contain a chemical which is good for the human brain.They told us to eat margarine well I recently

    • desmond gamble says

      It is soi hard to get off wheat it feels like if Idobt have one I need the other. And I am trying to lose 32 lbs. I was fine but thwn my family started shiving food in my fave and stuff. Is there like a hum yo use to get off the stuff lol

  3. says

    Great post Joel. As part of my 100 lbs weight loss journey my trainer helped me eliminate both of these from my diet and I’ve never felt better. The one thing I would add to your article is how great you feel when you don’t eat these, not just how bad they are for you. Stick & the carrot can work together on this.

    Great post. Thanks again for introducing me to doing the IMPOSSIBLE!

      • Joe p says

        FYI Joel, the hover links you speak of do not work on an ipad. Just passing this along for your info since a lot of folks read on these types of devices. Thanks for the info.

        Also even before this post I cut all my dairy and grains in half and lost 20 pounds without even starting any other exercise or change in eating. Amazing, and when I get to the point where I can cut it out all together I am sure I will Be even more amazed…..and healthy.

        Now off to that cold shower. I am on day 3 and still hate it, but I do feel the positive difference

        • Kit says

          There’s this thing called Google. You type in a question, or even a set of keywords, like, say, “gluten, type II diabetes” or “gluten, weight loss” or “gluten, health problems” and you will find countless (and I mean COUNTLESS) pages of info. There may or may not be “scientist in a lab coat with a clipboard” type studies to prove to you that this is a real issue, but, the vast number of people who have made the switch for a temporary experiment and felt so good that they never went back (like my husband and I who decided to just do a 10-day challenge; we felt better, we immediately and continually lost weight since January of this year, I made it through flu and allergy season for the first time EVER without a sinus infection/bronchitis, and my little boys are less rambunctious). I’m not sure what kind of empirical, scientific facts you’re looking for but when you see blog after blog of people who simply feel better because they’ve made a choice, then that adds up to something very big. If the thought of giving up these two food groups really offends you then just skip it. If you’re willing to just give it a temporary try, then I’m pretty sure you will see what the rest of us are all talking about.

          BTW, I haven’t bought a single book from anyone neither am I trying to sell one. Most of the books written on this subject, I’ve heard, can be found at a local library.

          • Julie says

            It is not the responsibility of the reader to verify the claims made by the writer. It is the responsibility of the writer to provide verifiable, reliable sources for their claims.

            Another blog is not a valid source, ask any 6th grade English teacher.

          • jen says

            Perfect answer kit. I wish people would stop being so lazy and do a little research themselves. This isn’t a University essay, this is an opinion piece by a blogger. It’s not written by anyone claiming to be a doctor or scientist. I also couldn’t agree more with it. Since giving up grains, dairy, sugar, soy and processed foods my autoimmune condition has gone into remission (something none of my dr’s were able to accomplish)

  4. Peter H says

    This is an extreme version of what you are talking about, but I love it: “The Whole 9” I have never felt healthier when I cut out all grains, sugars and dairy from my diet. You don’t know how you are suppose to feel until you remove them. Try reintroducing them even after a week. Your stomach will be in knots. Proof that digesting it daily is slowing ruining your insides.

  5. says

    Joel, I’m glad to see more and more people seeing the light. I won’t lie, I still eat a sandwich now and again, and sometimes pasta or even pizza. Occasionally it’s worth the trade off. Most often it’s not.
    Try a Whole 30 plan, that will wake up your insides!

    • Olga says

      Could not agree more.

      I cut out milk due to lactose intolerance some three years ago (reduced lactose milk is really expensive, so .. no milk for me …) and grains last year (during a time of extreme stress I started feeling really bad when I ate grains).
      I have never felt better ……

  6. John H says

    Question… Why are you using a horribly outdated food pyramid? It was created in 1992, and while the one in 2005 isn’t much better, the 2011 version is a huge improvement. And I notice that you don’t really mention this until later in the article.

    Also, in regards to dairy… While there are several studies saying that dairy is bad for you, there are just as many that state that chocolate milk is one of the best things for post-workout nutrition/recovery.

    • says

      Because that’s what most people are familiar with since the most recent update was 18 months ago (and I’m guessing most people aren’t aware of updates and are operating off of the last 20 years of information).

      Also, “post-workout” recovery. A solid workout changes a lot of things about how your body handles carbs/sugar. However, I mentioned “most people” and since we’re talking general cases, I didn’t delve into specifics. But, like I said, good luck finding chocolate milk without HFCS – it’s tough to find (and do you really want corn starch in your milk?)

  7. Angela says

    I completely agree that they’re unnecessary. I started going without Dairy, Wheat, Soy, Corn, Peanuts, and Eggs as part of an elimination diet… But haven’t missed any of it so i haven’t reintroduced it. I feel a lot lighter/better now that I’m fueling my body instead of filling it. Even with weight training and running, I don’t feel like my body needs anything else, my body is working well with the fuel I’m feeding it.

    • mollie says

      Do you have any suggestions on what I can eat for breakfast if I eliminate wheat, dairy and eggs? I have been trying to eliminate all the above BC of my stomach issues, but I cannot find anything to eat for breakfast… I am feeling pretty defeated right now.

    • Jakub says

      Lol, actually eggs and all kinds of nuts are very good for you. Eggs for men when working out. Cholesterol = testosterone

  8. says

    I agree with you on dairy and gluten. But as for all grains being removed? Not in 100% agreement. As a Certified Holistic Health Coach, I’ve learned that one person’s food is another person’s poison, and all of our bodies need different things. For some people, non-gluten grains are perfectly OK. For others, not so much. I believe that people should take the time to discover what foods work best for their individual bodies, and not to take “overall” health guidance to heart.

  9. Sarah says

    Hey Joel!

    I totally agree with you here. I recently cut out dairy and white sugar – and so many of my health problems are disappearing. Like acne, bloating, moodiness and other stuff.

    I haven’t fully cut out grains tho – I’ll still eat some breads and oatmeal and pastas. Are you literally saying never again to eat those things? And if so, how are you managing ? What do you eat to feel full? Don’t you crave eating those things sometimes, and do you feel anti-social when everyone else is eating a burger or pizza? lol Just curious

    • says

      Fat & protein are actually much more satiating than carbohydrates.

      Once you start cutting out breads, etc – you’ll find that your normal “full” feeling is more of a “bloated” feeling and that “full” doesn’t feel like what you think “full” feels like (if that makes sense at all).

  10. christine simeone says

    This is a huge problem now. We should all stay away from these foods as sold in conventional stores.
    Part of the problem with these foods is that they are no longer the same as they used to be. The grains are all GMO and the cows are not fed and raised as they should be to be healthy. The cows are fed the same horrid grain, and grain makes them sick anyway. So they need antibiotics and on it goes.
    I know people who swear by raw milk from grass fed cows. Some states it has to be sold as “for pet use only”. You can go right to a farm and get it.
    I have a friend who says it cured his diabetes, high blood pressure and he lost weight. Could be.
    I still stay away from dairy and grain.

  11. Gwen Legters says

    SO true! There’s also a third dangerous category that you touch on briefly — processed sugars. There are more than 110 names for processed sugars, and the list grows daily due to increased production of sugar alcohols – chemicals that sometimes substitute for “real” sugar. It’s rare to find a food label that doesn’t list some type of processed sugar additive, but NONE is needed in a healthy diet. You get all the sugar carbs your body needs from fresh fruits and vegetables. Don’t be fooled by “natural” sugars like honey and agave. They spike your blood sugar and cause sugar cravings and crashes just like HFCS and white table sugar.

    • Kit says

      Actually Gwen,
      There’s growing evidence that honey is not simply a sugar. It’s more and more being considered a food (as it is for the bees). There’s way more compounds (healthy kind) in raw honey than just sugar. Here’s one I recently saw (though I’m not a HUGE fan of Mark, the post is interesting to consider…)
      Agave, however, is higher in fructose than hfcs so you’re dead bang on with that one.

  12. Jim Ranger says

    Interesting post, keen to try this to see how I feel and what a difference it makes. Couple of questions: you mention the insulin-spiking nature of dairy, but what about milk which claims to be low GI? Also, would starchy veg like potatoes be ok? And how about sweet potatoes? Finally, a poster above mentioned cutting out peanuts? Are considered a grain for these purposes, and is it better to cut out all nuts? Thanks!

  13. Nelson says

    Important information to point out Joel. How would you and others recommend cutting dairy and grains out? It doesn’t take someone from the department of agriculture to tell us what’s good and bad. Can’t overly rely on the government can we? With that being said, I wonder what a healthy diet was back in the early farming days before there was so much influence and people did just listen to their bodies?

    To tell the truth… It feels like I’m sluggish a lot of the time with the diet I’m eating. I am having weird problems that I haven’t had in the past until I started eating a high carb diet at a military college cafeteria last year. I’m not sure how reputable any of my assertions are until I can experience at least where a healthy place to start is– I feel addicted to bread and dairy, and I’m only 21.

    • Nelson says

      I see a few links to some nutrition and workout guides. I’ll check them out. And by the way, I want to emphasize how inspiring it is that you pick up on, but also acknowledge the important things, like the right diet, that others just overlook or take no initiative to try new things. Even more so there are enablers of these unhealthy eating habits and it is clear our government has done this also.

      Not only are you inspiring Joel, but intelligent and daring. This is what drew me to your blog and is reinforced merely by the fact that you don’t go off the cuff of your sleeve. Maybe that could be something you could address one day- Your opinion of what it takes to be bold and not bullshit people just to save face. Perhaps a reminder to all your readers on how you came about and where you are in retrospect of doing the impossible.

      Because I was doing the cold shower thing for a whole year before seeing your famous post and prior to signing up– And I’ll tell you, I’m from the blue ridge mountains with 1,500ft deep well water. So therefore I gain instantaneous respect for a man who acknowledges the vitality of mind and bearing to the body it will bring a person.

      You certainly don’t belittle anyone and thats how I see your hear to help. So thank you Joel. I’m gonna eat healthy now.

  14. says

    Interesting! I actually read a similar article just a few days ago about how skim milk is actually terrible for you. That news is terrible to ME because I LOVE skim milk. Although, for breakfast I prefer oatmeal over cereal. That’s good, right?

  15. says

    I’ve eaten diary (mostly yogurt now) and grains (mostly whole grain the past several years) my whole life and am extremely healthy other than being a little overweight. Rarely, if ever, eat sweets. Grains would be somewhat easy to replace since most are bland anyway.

  16. says

    While in general agreement regarding the grains, I have some questions specifically around rice. I am currently travelling in Southeast Asia and rice is one of the staple foods here, yet the people are not nearly overweight and by all indications quite healthy.

    How does the Paleo crowd explain that?

    • Julian says

      I def. agree not all grains are created equal. Emphasis should be placed on whole grain to prevent the insulin spike. If people really want science they can look at the china study. The biggest cross sectional study regarding diet in the world.
      Reducing animal products like milk and red meat are actually the things that should be cut out and not the cheapest, and easy to digest grains. A great source of fiber, minerals and some vitamins.

      • Dan says

        The China Study is not a scientific study, it is an observational study. That’s not to say it doesn’t have merit, but it did not adhere to the scientific method.

  17. says

    Agree with this Joel. Good stuff.

    Rye bread is also a good choice for the occasional cheat due to the lower insulin spike.

  18. Valarie Paterson says

    Thank you! I have been trying to tell people (friends, family, etc.) that dairy isn’t really that good for you. At all. But every just brushes it off. They think that I’m just trying to ‘vegan-ize’ them, when I actually just care about their well being.

    As far as grains go, they are really hard to cut out. But I completely agree with you. I’ve been slowly cutting certain forms out. Just stopped eating bread. Next is pasta. But it’s pretty difficult when you live in a house full of grain-lovers.

    Thanks for the awesome article!

  19. says

    Thanks so much for sharing this. I have eaten dairy and grains all my life . . . might be time to re-think that decision! I will still cheat on some of my favorites though, like cheese!

  20. says

    Loved your post about dairy and grains.

    Here’s my story with them:

    I’ve had chronic sinus infections as far back as I can remember. The kind that you have to go get medication for so you can get better, but you never really heal all the way before the next round hits. I even had a sinus surgery to help things work right; they worked better, but I still had way too many issues and was looking at having another round of surgery. Decided to cut out sugar, dairy, and grains as a last ditch effort. What happened? I haven’t had a sinus infection in nearly 2 years. Now if I’m sick (which I rarely am now), I just get a normal cold. Them grains aren’t ever coming back for me!

    Boo ya.

    • Dan says

      Did you cut them all out at the same time? If so, how do you know it isn’t just one of the three that was causing you distress, as opposed to all three?

      I’m going to be cutting dairy out first, then go from there. One thing at a time.

  21. Mimi says

    I’ve eliminated almost all dairy from my diet, and am gluten-free. I’ll eat two slices of GF toast in the morning and rice or brown rice pasta once a week. I also don’t eat meat or poultry, but I do eat seafood. I’ve never felt better.

  22. Gerald says

    I did find a study here in China that links milk consumption as being protective against esophageal cancer.

    The second evil – grains, is more complicated. If grains are so bad then why oh why are or where the okinawans or some of them so long lived, and yep I am Italian too, lol. Sardinians have one of the, if not the highest longevity of europeans, don’t tell me they don’t eat pasta, spaghetti … and I’m not talking about the brown type.
    Although you raise some interesting ideas.

  23. says

    Every time I see the acronym FDA I chuckle.

    Most people think the FDA is the acronym for the Food and Drug Administration. Given their misguided and often dangerous nutritional suggestions I personally believe the FDA acronym doesn’t stand for the Food and Drug Administration, it instead, stands for the “Funeral Directors Association”.

  24. davidd says

    This is so depressing. I still LOVE breakfast cereal in milk… even the sugary kind! And not that watery one-percent milk, either! :-(

  25. Jon says

    I stopped eating all dairy and grains about a week ago and I put pure honey in my green tea instead of sugar. I now eat mainly vegetables and fruits and fish and Walnuts with some pasture raised white meats and eggs (along with herbs and spices). Somebody mentioned that some of the longest living people eat grains. What I have noticed (and it’s only my opinion) is that most of these people eat refined grains, white rice and white pasta. I think that maybe since almost everything is removed from the grain it then becomes less problematic. As for insulin spikes, there is a chain of thought that the odd spike is in fact healthy for the body, just not huge spikes, regularly. Also in addition, these people tend to eat only small amounts of these foods, just look at a Japanese rice bowl, it’s small ! Most of their food is vegetables of some kind.
    As for me, I have had excessively oily skin my whole life, this is now drying up. My mucus is clearing up. I had begun to get eczema on my face (which is why I started to look at diet in the first place) and this is now reducing. At first I felt really crappy but after a couple of days I started to feel more alive than I have in years (like when I was young) I am going to continue with the elimination and see what happens.

  26. says

    Very true, Julio did all that and looks very healthy and clean. He was really dragging his feet, kept coming down with something or another, for years, it just kept getting worse, really going downhill!. Now I am doing the same, started 3 weeks ago and am feeling different, better, more alive and much more energy. I’m 53 so I hope to keep up with him. God bless!

  27. Adriana says

    I cut out dairy and gluten from my diet because of digestive issues, not only is my belly less bloated, in less than three months I lost ten lbs! I know it’s only ten lbs but I did it with no exercise, now im working out and I hope to loose ten more!

  28. Marcy says

    You forgot the most important of all. SUGAR. Sugar makes you fat. Have you noticed that sugar is the only thing on a nutrition label that does NOT have a “daily value” percentage. Yeah, because they want us to keep eating it. We’re not supposed to have more than 35 grams of sugar per day. Which, with all our processed food and hidden sugar everywhere you turn, can easily turn into hundreds of grams of sugar per day. This is why we are fat.

  29. angel says

    I stop eating grain, sugar and dairy in 12-5-2013 and was 251 lb was. i started working out only 30 min a day and eating only natural food including fruits. Today is 2-18-2014 and my weight is 207 lb. I lost 44 lb. in less than 3 months.

    So i think that we don’t think we need to eat these foods, however i been having issues with my digestion due to cutting out the fiver from the grain. I’m in the process of eating foods with more fiber. will see how it go’s.

  30. james says


    This information is not true for everybody, and what would your replace these foods with? (i bet i can find studies that say whatever you replace with is unhealthy)

  31. says

    You said “simple carbohydrates,” but whole grains are complex carbohydrates. I think you’re generalizing too much. Whole grains are actually quite good for you–look at all the nutritional benefits of quinoa, for example. You should just be avoiding refined, bleached, or processed grains (and the fresher the better).

    I totes agree about the dairy, though.

  32. Dorothy Wilbanks says

    Very eye opening blogs here I accidentally stumbled onto something in august 2013 I again resolved to lose 50 lbs I had always kept skim milk on hand and for whatever reason I decided to quit using it together with cheese and eggs to date I am 55 lbs lighter and feel terrific I have lost and regained weight many times and would have to do tons of exercise this time has been like magic I’m steadily losing weight slowly but there’s been no plateaus as in the past and I do weights about twice a week this is the first time I ever cut out dairy and I believe that has been the magic bullet so to speak I’ve never had these results before so this year at our family Christmas party I ate everything I wanted including dairy by the end of the evening I felt miserable bloated and not from the quantity of food but the types of food the sugars etc very next day I went back to square one if you’ve had problems in the past try it you may be pleasantly surprised.

  33. says

    You provided a chart that contains the gist of your post. But what I really doubt is the grain part. Is it really not necessary as part of our regular diet?

  34. Cee Dee says

    So, curious as to what people eat if they don’t eat wheat or dairy, this seems to leave nothing but meat, fruit and veg. I’m not a fruit and veg person. Also why are cheese and yogurt ok? Also, how do you do this radical change with a family, who will still have all these things around the house to fight against the cravings for. If I lived alone, I would be prepared to try this, but if tasty things are there, they will be eaten. I tried giving up sugar for a month, my partner kept offering me chocolate. And then Christmas comes along, can’t see me going to my sister’s for Christmas dinner and saying no wheat, dairy or sugar. Nothing but turkey and veg. Not realistic for me

    • says

      Hi Cee Dee,

      It’s not realistic for me to recommend a diet that’s healthy that doesn’t include fruit or vegetables. If you’re looking for a healthy diet that doesn’t include those two things – I don’t think you’re being very realistic.


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