protein-1But there are good carbs and bad carbs, as well as good proteins and bad proteins. Foods that deliver whole, unrefined carbs, like whole wheat, oats, quinoa, and the like, trump those made up of highly processed wheat or other grains. Lean meats, poultry, seafood, and plant sources of protein like beans and nuts are far more healthful than fatty meats and processed meats like sausage or deli meats.

The good-bad thing can be confusing, so Dr. Hauser suggests a few simple principles.

Pick the healthful trio. At each meal, include foods that deliver some fat, fiber, and protein. The fiber makes you feel full right away, the protein helps you stay full for longer, and the fat works with the hormones in your body to tell you to stop eating. Adding nuts to your diet is a good way to maintain weight because it has all three.

Avoid highly processed foods. The closer a food is to the way it started out, the longer it will take to digest, the gentler effect it will have on blood sugar, and the more nutrients it will contain.

Choose the most healthful sources of protein. Good protein-rich foods include fish, poultry, eggs, beans, legumes, nuts, tofu, and low-fat or non-fat dairy products.

Excess dietary protein can lead to elevated blood sugar, weight gain, kidney stress, leaching of bone minerals, and stimulating cancer cells.