5 Foods to Avoid on the 5 Factor Diet

The 5 Factor Diet, by Harley Pasternak, is a healthy eating and fitness plan that has become popular in Hollywood and with celebrities. However, it is quite scientific,  and easy for anyone to follow. The plan is based on the number 5: you eat five small meals—or snacks—daily. Each meal contains five ingredients, using five major diet components: protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber, healthy fat and a sugar-free beverage. The exercise part of the plan includes doing five separate exercises, for five minutes each.

Based on the five diet components of the 5 Factor Diet, here are foods you should avoid:

1. Protein with Saturated Fat

Protein is essential to the healthy diet, but choosing a quality protein is key to success on the 5 Factor Diet. The types of proteins to avoid are:

  • Hot dogs
  • Sausages
  • Bacon
  • Fried chicken
  • Egg yolk

2. High Glycemic Index Carbohydrates

The 5 Factor Diet stresses eating complex carbohydrates that have a low glycemic index—carbs that don’t have a radical effect on raising or lowering your blood sugar level. Avoid refined or high index carbs. Your body turns high glycemic index carbohydrates to sugar too quickly. This causes your insulin level to spike, then drop, leaving you craving more. Examples of food that have a high glycemic index are:

  • White bread
  • Puffed cereal
  • White potato
  • Dried fruit
  • Baked goods with white sugar

3. Low Fiber Carbohydrates

Fiber is, in general, food that can’t be broken down during digestion and therefore passes out of the body through the intestines. You need both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber draws and keeps moisture in the intestinal tract, while insoluble fiber—also known as roughage—passes through, sweeping the digestive tract clean. Avoid eating low fiber foods, which include:

  • Candy
  • Fruit juice
  • White rice
  • Baked goods with white flour
  • Chips and crackers with white flour

4. Unhealthy Fat

Fats are essential to good health; fat in your diet assists digestion, keeps your liver in good working order and helps to lubricate the skin. Unhealthy fats, however, clog arteries, overwork the vital organs and can impede digestion, causing heartburn and other health problems. Unhealthy fats are stored in body. Examples of unhealthy fats are:

  • Coconut and palm oils—found in candy and store-bought baked goods
  • Cocoa butter—usually found in chocolate and baked goods
  • Margarine and vegetable shortening—these contains trans fats, oil converted to solids using hydrogenation. These are called hydrogenated or trans fats
  • Lard—found in baked goods and certain types of refried beans
  • Butter

5. Beverages with Sugar

Water is essential for life. Did you know that thirst could sometimes masquerade as hunger and create a craving for sweets? Being properly hydrated can also help you lose fat, by flushing waste from the system. However, what you drink matters–it’s important to avoid beverages that aren’t healthy, such as:

  • Soda with sugar or high fructose corn syrup
  • Sugar added fruit juice
  • Coffee or tea with sugar added
  • Chocolate milk
  • Smoothies sweetened with sugar

Foods to avoid on the 5 Factor Diet apply only to six days of the week. The seventh day is a free—or cheat—day and anything goes. That’s the day when you can eat whatever you like. The philosophy is that adhering to a healthy diet most of the time keeps your body in good working condition, allowing the occasional splurge to pass right through.


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