Vitamin A Deficiency Diet Food List
Vitamin A Diet Food List
“Vitamin A” Diet Food List
AKA VA-Diet (pronounced va-diet)
Stick to the Food List that I have provided for at least SIX MONTHS solid,
and longer if you aren’t all better by that time!
For your own sake, do NOT go trying to research Vitamin A content OR carotenoid content of foods and add a bunch of things that you THINK are OK, or you will very likely mess things up! As an example, dairy products often show as having very little Vitamin A, but Grant and I are sure that there are more Vitamin A related compounds in them than the label says, and the combo of “Vitamin A” + calcium + fat (increases A absorption) + casein (increases A absorption) makes it a VERY BAD CHOICE.
PUT SIMPLY: Don’t ruin the process by going off on your own, stick to the proven approach!!! This is approximately a 6-month to 2-years period where you need to be strict (depends on your health condition).
The level of strictness in the diet list below isn’t forever. Get through the “VAD-Detox” PROPERLY first, see how you feel, then you will get to decide what you do about “Vitamin A” in your diet from here on out.
If you mess up and “fall off the wagon”, then just get back on the plan.
Just as Vitamin A toxicity is cumulative, the detox effect is also cumulative.
Avoiding the highest “Vitamin A” foods AND high carotene/carotenoid foods is also very important.
You do NOT have to follow the super-limited diet that Grant does!!! That said, the lower your Vitamin A intake goes during your “detox months” the sooner you will feel better!
Some of the most important ones to AVOID include:
- Any vitamin A or Vitamin D fortified food (see other chapter in this folder for more info)
- Liver of ALL types, and organ meats in general
- Egg YOLKS
- Dairy and casein in general (casein is a lectin in dairy protein, it gets Vitamin A to penetrate deeper and cause more problems)
- EXCEPTIONS: Butter, ghee, small amounts of heavy cream, see below
- Nightshades (tomatoes, peppers / capsicum, eggplant, goji / wolf berries, tobacco, cayenne pepper, chili powder, paprika, etc).
- EXCEPTION: Some potatoes for some people (see Root Vegetable Chapter)
- Beans / legumes: Peas, green beans, peanuts
- Avocados and *green* avocado oil
- Nuts: Peanuts and peanut butter (yes, I know they are a legume), pistachios, cashews
- Certain fruits and veggies (and their juices) are particularly extra-high in “Vitamin A” compounds: Dark green to medium green leafy vegetables (includes all spinach, chard, lamb’s quarter/goosefoot/pigweed, poke, purslane, and root vegetable tops/greens), yellow corn, pumpkin, orange flesh sweet potatoes, yams, oranges, orange or red / purple carrots, tomatoes, peppers / capsicum, eggplant, Goji / wolfberry, cantaloupe, red/purple cabbage, okra, Jerusalem artichoke / sunchoke, rhubarb
- Orange, and yellow coloration of the parts you eat is the WORST sign. Red can be bad or good, so go by this food list! There are exceptions to every rule.
- General AVOID guidelines for fruits / veg: avoid green leafy vegetables, avoid brightly colored fruits/veg (particularly red / yellow/orange spectrum’s UNLESS they are mentioned in the OK list below)
- Carotenoids include: α-Carotene (alpha-carotene), β-Carotene (beta-carotene), β-Cryptoxanthin (beta-cryptoxanthin), Lycopene, Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and Astaxanthin.
- DARK GREEN is a color you should generally AVOID.
- Pork (pork fat aka lard contains high amounts of “Vitamin A” as retinoic acid that doesn’t show up on typical measurements, it is also high in problematic stearic acid)
- Fish / shellfish: Herring, eel, salmon, red trout, red sea bream, shrimp, krill, crab, lobster, crayfish.
- General AVOID guideline on fish / shellfish for “Vitamin A” – if it is pink or red in color, or if it is from the deeper / colder Atlantic ocean, don’t eat it
- This is not even taking into consideration the mercury that is in ALL fish and shellfish, along with Pacific fish / shellfish being contaminated with radiation from Fukushima.
- Herbs: Saffron, parsley, thyme, basil, coriander, marjoram, oregano, sage (as herbs fall under “leafy green vegetables”, most are probably high in “Vitamin A” / carotenoids).
- Spices: Annatto (used as a yellow coloring), PRE-GROUND peppercorns of any color (full of MOLD) and anything from peppers / capsicum, this includes chili powder, red pepper flakes, paprika, cayenne, and curry powder that contains any of these
- Sweeteners: Avoid all artificial sweeteners, dark honey (more carotenoids), molasses (too high in iron), sugar alcohols (xylitol, sorbitol, mannitol, etc.).
- Chocolate / cocoa. This SEEMS to be a problem for people when they are going through the detox phase, similar to coconut oil. You may or may not have a problem with it. My personal gut symptoms from dark chocolate (that happen with “Vitamin A” foods) suggest that this may be a problem.
Known LOW or NEAR ZERO “Vitamin A” foods (please get them ORGANIC when you can):
- Meats – beef, bison, buffalo, chicken, turkey, lamb/mutton
- Beans/legumes – nearly all are low Vitamin A
- EXCEPTION: Peas, peanuts, green beans
- Egg WHITES
- Veggies – cauliflower, celery, cucumber (peeled), parsnips, white onion, white garlic, green cabbage, white corn, blue corn, mushrooms of all kinds, iceberg / crisp head lettuce, water chestnuts, green/globe/French artichoke. Also, see Root Vegetable chapter.
- General guideline for veggies is that white and light green colored veggies tend to be OK (there are exceptions to every rule), assuming that the colored parts are removed (see example below).
- If the inside/flesh of a fruit or vegetable is WHITE, then that part is OK to eat for sure. If the non-white peel/skin is removed, then you should be good to eat it even if it isn’t on this list.
- EXAMPLE: read carefully! Cucumbers are ok if they are PEELED of ALL colored skin, so that you are only consuming the WHITE portion
- Fruit – dates, apples, pears, raisins / sultanas, grapes, bananas, lemons, limes, black fig, bilberry, cherry, elderberry, hawthorn berry, loganberry, raspberry, cranberry, blackberry, blueberry, strawberry, pomegranates, white plums, white apricots, white pluots, white peaches, white nectarines. Many of these reddish-spectrum berries are high in cyanidins (gives their color) instead of carotenoids, making them OK. Juices of these are OK.
- Grains (ANY/ALL grains MUST be organic) – SEE “Grains Do’s and Don’ts” chapter
- Seeds – carob, sunflower seeds, sunflower butter, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and seed butters made from these
- Nuts – almonds, Brazil nuts, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts / filberts, pine nuts, chestnuts, and nut butters made from these
- Sweeteners: Coconut sugar, organic brown sugar, white sugar, lighter honey (not dark honey), maple syrup, stevia only in small amounts (I do not believe stevia is a wonder food without issues)
- Dairy – butter & ghee (the less yellow it is, the less “Vitamin A” it contains), 2 Tbsp maximum per day of heavy cream
- Herbs / spices / seasonings: FRESH-GROUND peppercorns of any color, Rosemary, cardamom, mustard (the lighter yellow the better, so Dijon is the best choice because it is lightest yellow and does not contain paprika)
- Protein is necessary for detoxing Vitamin A, you must get AT MINIMUM 50 grams total protein from all sources each day.
- Turmeric helps to protect / detox Vitamin A, add it to foods where you are able. Combining turmeric with fats (butter / ghee / OK animal fats) and fresh ground peppercorns helps improve its absorption. Quercetin also helps, and is found in white onions and coffee.
- Beverages: Water, coffee, tea (Camellia sinensis, aka white / green / black/ oolong teas, herbal teas would have to be individually assessed for carotenoids), fruit juices from approved fruit, veg juices from approved veggies, coconut water.
- Alternative “milks”:
- List of zero “Vitamin A” foods here http://dietgrail.com/no-vitamin-a-foods/ , as well as the highest Vitamin A foods (AVOID those)