Which Ingredients are Included in Each Food Group?

To help you decide which food groups you would like to include or exclude in your meal plans here are our definitions of each:

Meat & Poultry

  • Beef – Including all cuts, broth and tallow.
  • Pork – Including all cuts and lard.
  • Lamb – Including all cuts, and broth.
  • Other Meat – This includes all other types of meat including goat, veal, and other game.
  • Chicken – Not including other poultry or eggs, but including chicken broth.
  • Other poultry – This includes turkey, duck or any other type of bird.
  • Game meat - This group includes more exotic meats such as bison, venison, and rabbit.


  • Fish – Not including shellfish and mollusks. This also includes fish sauce and fish stock.
  • Shellfish – Shellfish with an exoskeleton including, lobster, shrimp, crayfish, crab, krill, etc.
  • Mollusks – Other shellfish, including clams, oysters, mussels, snails, scallops, octopus, and squid.

Eggs and dairy

  • Eggs – Including all poultry eggs.
  • Dairy (not ghee) – All products made from cow, goat, or sheep milk (really any mammal milk). This includes milk, yogurt, cheese, butter, kefir, cream, whey, etc. Dairy does NOT include eggs or mayonnaise.
  • Ghee: Ghee is clarified butter, and many folks who can’t tolerate dairy can digest ghee because it lacks the milk protein that may trigger allergy and inflammation.
  • Milk – All animal sourced milk.
  • Cheese – All dairy based cheese.

Grains & Legume Products

  • Gluten – Gluten is a protein composite found in wheat and grain products, including barley and rye.
  • Soy – Including soy beans, soy products, miso, soy sauce, etc.
  • Grain – ALL grains including wheat, rice, millet, quinoa (technically a seed), buckwheat, and corn.
  • Legume – All beans, excluding peanuts and pod legumes (like peas, green beans, snow peas, etc).
  • Rice – White, brown, risotto, and wild rice (technically a grass).
  • Corn – Including corn flour, corn starch, corn meal, etc. This may not include processed foods that covertly contain corn (sweeteners, artificial flavors, citric acid, etc), as we recommend that you avoid processed foods anyway.

Nuts & Seeds

  • Nuts – Including peanuts (which are technically a bean) and oils derived from nuts.
  • Coconut – Including coconut milk, coconut cream, coconut flour and coconut oil.
  • Peanuts – A common allergen. Including peanut oil and peanut butter.
  • Sesame – Including seeds, oil, and tahini.
  • Seeds – Including spices derived from seeds.

Vegetables & Fruit

  • Nightshades – Including eggplant, tomatoes, and peppers. Also any spices made from peppers, like paprika, red pepper flakes, and cayenne pepper (not black pepper which is a fruit spice). While white potatoes (not sweet potatoes or yams) are also a nightshade, we have this as a separate food group which needs to be excluded additionally if you are excluding nightshades for autoimmune purposes.
  • Potatoes – These include all variations of white potatoes, but not sweet potatoes or yams.
  • Mushrooms – Including truffles, shiitake, cremini, oyster mushrooms, portobello, morels, maitake, chanterelles, etc.
  • Berry/Fruit Spices – Including allspice, Star anise, caraway, cardamom, juniper berry, vanilla bean, black, white, green, and pink peppercorns.
  • Pod Legumes – Including alfalfa, peas, green beans, wax beans, snow peas, sugar snap peas, and lupins.
  • Legumes (not pod) – Legumes include beans, lentils, and peas, but for the purpose of this classification we exclude pod legumes/peas.
  • Fruit – Including whole fruit, dried fruit, jams, sauces, and fruit juices.

Miscellaneous Ingredients

  • Refined Sugar – All refined sugar products.
  • Natural Sugars – Including coconut sugar, date sugar, maple syrup, and raw honey.
  • Alternative Sweeteners – Including agave nectar, stevia and xylitol.
  • Chocolate – Including cocoa powder, cacao, chocolate liqueur, and cocoa butter. Does not include carob.
  • Caffeine – Including coffee and tea.
  • Alcohol – Some recipes contain wine, sherry, or other alcohol for cooking. The meal plans occasionally will include a fun alcoholic drink as an “extra”.
  • Vinegar – All including apple cider vinegar.
  • Leavening Agent – baking soda, baking powder, baker’s yeast, sourdough starter, arrowroot starch, tapioca starch.
  • Gums – Including agar-agar, carrageenan, cellulose, guar gum, locust bean gum, carob bean gum, pectin and xanthan gum.
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