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All Tiers
Green Tier
Red Tier
Yellow Tier

Agave Nectar

Agave Nectar is a yellow tier sweetener.  You can see a full guide to sweeteners HERE.

Alcohol

Hard alcohol such as tequila, vodka, rum, and whiskey is yellow tier.  This does not include any mixers that you put with the alcohol as those must be evaluated against the tiers separately.  Also, alcohol used in cooking is considered green tier.

Almond Milk, Unsweetened

Almond milk is green tier if it is unsweetened and doesn't have other red tier additives.  Make your own green tier almond milk for less.  CHECK IT OUT.

Artichokes

Artichokes are green tier. Here are some recipes that use artichokes and some recipes that use artichoke hearts.

NOTE: This applies to the vegetable only. If you are buying artichokes that are pickled or in some other product, you still need to check the other ingredients against the tiers.

Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial Sweeteners are red tier. This includes sweeteners such as Splenda, aspartame, saccharin, Equal, Sweet-N-Low, acesulfame, neotame, cyclamate, and more.

Asparagus

Asparagus is green tier.

Avocado

Avocados are green tier and an excellent source of healthy fats.

Avocado

Avocado is green tier, and everyone knows that the best thing to make with avocado is GUACAMOLE!!!!

Bacon, Uncured

Uncured bacon with no red tier additives (such as sugar) is yellow tier.  If it is cured or has sugar or other red tier additives, it would be red tier.  Hempler's brand makes a great uncured bacon that meets the yellow tier criteria.

Beans

Beans are green tier. This includes essentially all types of beans such as black, cannellini, chickpeas, great northern beans, kidney beans, lima beans, pinto beans, and more. It also includes canned beans as long as you check ingredients and make sure other things aren't added or that they are on the green tier as well. In many cases, canned beans are just beans, water, and salt. However, sugar and other red or yellow tier items may be added, so always check ingredients.

Also, try this Instant Pot Black Bean Soup!

Beef (greater than 10% fat)

Beef that is greater than 10% fat is yellow tier.  Ground beef is typically marked with its fat percentage on the label.  Cuts of beef typically aren't marked by fat percentage but you can tell the normal fat percentage of a cut by looking up the nutrition facts for 100g of that cut.  If the fat is over 10g for a 100g total weight, then it's yellow tier.  See the green tier entry for beef for a list of some common green tier cuts.

Beef, Lean

Lean Beef is green tier.  This includes any ground beef that is 10% fat or less (you'll often see 10%, 7%, 4%, or even 3% ground beef).  It also includes leaner cuts of beef such as eye of round roast, sirloin, top round roast, bottom round roast, and flank steak.  If the cut of meat can be considered lean or extra lean (10g of fat or less per 100g of meat), it is green tier.  This Zesty Herb Flank Steak has been a big hit.

Beer

Beer is yellow tier as a beverage but considered green tier when cooking with it (and by "cooking with it", we don't mean drinking it while you cook).

Beets

Beets are green tier.  Try them roasted. Here's a great recipe.

Bok Choy

Bok Choy is green tier (includes baby bok choy).  Here is a great recipe for bok choy.

Bread (100% Whole Grain Only)

100% Whole Grain Bread is green tier even if it has sugar in the ingredients as long as it doesn't have High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).  What makes bread green tier can be often be a source of confusion for 90/10 members, so we made a handy blog with a video to show you how to pick bread properly (CLICK HERE TO LEARN ABOUT BREAD).  The short version is that if it has only whole grains in the ingredient list and no HFCS, it's green tier.  If some or all of the grains are not whole, it's yellow tier.  If it has HFCS, it's red tier.

Bread (not 100% whole grain)

Any bread products (including bagels, tortillas, artisan breads and even crackers) that don't meet the green tier requirements for bread and don't have HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) can be considered yellow tier.  What makes bread green tier or yellow tier can be often be a source of confusion for 90/10 members, so we made a handy blog with a video to show you how to pick bread properly (CLICK HERE TO LEARN ABOUT BREAD).  The short version is that if it has only whole grains in the ingredient list and no HFCS, it's green tier.  If some or all of the grains are not whole, it's yellow tier.  If it has HFCS, it's red tier.

Broccoli

Broccoli is green tier. Try this Sesame-Garlic Roasted Broccoli.

Broth

Broths are green tier as long as they don't have red tier additives.  This includes chicken broth, vegetable broth, beef broth (difficult to find without sugar sometimes), turkey broth, and more.  These are often referred to as "stock" as well.  Chicken stock, vegetable stock, beef stock, etc.

Brown Rice Syrup

Brown Rice Syrup is a yellow tier sweetener.  You can see a full guide to sweeteners HERE.

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts (don't forget the "s" on the end of Brussels) are green tier.  Roasting is the way to go with these.  Try this recipe.

Buffalo (greater than 10% fat)

Buffalo or Bison that is greater than 10% fat is yellow tier.  You can tell the normal fat percentage of a cut by looking up the nutrition facts for 100g of that cut.  If the fat is over 10g for a 100g total weight, then it's yellow tier.

Buffalo, Lean

Buffalo or bison that is 10% lean or leaner is green tier.  If it is higher than 10% fat, it would be yellow tier.

Butter

Butter is green tier.  Unsalted butter is preferred in most cases but both are considered green tier.

Cabbage

Cabbage is green tier. This includes all varieties such as Napa, purple or red cabbage, and regular green cabbage.  This Thai Cashew Crunch Slaw is a great way to use cabbage.

Canadian Bacon

Canadian Bacon is yellow tier as long as it doesn't have any red tier additives.

Carrageenan

Carrageenan is red tier.  You'll often find it in alternative milk products like almond milk or coconut milk beverages.

Carrots

Carrots are green tier.  This includes purple and other varieties of carrots as well as parsnips.

Cauliflower

Cauliflower is green tier.  Try this cauliflower ham casserole recipe!

Celery

Celery is green tier.

Cheeses, Various

Essentially all natural cheeses are green tier.  This includes cream cheese, cottage cheese, ricotta, parmesan, mozzarella, cheddar, provolone, swiss, and more.  It cannot have additional red tier additives or be "cheese product" or some other fake version of cheese.

Chicken (without skin)

Chicken (skinless) is green tier.  This includes the main edible parts of the chicken such as breast, thigh, leg and wing meat.  If skin is included, it becomes yellow tier.  Breast and thigh meat are the leanest and are preferred.

Coconut

Coconut is green tier.  This includes coconut oil and coconut milk.

Coconut Milk (Unsweetened)

Unsweetened coconut milk is green tier as long as it has no other red tier additives.  Most often, canned coconut milk is your best bet.  Carton versions are often "coconut milk beverage" and have additives.  Canned coconut milk can just have ingredients of "coconut milk" or "coconut milk, water".

Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil is green tier.  This includes virgin or extra virgin coconut oil.  Be wary of coconut oil that is marketed as liquid at room temperature.  It should be liquid above about 75 degrees and solid below that temperature.  If you see coconut oil that says it stays liquid at any temperature, it's probably more processed.  Stick with real coconut oil.

Also, here's a good blog on the latest coconut oil health debate.

Coconut Sugar

Coconut Sugar is a yellow tier sweetener.  You can see a full guide to sweeteners HERE.

Coffee

Black coffee is green tier.  This doesn't mean you must drink your coffee black.  It simply means that anything added to your coffee must be evaluated against the tiers as well.

Corn

Corn is green tier.  Of course, this doesn't include all corn derived products like corn syrup.  This green tier entry refers to the grain itself in its whole form (such as corn on the cob, frozen corn in recipes, etc).

Cottage Cheese

Cottage Cheese is green tier.  It can be any fat % including full fat.

Cous Cous (100% Whole Grain Only)

100% Whole Grain Cous Cous is green tier.  If it has refined (non whole) grains, it moves to the yellow tier.

Cream

Heavy cream is yellow tier.

Cucumbers

Cucumbers are green tier.  They're great on most any salad and they're always a good topping for these Slow Cooker Chicken Gyros.

Date Sugar

Date Sugar is a yellow tier sweetener.  You can see a full guide to sweeteners HERE.

Edamame

Edamame (an immature form of soybean in the pod) is green tier.  Soybeans are also green tier.

Eggplant

Eggplant is green tier and this grilled balsamic eggplant recipe is a great way to try it.

Eggs

Eggs are green tier.  Here's a blog we did about egg recipes.

Fillers and Preservatives

Fillers, preservatives and other chemicals that you don't recognize as food should be considered red tier unless otherwise specified on the green tier or yellow tier.

Fish

All fish is green tier but wild caught is definitely preferable to farm raised.

Flavor Extracts

Natural Flavor Extracts are green tier. Peppermint extract, vanilla extract, caramel extract, and more.

Flaxseed

Flaxseed is green tier.

Fried Foods

Unless otherwise specified on the green or yellow tiers, fried foods are red tier. This excludes sauteing or lightly frying in green tier oils such as coconut or olive oil. This entry is intended to indicate that green tier foods that are then deep fried or fried in questionable oils are considered red tier.

Fruit

Fruit is green tier, including but not limited to Apples, Apricots, Banana, Berries,Cherries, Citrus Fruits, Dates, Figs, Grapes, Kiwi, Mango, Melons, Peaches/Nectarines, Papaya, Pear, Pineapple, Plantains, Plums/prunes, and Raisins. Essentially, if it is a fruit you can find in nature, it's green tier. This can also include dried fruit and 100% fruit juice (not from concentrate), but use caution when eating dried fruit as it can very calorie dense and you don't stop when you should.

Fruit Juice (from concentrate)

Fruit juice from concentrate is yellow tier.

Garlic

Garlic is green tier.  We typically use bottled minced garlic in our recipes.  Fresh, minced, or dried are all acceptable.

Ginger

Ginger is green tier.  This can be dried or fresh.  Even bottled paste or minced ginger is usually green tier.

Green Beans

Green Beans are definitely green tier.  Have a mentioned that it takes EXACTLY 7 minutes to cook green beans?  It's true...and a consistent source of entertainment in our 90/10 community.  See the recipe here.

Gums

Guar gum, gum arabic and locust bean gum are often found in foods.  We consider them green tier but also avoid them if possible.  In other words, they are generally regarded as harmless and we don't worry about them too much, but if we can find a version of the food without them it is likely to be less processed so we choose that version.

Half and Half

Half and Half is yellow tier.

Ham

Ham is yellow tier as long as it doesn't have any red tier additives.

Herbs

Fresh or dried herbs are green tier.  This includes herbs such as cilantro, dill, parsley, rosemary, thyme, chives, lemongrass, and more.

High Fructose Corn Syrup

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is a red tier sweetener found in many processed foods.

Honey

Honey is a yellow tier sweetener.  You can see a full guide to sweeteners HERE.

Hydrogenated Oils

Hydrogenated oils (also known as trans fats) are red tier. These are often shown a hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated, or trans fat.

Jicama

Jicama is green tier.  We actually have a nice Apple Slaw that uses jicama.

Lamb

Lamb meat is yellow tier.

Leafy Greens

All leafy greens are green tier.  This includes all varieties of lettuce, kale, mustard greens, collard greens, swiss chard, spinach, and many more.

Lentils

Lentils are green tier.  Try this amazing lentil soup.

Lettuce

Lettuce is green tier.  This includes basically all types such as loose leaf varieties, romaine, iceberg, bibb, butter, boston and more.

Maltodextrin

Maltodextrin is a corn derivative often used in place of sugar or as a filler. It is red tier.

Maple Syrup

Pure Maple Syrup is a yellow tier sweetener.  You can see a full guide to sweeteners HERE.  NOTE:  Some of the more popular brands of "pancake syrup" are NOT pure maple syrup.

Margarine

Margarine is red tier.

Milk, Dairy

Normal dairy milk (any fat percentage) is green tier.

Molasses

Molasses is yellow tier.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms are green tier.  This includes basically all edible varieties including button, chanterelle, cremini, morel, portabello, shiitake, white, and more.

Mustard

Standard yellow mustard is green tier.  It's always a good idea to check ingredients with different brands though as this is a product and various brands could add junk if they wanted.  Spicy brown mustard and deli mustard are often green tier as well.

Nut Butters

Natural nut butters with no red or yellow tier additives are green tier. The ingredients in the nut butters should be just nuts and maybe salt.  This would include cashew butter, peanut butter, almond butter and more. Brands like Jif and Peter Pan often do NOT fall into this category as they have added sugars and hydrogenated oils.  Most stores carry a few natural brands without the additives or you can grind your own at some places.

Nuts

Nuts are green tier.  This includes essentially all nuts such as cashews, peanuts, almonds, pecans, walnuts, and more.  The nuts may be roasted or dry roasted but raw is better.

Oats

Oats are green tier.  This includes rolled or steel cut or any whole oats.  This entry refers only to the grain, so you still have to check ingredients on any oat products such as instant oatmeal packages.  Here is a great recipe for making your own Instant Oatmeal packs.

Okra

Okra is green tier.  This vegan gumbo uses frozen okra.

Olive Oil

Both virgin and extra virgin olive oils are green tier.  We use extra virgin in all of our recipes.

Olives

Olives are green tier. This includes black, green, kalamata and essentially all varieties of olives.  NOTE:  Olives often come packed in oils or vinegars and can have many other additives.  Be sure to check ingredients when buying olives.

Onions

Onions are green tier.  This includes basically all varieties including red, yellow, vidalia, walla walla, and more.

Pasta (100% Whole Grain)

100% Whole Grain Pasta is green tier.  Make sure it is 100% whole grain and not just part whole grain (non whole grain pasta is yellow tier).  You can tell if it is whole in the ingredients if the grains have the word whole in them such as "whole durum semolina" or "whole durum wheat" or "whole wheat flour" rather than "durum semolina" or "durum wheat" or "wheat flour".  Also, be careful with Gluten Free pastas as they can also be made with non whole versions of other grains.  Here is a searchable list of our pasta recipes.

Pasta (not 100% Whole Grain)

Pasta that is NOT 100% Whole Grain Pasta is yellow tier.  You can tell if it is whole in the ingredients if the grains have the word whole in them such as "whole durum semolina" or "whole durum wheat" or "whole wheat flour" rather than "durum semolina" or "durum wheat" or "wheat flour".  Also, be careful with Gluten Free pastas as they can also be made with non whole versions of other grains.

Peas

Green Peas are green tier.  This entry can also include black-eyed peas or other forms of peas.

Peppers

Peppers are green tier.  This includes basically all varieties such as bell peppers (all colors), sweet peppers, jalapenos, habaneros, serranos, various varieties of chilis, and many other peppers.

Popcorn (microwave)

Microwave popcorn is yellow tier. We've often thought about moving it to the red tier due to the chemicals often in the microwave bags.  Proceed with caution!  Plus, it's super easy to make green tier popcorn.  Check it out HERE.

Pork (greater than 10% fat)

Pork that is greater than 10% fat is yellow tier.  You can tell the normal fat percentage of a cut by looking up the nutrition facts for 100g of that cut.  If the fat is over 10g for a 100g total weight, then it's yellow tier.

Pork, Lean

Lean cuts of pork such as tenderloin and chops are green tier.  Fattier cuts are yellow tier.

Potatoes

"White" potato varieties such as yukon gold, russet, and red are yellow tier.  Purple and sweet potato varieties are green tier.  This is one that gets questioned in 90/10 a lot because potatoes are a natural root vegetable.  The reasoning behind potatoes being on the yellow tier is that their nutrient value is low and they are a very "simple carb".  So, they cause blood sugar to rise quickly without much nutrient benefit much like white rice or white bread.  Sweet potatoes and purple potatoes have higher levels of antioxidants and other nutrient benefits.

Processed and Cured Meats

Processed or Cured meats are red tier. This includes meat cured in nitrates/nitrites. Uncured versions of these meats can be yellow tier if they don't have other red tier ingredients such as sugar.

Protein Powder, unsweetened

Pure protein powder is green tier as long as it doesn't have yellow or red tier additives.

Purple Potatoes

Purple Potatoes (not to be confused with red potatoes) are green tier.  These and all varieties of sweet potatoes and yams are green tier.  All other potatoes are yellow tier (red, yukon gold, russet, etc).  Purple and sweet potatoes are on the green tier because of their high nutrient content compared to other varieties of potatoes.  Purple potatoes are popular in 90/10 because they can replace regular potatoes in recipes much better than sweet potatoes or yams since their texture and flavor are similar to a russet potato.

Quinoa

Quinoa is green tier.  This pesto chicken quinoa recipe is a must try.

Radishes

Radishes are green tier and quite delicious roasted.  Try this recipe.

Rice (Whole Grain)

Whole Grain Rice such as Brown Rice and Wild Rice are green tier.  White rice is yellow tier.  Here's how to cook brown rice.

Rice Milk (whole, unsweetened)

Rice milk made with brown rice is green tier as long as there are no other red tier ingredients added.

Seed Butters

Natural seed butters with no red or yellow tier additives are green tier. 

Seeds

Seeds are green tier.  This includes essentially all seed varieties such as pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, quinoa, chia, flax, and more.

Shellfish

Shellfish is green tier.  This includes shrimp, lobster, crab, crawfish, prawns, and more.  This shrimp fajita recipe is where it's at.

Soy Milk, Unsweetened

Soy milk (unsweetened) is green tier.  If it is sweetened only with green tier sweeteners, it is also green tier.  It also cannot have any yellow or red tier additives.

Soy Sauce

Soy Sauce is yellow tier.  We typically use Bragg Liquid Aminos instead.  If you can't find Bragg, you can use low sodium soy sauce instead.

Spices

Spices are green tier (except sugar or spice mixtures that contain red tier ingredients).  This includes your standard spices such as Allspice, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger, Basil, Bay Leaves, cayenne, Chili Powder, Cloves, Cumin, Curry Powder, Dill, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Oregano, Paprika, Red Pepper Flakes, Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon, Thyme, and more.

Sports Nutrition Products

Sports Nutrition Products such as Gatorade and gels are often full of sugar and are red tier. However, if they are being used properly in training for an event, they can be green or yellow tier. Feel free to consult a 90/10 coach by contacting us HERE.

Sprouts

Sprouts are green tier.  This includes various types such as bean sprouts (check out this Thai Chicken Soup for a recipe with bean sprouts) as well as alfalfa sprouts, lentil sprouts, radish sprouts, and more.

Squash

Squash varieties are green tier.  This includes basically all varieties like acorn, butternut, delicata, kobacha, pumpkin, spaghetti squash, summer, and yellow squash.  We have many squash recipes but these Spaghetti Squash Pizza Boats are pretty amazing.

Stevia

Stevia is green tier.  NOTE: This entry refers to the stevia plant and it's extract.  It does not refer to products such as "Truvia" or "Stevia in the Raw".  These products are typically not all stevia and can include things like maltodextrin (red tier) and erythritol (red tier).  Pure stevia extract and stevia in drop form (suspended in alcohol) are green tier.

Sugar

Sugar is red tier and goes by many names including:
Dextrose, brown sugar, cane crystals, cane sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, crystal dextrose, evaporated cane juice, high fructose corn syrup, raw sugar, sugar, syrup, maltodextrin, and white sugar.

Sugar Alcohols

Sugar alcohols are red tier.  There are many different versions but they all end in "-tol".  The most common ones are erythritol, sorbitol, and xylitol.

Sweet Potatoes/Yams

Sweet Potatoes and Yams are green tier.  These and purple potatoes are green tier.  All other potatoes are yellow tier (red, yukon gold, russet, etc).  Purple and sweet potatoes are on the green tier because of their high nutrient content compared to other varieties of potatoes.  This sweet potato casserole will blow your mind.

Tea

Unsweetened tea is green tier.

Tempeh

Tempeh is green tier as long as it doesn't have red tier additives.

Tofu

Tofu is green tier as long as it doesn't have any red tier additives.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are green tier.  You can make your own tomato sauce for pizza or pasta with this recipe.

Tortilla Chips

Tortilla Chips or fried tortillas (not homemade) are yellow tier. You can easily make your own green tier tortilla chips like this though:  CLICK HERE.

Tortillas (Corn, not fried)

Corn Tortillas that are not fried are green tier.

Tortillas (flour, 100% Whole Grain)

100% Whole Grain Flour Tortillas are green tier (similar to bread).

Tortillas (flour, not 100% Whole Grain)

Flour tortillas that are not 100% whole grain are yellow tier (similar to bread).

Turkey (and other fowl)

Turkey and other fowl are green tier.  This includes chicken, turkey, pheasant, quail, and various other fowl.

Veal

Veal is green tier.

Vegetable Oils

Vegetable oils such as Canola Oil are yellow tier.

Vinegar

Vinegar is green tier.  This includes white vinegar, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, rice vinegar, white wine vinegar and more.

White Rice

White Rice is yellow tier.  Brown rice would be a green tier substitute.

Whole Grains

All whole grains are green tier.  This includes such grains as amaranth, farro, oats, barley, buckwheat, rye, millet, and spelt.

Check out the Whole Grain Bread recipes we have!

Wild Game (greater than 10% fat)

Wild Game (deer, elk, etc) that is greater than 10% fat is yellow tier.  You can tell the normal fat percentage of a cut by looking up the nutrition facts for 100g of that cut.  If the fat is over 10g for a 100g total weight, then it's yellow tier.

Wild Game, Lean

Wild Game meat such as deer or elk that is 10% fat or less is green tier.  If it is greater than 10% fat, it would be yellow tier.

Wine

Wine is yellow tier as a beverage but considered green tier when cooking with it (and by "cooking with it", we don't mean drinking it while you cook).

Yogurt, Plain

Greek or regular yogurt is green tier if it doesn't have any yellow or green tier additives.  Typically, if it is labeled as "plain", it won't have junk in it, but it's always best to check the ingredients.

Zucchini

Zucchini is green tier.  Try these zucchini fritters or this Thai Zoodle recipe.

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