This is a long post, so I won’t preface it with a lot of superfluous words. As you can see by the source list at the bottom of the page, I’ve searched several lists of foods to avoid, and come up with this list of 40 foods, which includes the “dirty dozen” and a list of 7 oils to avoid. Let me know if I missed something you think should be included.

  • Fruit Juice-This seemingly innocent food is full of vitamins and minerals right? What could be wrong with that? It is just as bad for you as soda. There are approximately 45 grams of fructose per liter of juice, compared to 50 grams per liter in soda. (1) Remember, fructose is useless in the body and has the same affect on the liver as does alcohol, and can cause fatty liver disease and cirrhosis of the liver.
  • Agave Nectar – Think of agave nectar as the high fructose corn syrup of the health food industry. It is worse than both high fructose corn syrup (hfcs) and regular sugar. Sugar and HFCS are approximately 50% fructose. Agave nectar, on the other hand is approximately 85% fructose. (9) Avoid this at all costs.
  • Sports drinks – Unless you’re a college or professional athlete or a marathon runner, you don’t need to drink this stuff.  It was invented to replenish electrolytes in college football players, in other words, very active people who burn LOTS of calories. The average person has no need to drink it. It’s not any healthier than soda or juice. If you’re thirsty, drink water.
    • Gatorade contains 36 grams of sugar (9 teaspoons)/20 oz container.
    • Powerade contains 45 grams of sugar (11 teaspoons)/20 oz container.
  • Farm raised fish – Tilapia and salmon are the biggest culprits, but there are others. Make sure your salmon or any fish is marked “wild caught”. Farm raised salmon will be marked “Atlantic” salmon. Just avoid tilapia all together. I don’t think I’ve ever seen “wild caught” tilapia in the store. Farmed fish contain the following chemicals: (2)
    • Anti-biotics
    • pesticides
    • Chemicasl-dioxin (toxin/pollutant), Dibutyltin (chemical in plastic), Polybrominated Diphenyl (flame retardant), Canthaxanthin (food dye).
    • Environmental contaminants- large fish farms produce the same amount of excrement as a city of 10,000. (2)
  • Microwave popcorn – MMMM, hot popcorn fresh from the microwave, only 100 calories…with some added chemicals! The bags are coated with non-stick chemicals linked to cancer. (1)
  • Factory farm meat (aka-super market meat or corn/grain fed meat) – Cows have developed to eat grass, not grain. They are fed grains instead of grass because it makes them gain weight faster. Grains have a detrimental effect on a  cow’s digestive system. As a result, farmers are forced to give them antibiotics and other medications.   To speed rate of growth even more, the cows are given hormones. Studies indicate that other drugs, such as allergy medication, pain killers and anti-depressants are found in these animals (1). Purchase your beef locally, from a farmer you trust, someone who raised 100% grass fed beef. This type of beef is becoming more common with large grocery chains, as consumers are demanding it more frequently. (4, 1)
  • Margarine – This substance is made from liquid vegetable oil which is processed and transformed into a solid. This changed the fat in the oil from a poly-unsaturated fat to a trans-fat. Studies have proven that trans-fats have a detrimental effect on the cardiovascular system, resulting in approximately 50,000 fatal heart attacks/year. (1)  Instead use grass-fed butter/ghee or organic virgin coconut oil. Flax oil and olive oil are wonderful for salad dressing.
  • Vegetable oil – I consistently discuss the health benefits of whole, unprocessed foods. Vegetable oils DO NOT fall into this category. They are unhealthy, unnatural, highly refined/processeed and filled with inflammatory omege-6 fats. Unfortunately, vegetable oils are still touted by many dietitians as the healthiest oils for your body. These same people, not understanding  health benefits of saturated fats,  preach the old fashioned, out dated notion that saturated fat is bad. Many studies have proven that fat is not the demon it has been made out to be. There are fats to avoid, however, and vegetable oils fall into this category.
    • Avoid inflammatory oils (even organic versions):
      • hydrogenated oil/partially-hydrogenated
      • safflower oil
      • soy bean oil
      • corn oil
      • sunflower oil
      • canola oil
      • grape seed oil
    • Instead eat healthy, whole food or lightly processed sources. make sure any oil is  “cold pressed”:
      • organic coconut oil –
      • grass-fed butter/ghee
      • organic olive oil –
      • organic Flaxseed oil
      • avocados
      • nuts/seeds
      • fatty fish
      • grass-fed meat
    • Listen as Dr. Mark Hyman discusses why vegetable oils are bad:

  • Standard table salt (iodized salt) – Yes salt is essential to the human body, just as glucose is. However, just like glucose, there are healthy sources and bad sources. REAL salt, taken directly from the mine is considered a whole food and VERY healthy. It’s jam packed with dozens upon dozens of mineral your body needs.  However, manufacturers got their hands on it, stripped all these wonderful nutrients from it, and destroy it even further by adding drying chemicals to it. Now, since every ounce of nutrient has been stripped from the salt at this point, toxic levels of potassium iodide are added back in, along with dextrose, and anti-caking agents. It’s then bleached white. (YUM!)  (1)
    • Use pure forms of sea salt/rock salt, such as Celtic or Himalayan Salt
    • Here Dr. Axe talks about Salt:
  • Artificial sweeteners/Anything marked “sugar-free” – We have touched on artificial sweeteners in my Ultimate Guide to Nutrients series. These are just plain nasty, they are excitotoxins which destroy brain cells. Anything marked “sugar free” will contain these dangerous chemicals. If you want a zero-calorie sweetener use stevia or monk fruit. Or, better yet, use manuka honey, a real super food.
  • The dirty dozen– If you can’t afford to eat all organic food, at least eat these 12 foods in organic form. These 12 foods are the fruits and veggies most contaminated with pesticides. (10)
    • Peaches
    • Apples
    • Sweet Bell Peppers
    • Celery
    • Nectarines
    • Strawberries
    • Cherries
    • Pears
    • Grapes (Imported)
    • Spinach
    • Lettuce
    • Potatoes
  • energy bars/protein bars – Just think of these as another sugar disaster, and more like a candy bar than a health bar. For a side by side comparison, visit
  • bottled salad dressing – Bottled salad dressing is usually made with soy oil, or other refined oil. They also contain high amounts of sugar. 2 tablespoons of your favorite brand has, on average 6 grams of sugar. Light versions aren’t much better.
  • processed meat/cheese – These foods aren’t really food at all, but a series of chemicals masquerading  as food. (3)
    • “American” cheese- a bit of milk fat/solids mixed with whey protein, emulsifiers and food coloring..
    • Processed “deli” meat- This includes deli meat as well as hot dogs, sausages and bacon. – They contain nitrates, nitrites, chemicals and preservatives. They contain 400 % more sodium and 50% more preservatives than unprocessed red meat.
  • Soda-both diet and regular – Simply put, they are very unhealthy. They are filled with either sugar or artificial sweeteners, neither of which you need.
  • Conventional chicken/eggs – Some reports indicate chicken feed contains traces of caffeine, Tylenol, Benadryl, banned antibiotics, and arsenic. (3) Opt for organic pasture raised or free range chicken and eggs.
  • non-organic corn/soy– Corn and soy are the 2 most genetically modified organisms in the country (USA). They are resistant to herbicides. They are also modified to produce a pesticide, which kills bugs that eat it. (Yuk). So, essentially, when you’re eating GMO corn/soy, you are eating a pesticide. You can still enjoy corn/soy, just choose ORGANIC soy and corn instead (7)
  • flavored yogurt (even if it says light) – Flavored yogurts are FILLED with sugar. A 6 ounce container of Yoplait contains 27 grams of sugar. You’re better off eating a Krispy Kreme donut which has 10 grams of sugar. The light version of Yoplait isn’t any better, with 14 grams of sugar. Instead, buy plain yogurt and add fruit, and a bit of Manuka honey or stevia for sweetenerScreen Shot 2017-06-13 at 10.56.04 AM
  • energy drinks – They contain the caffeine equivalent of FOUR cokes and 13 teaspoons of sugar (or 52 grams of sugar!) I think that’s enough said! (15)
  • Swordfish, shark, tilefish, swai, king mackeral – In a word…MERCURY. The larger the fish, the higher the mercury levels. These fish are notoriously high in mercury.
  • Canned tomatoes (or any canned food) – I am just as guilty as anyone for using canned foods. They are just so convenient. Unfortunately,  the cans are lined with bisphenol-A, or BPA, a synthetic estrogen. Canned tomatoes are especially vulnerable, because the acid draws the chemical into the tomato. If you love the convenience of canned foods, try glass containers or tera pak boxes, such as Pomi.



9 thoughts on “How to eat healthy: 40 Foods No One Should Eat…Ever

    1. For me it’s fairly simple…If you’ll notice most of the things on the list are refined/processed foods. Stick to ORGANIC WHOLE FOODS (as minimally processed as possible), and you will avoid everything on the list. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Awesome post! I love this.

    I didn’t know about the fishes high in mercury. When I was a kid, my parents did mostly canned food. I hated asparagus my whole childhood, until I had actual fresh asparagus. The difference! One of my favorite things in existence.

    Since going keto, I’ve been hard core avoiding all processed foods, even canned tomatoes. I didn’t realize how much extra sugar and other crap is in everything. Keto definitely made me more aware of what I’m putting in my body.

    Liked by 2 people

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