8 Foods to Seriously Avoid

One of the questions I get a lot is “what foods should I avoid?”

The concept of avoiding food is technically nothing I’m a fan of, as that would make it a diet (shrug) and not a way of eating.

But this list makes a comprehensive summary of foods I rather leave alone, and would rather see you leave alone, too.

1. Sugar

(Surprise, surprise!)

Examples: Juice, soda, cookies, candy – all the stuff you know is bad for you but sometimes eat anyway.

Why: I’m not sure this needs a longer explanation anymore… Overconsumption of sugar is linked to obesity, inflammation and even cancer. And it’s seriously addictive. Is this really something you want your body to have available when it comes to running the machine?

2. Grains, especially Gluten

Examples: Bread, pasta, crackers. Anything with flour actually. Beer. But also unexpected sources of it, like some chocolates and ice cream.

Why: Gluten is the protein, the “glue” that holds the bread etc together. It can cause huge allergic reactions in people who have celiac disease, or are sensitive to gluten. But also people who aren’t clinically allergic to it should watch out, it’s been linked to things like Alzheimer’s, ADD/ADHD and inflammation. If you have a auto-immune disease, it can many times be improved by taking away gluten from your diet.

3. Dairy from cow’s milk

Examples: yoghurt, cheese, milk, creme fraiche, cottage cheese…

Why: Cow’s milk is the most tampered with food source there is – it’s heated up, cooled down, things added, vitamins removed, then re-added… Bleugh. What is left is nothing like raw cow’s milk that the calf gets from its mother.

Which brings me to another point; even in raw cow’s milk, there are a lot of growth hormones. The calf has to grow into a big cow one day as well. But this growth hormone can also make us and our cells grow (especially cancerous ones). Not to mention all the health problems the cow may have had while giving the milk, that would have been treated with antibiotics, steroids and other medications.

If you can’t live without cheese, like me, for example, goat’s cheese and sheep’s cheese are much better alternatives. They haven’t been as modified, because the production isn’t on the same scale as cows (yet, at least!).

4. Trans Fats

Examples: Anything labelled “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated”.

Why: It’s chemically processed fats! They wreak havoc in your body and can seriously mess with your cholesterol levels. Although cholesterol levels are reducing in importance at the moment, trans fats are still not anything you want in your system.

5. Seed- and vegetable oils

Examples: canola, sunflower, soybean… oils.

Why: Are mega 3 fatty acids important to a healthy body? Heck yes. Well, these lovelies ( ? ) contain so much Omega 6 fatty acids that the ever-so-important ratio between the two is completely thrown off-balance. In a simplified version, you could say that Omega 6 increases inflammation responses in your body, while Omega 3 lowers them.

Please choose other forms of oil, like avocado, walnut or olive oil. And top up those Omega 3’s to be sure, by eating more (wild caught) salmon, or by supplementing with krill oil, for example.

6. “Low fat” foods

Examples: yoghurt, cheese, cereals, candy, sodas.

Why: sometimes pictures say more than food, so this one will have to be described by a picture:


7. Processed foods

Examples: (microwaveable) ready meals, “if it looks like it comes from a factory rather than a farm”

Why: It does go hand in hand with the previous point – it’s a load of chemicals mixed together for your pleasure. Or not. too many calories, too little nutrition. Wouldn’t it be better to just eat some real food that will leave you satisfied and well fed instead of eating a meal that leaves you hungry again within the hour?

8. Artificial Sweeteners

Examples: sucralose, aspartame, saccharin…

Why: You may think they’re good for your blood glucose levels, because it doesn’t raise them, right? Well, while that may be true, the fact is that they mess up the rest of your metabolism instead.

If you absolutely have to, have to use a sweetener, use stevia. Or honey, real, raw honey in small dosages won’t kill you.


Even on “health foods”, you have to carefully read the label to see that it doesn’t contain any of your undesired ingredients. There are always difference in opinion on what should go into a food or not, so you’re always better off just to check what is actually in it.

Have you heard of any other foods you “should” avoid? Let me know in the comments below and I can help you confirm or debunk that myth!

(Idea from Kris Gunnars, an excellent writer on all things healthy food.) 
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