5 Foods You Should Never Eat In Moderation

Lunchbox
By Be Well Health Coach Jenny Sansouci

We’re all about healthy eating here at Be Well, but we believe in a little indulgence once in awhile, too. Unless you’re battling a condition that calls for strict adherence to a specific diet, having a bit of your grandma’s famous apple pie or a homemade treat shouldn’t be a problem on occasion. The important thing is to indulge in foods that are actually foods! It’s much healthier for your body and mind to use your “eat in moderation” tokens on things that are actually whole foods — there’s no use in indulging in processed chemicals or fake foods that are only going to weaken your health.

I asked around the office to get a sense of what some of the other Be Well Health Coaches “would never touch,” no matter how indulgent the meal. Here’s a list of 5 things we don’t believe you should ever eat — even in moderation. Avoid these culprits – your body will thank you for it.

MSG

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is an addictive food additive, used as a flavor enhancer. About 80% of processed foods contain MSG, and it’s known under 50 different names — including “yeast extract” and “modified food starch.” MSG has been known to cause tingling, numbness, brain fog, chest pain, and is strongly related to obesity — in fact, in many lab tests, they feed mice MSG to make them fat in order to do weight loss research on them.

HFCS

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is linked to increased inflammation in the body, which leads to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other chronic diseases. Although some people will say “sugar is sugar,” high fructose corn syrup is an industrially produced product made by the corn industry, and you won’t find it in any real foods. If you’ll notice, high fructose corn syrup is only found in very low quality processed foods that are providing no nutritional value to your life anyway. Find me a high quality food that has HFCS in it!

Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners can usually be identified by the names sucralose, saccharin, or aspartame. (Splenda, Equal, Sweet n Low, etc).There are 92 side effects listed by the FDA, including memory loss, nerve cell damage, alzheimers, migraines, reproductive disorders, brain lesions, weight gain, food cravings, depression, schizophrenia, seizures and more. The FDA calls sucralose 98% pure, but the other 2% contains heavy metals and arsenic.

Diet Soda

This goes along with the artificial sweeteners part (and the HFCS part if you’re drinking regular soda). Contrary to what the marketing may have you believe, drinking diet soda does not lead to weight loss — the opposite, actually. Drinking these liquid syrups filled with artificial sweetener is linked to depression, diabetes and weight gain. Keep yourself free of chemicals and opt for a healthier beverage like water, tea, kombucha or coconut water.

Margarine

Do people still eat margarine? If you do, make the swap for grass-fed butter. You don’t need to be afraid of fat. As Dr. Lipman says, the idea that butter is unhealthy is a myth that needs to be busted! The key is to choose butter from healthy, grass-fed cows instead of factory farmed cows. Margarine is a highly processed substance, and the main ingredient is various types of vegetable oils — these oils undergo a hydrogenation process, where they’re exposed to high heat to extend their shelf life and make them hard at room temperature. This process of hydrogenating the oils turns them into trans fats. Even without the hydrogenation, these highly unstable vegetable oils have been linked to disease.

Bottom line

Skip the processed food and chemicals. Eat real food!

Do you have any foods that you would never eat – even in moderation? Why? Let us know.

Looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth? Here are some of our ideas.

Looking for delicious but unprocessed snacks? Check out this list.

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  • Maude Bigelow

    Thank you. Does this include Earth or Smart Balance with olive oil??

  • vitaleater

    Forget canola oil. It is GMO and hydrogenated in the process of manufacture. I think cowshit would be healthier, if not totally disgusting as a substitute!

  • Nadine

    Excellent question. I am wondering about Smart Balance as well because my parents are still eating it. Help!

  • Anonymous

    The Earth Balance with olive oil still contains the vegetable seed oils (canola and safflower); olive oil is added for taste… so yes, avoid Earth Balance.

  • Anonymous

    The Earth Balance with olive oil still contains the vegetable seed oils (canola and safflower); olive oil is added for taste… so yes, avoid Earth Balance.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, the Earth Balance and Smart Balance spreads with olive oil also contain the highly processed vegetable seed oils (canola, safflower, palm) so we do not recommend either of these products.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, the Earth Balance and Smart Balance spreads with olive oil also contain the highly processed vegetable seed oils (canola, safflower, palm) so we do not recommend either of these products.

  • Sara

    Concerning margerine, it would be helpful to provide healthful alternative suggestions for those of us intolerant or allergic to dairy (including butter). I occasionally use Earth Balance and I agree this is also not the best option…but is there a good non-dairy option? I have used olive oil, coconut oil and sesame oil (from tahini) as a base for toast…not the same but at least I know what I am having for breakfast.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Sara — for spreading on toast, I like avocado, almond butter, or pumpkin puree or apple sauce and cinnamon; olive oil with herbs and sea salt is also delicious. Best of luck with your health. – Be Well Coach, laura