10 Food Mistakes to Avoid

Maintaining a healthy, energetic life involves more than just knowing the right foods to include in your diet.  Reaching your optimal health also means educating yourself about foods that can cause harm to your health and, then, taking them out of your diet. 

In this article, I outline 10 foods you should avoid so you can live a long, more energetic life. 

  1. Processed Meats: Bacon, sausage, and deli meats are often packed with unhealthy fats, sodium, and preservatives. Regular consumption of processed meats has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.  Take these out of your diet. 
  2. Sugary Drinks: Soda, fruit juices, energy drinks, and sweetened teas can contribute to weight gain, tooth decay, and a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Instead, opt for water, herbal teas, or homemade, fruit-infused water.  If you really want a special drink, make a glass of carrot juice. It’s sweet and delicious and may help you fight breast cancer.  It has been a staple in our house for the last five years.   
  3. Deep-Fried Foods: Foods that are deep-fried, such as French fries, fried chicken, and doughnuts, are loaded with unhealthy omega 6 oils, fats, and calories. I understand they are tasty, but regular consumption can raise cholesterol levels and increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers.
  1. Processed Snacks: Chips, crackers, and snack bars often contain high levels of refined carbohydrates, unhealthy fats, and added sugars. These snacks provide little nutritional value and can lead to weight gain and blood sugar imbalances.  Did you know that obesity is a known risk factor for cancer? 
  2. White Bread and Pastries: Foods made with refined grains, such as white bread, pastries, and muffins, lack fiber and essential nutrients. They can cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels and contribute to weight gain and insulin resistance.  Making your own homemade bread in a bread machine is super simple and usually involves these five ingredients: flour, salt, water, yeast, and a little healthy olive oil. 
  3. Artificial Sweeteners: While marketed as healthier alternatives to sugar, artificial sweeteners found in diet sodas, sugar-free candies, and low-calorie desserts may disrupt gut bacteria, increase cravings for sweet foods, and even lead to weight gain over time.  
  4. Fast Food Burgers and Pizza: Fast food items like burgers and pizza are often high in calories, unhealthy fats, and sodium. Regular consumption is associated with obesity, heart disease, and other chronic health conditions.  If you are craving burgers or pizza, make them at home where you can control the ingredients and processing.  
  5. Candy and Sweet Treats: Candies, chocolates, and other sweet treats are typically loaded with sugar and provide little nutritional value. Excessive consumption can lead to weight gain, tooth decay, and an increased risk of chronic diseases.  
  6. Processed Breakfast Cereals: Many breakfast cereals marketed as healthy options are actually high in sugar, refined grains, and artificial additives. Choose whole grain cereals with minimal added sugars or opt for oatmeal topped with fresh fruit and nuts. My current favorite oatmeal toppings are blueberries and dates.
  7. Alcohol:  I live in the bourbon capital of the world so this one is going to get some resistance but the truth is, excessive drinking can lead to liver damage, weight gain, and an increased risk of certain cancers.  It’s best to remove this one from your diet or at least limit alcohol intake to moderate levels.   Opt instead for healthier alternatives like sparkling water with lemon or herbal tea.

Conclusion

Understanding what foods cause harm to our bodies is the first step.

Avoiding these 10 foods and making healthier choices, is the second step on your journey to live a longer, more energetic, disease-free life. 

If you can’t tackle all ten of these at one time, that’s okay.  Making even small, sustainable changes to your diet can have a significant impact on your health over time.  

So choose one today and start there.  

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Improve Your Health With Personalized Nutrition Counseling - I'll Show You How!
Picture of Yetta Blair, CFNC, CHCC

Yetta Blair, CFNC, CHCC

Yetta is a certified functional nutrition practitioner, holistic cancer coach and speaker. She studied whole-food, plant-based nutrition with T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University. She is a food driven analyst and works with clients to help them use nutrition principles to solve the root causes of their health symptoms. She knows that functional nutrition is the answer to our current healthcare crisis, both for individuals and for society at large, and wants to inform as many people as she can of the power of food to heal. Her promise to clients - if you eat better, you will feel better.