10 Foods You Should Never Eat and How to Avoid Them

Friday, January 3, 2014 @ 11:01 AM Charlie Pulsipher
10 Foods You Should Never Eat and How to Avoid Them 3.14/5 (62.75%) 153 votes

Human beings are designed to eat. Our bodies and brains demand a steady stream of energy along with the building, maintenance, and repair supplies that come along with food from sugars, fats, protein, minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins. That doesn’t mean we can just eat whatever we find in front of us though. We all know there are foods that are better for us than others, like fresh fruits and vegetables over something prepackaged and microwaved. But there are certain things you should avoid even more.

number_one_food_to_eat_less_of_sugar_pic1. Sugar – Simple table sugar is highly processed, stripped of nutrients, devoid of fiber, and super concentrated. Our bodies naturally love sugars as these little molecules drive metabolism and provide energy, but table sugar isn’t like the fruits we evolved to crave. Sucrose, a mix of fructose and glucose, hits our system harder and faster than the sugars found in fruits and vegetables, overwhelming the processes we have set in place to use them. Too much sugar causes cravings, strains the liver, increases inflammatory responses, bumps up fat storage, increases cholesterol levels, and causes immune system problems. Most of us get more sugar than we could ever need with our soft drinks, candies, and processed foods. Cut them back or, better yet, out entirely.

The Answer – Stick to whole foods for your sugar intake and avoid processed foods that rely on sugar or corn syrup to make us crave them more than we should. Fruits that include plenty of water content and fiber help you fill up and crave less, berries and melons especially. Use honey, date sugar, stevia, coconut sugar, or pure organic maple syrup when you really need a dose of sweetness, but these should be used wisely and in moderation as well.

2. Artificial Sweeteners – Most artificial sweeteners actually increase cravings for sugary foods, boost fat stores, and contribute to weight gain, some even more than sugar. Aspartame breaks down into methanol, which damages DNA and proteins vital to healthy cellular functions. Sucralose is chlorinated sucrose and it accumulates in the kidneys and liver, enlarging them while shrinking the thymus gland. Artificial sweeteners may even change the way we taste our food, desensitizing us to the complex and subtle flavors we could be enjoying and making healthier foods seem blander than they really are. Many artificial sweeteners have also been linked to an increased risk of cancer.

The Answer – Don’t use them at all. They don’t help people lose weight or eat less. Stick to natural sweeteners as much as possible.

avoid_canned_foods_with_bpa_pic3. Canned Tomatoes – Most canned foods are lined with bisphenol-a, or BPA, to protect food and extend shelf life. Unfortunately, it has also been linked to infertility, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and both breast and prostate cancer. A small amount of BPA finds its way into just about any canned foods, but acidic foods, like tomatoes, leach even more out of the protective lining. Cans aren’t our only source of BPA exposure either. It is found in other plastic packaging and even our receipts. BPA free products are available, but most of these simply switched from bisphenol-a to bisphenol-s, which may be just as toxic.

The Answer – Use fresh or dried foods more often and wash them thoroughly before eating them. A few cans of less acidic foods may be okay in moderation, especially if you also take care not to handle receipts. Ignore the labels that claim to be BPA free and choose bottled tomatoes or jars of tomato sauces instead of cans.

4. Processed Meats – Eating any processed meat increases the risk of dying from heart disease and cancer according to a recent study. Processed meats, like hotdogs and deli meat, are more likely to come from factory farms where conditions are not the best. They also are more likely to contain growth hormones, antibiotics, artificial ingredients, and a lot of preservatives. One such preservative, sodium nitrate, is known to damage DNA in ways that can lead to cancer. Cooking then creates more carcinogens, especially if we char these meats.

The Answer – Cut back on or eliminate animal protein from your diet. If you decide to eat meat, avoid the processed meats and look for lean, organic, free-range, and grass fed varieties. Always look for ways to limit your consumption of processed foods in general and introduce more vegetables into your diet.

choose_olive_oil_over_vegetable_oil_for_health_pic5. Vegetable Oils – Vegetable oils are a fairly recent addition to our diet if you look at our evolutionary history, only becoming available in the early 1900s as new processes changed the way we make food. These oils are not made by simply pressing or separating, as is the case with olive oil, coconut oil, and even butter, but require heat and chemicals like hexane, a petroleum solvent, to extract the oils. These are then cleaned, recolored, deodorized, and altered to make them palatable. Most of our vegetable oils also come from genetically modified crops that are heavily treated with pesticides. The processing increases the oxidization of the oil, meaning it begins to go rancid and any health benefits are negated.

The Answer – Stick with cold-pressed, virgin oils from superfoods like olive, avocado, and coconut. Coconut oil is excellent for cooking while olive oil is better for cooler or cold applications.

6. Margarine – This unnatural substance was first created to replace the perceived unhealthy saturated fats found in butter. We’ve since learned that saturated fats aren’t as terrible as we once thought and trans fats, like margarine, are quite possibly the worst. We took questionable vegetable oils and then made them to resemble the molecules found in saturated fats by forcing hydrogen into them. These hydrogenated vegetable oils thus carry all the problems we mentioned earlier about regular vegetable oil and then some. Trans fats contribute to a host of health problems, especially revolving around cholesterol and heart disease. They are also even more likely to be oxidized and contain emulsifiers, chemical solvents, and preservatives.

The Answer – Choose coconut oil and cacao for your saturated fat needs and avoid trans fats at all cost. Even butter is better than margarine.

microwave_popcorn_super_unhealthy_air_popped_is_good_pic7. Microwave Popcorn – Microwave popcorn is convenient, quick, easy, and generally a tasty snack. It is also filled with perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA. This chemical lines the bags to keep the oils from escaping. It is also used in non-stick coatings and stain-resistant carpets. PFOA mimics hormones and has been linked to infertility, thyroid disorders, immune problems, high cholesterol, and cancer. It isn’t the only problem with microwaved popcorn though, which also contains diacetyl, a chemical butter flavoring that causes lung damage.

The Answer – The good news is that popcorn, when cooked correctly, is a low calorie, healthy snack that is also GMO free. It comes from a different seed type than the GMO corn that is everywhere now. Make it the old fashioned way with coconut oil in a skillet with plenty of movement or with an air popper. You can even make it in the microwave, if you must, using a brown paper bag. Simply pour half a cup of popcorn kernels in, fold down the top a few times, and put them in for a minute and a half. Toss them with dried herbs and a little olive oil for a better seasoning than a ton of butter and salt. I like coconut oil, lime, thyme, and a little Himalayan sea salt on mine.

8. Salt – Salt is an essential nutrient and we cannot live without it, but there are better, more flavorful, versions than that highly processed stuff you find in most people’s pantries, countertops, and prepackaged food. Processed salt is devoid of the minerals nature originally gave it. Most of us also get way too much salt in all the processed foods we eat.

The Answer – Ditch the processed stuff for the natural sea salt. Himalayan sea salt is a great option. So is Celtic salt. There are even ancient mines in Utah that produce a pink salt similar to the Himalayan. Avoid processed foods and try adding a dash of good salt just before you eat it rather than mixing it in before. This lets your taste buds get a stronger hit ten_foods_you_should_never_eat_and_how_to_avoid_them_picof flavor, so you use less. Iodine is a concern though. You want to make sure you are still getting enough of this mineral too. Try adding more sea vegetables to your diet.

9. Non Organic (Certain Ones) – Every year the Environmental Working Group releases a list of the best and worst fruits and vegetables when it comes to pesticides. Potatoes, apples, spinach, and strawberries are four that many of us eat often that made the list of the worst offenders. These are covered in pesticides, many of which are known to be harmful to humans.

The Answer – Read the list and pick up organic versions of the worst ones. Feel free to use non-organic when it comes to the cleanest, but wash them thoroughly.

10. Soy – Soy is not the health food people once thought it was. Most soy in the U.S. is genetically modified, heavily treated with pesticides, and wasn’t really all that healthy before GMOs became more common. Soy contains phytoestrogens that mimic human hormones and interfere with our natural balance. It is also considered a common allergen, causing allergic reactions in many people, especially children.

warrior_blend_protein_is_free_from_whey_and_soy_picThe Answer – Organic, fermented soy products like tempeh and miso are far healthier as many of the allergens and phytoestrogens are broken down during fermentation. For vegetarian or vegan protein powders, there are other options like brown rice, pea, and hemp seed proteins. Many of these provide even better amino acid profiles than soy without the same risks. Vegetable proteins have also been shown to be as effective as animal protein when it comes to building muscle and recovery. Warrior Blend and Classic Protein both avoid the problems of both soy and whey.

Charlie Pulsipher

About Charlie Pulsipher

Charlie Pulsipher is a health and fitness enthusiast, writer, author, and neighborhood do-gooder. He shifted his education from Biochemistry to English Literature in an attempt to avoid math, but never stopped loving the natural world of the miniscule. He has published several fantasy and science fiction novels and helped others publish more down to earth books about natural foods. He can’t stop writing. He is probably happily tapping away on some keyboard even now.

172 Responses to “10 Foods You Should Never Eat and How to Avoid Them”

  1. Lou says:

    Very good article :)

  2. trish says:

    Very informative. I’ll be making a few substitutions!! Thankyou

  3. Bill says:

    Would love to see the references you have accumulated.

  4. jimmy john says:

    from what I’ve read there are no actual proven facts that organic foods are any healthier or are better for your body than non organic. can you provide any?

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      It is very true that most studies show that organic foods contain the same essential nutrients, but that isn’t the only thing to consider. There are the pesticides which contribute to obesity and other health risks and then there’s the lack of helper compounds, like fulvic acid that can only be found in good, healthy soils where the beneficial bacteria thrive. Organic isn’t everything either, hence my suggestions to disregard it in many fruits and vegetables.

  5. vivienne says:

    So eat nothing??!! Life is about balance not starving yourself of foods then you’re more likely to binge!! Totally think people are mad!

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      Is there really nothing left if you eliminate these 10 foods? Life is about balance, but there is very little balance in the foods I mentioned.

      • John Richardson says:

        I’m sorry about being blunt in a prior post but GMO correct me if I’m wrong stands for genetically modified organism not chemically modified so what does it matter are you saying that women who have trouble getting pregnant with there man shouldnt look into other options!? That’d be genetically modified!

        • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

          I’m not entirely sure what you are asking. Most genetically modified foods have been given DNA from bacteria in order to resist more pesticides. I’ll be blunt now too. There is a huge difference between the genetic modification of our food and infertility treatments like IVF. Comparing them shows a very large misunderstanding of both.

          • Farmfresh says:

            Good job! I love your answer. A genetically modified organism has not only been infused with bacteria dna but they also dont grow in soil, so you lose the health benefits that come from soil, but also the most startling thing I think about is the fact that they have isolated specific genes in all their gmo products to protect from disease and rotting(with the help of bacteria dna as well) but a lot of organisms have specific genes in order to protect them. Scientists isolate and then grow genetic duplicates in order for all organisms to be exactly the same.. There is a huge benefit to genetic diversity. It would take only one new organism or pathogen to get inside one of these gmos to wipethem all out. People take their food for granted.. But they dont realise that the foods we eat now lack so much that it would not take long. Then lets add pesticides as well to this mix.. Or hormones, antibiotics and steroids to our gm meats. I am completely guilty in eating unhealthy, dont get me wrong, but I do try makin more healthy choices where i can. Including farm fresh meat and fresh organic produce.

  6. tyson says:

    The longest living most well studied culture ever were the elderly Okinawans they lived well into their 100s despite living in a pollution riddled town and they ate more soy than anyone else n the planet so I agree it has phytoestrogens BUT how bad can they be for you really? It seems like the good definitely outweighs the bad

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      The Okinawans eat mainly purple sweet potatoes, rice, bitter cucumbers, and fish. They do eat more soy than most other cultures, but it’s still a fairly small percentage of their total diet, around 6%. It’s hard to narrow down exactly what works for them. They eat much less sugar than other cultures too. They also eat much less meat and almost no dairy or eggs. It is difficult to attribute one part of their diet to their longevity and disregard the rest. There is also plenty of genetics to look at. The Okinawans also were not eating the genetically modified and highly pesticide treated soy we find in the U.S. today and they lean toward fermented soy, like miso, which contains much less phytoestrogens.

    • Tbot says:

      I also wonder what it meant at the time to eat the most soy out of anyone on the planet, because at the time soy hadn’t taken off in the way that it has now. I’m guessing that the amount that okinowans ate was nowhere near what the average vegan might eat everyday if they are using soy as a meat/milk/egg substitute.

  7. Scott potential says:

    Himalayan sea salt? Have you looked at a map of the Himalayas recently?try it ,and here is a fun game for all the family to play , spot the sea! Ha !ha !ha !Himalayan sea salt! Hilarious!!!.

    • Sunwarrior says:

      Hey Scott, It’s true that the Himalayas are currently very far from any sea; however, it’s not any current sea that Himalayan Sea Salt comes from. The map we need to pull out would show a world about 40 or 50 million years ago when the Himalayas were just about to form by India crashing into Eurasia. The landmasses were of similar density, so instead of one being forced underneath the other, they were both forced upwards, out of the sea to form the huge mountains we now know. So the Himalayan sea salt is left over from an ancient sea and is currently mined from the Himalayas and areas near by rather than harvested from current sea waters. You can see more details here: http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/dynamic/himalaya.html

      • Alissa says:

        Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha it’s always wise to google search a question before you open your mouth hahaha but so funny for me!!

        • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

          Very wise words, Alissa. :D

          • Tbot says:

            I admire your patience Charlie :S

          • Josta says:

            I always feel like, what if 6 billion people would suddenly switch to a niche product like Himalaya salt, or Açia berries for example, wouldn’t that ensure the source is used up within no time? Therefore sometimes I think it’s just as well to buy the lesser evil, like regular sea salt in this instance. Anyone has any counter argument? :) (thanks for the article btw!)

  8. Julie says:

    Great article! :) thanks!!

  9. Rebecca says:

    Gosh, scary stuff. One thing I’d like to mention – you can pop corn in the microwave just as it is – no need for ‘traditional cooking’ (with oil – ugh!), nor for those nasty chemical-laden microwave popcorn bags.
    Just buy a bag of popping corn (it’s cheap, it’s *just* corn, no oil, no flavouring, no nothing) and put a tablespoonful of it into a large bowl, cover the bowl with a plate and microwave for 1-2 minutes.
    EASY.
    And healthy.
    And no nasties!
    Rebecca

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      Great tip, Rebecca? I use a little coconut oil with my popcorn, mainly to help the thyme and sea salt to stick.

  10. joe love says:

    Nothing but a bunch of tree hugging hippies!!

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      Thank you, Joe. I do love trees.

      • Zack says:

        What’s wrong with ‘hugging trees’ joe? If it wasn’t for trees you
        Wouldn’t be breathing or even have managed to evolve to this stage..
        In fact without trees and the like the atmosphere that we have today
        Wouldn’t even have enough oxygen for you too survive..
        Nice article though guys!

  11. Sarah says:

    Another natural sweetener option is agave nectar/syrup…which is great if someone has a distaste/allergy/lack of access to the ones listed. Molasses too, from what I hear, has health benefits…or at least less drawbacks. Some people have access to the ‘juice’ from pressed sugar cane. Not as sweet as the refined stuff, but it retains any nutritional elements to it. A caution if anyone uses Stevia (or Truvia, etc): it is a LOT sweeter than conventional sugar–don’t add too much in! Taste test it as you go, or you’ll wind up with a pretty disgusting result.

    Canola oil is another good oil for cooking, higher smoking temperature and a slightly different taste. Grapeseed and cottonseed oils are good for consideration, though I have not personally used them.

    Unfortunately, a lot of alternatives can be pretty pricey–not a problem for some people, of course, but for others…
    For people in a situation where money is an issue, if you have a dollar store nearby, you can find things like good quality olive oil. (As opposed to the $9 in a main grocery store.)
    For the organic produce thing, if you can’t afford it or can’t access it, you can soak them in a water/white vinegar mix which will drastically reduce your exposure to pesticides. This explains one way to do it:
    http://goodgreenhabits.com/wash-your-fruits-veggies-with-vinegar/

    On the more frivolous note…I add a spritz of olive oil and some powdered garlic and pepper to my popcorn (sometimes salt, but not as often). Yum!

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      Thank you, Sarah, for some great suggestions. I actually like molasses now and again, but I usually don’t go for agave nectar. It just has too much fructose. I’m also not the biggest fan of canola. That high smoke point is brought about by chemical refinement. Your vinegar/water suggestion is great and your popcorn sounds delicious.

    • Siva says:

      Everything agreed, but canola oil is good? pls google more! For oil, I believe only in Rice bran oil – the best with a good smoking point..

  12. Jason says:

    You mentioned a few artificial sweeteners. I like a small minority of people find that artificial sweetners aren’t even sweet (more of an alkaline taste). I have tried Xylitol and found it to be sweet although very sweet. Do you have any knowledge of its health impacts specifically?

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      Hi, Jason. That’s a good question. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that has some interesting effects when it comes to cavity prevention, but I wouldn’t call it healthy by any means. It is highly processed using a host of chemicals to separate it from the sugar cane, birch, or corn base. It’s pretty hard on your digestive tract and I think still leads to more sugar cravings. You also have to keep it far far away from your pets. It can be deadly for dogs and cats.

  13. Jenn says:

    Thanks for your article Charlie! What is your opinion on non organic grapes? Wash in vinegar/ water solution? Is the vinegar really necessary ? Why?

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      Grapes are one that is better organic. They use a lot of different pesticides on them. The vinegar solution is a good idea if you can’t afford organic all the time. The acidic vinegar helps remove a little more of the bacteria and pesticides than water alone, between 5 to 20 percent more depending on the produce and the pesticides used. Soak them for a few minutes and then rinse them well.

  14. Egle says:

    Oh, my! Charlie, you must have such fun reading some of these comments! And I admire your calm and collected answers. Great article, hope loads of people get to read it as its simple and straightforward, for those not familiar with natural, healthy eating. :)

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      Oh, thank you so much, Egle! Your comments are the ones I live for. I learned long ago that I need a thick skin and a sense of humor if I’m ever going to survive writing. I’m glad you enjoy both my articles and the fun comments I get. :)

    • soccergirl says:

      Totally agree Egle!! Rhino skin…

      • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

        :D Yep, that’s me. Thank you, soccergirl. I love soccer, by the way. I played from 6 until high school and then got into indoor for a while. The indoor arena closed though a couple years ago. I miss it.

    • mcbate says:

      Charlie, I love your article and totally agree with Egle! Thank you for your article…

  15. Laura Wilson says:

    Thank You!! Great information!!

  16. Patt says:

    My 90 something parents are going to be very surprised a can of tomatoes, a staple in their diet, is going to do them in.

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      They probably will be surprised, Patt! Tell them to watch out for the heat printed recipes too. We get way too much BPA from recipes.

      • Pam says:

        Are you referring to receipts, as in cash register receipts?? Heat printed recipes?? (sorry I missed something here). Great article, by the way! Loved every word!

        • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

          Yes, Pam, from cash registers, restaurants, and gas stations. Heat printed receipts are the somewhat shiny, smooth ones that are used almost everywhere now because they are so quick to print, easy to read, and don’t require people to change out ink ribbons along with paper. They are more convenient, but they come with a price. They are coated with BPA. Thank you!

          • Theresa Culpepper says:

            When in my teens I was a cashier, ( then we used ink ribbons) I never had a problem with handling receipts. Years (20) later I had to go back in to retail, I started having bad reactions to breathing and handling receipts, I have read that it causes cancer and other health problems, other cashiers I have worked with have same problems. Why has this NOT been banned?

  17. candice says:

    “Potatoes, apples, spinach, and strawberries are three that many of us eat often that made the list of the worst offenders” Thats FOUR, not THREE

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      Thank you so much for pointing that out for me, Candice. So glad when my readers can count. I added the strawberries on the second draft and missed that little typo. I’ll change it now. Thank you again, but next time there’s no need to shout. :)

  18. Jodie says:

    Brilliant!! My family and I have recently become vegetarian and we found your article very informative and (best of all) practical. Also like that your suggested alternatives are very realisic and manageable (without getting too technical or costly). Will definitely be following your future posts. Many thanks

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      Thank you so much, Jodie. People seem to love or hate this article more than most. I am super glad you found it useful and practical. Good luck with your recent transition!

  19. Taryn says:

    Charlie, this article is well-researched and fantastic. Some of the people’s comments are slightly ridiculous, but I particularly enjoyed your response. You seem like such a knowledgeable, level-headed guy and super patient and tolerant!
    I would love to copy this article (including your name/ reference, etc) on my website…would this be okay? I’m a yoga teacher and love sharing healthy tips and articles with my students.
    Thanks again! :-)

  20. Dana says:

    Thank you so much ! Great article and love that you listed alternatives.

  21. wendi wu says:

    I see..i believe all those except soy, i think its a government scam to stop us from eating. I mean there are soo many asian countries that have eaten soy for years still now also , like part of the main diet, tofu, soy milk etc and there r no allergy or infertility like its always suggested. Most allergy nowadays comes from the way they handle the food,not the food itself, cuz like for real 10 20years ago people didnt have nut, gluten, soy, or fish allergy like rhey do today. Even that documentary u watched happy says how their diet in japan is why so many okinawans r old and HEALTHY! US just have shyt food standards. Sick ppl make more money than healthy. Ahhhhhhhhhh

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      Thank you, Wendy. I’m actually more tolerant of soy than many health experts. I think the fermented forms, like miso and tempeh, can be pretty healthy. Unfortunately, in the U.S. we take things to extreme. Soy here is overly processed, genetically modified, and over used. Since it is so cheap, it’s in almost everything processed, even tortilla chips and bread. I believe our over exposure is part of the problem.

  22. Kez says:

    Great article, we don’t eat most of the stuff on the list anyway, except tomatoes once in awhile. My husband is a chef and I know he’s going to enjoy reading this. I’m sorry some people are so rude/stupid and feel that they should share that with us. Looking forward to reading more!!

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      Thank you, Kez. Sounds like you are doing very well. I love stewed tomatoes and have been turning toward the glass jar ones and starting to bottle my own too. I don’t mind the fun people’s comments. They make this all the more exciting.

  23. The Truth says:

    Never pay attention to fools that say never do something. This article is garbage based on the premise they say NEVER. Kind of tired of all the “never eat this” propaganda.

  24. The Truth says:

    Wow I didn’t finish the article because it sucks but noticed you say never eat non-organic because of the pesticides they use. You obviously are ignorant to the fact that organic foods use more volume of pesticide than non-organic.

    • Whitney says:

      Oh, and by the way, he didn’t say “never eat non-organic.” Please actually read the 90% of the article you did finish.

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      Thank you, The Truth. I do love people who comment without finishing. They are always the most informed. Seriously though, you really should read the bit about organic foods as what you took away from it wasn’t exactly what I wrote. Thank you again for the fun comment.

  25. Jess says:

    Re Table Salt:

    Although I agree that folks should stay away from the over-processed (often sugar and additive containing) table salt, people should be careful:

    The switch to sea salt in health food circles has led to a decline in the consumption of Iodine – a critical mineral for the human body.

    Look for sea salt that has Iodine added to it; or, look for organic dulse or other sea vegetables to get your daily intake of Iodine.

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      Very good point, Jess. I completely agree. People should eat more sea vegetables, especially if cutting back on table salt. Sea salt does contain some iodine, but the amount is usually on the low side.

  26. Merlin says:

    Great article! I try to avoid all these items in my food intake. What is your take on eating a diet fairly high in fat if you avoid the sugars?

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      Thank you, Merlin. I believe fat has been maligned for a very ling time, but isn’t the horrible food we once thought. The fat-free craze drove up the sugar and salt contents of our foods in a very unhealthy way. The high fructose levels may be more at fault for the heart-clogging problems we face than fat anyway. I still always avoid trans fats and I try to avoid vegetable oils as often as possible, but healthy whole-food fats are quite good for us and essential to proper brain function. I still wouldn’t go very high on the fat intake. It is a lot of calories. But I do enjoy a small amount of nuts, seeds, coconut oil, or olive oil every day. I eat avocados once in a while and I eat purslane for its rich omega 3s. I balance this out with the good sugars and fiber found in fresh fruits and vegetables. Throw some exercise into the mix too.

  27. Jen says:

    Great article and most informative – thank you!
    The comments – good, bad and ugly were the
    added bonus this morning!

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      Thank you, Jen! The comments really are pretty entertaining with this article, aren’t they? I’m enjoying them very much.

  28. Regina says:

    Love the article! So many people out there don’t know these very important facts. Although I do eat sugar & use the canned tomatoes sometimes , I have cut back on alot of processed meats, salt & artificial sweeteners . The rest of the list is rarely in my daily nutrition & i have always used a decent amount of organic produce. Americans need to be educated more & more about the dangers of foods that are consumed on a daily basis! Keep the great articles coming (:

  29. Lisa says:

    I’m so sick and tired of health freaks trying to scare all of the food lovers out there with all this nonsense. What isn’t bad for us these days? Every time I turn on the news or open a magazine there’s always a new article informing us of what we shouldn’t eat. If we took all this advice seriously then all there would be left to eat is lettuce and grains. Yummy. We all know not to eat too much suger or too much salt or too much of anything really so why not just give it a rest? Can’t we sit down and enjoy dinner with our families with no worries of what we’re eating? It’s just about getting to the point of rediculous don’t you think?

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      I’m actually a food lover too, Lisa. I enjoy cooking, exploring spices, and learning new recipes every day. That’s why I am so disappointed that we seem to have moved away from whole foods, gardens, and cooking things ourselves. These scare tactics are directed at those who eat fast food or prepackaged and processed junk more than anything else. You sound like you are doing many things right. Kudos to you for sitting down with your family to eat and avoiding some of the salt and sugar. I won’t give it a rest anytime soon, sorry.

  30. Rebecca says:

    Excellent, thoughtful article. It took me a very long time to accept the fact that the typical American diet is slowly killing us. Why is it that the U.S. leads the world in health care spending but most of us aren’t healthy and don’t live very long? Sure, pumping our bodies full of pills will keep us alive for a while (and the pharmaceutical companies’ pockets lined), but is that really the quality of life we are striving for? Why is disease and obesity rampant? Hmmm. Think it has a lot to do with our food. We all need to wake up and start changing the way we see food – yes, eating is and should be enjoyable, but primarily it should be nourishing to our bodies and promote our health. This generation of children is the first that will live sicker and die younger than their parents did. What are we going to do about that?? Here’s the take-away: “He that takes medicine and neglects diet, wastes the skills of the physician.” (Chinese proverb)

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      Thank you very much, Rebecca! Our diet is definitely a large part of the problem when it comes to our quality of life and our rampant health risks here in the United States. I also completely agree that eating and be enjoyable and healthy. I don’t understand when people think this is an attack on good-tasting food. It isn’t. Thank you again.

  31. Michelle says:

    My husband works for a large salt manufacturer and is a salt expert. When I say “manufacturer, ” I really mean harvester. No major salt company that he has heard of bleaches salt. There is no reason for it. Salt is white when it is pure. Sea salt has other minerals in it, and is, therefore, impure. Pink or red salt often has been harvested from areas with red algae. The way your table salt is made is through solution mining. That means it is in caverns underground, water is pumped down into the cavern, the salt in the cavern dissolves in the water, the water is pumped up into an evaporator, and what comes out is salt, pure and white. The idea that sea salt is better for you is a hoax. NaCl is NaCl.
    Its all the same. Personally, I’d be a little concerned about dirty salt, salt that is not white.
    While I agree that people should cut back on added salt and avoid processed foods, one salt is not very different from another.

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      Thank you, Michelle. This is good information. I’m actually glad to hear the bleaching may be a myth. I mainly like the grey and pink salts for their earthy flavor and the extra minerals and I’m not a fan of the anti-caking additives in table salt. I’m quite happy with “dirty” salt. Part of our problem with allergies and autoimmune disorders in developed countries comes from our obsession with everything being completely sterilized and clean.

      • Alex says:

        I appreciate your point about autoimmune disorders and allergies. I believe those have also been linked to poor nutrition. Francis Pottinger discovered a corolla toon between poor nutrition and allergies in his Cat Study from 1932 to 1942.

        • Alex says:

          Rather, he discovered a correlation.

          • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

            :) I liked the corolla toon too though. You have to love autocorrect’s insistence that it knows best. Thank you, Alex. Poor nutrition and our obsession with sterile environments seems to be a bad combo when it comes to allergies and autoimmune disorders.

  32. Jonny Primal says:

    Hi, great article. The only thing missing from the list in my opinion is wheat. For me it is second only to refined sugars when it comes to the damage it has done to the western world ever since they started cross breeding the different types of wheat in order to increase yields and make it more weather resistant. Have you read Wheat Belly? An absolutely fabulous, informative read.

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      Thank you, Jonny. Wheat is one I thought about adding, but this article ended up being pretty controversial as is. Many people still enjoy it and, for the moment, those with gluten intolerances seem to be in the minority, though this may be changing due to our increase in allergies in developed countries and the hybridization of wheat to increase yields.

  33. Lindsay says:

    Great article! My family has started to do most of the things on this list. I enjoy baking so I am finding it difficult to cut out sugar! We buy organic canned tomatoes from Costco. They are supposed to be in BPA free cans. Have you heard of anything negative about BPA free canned tomatoes? I’m not really sure what they use for the lining. I’d like to grow & can my own someday, but it hasn’t happened yet.

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      Thank you, Lindsay. You should try experimenting. You’d be surprised how much sugar you can cut out of recipes and not notice. Also try substituting in others like coconut sugar, honey, or stevia. Unfortunately the bpa free cans all contain bps, which is still a bisphenol compound that may be just as toxic. I understand though. Canned foods are so hard to stop using. They are just so convenient. Try buying jarred tomatoes to supplement the canned ones until you can start bottling your own.

  34. Robbie says:

    A very interesting and well balanced article. I live in Cairns which is a large sugar producing region of Australia. We dont eat or use refined sugar in our household, but raw sugar or honey is our sweetner of choice. How does raw sugar stack up against the nastier sweetners, processed white sugar, sucrose etc. I look forward to more of your publications

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      Raw sugar is a little better, Robbie, but not by a ton. It does have more of the original minerals and nutrients, but it is still way too high in fructose. Honey is a slightly better choice than raw sugar with more B vitamins and minerals, but even honey should be used in moderation. Fresh fruits are always the best go-to sweetener or sugary snack.

  35. Marina says:

    Thank you for such a great article about foods you should not eat and how to avoid them. I would like to add that a great way to avoid using vegetable oil is to use cold pressed olive oil from Greece. I substitute vegetable oil and butter with “Dimitri Olive Oil”. For more information about this authentic unfiltered cold pressed Olive Oil visit their online store where you will find more healthy products!

    Bon Appétit

    Marina Hatzidakis

    http://www.greekstore.com/

  36. ANBT says:

    I have heard many of things mentioned in this article. But I have also heard that it is not so much the these food items that is the problem, but the volume to which people consume these items. Too much of a good thing is actually bad for you. So too much of a not so healthy/good thing could be even worse. Moderation has always been key to anything and everything. Society has become so lazy or so busy that they must have all these conveniences which are actually bad for you. :)

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      So true, ANBT. Unfortunately it is hard to even get people to consider moderation without being a little inflammatory with titles and the article content. A little of these foods wouldn’t be terrible, but so many of us struggle with moderation, especially when it comes to many of the ones on this list.

  37. Jon says:

    MSG. Natural flavors. Artificial dyes and food colorings. And high fructose corn syrup should all be in this list.

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      I agree with most of these too, Jon. I lump high fructose corn syrup in with sugar since so many food manufacturers like to substitute one for the other whenever they feel like it. Natural flavors is a tricky one. They can be entirely innocent or they may be used to hide ingredients we may not be comfortable with. It’s impossible to tell. I do think companies that choose not to use the phrase are better.

  38. Alex says:

    The article seems very well written and obviously involved a good deal of time and research. I appreciate that. I’d also like to congratulate you on your seemingly endless patience and tact. Thank you for writing. :)

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      Thank you so much, Alex! Seems half of my life is research lately. I enjoy it very much. My patience comes from being a writer for quite some time and from being a part of an amazing critique group where no one is afraid to tell me what they think of my writing. I wish more people had a chance to do that and develop both thick skin and empathy at the same time.

  39. Laura says:

    You are obviously a genius – VERY knowledgeable in your field. I enjoyed reading your article – but enjoy reading your responses to the pessimistic responders even more! Especially when you are able to respond in such a respectful way of ‘socken’ it to ‘em’ – LOVE IT! I need you for a ‘phone a friend’ if I ever got on Who wants to Be a Millionaire… Thanks for sharing your tips, and helping us to be more healthy! So much to remember…

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      Haha! Thank you, Laura! I’m not sure if I’m quite genius status, but I do love learning new things ever day, so maybe someday in the far distant future I may qualify. I would be a decent phone a friend as long as you know never to call me for any of the pop culture questions. We both would be in deep trouble if you did. I almost never know the first couple “easy” questions and do better as the questions get harder. If it has to do with science or science fiction, then I am your man. :D

  40. Liisa says:

    Hi thank you for the great article, looking forward to many more:) I am very much interested in nutrition, healthy eating. I would like your advice on what books to start reading that would be educational but easy to understand. Basically books about nutrition from the very start or for a beginner. Sorry not sure do I make sence!

  41. Tatiana says:

    Great list! There was a time when I thought all of this was okay, but then I woke up and am so thankful for people like you who are helping people open their eyes with articles like this! It’s sad that someone actually asked what’s left to eat. I really hope they are not only consuming microwave popcorn, canned tomatoes and artificial sweeteners ;) - I get asked the question, “What do you eat?” Often and my simple answer is “REAL food”.
    I do purchase Muier Glen canned tomatoes as I read they took BPA out of their cans.

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      I know the feeling, Tatiana. I used to love a certain soda way more than I should have. Since quitting that one vice, I have opened my eyes to so many other things I could improve. It always is funny that so many people think there can’t be anything left once you cut out these. I think it has actually broadened the depth and variety of my meals. Most BPA free cans use BPS, which is still a toxic biphenol compound. You are probably okay in moderation, but you may want to look for bottled tomatoes if you can. I’ve taken to using organic pasta sauces for many of the recipes I used to use canned tomatoes for, especially soups.

  42. Kellan says:

    What’s wrongs with phytoestrogens? Is it in most of the foods we eat? Hasn’t most of the Asian world been eating soy for over 1000 years?… We would see side effects by now, no?

    • Tbot says:

      I’m not an expert on the Japanese but I lived there for a few years. I see the Asia arguement come up over and over as an arguement to eat more soy. From what I understand, traditionally soy was only a “go to” food staple during food shortages. Also, the Japanese prepare their soybeans carefully (fermentation) to destroy toxins (like in natto). Further to that, I didn’t experience soy served as a meal or consumed glass after glass in the form of a beverage. It was more of a condiment to a meal (like miso soup). I read somewhere that soy makes up less than 2% of the Japanese diet. This pales on comparison to the way some people consume massive amounts of soy in North America!

      • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

        Thank you, Tbot. You are very correct. All cultures that rely heavily on soy have traditionally fermented it which breaks down most of the phytoestrogens and allergenic proteins.

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      And to add to what Tbot has said, phytoestrogens have been linked to premature puberty, infertility, allergies, and weight gain. I think a small amount of phytoestrogens may have a place in helping to ease severe pms symptoms and the transition into menopause, but I don’t think they should be so rampant in our foods from birth. We are seeing side effects aplenty in the US where we eat a large amount of unfermented soy in processed foods.

  43. Amy says:

    This article was great until you suggested that palm oil was a better oil than margarine. Firstly , palm oil is full of saturated fat. Secondly, pretty much all margarines on the market contain palm oil. And most importantly, the damage that the production of palm oil is doing to our environment, destroying rainforest and the habitat of so many animals including the highly endangered orangutan. I’m dissapointed that you could promote such an alternative. I work tirelessly to try and inform people of how bad palm oil is….for health and the world!

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      I agree with you, Amy! The only thing you get wrong is that margarine is full of artificially created saturated fats that are far less healthy than the natural saturated fats found in whole foods. By forcing hydrogen into vegetable oils, we manage to simulate saturated fats, but they are far more terrible and damaging than the saturated fats we try to avoid. I used palm oil as a hyperbole to demonstrate how much I hate margarine. Perhaps I should have been more clear in that. I never use palm oil and agree that it is terrible for the environment. But trans fats are more dangerous to the body than saturated fats from any source.

  44. Jason Wang says:

    I disagree with not eating vegetable oils.

    Most vegetable oils are high in polyunsaturated fats, none of which pose serious health risks unless in excess.

    Coconut oil is high in saturated fatty acids, as is palm oil.

    Also, why is GMO bad? I’ve yet to hear of any case where a GMO food has been directly linked to illnesses in consumers. I can understand some environmental impact, but many of these foods are modified to survive more extreme conditions caused by unpredictable disasters in the field.

    Other than that, good article.

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      Thank you, Jason. Most vegetable oils contain too much omega 6s and not enough omega 3s. An excess of omega 6 without the 3 to balance it has been linked to increased cardiovascular risks. Vegetable oils are also not so easily extracted so they must rely on chemical solvents like hexane to increase production. Saturated fats are being redeemed in studies now as not being the super unhealthy fats we once thought them to be. They are still extremely high in calories, but they are not the main source of cholesterol and blood lipids we believed. A small amount of saturated fat is very beneficial to the brain and body. I’m not the biggest fan of palm oil, but I love coconut oil.

      You will find that I, as a biology lover, am actually quite intrigued by the possibilities of genetic research and not wholly against GMOs for being GMOs. Unfortunately, we aren’t using genetic modification to increase yields, feed starving nations, and combat disease like we were promised. Instead it is used to sell more pesticides, to bully small farmers, sue everyone over patent infringement, and to make biotech firms buckets and buckets of money. GMOs currently on the market are overloaded with pesticides and some produce their own. I am all for making our food better, but this is not what is being done.

      • Norma says:

        I’ve been enjoying these articles immensely thus far, but your comments re GMOs are SPLENDID! My nephew is a ”small farmer” and the things he could tell you about companies like Monsanto would curl your hair! (I’ve always longed for curly hair, but don’t plan to achieve it by this method!) Thanks so much for all your research and the great way you present it.

        • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

          Thank you, Norma! I’m glad you enjoyed them. I am also not that desperate for curly hair though I admit being a little jealous of my older brother when I was a kid. ;)

  45. Amy says:

    FYI – they sell pink Himalayan rock salt in LIDL!

  46. Saul says:

    This article makes a great number of claims but without a single citation of scientific research to back it up and as such is just conjecture. Could you please provide a list of the peer reviewed scientific papers you have based these claims on. I’m not saying I disbelieve anything here, but without the empiricism to back it up no-one should take these claims seriously.
    In addition could you explain the selection criteria for these particular foods. Why these ones? Is it just because these are some of the ones you know about and decided to pick out of a hat? There is a strong indication of selection bias here. Could every food not in some way or another make it to someone’s list of “10 foods you should never eat and how to avoid them”?

  47. KayKay says:

    Great article!! I would, however, like to point out that corn is not healthy and, like soy, is mass produced with thousands of chemicals and is also one of the most genetically modified foods in North America.
    Europe and Canada are currently working to outlaw American GMO corn in our countries.

  48. Lu says:

    Great info, thanks for the research and for sharing! I like your writing style too.

    I didn’t understand why homemade popcorn would be GMO-free when most of the corn produced on the planet these days is GMO (85% I think). And even the organic one is usually cross pollinated with the GMO corn from the other farms in the region (winds know no borders).

    About organic soy products – yes fermenting makes them better and I agree that the other sources of veggie proteins you mention are superior. But one thing that is rarely mentioned on the media is that a lot of these fermented soy foods come from Japan (even organic) where the radiation levels from the ongoing Fukushima problem are alarmingly high.

    Good luck with your great work. The world needs it.
    Lu

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      Thank you, Lu! Glad you enjoy my writing style. That means a lot. It is interesting that popcorn and corn come from completely different seeds. I was very happy to find that out too. Thank you for sharing about the radiation concerns from Japan. That is a very good point.

  49. N says:

    Hi Charlie,

    I loved your article.
    What are your thoughts on eating dairy?
    I’ve read bad things about dairy products also.
    Should you have the lactose free varieties instead?

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      Thank you, N. I’m not the biggest fan of milk. I was allergic as a child and never really got the taste for it. I’ve transitioned away from it now and use almond and coconut milk more often. Cheese has been harder to give up, but I use it very rarely now. I did this mainly because it seems to help my sinuses stay clear, but also because I dislike how factory dairies treat their cows and use too many hormones and antibiotics.

  50. Andre says:

    Dear Sir,

    First questions, where do you live, where do you come from?
    Reading your article I can only imagine you live in a rich country.
    Would you be ready to take the challenge to write the same article while living in a third world country where I live?
    Your suggestion look useful if one has money.
    I live in Africa. Maple syrup, I can’t find any. CoConut oil…. neither…. five or six portion of fruit and veggies, if we can afford it. Olive oil for the rich ones.
    Main food here, white rice, palm oil, white sugar…… what do we do with that?
    Can you rewrite a realistic article with that?

    Regards,
    SA

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      Thank you, Andre, for commenting. It is very true that these articles are aimed more at the United States, Canada, and European nations which overindulge and does not apply to you and your situation very well. I lived in Central America for two years and I know very well that in such circumstances you must eat what is available to survive. I recommend eating as well as you possibly can with what is available to you. I have heard that moringa is available in Africa and grows readily there. That would be a great addition to your diet. I understand that this may not be the case where you are, but I wish you the best, love you, and hope you will find the healthiest options possible with what you have.

  51. Karen says:

    What I great article! Please keep your information coming. This really made me think about how I cook. I used canned tomatoes all the time despite shying away from all other canned products. Also we eat microwave popcorn more often then I would like to mention and I never thought about this before! So helpful.

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      Thank you, Karen, That is why I write, to make people think just a little bit more about what they eat and make changes for the better. I’m glad to be a small part of that process.

  52. Danielle says:

    This article is amazing! I also love your patience, writing style and knowledge of this subject. The comments on here are also great.

    You are very informative and I learned quite a few new things. I was unaware that BPA-free cans contain BPS. I also didn’t know that table salt wasn’t that good for you. Do you know if sugar in the raw is ok to consume in moderation? It’s made with 100% natural turbinado sugar. I do a lot of baking and lean towards using that, honey or applesauce for some sweetness. On the soy – how do you feel about soy milk? I give that to my children instead of regular milk due to the high sugar content and hormones in cow’s milk. I drink almond milk myself but they aren’t as crazy about the taste. If no to soy what would you suggest?

    I have switched to cleaner eating in the past year for my children’s health and am continuously looking to see what else we can do to eliminate harmful things in their diet . Both were diagnosed with ADD/ADHD in the past 3 years. My one child had quite a few issues with his behavior/focus and was on medication for awhile. Basically with that they keep pushing more/newer drugs to “help” your child. In reality this is a temporary fix and not a permanent solution for change, plus many of these stunt your child’s growth and greatly reduce their appetite. Finally I had enough and switched his diet completely so that he consumes very little sugar/no artificial sugar, no food coloring and as little processed food as possible. This helped immensely and now he is doing great! It is amazing that just changing your diet can completely turn some people’s lives around for the better.

    Thanks again for a great article!

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      Thank you so much, Danielle, for liking my little words and for the amazing comment! You are great! A little raw sugar now and again isn’t the end of the world. It does still contain a little more fructose than I like, but it is better than table sugar or high fructose corn syrup. I’m a fan of the raw coconut sugar more than anything else at the moment. I was raised on soy milk since I was allergic to milk as a child. I’m not entirely sure how it affected me, but I can say I hit puberty rather early and I am the shortest boy in my family by several inches. Not conclusive evidence I know, but I really like coconut milk and almond milk more than soy now. You can try cutting the soy with half almond and see if they notice or switch it out for coconut milk.

      I am so glad to hear that your healthy transitions are working so well for you and your family. It really is amazing how big a role simple nutrition plays in our lives. Keep sharing your great strides, Danielle. You are an inspiration to me and others, I’m sure!

  53. May says:

    I agree with your advice, very reasonable I think. I like to live by “all things in moderation” most of the time. I make my 4 children dinner from scratch every night, and I buy fruits and veggies for snacks. I try to live by common sense healthy eating. But, I struggle with the “Organic” issue. Like I said I am feeding 4 growing kids and my grocery bill is upwards of $1000 a month already. So, I do my best to make healthy meals and eat right, but I am constantly reading things that want to make me feel guilty for not buying organic. I do actually buy organic when it is price comparable. But sometimes I question it’s validity? Just being honest and you seem like a reasonable person :) How important do you think organic is?

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      Moderation is a good life model, May. Sounds like you are doing a fantastic job. I love meals from scratch. Organic is a hard one since it can get more expensive. That’s why I often recommend that you just buy organic produce in the dirty list above and go ahead and buy non-organic in the cleaner ones. Click on “a list” in the article to read more about the dirtiest and cleanest produce. Make sure you wash all your produce well no matter where it comes from. You can soak produce in water and a little vinegar for few minutes and then rinse them to get more of the pesticides and pollutants off. I also do a small garden on my patio and herbs in my kitchen to add a little extra organic food to my table. They take a little work, but not as much as many people think, just about ten minutes of my time each day. Don’t feel too guilty. You are still doing so much better than most people who barely buy produce of any kind.

  54. erdem says:

    Great article but I strongly disagree with the opening sentence “Human beings are designed to eat and eat often”
    I have been doing “intermittent fasting” for a year now and I have never felt better in my life. I only eat two times a day and I came to realize that “Less is more” when it comes to food consumption.

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      Thank you, erdem. I do a monthly fast and I have been following some of the interesting research that delves into how calorie restriction can extend lifespan. My opening line was mainly focused on how evolution drove us to consume almost constantly to prepare for the times of fasting and scarcity, but you may be right – my statement may be incorrect. I’m still on the fence about intermittent fasting, but I am very glad to hear it is working so well for you. Thank you again.

  55. Kait says:

    Such a great post! I’m so happy to see that people are taking the time and energy to inform others about a major health problem…FOOD! There are many easy ways to swap out the ‘bad’ foods for better ones, which is not only a healthier option, but can be just as tasty and satisfying! Thanks!

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      Thank you too, Kait! It really is pretty easy and delicious to make some switches. I like the spelling of your name too by the way. As a writer who creates character names, I’ve always liked the more interesting ones.

  56. Shana says:

    Great information, and i love your pride you take in everything you say its comforting!

  57. Tom says:

    What’s so bad about genetically modified food? The DNA is simply modified in order for the food to grow larger in a shorter period of time and with more immunities. Genetically modified food is rigorously tested as well. I suppose it isn’t “natural” but there isn’t much of a downside as far as I know.

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      You will find that I am actually very interested in the potential of genetically modified foods, Tom. Unfortunately, you are incorrect about what has been done to them. They have been modified to be more resistant to certain pesticides, so farmers can use more of those pesticides without killing the crops. In essence, we have plants modified to sell more pesticides, pesticides made by the same company modifying plants. This mean more pesticides in our food supply. Other plants are genetically engineered to self-destruct after one generation, forcing farmers to buy seeds each year rather than save seeds as they have forever. The big companies then sue farmers who even try to save seeds for patent infringement. GMOs have also been shown not to increase yield in stuy after study. Seems a shame to make plants that do not provide more food. They aren’t as rigorously tested as the companies would lead us to believe. Some genetically modified foods have managed to hit fields before they were ever approved. It is very difficult to take them back once they enter the environment. Despite studies, we also have no idea what the long term effects may be.

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      Thanks, Mark. The health world borrows heavily from one another to spread valuable information, add to, build on, and take away from each idea. I’m sure the one you posted isn’t the first similar article nor will the one above be the last time you see something similar, especially since the health field rolls in waves. Such as http://www.naturalnews.com/038467_foods_avoid_processed_meat.html from December of 2012. Enjoy!

  58. Matt says:

    This is absolutely ridiculous.

  59. Nonfatidiot says:

    You’re a fat Idiot, that has no clue about health and nutrition.

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      Oh thank you, Non Fat Idiot! This is a lovely bit of prose that thoroughly demonstrates your superior intellect over me in the fields of health and nutrition, even though your name implies that you are simply skinnier than me while on equal footing in the grey matter department. Thank you again for the kind words. Always happy to have friendly detractors visit and comment. :)

  60. Shaz says:

    Can you post references to studies of claims made in the future, not the science, does make me think when people are rambling on in person about GMO’s but yet smoke, use skin and other cosmetic products packed with chemicals absorbed into the body, BUT, they eat a peice of nice organic chicken which means they are super duper healthy.

    Might have a few posts from Layne Norton’s followers (Dr Layne Norton who stuck with buochemistry and focussed on a protein metabolism based thesis to become a leading expert in nutrition, don’t think they were that impressed…

    “If you don’t eat organic… you are going to die. It’s science bro. Not surprising that the author is a ‘fitness enthusiast’ who changed his major from biochemistry to english in order to ‘avoid math.’

    Translation: science was too ****ing hard so it was easier to do something else. Turns out science is still too hard for this guy, lies and broscience is far easier”

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      I will try to use more links in the future, Shaz. I am actually a big fan of biochemistry and I love the possibilities afforded to us in this age where we are just beginning to understand so much more about DNA. CRISPR will change everything we can do over the next few years. What I really dislike about GMOs is that they increase pesticide use and were, in fact, engineered mainly to sell more pesticides. There is also some question about long term use, new allergens, genetic drift, and horizontal gene transfer to some of our friendly fauna in our intestines that has not been fully answered. That’s funny about not eating organic means you die. Eat organic and you will die too. Death comes for us all eventually. What we eat may make the time before that happens better or it may not. Ultimately it is up to you.

  61. PostDoc says:

    Interesting article but your ‘opinions’ are somewhat flawed. Although I do agree with some information you are putting across you have not looked at your information in a balanced way. Like people have mentioned in other comments I would like to see some references to these ‘studies’. Even when studies do show a correlation between cancer and substance X the quantity used in the studies are very rarely physiological and often used in animal studies. There is a huge flaw in certain toxicity tests used by food agencies anyhow as they use 2D cells culture techniques and animal testing yet when these are compared to 3D cell culture the results can be completely opposite. I do hope the Joe Average reader takes your advice with a pinch of salt or even sugar.

    Just for the record I’m not saying all your information is rubbish.

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      Thank you, PostDoc, for your honesty. I completely agree. I need to do more links to studies, but one of the reasons I don’t is that so many studies are flawed like you say. Animal studies are never conclusive and many human trials are so small or so unorganized as to be nearly useless. Such is the world of science where studies are published by students without funding or by large companies with too much money. I also hope everyone takes anything they read with a grain of salt or a pinch of sugar, including my words. People should do as much research as they can and come to their own opinions, beliefs, and personal truths. I am also fairly aware that most of what I say isn’t total rubbish, but thank you for saying so. ;)

  62. dardar says:

    I really appreciate how calm your responses were to some of the less tactful comments made here. I admire your poise. I am an exercise professional and I would like to be able to keep my head like you do when people go out of their way to disagree with my on topics of which they are clearly poorly educated.

    For those who argue with the information here needlessly: it’s really easy to justify continuing to do something we’ve always done even though there is considerably evidence against it.

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      Thank you so much, Dardar! You can do it. I have had a great deal of practice. As a writer, I’ve had to endure many critiques, fun comments, and mean-spirited reviews. You slowly learn to laugh and deal with them as best you can without getting too upset. I actually have come to enjoy responding to some of my detractors. Thank you again.

  63. Nik says:

    Charlie, I see that you do not hold a science degree of any kind- let alone one in a relevant field. When you put unfounded claims like this on the internet and publish them as facts you are doing a disservice to all who read it.

    Please leave the giving of nutrition advice to the licensed registered dietitians who know what they’re talking about.

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      Ah, you have a point there, Nik. I do not have any such degrees or certifications. My degree is in English Literature. I always encourage people to take anything I say with a grain of salt. Actually they should do that with any advice, article, or testimonial, no matter the degrees of the person it came from. Having said that, I am also a firm believer that much can be learned outside the established institutions of learning. I have a passion for health, fitness, biology, and nutrition. I read more than average. I write well more than average. I scour the world for new things to understand. I am also a fairly smart little person who weighs what I read, experiments with what I doubt, applies what I like, and shares what I believe. I hope everyone does the same.

  64. Lawrence says:

    I believe you need to take an introductory course on how to differentiate quality scientific studies from bad “science”.

    Actually, keep up the spread of unnecessary paranoia. It keeps my nutritionist staff employed.

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      Sounds like a fun course, Lawrence! I’d take that in a heartbeat. When are you teaching it? Paranoia can be dangerous, but it also has its place, sprinkled here and there. Adds flavor.

  65. Laura says:

    You stay to stay away from canned tomatoes, which I can appreciate. But in the answer portion, you tell your readers to choose jarred tomato sauces. These have some of the highest amounts of sugar and sodium in them (and your previous item was sugar!) I don’t know how reliable your information can be when you tell people to use jarred sauces…

    • Charlie Pulsipher Charlie Pulsipher says:

      Sorry, Laura, I should have been more clear. There are stewed and crushed tomatoes, along with sauces, available in jars now that don’t contain a ton of sugars and sodium. They are harder to find, but they are starting to appear more often. I bottle my own so I control what else goes in with my lycopene filled nuggets of goodness. Sometimes I forget that not everyone can do the same. Thank you for reminding me. I must say I do love that people feel justified in dismissing 1,655 words in an article based on 1 word they stumble across. That is pure awesomeness incarnate. I will not follow that example myself though, and I’ll ignore the “stay” that should be “say” in the 62 words above, because I think the comment has a great deal of merit even with a tiny mistake. Laura is quite right. Check the labels, my friends, always!


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