"Everything, except Agriculture, can wait in this tough time. Do yourself a favor and wear a protective face mask."


Spread the knowledge

Here is a list of foods (processed or not), ingredients and chemical compounds that nutritionists refuse to put on their plate

Artificial sweeteners

A big iced coffee with skim milk and two Splenda please? Think twice. “There is not enough data to show that artificial sweeteners are really safe, so I prefer to avoid them and allow me to take real sugar from time to time,” says nutritionist Chelsey Amer. There’s also a lot of research showing that drinking diet drinks could make you lose weight, which can increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease. ”

Microwave popcorn

Do you love curling up on the couch with a glass of wine and a bag of popcorn to watch The Voice ? Resist! “One time, I opened one of these bags of popcorn for the microwave, and I never had it again! There are really too many chemicals among the flavoring agents inside the bag and anyway, I generally avoid processed products, “says Chelsey Amer. If you’re really crazy about this kind of thing, she suggests instead making your own popcorn .


How easy it is to make a turkey sandwich when you prepare your lunch. Be aware that these delicious slices of meat can hide some dangerous ingredients. “The deli can contain a wide variety of additives, from nitrates to carrageenans, which can increase inflammation of the body and that is scientifically linked to the risk of colon cancer ,” says Megan Faletra, nutritionist and yoga instructor . Choose organic charcuteries without nitrates or antibiotics instead. ”

Low fat peanut butter

You may think that your body will thank you for taking the low-fat jar? Error ! Better to opt for the fatter. ” Regular, low-fat peanut butters contain about the same amount of calories, but the lighter version contains more added sugars and artificial sweeteners to enhance taste,” says Megan Faletra. The fat in peanut butter is good for our body, so stick with the good old fat peanut butter. ”


If you’re not dairy-free, but watch your waist, you may be tempted by margarine, which is more “healthy” than butter. Not sure it’s a good idea. Even though some margarines get rid of trans fat in anticipation of their ban by Health Canada (they will be banned from the US starting in 2018), “most margarines continue to be made from these highly refined oils (from soy and palm mainly), “says Megan Faletra. Eat moderately an organic butter made of grass-fed cows’ milk remains a better choice for your health as these butters are rich in omega-3, so good for the heart.

Most frozen meals

As a child, nutritionist Ha Nguyen used to eat frozen food almost every day after school. But now she would not touch one, even with the end of a stick of 3 meters. Why ? “Most of these dishes are over-processed,” she explains. They are cooked with refined flour, very salty and stuffed with additives and preservatives. A lot of really bad stuff for your body. ”


You may have eaten these tarts when you went to school – and you may have bickered with your friends about the best flavors. Ha Nguyen suggests, however, to ban them from your cart the next time you make your deal . “As well, ship your kids to school with a candy bar for lunch,” she says. Just look at the first ingredients in the list to see that they are displaying a lot of refined sugars like high fructose corn syrup, dextrose and sugar. “Why not prepare, together, one of these delicious smoothies for a healthy lunch !

Cheese spread

Okay, they’re really cool when you’re 16, but from a nutritional point of view, these fake dairy products do not have much to offer you. “These spreads are highly processed and actually contain quite a bit of cheese ,” says dietician Michelle Jaelin. They come with a list of endless ingredients and colors that I do not really want to swallow. If I want cheese, I prefer to eat real food. ”


Even if the packaging swears that this juice will give you all the vitamins and minerals you need , nutritionist Andy De Santis explains that fruit juices, even handmade, are to be avoided. “This craze for fruit juice is really disturbing,” he says. These products are usually full of calories and they will not satiate you more than they will bring you the nutritional benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables. Eating an apple, an orange or a banana will take you a few minutes. Swallowing them as juice will only take 10 seconds. “It’s a lot of calories in less than a minute.

Sausages, hot dogs

Go see a hockey or soccer game, but skip the hot dog stage. At the limit, better try one of these  good Quebec beers  with a bag of peanuts. “Not only are hot dogs very fat and relatively low in protein – the exact combination of what you do not want in your meat – but they are also stuffed with salt and nobody needs to eat it. more, says Andy De Santis. And to make matters worse, there is more and more data linking processed meats to an increased risk of cancer of the digestive system. ”


Although moderation is a good rule for almost everything, Andy De Santis places cheese on the list of foods to avoid “because there are better ways to get calcium “. “Cheeses are usually high in calories, saturated fat and sodium, all of which should be reduced. Better go for low-fat milk or almond or soy milks, or yogurt fortified with vitamin D. And do not forget that nuts, seeds, legumes and dark leafy vegetables contain also calcium. ”


Do you prefer to eat canned meat than from the butcher’s? “Preservatives, sodium and uncertainty about the origins of this meat should deter you,” says nutritionist Gabriella Vetere. Choose meat that your body can recognize, not meat stuffed with chemicals and preservatives. ”

Ramen noodles

The old broke student may be regaling you when you banish this sodium nest from your diet , but your body will thank you. Exercise physiologist and nutritionist Rachel Straub recommends getting rid of these packaged products full of nitrates and so poor in nutritional value.

Prepackaged snacks

They seem like a blessing to you when, caught up in the vortex of life, you do not have time to prepare your kids’ lunches , but Rachel Straub suggests trying to hold you back. “These snacksoften contain meat full of nitrates, refined grains and treats,” she says. It’s all but a healthy choice. “Replace them with one of those tasty health snacks !

Yogurt with fruits

The ads are catchy and remind us of the fond memories of our childhood snacks, but most of these products do not keep their promise in terms of nutritional value. “It’s kind of like eating dessert for lunch,” says Rachel Straub. Nearly half of the calories come from added sugars, so these yogurts are a bad health choice. Better go for a plain yogurt (and find out everything you can do with a simple yogurt !) In which you’ll put some fruit or some healthy food. ”


Your Instagram feed might send you a different message about these dough sprinkles sprinkled with sugar (and sometimes rainbow-colored), but those pastries you buy for your Monday morning meeting are doing damage, says Jamie Logie, personal trainer, author and nutritionist. “The donuts are made of refined flour (probably GMO) hyper glycemic,” he says. Which means they can scare your blood sugar. “They produce trans fat at the time of frying, which increases the risk of arterial blockage and cancer, and they are covered with sugar. They will not satiate you, will make you even more hungry and they are filled with the worst ingredients you can eat. ”

Fast food burgers

The healthiest part of these meals that your kids beg you to buy them back from a workout? No doubt the plastic toy that comes with it. Jamie Logie says that if making your own barbecue burgers at home may be a good choice, those sold in fast food chains are nutritionally suspect. “Only one meatball can be taken from a dozen different cows raised in feedlots. These animals are stuffed with hormones, have very high levels of inflammation and are horribly malnourished, he continues. You will then find a white bread that is rich in starch and which, depending on the filling you choose, may contain poor quality bacon and highly processed plastic cheese. Opt instead forthese healthy grills or try our tips for healthy eating in a fast food restaurant !

Popcorn of cinema

Like peanut butter and jam , buttered toast and cheese macaroni, some things seem to exist only to be associated. The same goes for popcorn topped with butter and salt and the latest blockbuster movie. Yet Jamie Logie is asking you to resist. The large formats sold in theaters contain more than 1000 calories and 40 grams of fat – and that does not even include the butter filling. Make your own corn at home with olive oil and salt, then bring it to the theater. (We promise you to say nothing!)

Raw oysters

Although oysters are known to be aphrodisiacs and can really make you happy when you accompany them with a nice glass of fresh white on a sunny day, nutritionist Jennifer Bowers fears the effects of this sticky mollusk on your digestive system. “There are many foodborne illnesses associated with seafood undercooked, she said – hepatitis A and norovirus, mostly. Oysters are sometimes carriers of vibrio vulnificus and vibrio parahaemolyticus, she says. That being said, I find that oysters taste horrible (that’s my opinion!), So for me, the risk is not worth it. If you eat it, opt for oysters cooked with raw oysters to reduce the risk of getting sick. ”


You certainly do not need us to know that even a single glass of 250 ml (8 oz) of soda will not do you any good! But just in case you need to refresh your memory, Jennifer Bowers reminds us how harmful it can be to drink calories. “The sugar load in a single portion is simply not worth it if you put it in perspective with the glycemic peak, the mood swings, the headaches and the caloric bomb that may result,” he says. she. The high consumption of soft drinks in the country, associated with a sedentary lifestyle, is linked to the epidemic of obesity . ”

Non-fat prepackaged foods

Do not be fooled by these slimming foods, says nutritionist Rima Kleiner. It is undoubtedly a very good marketing turn taken by the agri-food industry, but labels without sugar or fat or without-anything are misleading. “Even after years of research that confirms that our body needs good fatI still see clients for whom fat-free foods are at the top of the diet, says the nutritionist. But many of these prepackaged products that naturally contain fat (think biscuits, crackers and energy bars) replace the fat with sugar, so you end up with a biscuit or other product that contains less fat and, maybe even fewer calories, but does not have any nutritional benefit. If I have a craving for sugar, I prefer to do something myself and use good fats such as olive oil, flaxseed or avocado . Or I buy a single brownie or a biscuit in a good bakery. ”


Do not tell the street vendor at Saputo Stadium, but those snacks we love in the afternoons are really bad for your health. “Pretzels are made with simple sugar ,” says dietician Cara Walsh. These refined carbohydrate products do not contain any nutrients that are good for your health and, moreover, they do not satisfy your hunger , which is why people tend to eat too much. ”

Rice cakes

Once the stars of slimming foods , these carbohydrate bombs have a poor reputation today. “Rice cakes are made of specific carbohydrates that literally make your blood sugar levels jump,” says Cara Walsh. They are still popular among those who watch their line, but the dietician strongly suggests avoiding them. Find other foods for a flat stomach .

Fruits in syrup

You could replace a canned fruit salad with a slice of cake, and your body would not see the difference. ” The fruits are naturally quite sweet, ” says nutritionist Amy Gorin. The sugar present in the fruits, added to that of the syrup, makes any dessert of this type downright indecent. “If you buy canned fruit, find some that do not contain added sugar – varieties stored in water or in their juice, for example.

Cereals in boxes

Easier to prepare than an omelette and faster to make than a good coffee, cereals are one of the most popular lunches. But when it comes time to give your body the vitamins and minerals it needs to get the day off to a good start, nutritionist Gisela Bouvier urges you to avoid boxes. “Dry cereals were invented to be an easy lunch for children,” she says. But these cereals are very rich in carbohydrates and have very little to offer (see nothing) in terms of protein and heart-healthy fats. Most contain a lot of added sugar and little fiber. As a nutritionist, I never recommend them to clients. Instead, instead, I suggest cereals rich in complex carbohydrates such as slow-cooking oatmeal and whole-grain bread. ”

Peanut Butter

Forget about the peanut butter allergy epidemic in recent years, or the acne breakouts it would have caused, there are many other reasons to go without peanut butter according to Gisela Bouvier. Or, at least, be much more selective in your choices when you buy. “Although it contains good heart fats and is a good source of plant-derived protein, it’s important to know that not all peanut butters are equal,” says the nutritionist. Most peanut butter contains added sugars and fats, especially partially hydrogenated oils, also known as trans fats , which are linked to heart disease.and other diseases. That’s why I always recommend reading the list of ingredients carefully when buying peanut butter or any other nut butter. Ideally, this list should only mention “peanuts” or “peanuts, salt”. ”

Frozen frozen meals

It is often tempting – especially when you come home late and children have not yet taken a bath – to get out of frozen food. Practice, OK, but health? Not sure ! “These frozen slimming dishes boast of being healthy and low calorie, but they are mostly full of salt and additives in addition to being low in nutrients,” denounces Gisela Bouvier.

Cheese flavored snack

If you have a fondness for cheese-flavored snacks, you’d better choose the real product. The snack cheese flavor are full of chemicals, says dietician Ashvini Mashru. “You can find natural potato chips cooked in sunflower oil, but cheese-flavored snacks are full of fat, monosodium glutamate and artificial flavors and colors,” he says. -she. Read the list of ingredients, and you’ll understand why potato chips cooked in sunflower oil are a hundred times better than any other cheese snack. ”

Fiber bars

When you travel and continue to watch your line (trying to resist those packages of cookies that are served at 10,000 meters above sea level), maybe you are tempted to grab one of these rich bars fiber that you brought to give you a boost if needed. Even though she understands this impulse, Ashvini Mashru thinks it’s not a good idea to take one of these bars instead of a healthy snack with a good supply of protein and good fats. The dietitian adds that in reality, these popular bars “are just disguised treats”.

Food coloring

These mysterious ingredients are not really related to weight gain , but nutritionist Julie Pech serves this warning: anything that is not natural can be quite random digestive . About eight years ago, Julie Pech discovered that she was allergic to food dyes. Every time she ate a food that contained it, she was depressed for 24 hours. “I know I swallowed it when my mood changes for no reason,” she says. Normally, everything goes back to normal the next day, once my body has eliminated the intruder. Many people are allergic to food dyes, and I am a great advocate of food without additives. ”


It is very likely to reduce your gluten intake to lose a few pounds and feel better and thinner, but there are also people who actually suffer from intoleranceor, worse, celiac disease. Julie Pech’s son developed a wheat allergy and had to ban that ingredient from their diet. “I stopped eating wheat at the same time because when he was eight, he was convinced that life did not make sense if he could not eat pizza (that was before gluten-free pizzas), she says. I offered to do it with him to make things easier. Once I stopped, I found that my mind was much clearer and I was overflowing with energy. So I decided to stop eating wheat, and I’m fine. ”

Frozen lunch sandwiches

We have all seen these pubs where a humanized sun promises to overflow if we swallow a lunch sandwich. Do not be fooled by this scam: “These little sandwiches can really boost your LDL (bad) cholesterol and drop your HDL (good cholesterol), which increases the risk of death in the country : heart disease, says dietitian Cassandra Golden. There is really no health benefit from trans fat that manufacturers use to improve texture and extend the shelf life of their products – and save: these fats cost less than animal fat. Trans fat does not have a bad reputation for nothing: it is a threat to public health ! ”

Low-fat vinaigrette

If you are given the choice, do you take the regular salad dressing or the one that does not contain fat? In reality, it’s better to make your own vinaigrette based on oil and vinegar. ” Fat , especially from oils such as olive oil, for example, can really help you absorb nutrients from your salad vegetables,” says dietitian Tanya Freirich. In addition, when an agri-food manufacturer removes fat, he adds a lot of sugar and artificial ingredients to give the product a comparable taste. Good fats such as olive oil , avocado and nuts are important in a balanced diet. ”

Desserts without sugar

What’s the best dietetic situation in the last decade? No doubt the disavowal of foods without sugar and fat. You have the unrestricted permission of professionals to take a real good piece of cake instead of an absurd thing like a sugar-free pudding that will not satisfy you in any way. “I’d rather eat a little bit of natural sugar like honey or brown sugar than an imitation of hyper-processed dessert such as a sugar-free biscuit or treat,” swears Tanya Freirich. A small portion of real dessertfill my craving for sugar while the equivalent option without sugar leaves me on my hunger. Eating sugar and fat in moderation is perfectly compatible with a healthy and balanced diet and I will always prefer a natural food to a processed product. ”

Beef and chicken from intensive farming

These animals are literally piled on top of one another and lead a miserable life. That’s why you should not just worry about the origin of your tomato sauce, yogurt or other packaged foods, says Karen Brennan, a specialist in holistic nutrition and herbalism and author. of   If Life is So Good, Then Why am I Still Depressed?(If life is so beautiful, why am I still depressed?). Meat also deserves your attention. “Animals have to eat what is natural for them, and they need to be outside and have enough space to graze in a stress-free environment,” she says. Confined animals contain more omega-6, which is an inflammatory. The meat of grass-fed animals in pastures contains more omega-3s. You are not just what you eat, but what your food eats. So, ask yourself: what did this chicken eat? This beef? Were they GM grains ? Have they been raised to hormones and antibiotics ? What impact will it have on my body to eat meat like this day after day, year after year? ”

Pasteurized dairy products

Humans are the only species to consume dairy products after childhood. While babies need milk enzymes to develop their skeleton, it is not certain, once we have grown up, that the benefits of dairy products outweigh the disadvantages. “The main reason I do not consume regular milk is because of the hormones that are injected into cows, GMO and unnatural grains such as the maize they are fed, and also because pasteurization destroys the good bacteria and enzymes normally found in milk, “says Karen Brennan.

Skimmed milk

Karen Brennan will never put a bottle of skim milk on her table. Never ! “Milk fat builds and balances our nervous system ,” she says. It also supports fat-soluble vitamins, allowing these nutrients to get where they need to go. Personally, I would prefer goat’s milk to the extent that it is more digestible and has fewer problematic proteins than cow’s milk found in North America. I will add that it is wrong to believe that we must eat dairy products every day to meet our calciumneeds ! First because your bones are not made of calcium and then because there are many other ways to find calcium elsewhere than in dairy products.

Canola oil

That’s right, canola oil has already been great! We used it for frying, in cakes, vinaigrettes … “Made from rapeseed, the majority of canola oils are now made with GMOs, says nutritionist Cate Ritter. Like most vegetable oils, canola oil is highly processed, refined, bleached and deodorized, processes that add toxins and destroy nutrients such as omega-3 . The manufacturing process also results in partial hydrogenation. ”

All non-organic corn products

What does it include? “Corn oil, high-fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, cornstarch, dextrose, and maltodextrin,” states Cate Ritter. All these often hidden ingredients are present in many processed foods. And all non- organic corn is GMO. Read the labels carefully before putting products in your cart.

Refined grains

Even if your Thai take-out seems a little lonely without rice, or your Chinese delight misses its noodles, resist and stick to chicken and vegetables, recommends Dr. Caroline Apovian, center director Nutrition and weight management at Boston Medical Center. “A grain has three parts: the sound, the germ and the endosperm. Refining eliminates sound and germ, while whole grain retains all these parts. Removing the sound and germ from the grains also removes dietary fiber, vitamin B and iron. Refined grains are used in white bread and rice and most pasta.


Did you love ‘baloney’ sandwiches with mayonnaise when you were a kid? Probably some mortadella sandwiches are not going to kill you, but now that you’re an adult, it would be better to ban this cold cuts from your sandwiches. Dietician Kaleigh McMordie has a powerful argument: “It’s meat paste. Who knows what it’s made of? No thanks. A single slice can contain 17 grams of fat (including 7 saturated fat) and more than 800 mg of sodium, not to mention added sugar, starch and nitrates! ”

Energy drinks

You have probably already swallowed a Red Bull or two to start a good night. Nutritionist Keith Ayoob assures however that this popular drink is, let’s say it, horrible for you. “It’s full of caffeine and stimulants,” he says. It’s not energy, it’s an accelerator. To really have energy, you have to sleep, and there is no substitute for that. You also need a good lunch . ”

Pre-packaged sushi

Dr. Ayoob is wary of pre-packaged sushi , as appetizing as they may be in the refrigerated area of ​​your grocery store. Not only has he had a bad experience with this kind of product, but there are many things you do not know about this California tuna roll. How long has he been there? Is the fish really fresh? Or is it really fish? If you have a furious desire for a maki, better to find a restaurant with impeccable hygiene.

Table salt

Although it’s almost on every table, nutritionist Lynn Anderson suggests that salt is not the best spice for your diet . “The salt was originally produced in mines and it was a real food, but it soon became something else. Manufacturers empty it of all its natural minerals and then use many additives to dry it, then heat it to temperatures around 650 degrees. The salt is then stabilized with dextrose, which gives it a purple color, then faded to become white, “she explains. If you can not do without salt, Lynn Anderson advises looking for natural salts.


You love the margaritas, but hate the hangover that comes with the day after the festivities? You should perhaps eliminate one of the ingredients that presumably gives you this terrible skull ache: agave . “This sweetener creates a real surge of fructose in the blood ,” says Lynn Anderson. High-fructose sweeteners aggravate the inflammation that causes many diseases. ”

Soy protein

Present in many products (and even among your favorites, but you do not know it!), Soy protein can be dangerous if you consume too much, especially for women who are sensitive hormone. “Contrary to what we believe, unfermented soy protein is not good for health,” says Lynn Anderson. In North America, soy is modified to resist glyphosate, which is a herbicide. So we eat a herbicide in our soy! Sustainable consumption of soy protein based food supplements should be avoided since this product has been associated with diseases ranging from hay fever to kidney failure.

Non-organic strawberries

Here you are in the grocery store’s fruit and vegetable department wondering why you should pay $ 3 more for a tray of organic strawberries. Michelle Gindi, health coach, explains why we should not hesitate to pay a little more: “Non-organic strawberries are at the top of the annual list of products containing the most pesticides, and giant strawberries that we see in our Supermarkets have nothing to do with what Mother Nature wanted. ”

Table syrup and pancakes

It would be difficult to get through your grocery list without thinking about pancakes. But instead of buying the cheaper product, Michelle Gindi urges you to look for natural maple syrup. “Although the bottles generally look the same, the table syrup is full of artificial ingredients and dyes and is made from high fructose corn syrup instead of natural ingredients,” he says. she says.

Canned soup

Thanks to slow cookers (or the huge pot on your stove), making soup has never been easier, even for an amateur chef. This is very good news because canned soups are really not good for your health. “We know that most canned soups contain too much sodium. Excess sodium promotes health problems such as hypertension and heart disease, “says nutritionist Tracy Lesht.

Flavored coffee creams

If you can not drink your black coffee, it is better to add coconut milk or unsweetened almond milk, honey or milk. Finally, everything except flavored coffee creams. “Most of these flavored coffee creams are stuffed with sugar and artificial flavors that offer very little nutrition and are full of calories,” says Lesht.

Dr. Kanika Singla

Ph.D., IARI Postdoctoral Scholar, UC Berkeley

Leave a Reply

Connect with:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *