5 Foods a Nutritionist Will Always Avoid

Get a glimpse into one nutritionist’s eating habits, and the foods she would never eat and why.

Nutritionists have studied the ins and outs of nutrition and have all the must-know info on the healthiest foods for us to include in our diet. That’s why nutritionists are paid to help others have a healthy diet. Many times these food experts will also have a list of foods that they would never consume. 

You’re going to get a glimpse into one nutritionist’s eating habits, and the foods she would never eat and why. Plus, we’re going a step further by sharing the healthier foods you can enjoy instead that won’t leave you feeling totally deprived. 

5 Foods a Nutritionist Won’t Eat

1. Canola Oil

Whether you choose just to cook with canola oil or you find it in a store-bought salad dressing, it’s best just to skip it, along with many other vegetable oils.  

Let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons canola oil may not be the healthiest oil choice: 

  • The majority of canola oil crops are genetically modified, a process that’s used to genetically alter crops as a way to tolerate harsh herbicides and pesticides and grow at a much faster than natural rate. (1)
  • Canola oil is high in omega-6 fatty acids, a fatty acid that the American diet is quite high in. Too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3 can cause an imbalance of fatty acids. The problem here is that even if you only use canola oil as a cooking fat, it’s found in lots of foods in the Standard American diet, including salad dressings, mayonnaise, and other condiments. Consuming too many foods that contain canola oil can mean that you consume more omega-6-rich foods than you think. 
  • Lastly, canola oil is extremely refined. The processing of it involves exposing the oil to extremely high heat as well as chemicals, including a stage of processing that includes bleaching as well as deodorizing the oil. Not exactly what we want in an oil we include in our diet! 
Healthier Picks:

So if we nix canola oil from our diet, what should we consume instead? Here are some great healthier alternatives that work as both cooking oils and oils to use in many of your favorite dishes like stir-frys and homemade salad dressings. 

  • Coconut oil 
  • Avocado oil 
  • Olive oil 
  • Ghee 

2. Dairy-Free Coffee Creamers

Let’s talk about dairy-free coffee creamers — while we may think they are healthier alternatives to dairy-based varieties,  they aren’t exactly the healthiest options out there. To make up for the lack of real cream, these products are often full of hydrogenated oils, which is what gives these creamers their thick and creamy consistency. 

The problem? These fats are extremely processed, and the American Heart Association recommends that we cut back on our intake of these oils, and one way to do so is to get rid of those yucky dairy-free creamers with some of the healthier picks below. (2) 

Better yet — replace your morning cup of coffee with some warm lemon water or an energizing smoothie made with fresh berries, dark leafy greens, and almond milk.

Healthier Picks:
  • Almond milk 
  • Coconut milk 
  • Cashew milk 
  • Hemp milk

3. Margarine

Margarine has been around for ages and is used just like butter — in fact, at one point, it was seen as a healthier alternative to traditional butter. 

What we now know is that margarine is high in trans fats, which, as stated above, is something that the American Heart Association urges us to keep out of our diet. (3)

Margarine is also high in omega-6 fatty acids, something that many Americans are already getting too much of — this can cause an imbalance of omega-3 to omega-6 we want to avoid. 

The good news is that it’s pretty easy to eliminate from our diet since there are so many healthier and more delicious alternatives like the options below. 

Healthier Picks:
  • Olive oil 
  • Ghee 
  • Coconut butter 
  • Macadamia milk butter

4. Deli Meats 

Even if you make your favorite turkey or ham sandwich without the bread, and use lettuce leaves instead, that deli meat may not be as healthy as you think. Deli meats happen to be heavily processed and very high in sodium. 

Many also contain additives like nitrites, that are responsible for giving things like ham and salami their pink coloring. When meats that contain these additives are exposed to high heat, they may turn into what’s called nitrosamines, which have been linked to health concerns. (4)

The bottom line? Go for some healthier alternatives when putting together your lunch sandwich using some of the more nutrient-dense options below.

Healthier Picks:
  • Baked turkey breast 
  • Chicken breast 
  • Wild-caught salmon

5. Sugar & Calorie-Free Sweeteners

While sweeteners that are labeled as sugar and calorie-free may seem like a good idea, they come with their own list of reasons to avoid them. 

Here are a handful of reasons to consider removing them from your diet:

  • These sweeteners are stronger than table sugar, which research suggests may change the way that we taste food through overstimulating our sugar receptors with regular use. (5) This may ultimately lead to a distaste for things that are naturally sweet like fresh fruits or even sweet veggies, making it more likely that we won’t eat all the wonderfully healthy, naturally sweet foods nature offers. 
  • Research also suggests that artificial sweeteners may make us crave sweets and choose sweet foods over healthier options, which can ultimately lead to weight gain. A study even found that those who drank 21 diet drinks per week were a whopping twice as likely to gain weight vs. those who didn't drink any diet soda. (5) What this proves is that artificial sweeteners may not make a healthier alternative to regular table sugar at all. 

To avoid these artificial sweeteners in your diet, steer clear of things like: 

  • Aspartame
  • Sucralose 
  • Saccharin 
Healthier Picks: (All in moderation, of course)
  • Pure maple syrup
  • Raw honey 
  • Coconut sugar 
  • Stevia & monk fruit (lower carb)

The Bottom Line: Choose Whole Foods

One of the best ways to steer clear of these foods is to have a whole foods approach to eating — focus on getting as many whole and nutrient-dense options into your diet and limit how many foods come in a package. This will mean fewer preservatives, sugar, and artificial ingredients. 

And, when you’re switching over to a whole foods diet and avoiding these five foods, consider some of the healthier options instead! They will leave you full, nourished, and not feeling deprived or like you’re missing out on the real thing. In fact, you may find yourself enjoying the healthier version and starting to enjoy these nutrient-dense options more than you thought.

Quick Disclaimer

This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. Readers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither the author(s) nor the publisher of this content take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All readers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.



Sources
  1. Non GMO Project. Canola.


  1. American Heart Association. Trans Fats.

 

  1. Harvard Health. Butter vs. Margarine.


  1. Michigan State University. Preservatives: Exploring Nitrate and Nitrite Safety.


  1. Harvard Health. Artificial Sweeteners: Sugar-Free But at What Cost?


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