Nutritionists will give you tips on choices that will aid your digestion and fight inflammation in your body. They’ll give you lists of foods that fight cancer and heart disease and a myriad of chronic ailments. Looking for the natural, healthy foods is what nutritionists do best. But there’s a dark side to what nutritionists know. Nutritionists have a list of foods they will never, ever eat. It’s time to pay attention and take these culprits off your own dining table.31

Sugar-Sweetened Beverages

Put this at the top of your list: ditch sugar-sweetened beverages. They’re loaded with simple sugars that put you at risk for heart disease by reducing your good cholesterol and hiking your triglyceride levels. These drinks also can upset your body’s inflammatory balance and increase your vulnerability to chronic diseases.

Fat-Free Salad Dressing

Food companies make up for taking the fat out of salad dressing by putting in sugar and high-fructose corn syrup along with emulsifying agents. Blend your own salad dressings with vinegar to help control blood sugar and plant oil to add essential fatty acids, and you’ve got a natural, healthy combo.

Rice Cakes

Compare the glycemic index rating of rice cakes (as high as 91) with pure glucose (a rating of 100), and you’ll see why the diet-darlings of the ‘80s can cause your blood sugar levels to spike and plummet. That wild ride won’t help with weight loss or improve your health.

Refined and Re-Fortified Grains

This is a case where the better choice sounds less healthy than the “improved” version. Look for unfortified breakfast cereals, pastas, and rice products on your grocery shelves. Does it sound like improvement if the manufacturer removed naturally occurring fiber, vitamins, and minerals, replaced them with fiber and synthetic versions and sold the product as “refined and re-fortified” grains?


This meat substitute used in vegetarian dishes is made entirely of wheat gluten, an allergenic protein. Wheat gluten is naturally found only in small amounts in wheat-based products, and it has been known to trigger gluten allergies. Consuming large amounts could bring on a more severe gluten allergy or intolerance.


Shark contains much the same omega-3 fat content as tuna, but shark has almost three times the amount of mercury found in tuna. Salmon should be your go-to fish if you want the most omega-3 fats and lowest mercury levels. Another fish to avoid for high mercury and low omega-3 levels is tilefish.


You’ll make up for grits’ lack of flavor by loading them up with butter and cream. Is there a faster way to clog up blood vessels than combining simple carbohydrates (grits) with saturated fat (butter)? Here’s another way grits are lacking: this hyper-refined carbohydrate offers very little vitamins or minerals. They deliver a minute amount of fiber and no essential fats.

Read More: 7 Foods a Nutritionist Would Never Eat