9 Unhealthy Foods to Avoid

This infographic “9 Unhealthy Foods to Avoid” uncovers shocking facts about unhealthy foods found in your local grocery stores, and why you should absolutely keep away from them.

Junk the Junk: Throw Out These 9 Unhealthy Foods Before It’s Too Late

Diet is a major – if not the most important – factor in staying healthy and disease-free. In my opinion, if you want to be optimally healthy, you should spend your food budget on nourishing organic foods. The closer your foods are to their natural state, the better they are for your wellbeing.

Sadly, many Americans are doing the exact opposite. They spend most of their money on “time-saving” but unhealthy foods, while ignoring wholesome organic fares that are teeming with the nutrients they need.

This desire for convenience has its consequences: many people are now suffering from chronic illnesses, including obesity, diabetes, and even heart disease.

In fact, a health report card published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Trust for America’s Health in September 2012 predicted that if the current eating trend does not stop, HALF of all Americans will be obese by 2030!

The Pitfalls of Eating Processed Foods

I truly believe that the unhealthy processed food diet that many people are accustomed today is the reason why a significant portion of the population is growing sicker and fatter. You may be thinking, “How does eating unhealthy processed food truly impact my health?” Well, wonder no more – here are the reasons why:

  1. They are high in sugar and/or high fructose corn syrup, which programs your body to consume more calories and store fat.
  2. You tend to overeat when you eat processed foods. Junk foods “override” your body’s natural intrinsic regulator, and as a result, can stimulate a strong rewards response in your brain that causes you to overeat.    
  3. They are loaded with artificial ingredients. The artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, and texturants in these unhealthy foods are touted to be “safe,” but can actually lead to many health problems, according to numerous studies
  4. Processed foods are typically high in refined carbohydrates that break down to sugar in your body, and are low in nutrients including fiber. 
  5. Processed foods are often high in trans fats and processed vegetable oils. These are known to promote inflammation, which is a hallmark of most chronic and/or serious diseases.
  6. You digest processed foods with less energy and time. Not only can you eat processed foods faster (think of the difference between chewing a piece of broccoli and munching on a potato chip), but your body also digests them quicker.
  7. These unhealthy foods are ADDICTING. Processed foods stimulate dopamine, a neurotransmitter that makes you feel good even though the food lacks fiber and nutrients. This can lead to excessive food cravings and, ultimately, food addiction.

These reasons should be more than enough to convince you to stop gorging on unhealthy junk foods – instead, I recommend swapping them for real whole foods that can do wonders for your health.

Guidelines for Choosing Healthy Foods

When you are out shopping for wholesome foods, I recommend keeping these guidelines in mind to help you determine truly healthful and high-quality fares:

  • It’s grown without chemical fertilizers and pesticides
  • It’s fresh (However, if you need to choose between wilted organic produce or fresh conventional produce, I advise choosing the latter as freshness is important for optimal nutrient content)
  • It’s not genetically engineered
  • It has no antibiotics, hormones, and other drugs
  • It did not come from a factory farm
  • It’s grown with the laws of nature in mind
  • It’s grown sustainably

But beware, because there are some unhealthy foods that are masquerading as wholesome, nutritious choices that can actually damage your health.

Check Out This List of Unhealthy Foods You Must Avoid at All Costs

In my infographic “9 Unhealthy Foods to Avoid,” I’ve compiled a list of staple foods that I believe should NOT be a part of your diet. These foods seem to be harmless, even healthy, but will negatively impact your health – especially if you continue consuming them on a daily basis. In this infographic, you will learn:

  • The single most damaging canned food you should stop buying
  • The barbecue favorite that significantly raises your risk of various cancers
  • Why margarine CANNOT be considered a substitute for wholesome raw butter
  • The difference between processed table salt and unrefined, all-natural sea salt

Plus, discover why aspartame is the worst type of sweetener you can consume – and why you should avoid it like the plague.
I invite you to read this infographic now so you can find out if any of these items are lurking in your kitchen cabinet. Share this with your friends and family as well, so they too can avoid these high-risk, unhealthy foods.


I find that Dr Mercola and I think a lot alike. When I found his website I was floored by how much he said what I’ve been saying for a long time. So, I will be using his articles from time to time. I’ll also quote him in some of mine along with other resources. Have a great day!

You’ll find all the cookware, bake ware, bowls and utensils you need to make healthy food and drinks and more for your Kitchen, Dining Room & Bar In Pandora’s Kitchen, our sister site.

This article has 20 comments

    • They spray pesticides on the plants, it gets down into the ground and absorbs into the roots. Potatoes are roots. That means they have the highest concentration of the pesticides used, in them.

  1. Great article on what not to eat. I run a website on high blood pressure and use Dr. Mercola as well sometimes! Why do you say to avoid pop corn? Just the amount of sodium? The only point I would disagree on is about genetically modified food. As a cell biologist I’ve studied the science behind it and it really does not impact us negatively at all. In fact if a specific type of genetically modified golden rice was not blocked in Asia because of the fear of modifications the amount of starvation overseas could have been significantly reduced; the rice is just so much more nutritious and can grow better in drought. I did enjoy the read though, there’s a lot of great information here! Thanks Becka.

    • There haven’t been enough studies on the long tern effects of GMO foods on the human body. There have been some small studies on the effects on animals that have shown negative effects. So how do you know that it’s totally safe. You only believe it is because you don’t have the evidence to the contrary, yet. As more studies are done, you will find out what the effect is.

  2. Hi Becka
    What a great article. I have recently had some health issues and have begun to be much more careful with what I am eating. It does take a little time to get used to eating in a new way and sometimes the cravings for the old stuff can be strong, but when that happens I remember what happened to make me change my diet (hospital visit and stay for bleeding ulcers). But once you have started with the healthier approach you become so much more aware of how empty of nutrition some food is.
    Keep up the great work of informing people about this.

  3. Becka, thanks for the heads-up about foods we should avoid. I totally agree with you. We should eat whole foods and our taste buds will adjust as well. “Delicious” will be re-defined. As it relates to oil, what’s your recommendation?

    • I cook with cold pressed coconut oil mostly also use “truly” cold pressed olive oil. I use real butter without any added salt for low heat cooking sometimes. These are all healthy for you to use, because they haven’t been altered. The problem is making sure they are honestly cold pressed. Some companies label them cold pressed and they aren’t. If the olive oil is imported from Italy and it says cold pressed, you can believe it. They have much stricter laws about that there. And I get my coconut oil from the Philippines. Nothing processed here in the US. I don’t trust them.

  4. Hi Becka
    A very informative article to which I can strongly relate,when I have too much of the wrong foods some of which you have mentioned I seem to crave for more and then put on the pounds.Some very interesting facts of which I was unaware ,I want to show this post to some of my chubby family members .Good job

  5. Wow! This just blew me away. I have high cholesterol and need to change my diet. Vegetable oil and margarine are no good! What am I going to do? Thanks for the information, most people don’t realized these 9 products are so common and bad for you. The one thing that I know I am doing correct is dropping SODA!!!!

    • I suggest you go natural. Use real, unsalted butter. And good for you on dropping soda. Haven’t drank that stuff in ages. Your taste buds will change and one day you’ll take just a sip and it will taste awful. Eat natural whole foods the way nature made them. You feel a lot better and your doctor will love your check ups.

  6. Love the article. Most of this stuff is so often forgotten, but if you stop and think for a seconds most of this is common sense. The only thing that I don’t quite get is why vegetable oil is bad. I’ve always heard people it’s a good source of fat.

    • You have to understand the burn point of the oils and the hydrogenation of oils. The burn point of those oils is to low to cook with. They become hydrogenated when you cook with them. Once they’re hydrogenated they’re bad for your heart, cholesterol and a whole slue other things. On the other hand oils such as coconut oil, the burn point is extremely high and you won’t be able to hydrogenate it while cooking with it.

  7. I was curious about the tomatoes as well, thank you for explaining that more in detail here in the comment section. It all makes sense now.

    What about other canned food? Is there other canned food to stay away from as well?

    Thank you Becka,


    • I don’t eat canned foods because they’re over processed and devoid of nutrients. Not to mention the toxic preservatives and high levels of salt they add to them. And yes, some of the metals used to make the cans contain BPA which can leach into your food. The higher the acid content of the food in the can the worse it is.

  8. Hey Becka,

    I couldn’t agree with you any further, there are some foods that should be avoided at all costs. Especially processed foods which can be jam packed full of trans fats. I like the guideline you have created and it’s something that we should all consider when we’re choosing what we put in our mouths. Very informative post.

    Kind regards


  9. Hi Becka,

    After read your article, what’s wrong about soy products? I’m always drink soy milk, such my wife and my son. You mean all soy products? If the soy is cultivate by myself, is it ok?

    Many Thanks,

    • High acidity is a prominent characteristic of tomatoes which causes BPA to leach into your food. Potent estrogen mimickers such as bisphenol A (BPA) leached from the container. It pulls it from the metal of the can. The health risks are heightened risk for breast cancer, heart disease, reproductive abnormalities, diabetes and neurological effects. If you want to can your own tomatoes, in glass jars, that’s fine. Or, if you can find them in glass jars to buy that would be great.


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