8 Frankenfoods That Make Dietitians Cry

8 Frankenfoods That Make Dietitians Cry
Since y’all seemed to love 7 Foods A Dietitian Wants You To Eat so much we decided to do a joint post of the 8 Frankenfoods That Make A Dietitian Cry. If you are currently eating any of the below, know that you are an adult and can continue to eat them, we do not judge you for it but we want you to have the education to know better and to eat healthier.

Pearl’s comments are in green and Sassy’s are in pink.

Artificial Colors

I’m a pretty adventurous eater but nowhere in my foodventures is there room for tasting the rainbow unless that rainbow is in vegetable form. You are an adult. You don’t need bright shiny colors to make you eat something, get it together. Artificial colors have been linked to cancer, birth defects, allergic reactions, and ADHD. And for what?! This is an absolutely useless food additive, it literally contributes nothing of value. The only thing they are adding is disease. Check out this resource for more information on why you should stay away from artificial colors.

Preach on sister. Seriously some of those bright colors you see are just down right scary. Did you know that most countries outside of the United States do not even allow food colors/dyes in their foods, then why on earth do we? Crazy town. No real food has to change it’s color to hide the beauty that is within. Wow, that was more profound than I even intended but it’s the truth. Stick to the foods that show what nature gave them, real color from their nutrients not from some factory made dye!

 Artificial (and “Natural”) Flavors

Ever heard the quote “You are what you eat so don’t be fast, cheap, easy or fake?” well I love that quote and I think that artificial flavors are all the above. Seriously what do artificial flavors even mean and why would we want to consume them when there are REAL flavors that are so incredibly tasty. And do not even get me started on “natural flavors” they might as well be artificial as well. I understand that many companies want their products to be uniform in flavor but isn’t that the beauty of some foods, that they differ in flavor depending on where it was grown, what time of year it is and how ripe it is or isn’t?! Besides most of these natural or artificial flavors are in processed foods anyway, so steer clear!

Straight from the FDA’s website– “From a food science perspective it is difficult to define a food product that is ‘natural’ because the food has probably been processed and is no longer the product of the earth. That said, the FDA has not developed a definition for the use of the term natural or its derivatives.” So basically anyone can put natural on a label and it means nothing. Awesome. And natural and artificial flavors could be just about anything on this list. I wish we could give you a better explanation of what these things actually are but the FDA doesn’t even seem to know. If you ask me it’s pretty terrifying food companies aren’t required to list exactly which additives they’re encouraging people to eat.

Vegetable Oils

If you are an avid Nutrition Genius Radio fan you already know our opinion on this matter. However, I never miss a chance to rant and rave about how much I LOATHE vegetable oils. I mean let’s think about this, do any of your vegetables look oily to you? I sure hope not! So where then are these “vegetable” oils coming from, not vegetables that we recommend that’s for sure. Canola oil (my least favorite) comes from a rapeseed, yes that’s its actual name and it’s not a food you will ever find on my table. These so called “healthy” oils are touted for their heart healthiness but they are anything but. The oils are rancid by the time they get to you and lead to many ill effects including inflammation in the body, ugh. Stick with real healthy fats like those from Olive Oil, avocados, coconuts, animals. eggs and fish. 

All that needs to happen to get butter on your table is time, separation, and some churning. This is how you get vegetable oil. Case closed. 

Soda

Did you say soda or Type II Diabetes in a can? I can’t tell the difference. Liquid sugar, in the form of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), is not only doing a number to your blood sugar regulation it’s also messing with your liver. Once HFCS wreaks its havoc on your liver you will also start to see an increase in your triglycerides, LDL, visceral fat stores, and production of free radicals. Check out this hella old episode of Nutrition Genius Radio for more info on why sugar is not your friend. Don’t worry, we’re still weird and Darth Vader voices come out in the first two minutes. Think you’re ahead of the curve because you’re drinking diet soda? Think again, you’re ruining your gut bugs and a change in your microbiome has been shown to play a role in conditions like obesity, diabetes, cancer, allergies, autism, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, and autoimmune conditions. #waterforthewin

Put down that can or bottle and back away as fast as you can. We know soda is bad for us but for whatever reason we cannot give it up, why?! We are addicted to that fizz and that sugar (artificial included) and I want it all to end! Soda, like Pearl said is nothing but liquid sugar and chemicals, ew! Instead why don’t you drink some water (seltzer water is ok too), herbal tea or some Kombucha, your body and gut bugs will thank you, and so will we. Not convinced? Watch “The Real Bears” and quit your habit for good.

Hotdogs

A piece of my soul dies every year during the summer when baseball season and backyard barbecues make hot dog consumption increases tenfold. Mr. Hotdog, WHAT ARE YOU? You are pink slime. Your ingredients include mechanically separated chicken, mechanically separated turkey, corn syrup (what? in meat?), and “flavors” (thanks for being so specific), but that isn’t even half of them. Hotdogs are disgusting. I don’t care if you grew up eating them, do not feed yourself leftover meat products, toxic ingredients, and who knows what else.

What she said. Not to mention we are told that these are “kid-friendly” foods yet they are also a choking hazard, uh say what? There are much better options, like say a homemade burger that we can ALL eat and enjoy in the summer without putting all those creepy ingredients in our body. Check out some of these pictures/videos on buzzfeed and you may never want a hot dog again, you’re welcome. 

Poptarts

If it fits my macros then it’s totally cool if I have a Poptart right?! No. Stop. I can’t even. There is nothing healthy or normal about a Poptart, not even the name. High Fructose Corn Syrup is the 3rd ingredient, only after the 1st, enriched flour and 2nd, corn syrup. Also, how is something with sprinkles a good option for breakfast? 1 pastry alone has 38 grams of carbohydrates, WHOA! They normally package them in 2 pastry packs so if you are consuming them, you are getting a whopping 76 grams of carbohydrate in one sitting. They have to then enrich the poptart to make it have some semblance of nutrition, but this factory made cardboard square with confetti on it is NOT food and is NOT nutritious. Back away! I’d much rather you have some eggs or even a delicious treat like this

HA! A factory made cardboard square with confetti is right! I like the way Sassy words that because it reminds you that Poptarts just aren’t a food, they’re a food-like product. Think nutrient density when shopping for foods. Focus on spending your money where you will get the most nutrients not the most calories. And parents, you hold the purse strings, put your dang foot down. Refuse to give your children toxic foods. Teach your kids good habits now so they continue them on later in life when you aren’t preparing their meals.

Cheetos

Does anyone really enjoy having their hands turn bright orange for days? Talk about getting caught with your hand in the cookie jar, EVERYONE can tell you’ve had your hand in the Cheetos bag. Let’s take a look at the ingredient list shall we? Enriched Corn Meal, Vegetable Oil, Cheese Seasoning, Canola Oil, Maltodextrin, Salt, Whey Protein Concentrate, MSG, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, Artificial Color (Yellow 6) and Salt. YIKES!!! Well we’ve already discussed most of these (in bold) and so it’s safe to say I would never EVER recommend this chemical disaster to anyone, end of story. Your hands will thank you.

So what you’re saying is the ingredients are GMO corn, inflammatory vegetable oils, an ambiguous seasoning, another vegetable oil, sugar, a once tasty and nutritious topping for steak stripped of its nutrients, a chemically separated protein, a protein known to cause neural effects, more ambiguous seasonings, more chemically separated ingredients, and finally a dash of fake color linked to cancer. Tasty. 

Cereal

This one drives me batty. Most people start their day with a bowl of cereal and skim milk and think they are getting a healthy meal with the fiber they need to lower cholesterol and keep them regular. Most people are also, unknowingly, starting their day with a straight shot of carbohydrate making their blood sugar soar. Even if you are avoiding artificial colors and added sugars in your cereal you are likely still eating something that is a waste of your time and a detriment to your health. You’ve heard our spiel on grains and why you should give them up soooooo why are you still eating and feeding your kids Os? Try this, this or this breakfast recipe instead. Artificial colors, artificial flavors, added sugars, and gluten = all the inflammation and all the reasons to avoid.

Friends, I used to be in this cereal eating boat, so have no fear you can come out alive and well.  Cereal is very user friendly, easy to consume, shelf stable and not filling one bit. Most people tell me they have a healthy breakfast and all I hear is sugar, cardboard, fake stuff and more sugar when I hear cereal. While you may think you are doing yourself a favor, eat some pasture raised bacon and start loving breakfast again. Let’s all be cereal killers and bring on the veggies & eggs for breakfast! 

Alright now tell us…

When is the last time you ate these foods?

What Frankenfoods do you say NO to?

Leave us a comment and let us know!

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Comments (8)

  1. jake3_14

    I *hate* the soundbite “You are what you eat so don’t be fast, cheap, easy or fake.” If we were what we ate, then eating lots of fat, per se, would make us fat. Do you subscribe to that paradigm?

    Regarding the condemnation of vegetable oils, it’s well-established that at high temperatures that cooking can reach even on the stove top, the cholesterol in animal fats oxidizes (http://bit.ly/1bTbMG5). If you plan on doing any high-heat cooking in which the food sits in oil for awhile, e.g., crispy plantain chips, fried chicken (from the Paleo Takeout cookbook, of course), you should definitely not use animal fats. Avocado oil (flavorless and pricey), extra-light olive oil (if you trust it to be 100% olives) and *high-oleic* sunflower oil (flavorless and inexpensive) are all high in monosaturated fat, not rancid in the stores, and have a smoke point of 400–450° F.

    Reply
    1. TeamNutritionGenius (Post author)

      I do like that soundbite because it’s catchy and easy for people to remember. I do not believe it applies to real foods…like healthy fats! You could take any saying and phrase and spin it in a negative light if you wanted to, it’s all about perspective but I understand if it does not speak to you. I in no way believe that eating the right type of fat in the right portion for the individual will make you fat 🙂 Agreed about the cooking in high temps, that’s also why we rarely recommend cooking at high temperatures, it tends to be those foods that are not as nutrient dense that we fry (of course that depends as well). Thanks for your comment!

      Reply
  2. Livi @ Eat, Pray, Work It Out

    I love this list!
    and seriously, how do people eat cereal and pop tarts for breakfast, but then scoff at me for my eggs & bacon?!
    1. my breakfast is WAY more delicious (I mean….bacon) and
    2. helllllo nutrients and no sugar crash after breakfast!
    Thanks for sharing another awesome post!

    Reply
    1. TeamNutritionGenius (Post author)

      Agreed Livi! Thanks for reading 🙂 keep on with those bacon & eggs!

      Reply
  3. Elizabeth

    I agree with you for most of this list and was really happy snickers was not one of the eight, but I have to say that Cheetos (the crunchy kind) was one of those foods of childhood and once in a while I have some. It is so infrequent that it is almost not worth mentioning but it is a food that even knowing what’s in it and having a nutrition education background, I’m still going to crunch em once in a while.

    Reply
    1. TeamNutritionGenius (Post author)

      Oh EM! Remember that one time you only had orange foods for dinner? Miss you!

      Reply
  4. lbkaye@earthlink.net

    I ate cereal this morning but I am curious what you think of my cereal mix. It is GF cornflakes and rice crispies – both apple juice sweetened and organic, topped with my homemade granola- oats, nuts, seeds, coconut, coconut oil and maple syrup and then topped with fruit often apples or berries but today cantaloup. Oh I almost forgot, I often top it with hemp seed nuts. And I use unsweetened organic soy milk plus homemade almond milk. Still thinking cereal is a no no?

    Reply
    1. TeamNutritionGenius (Post author)

      I’d probably say “it depends”. If you are someone trying to maintain weight while exercising intensely this may be an option for you. Otherwise I still think that you could have a more nutrient dense meal in the morning without the sugar load coming from cereal. While it’s great that the cereal is “gluten-free” it still is highly processed in my eyes. I would recommend having this as perhaps a snack or treat once or twice per week and stick to having a great source of protein (meat, poultry, fish, eggs), fat (much like the nuts/seeds/coconut/coconut oil you mentioned) and veggies as well as fruit for your breakfast.

      Reply

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