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. 


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.


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. 


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.


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. 


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!


Team Nutrition Genius needs an intern!

tng logo attempt5We have been ridiculously busy over here at Team Nutrition Genius. So much so that we are looking for an intern to join our team!

Ideally, we would like our intern to be an undergraduate or masters nutrition student on a RD tract but we are happy to accept applications from other real food enthusiasts. We are looking for someone who is passionate about health & wellness, a real food lifestyle, and who has an entrepreneurial spirit. The ideal intern will be self-motivated, hard working and have knowledge of social media platforms especially Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook & Twitter. Blogging and wordpress background a plus! Opportunities include content and educational material creation, research on current nutrition topics, social media planning, recipe testing, and more. We are asking for a commitment of 5-10 hours per week (will be variable depending on work load).

If you are interested in applying please send an email to teamnutritiongenius@gmail.com with your resume and the following information:

1. Tell us about yourself.

2. What does “real food nutrition” mean to you? (200 words or less)

3. Why do you think you will be a good fit for Team Nutrition Genius?

4. If you could be a fruit what kind of fruit would you be and why?

*Bonus* if you live in Rochester or Albany you can meet with us weekly to learn the ropes.

We are super excited to be able to pass on our nutrition knowledge bombs and can’t wait to have a new team member join us! Let us know if you have any questions or would like any additional information.

#35 No Coffee, No Workie with Kao Jai Coffee


Is #nocoffeenoworkie your motto too? If you have listened to us AT ALL you know how much we love coffee here at Team Nutrition Genius. So we decided to bring Megan Armstrong, founder and owner of Kao Jai Coffee, on to Nutrition Genius Radio to talk answer all the questions we’ve always wanted to know. 

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Continue reading “#35 No Coffee, No Workie with Kao Jai Coffee”

#31 Nutrition in the News

Nutrition in the News

owl reading

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Don’t forget to hashtag #AdventuresofSassyandPearl and #NutritionGeniusRadio while you are listening  Continue reading “#31 Nutrition in the News”

Protein Powders, Smoothies and Shakes (Q&A #15)

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Protein Powders Revisited

 Check out our NEW and SHORT Q&A podcast on iTunes and Stitcher


If you like what you hear PLEASE leave us a review, Thank You!!!

Continue reading “Protein Powders, Smoothies and Shakes (Q&A #15)”

Coconut Oil (Q&A #13)

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Coconut Oil

Check out our NEW and SHORT Q&A podcast on iTunes and Stitcher :-)

If you like what you hear PLEASE leave us a review, Thank You!!!

This week’s question is about coconut oil! Do we recommend it? Why? What Brands?

Dear Nutrition Geniuses,

What brand of coconut oil should I buy? – Kim L

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Don’t forget to hashtag #AdventuresofSassyandPearl and #NutritionGeniusRadio while you are listening!

Connect with us:
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Marie’s Instagram

Show Notes

Fatty acid profile of various fats and oils

Wellness Mama’s 101 Uses for Coconut Oil




Carrington Farms

Tropical Traditions

Nutrition Geniuses… OUT!

Guatemala and Belizean Adventures Part 2

Are you ready to hear more about my adventures in Belize and Guatemala?! Don’t know what I’m talking about? Go back and read Part 1.

Ready? Hokay! So I left you off with my exploration of the Mayan ruins of Caracol…


Well the next day we were supposed to do some cave exploration but sadly it rained so much the day before the cave flooded and was closed! I wasn’t going to let it (literally) rain on my parade so I sat outside a cafe in San Ignacio and enjoyed a coffee and the view.

coffee Continue reading “Guatemala and Belizean Adventures Part 2”

Daily Dish of a Nutrition Genius Week 8

Welcome back to the Daily Dish of a Nutrition Genius! Rut rohhh. Pearl is not feeling so hot. I have a tickle of soreness in my throat I plan to fend off with good nutrition and lots of sleep before it knocks me down. Obviously the first thing I reached for was 12 oz of bone broth and 12 oz of coffee (at about 8 am).

_20141231_081152 Continue reading “Daily Dish of a Nutrition Genius Week 8”

#21 Evil Vegetable Oils


:Are vegetable oils good for you? Do they cause or prevent inflammation? When and why did vegetable oils become a thing? Find out the answers to all of these questions plus hear what happened when Sassy came to visit Rochester.

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Don’t forget to hashtag #AdventuresofSassyandPearl and #NutritionGeniusRadio while you are listening :-) Continue reading “#21 Evil Vegetable Oils”