Navigating the numerous food isles at the grocery store is always a challenge. We are continuously bombarded with the newest research regarding health and nutrition and processed goods with labels screaming the latest health buzzwords embellish the shelves. These are everywhere – insidious, proliferous, life sucking pretend foods that we are brainwashed into believing we ‘need’ to consume for our health and longevity. Here are a few of my worst offenders:


Processed, hydrogenated, chemically treated and I can believe it’s not butter. Butter is better, and tastier, always!!!

Low fat ‘foods’

Fat tastes good (along with many other benefits). When manufacturers take out the fat, they need to replace all that good taste with something equally as enticing, and more stimulating to the addictive centers in the brain. The yogurts, salad dressings, cookies and condiments labelled low fat are just high sugar items in disguise


Highly processed, devoid of nutrients, low fat and loaded with sugar (see above), most ‘yogurt’ bears no resemblance to the cultured, fermented, slightly sour tasting milk product they are supposedly based on. The wonderful pro-biotic bacteria that create and live in real yogurt are an ineffective, added afterthought in commercially manufactured brands

Agave nectar

The stuff has an incredible amount of fructose in it, which apparently can trigger fructose malabsorption. I once switched to agave in my morning coffee as well, just to try it out, and I ended up getting awful stomach pains every day that lasted for at least an hour. Using a little organic, minimally processed, non-GMO CANE sugar in your morning beverage will do WAY less harm, and it tastes better too. I am not saying just eat sugar, but in this context there are way worse additives you are probably consuming.


We really need to pay more attention to the ingredient list and nutrition label and less attention to a flashy television commercial. Nutella was actually sued for its health claims. Unfortunately, by the time you get to gym class, you will have such a sugar crash from your Nutella filled breakfast that climbing the rope will be next to impossible!

Nutritious bars

Individually wrapped snacks, protein and ‘energy’ bars are high priced (high profit) candy bars. Compare the ingredients and sugar content. These bars deserve as much space in your child’s lunch box as a chocolate bar or cookies. They are not a replacement for a real-food meal.

Wheat/Multigrain/Wholegrain bread

Multi-grain or wheat bread that makes you think they are manufactured from whole wheat, but actually use refined grains. Always check your ingredients, or better yet, ditch the wheat and related products altogether!


Smoothies from the local juice bar

These are often packed with way too much fruit and thus fructose for one to be consuming at any one time. This is not even counting the ‘yogurt’ and sorbets which are just sugar bombs in disguise. I prefer calling them what they truly are – fancy, over-priced milkshakes. Make your own smoothies at home for nutritious liquid nourishment.


This is basically just crushed up cookies, candied nuts and sweetened dried fruits.


Oatmeal is often not a health food – it is highly processed (often in the same facility as wheat) and packed with sugars and flavourings. You little package of ‘whole grain’ instant oatmeal will sustain you for about 20 minutes, until you have a sugar crash and need your morning smoothie. Stick with organic, steel cut oats made the old fashioned way!

Vitamin water

Can you say un-carbonated soda? Vitamin water is sugar water with a fancy label and often a higher price tag.


Almost everything in a package and everything that has a health claim attached.

This is definitely a case of buyer beware – rather than blindly believing what the food industry claims on the front of a package, do your research. Stick with real, whole foods as much as possible, and call your treats and indulgences what they are!