If the label reads healthy then it’s okay to eat, right? If only that were true! You might be surprised to discover the following health foods you should never eat.

It’s a sad but true fact – not everything which says healthy on the label actually is healthy for you.

How Can These “Health Foods” Not Be Healthy?

Under the current FDA approval guides, in order for any food to be labeled healthy, it simply needs to contain less fat, sodium, and cholesterol than the FDA limits. Of course, it also needs to have at least 10% of your daily allowance for vitamins, fibers, and several other nutrients.

This is a fairly broad definition!

However, it’s worse than that! The FDA guidelines were created in 1994 and rely on science which is several decades old.

Under these guidelines, cereals and juice drinks which are full of sugar can be classed as healthy. In fact, salmon, avocado, and olive oil are not healthy according to the FDA guidelines but modern research shows they are good for you!
health foods you should never eat

The Health Foods You Should Never Eat

I did some research on food that is usually perceived as health and here’s what I’ve found out.

Diet Soda

You’ve probably opted for this before to avoid flooding your body with sugar. The problem is that diet drinks contain artificial sweeteners such as sucralose and aspartame.
health foods you should never eat
There is a large amount of research that shows artificial sweeteners encourage weight gain, bowel disease, metabolic issues and even cancer.

Canned Tomatoes

Tomatoes are controversial; there is already a huge debate over whether they are a fruit or a vegetable.

But you’d be forgiven for assuming they are healthy.

Unfortunately, tins are lined with resin that contains Bisphenol-A (BPA). If you’ve read my post on bottled water then you’ll have already discovered some of the facts concerning BPA and its negative effects on your health.

One liter of canned tomatoes will give you 50micrograms of BPA; that’s enough to be a health foods you should never eat

Soy Products

The original form of soy was fermented. This is a healthy substance. Unfortunately, the majority of soy produced today is genetically modified.

Take a look at my article on ‘why you should avoid soy’ to find out why this apparently healthy food is actually bad for your health.

Farmed Fish

Fish has developed a reputation as a healthy food because it is high in omega 3. This is essential for joint health and maintaining healthy brain activity.
health foods you should never eat
Unfortunately while salmon is a health-boosting food, farmed salmon is not. Recent studies have shown that farmed salmon has less omega 3 than it had just 5 years ago.

The drop in quality and benefit of salmon is partially linked with the level of nutrients available in farm feeds.

But that’s not all! Research has actually shown the following issues with farmed salmon:

    • High levels of dioxin which is linked with an increased risk of cancer, organ damage and even problems with your immune system.
  • Metabolic issues, increased risk of type 2 diabetes and weight gain.

The risks apply to all farmed fish. It doesn’t change the fact that fish is healthy, but you must choose the wild caught ones.

Low-Fat Dairy Products

Being low in fat does not make a food healthy! But what it does do is make you feel it is okay to eat more than you usually would.

This can be a serious issue if you’re looking to lose weight.
health foods you should never eat
Unfortunately, the issue is compounded by the fact that removing fat reduces the flavor. To compensate for this sugar is usually added. Consuming more sugar than needed will cause blood sugar spikes which can lead to insulin resistance and weight gain.

This is definitely not healthy.


This is commonly thought of as a health food. But the fact is that one serving will contain approximately 600 calories and will be full of sugars, especially if it’s store- bought.

This is not how you want to be starting your day!

In fact, there is approximately the same amount of calories in two turkey and cheese sandwiches! However, if you prefer breakfast that’s higher in calories but you want to avoid added sugar, you can try my homemade go-to recipe.

Store-Bought Smoothies

Smoothies are good for you, providing they are made with fruit at home. However, even in homemade smoothies, you should use coconut or almond milk instead of too much fruit juice.

This will prevent a sugar rush.

health foods you should never eat

Store smoothies are a different story. Take a look at the ingredients and you’ll realize that they have very little fruit juice in them but do contain a large amount of sugar.

This will virtually guarantee that you put on weight and increase your chance of type 2 diabetes.

The Bottom Line

So, this was my list of health foods you should never eat. This is not the definitive list but it’s a great starting point.

The fact is, there are many foods that either state that we consider to be “healthy”.

But unfortunately, many of them are not as healthy as they appear. Make sure you do your own research and check the ingredients label on food products before you buy or consume them.

Rachael is an Australian born certified personal trainer and nutritionist who holds a Bachelor degree in Science.

After struggling for years to find an exercise and diet program that is tailored to women striving for lean and toned body with no bulk she designed her Lean Legs Program. This program is tailored to each body type and focused on helping women get toned but feminine bodies, without getting bulky.

Her mission is to empower women and help them stay in shape in a healthy and balanced way.

2 Responses

  1. Hi Rachael! I’m lactose intolerant and have been drinking soy milk for over ten years now. I’ve been reading about the problems with soy products in studies and on your blog. Is almond milk a better alternative? Also, I think there’s a typo in the last section where you wrote “coconut milk and almond water” :) Also, is there a particular protein powder brand that you recommend? Thanks, love your work! You are the only fitness model / health coach I follow!!

    1. Hi lovely,

      Yes, almond milk is a better alternative but it has a low nutritional value so try to find a good quality one that’s fortified.

      If you need any extra support, please join our Lean Legs Training Club where you can ask Rachael any questions you want and how to modify the program to suit your needs.
      Being a member of the Club while doing the Lean Legs program will ensure that you get the best possible results as you get a more personalized fitness and nutrition advice.
      And you also have access to a community of like-minded and supportive women to help you too!

      Here’s the link to the Club

      P.S. Thanks for letting us know about the typo, we’ve just corrected it :)

      Love, Lean Legs Club support

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