The Type of Foods You Shouldn’t Touch With a Ten Foot Pole

Obesity is not the only health risk your child faces if he eats a diet consisting mainly of processed foods and snacks. As illustrated by a recent study, a junk food diet – with is a largely denatured diet, devoid of "live" nutrients such as healthy bacteria – can also set the stage for asthma, eczema, and a variety of allergies, inflammatory conditions and autoimmune diseases.

Sadly, as the Western-style diet spreads across the globe, much of the natural microbial diversity that is so crucial to good health is actually starting to disappear! Here, the authors stress the importance of "preserving this treasure of microbial diversity from ancient rural communities worldwide."

Indeed, the importance of eating a gut-healthy diet cannot be underestimated. Your gut plays a major role in your physical and even mental health, and having a healthy gut entails maintaining a balance of "good" and "bad" bacteria – something you simply will not accomplish by eating highly processed, "dead" foods.

Until recently, most doctors dismissed the notion that your digestive system did much of anything outside of breaking down food, but in recent years scientists have revealed just how inaccurate this thinking was.

For example, an estimated 80 percent of your immune system is actually located in your gut, so supporting your digestive health is essential to also supporting your immune system, which is your number one defense system against ALL disease.

Therefore, it should come as no major surprise to find out that lack of beneficial bacteria in your intestines will also allow allergies, inflammation and autoimmune diseases to flourish where they might not otherwise.

Common signs and symptoms that you may need to address your intestinal balance include:

  • Gas and bloating
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Sugar cravings, and cravings for refined carb foods

Chances are, if you or your entire family eats a lot of processed junk foods and fast foods, this list may be a description of a more or less an everyday "normal" state for you

So What Foods Should You Avoid Like the Plague?


In my mind this is where most people will get the biggest payoff for the amount of effort involved. The average person consumes more than one gallon of soda per week. Reducing or eliminating soda from your diet is one of the easiest shifts to make.

Most diet sodas are worse than regular sodas, as you can read in my recent review on aspartame. When people ask me what is safer to drink: diet or regular soda, I ask them what they would rather be hit in the head with — a baseball bat or a sledgehammer? It’s a tough call, but I think a case can be made for regular soda being the lesser of two evils…

That said, regular soda with its high sugar content promotes yeast overgrowth, which in turn promotes allergies. In fact, many people with yeast-related allergies and food sensitivities tend to have sugar cravings, which is doubly problematic since it actually feeds the yeast that is already overgrown in their systems.

While many of you are not likely consuming many sodas, it is vital to understand the importance of this simple change for your friends and family who are not as health savvy as you. Gentle persistent encouragement of this principle will have massively profound implications on their health.

Fortunately there are simple alternatives that are relatively easy to implement. The best is pure clean water. I just completed a four-hour video interview with a leading water industry water expert and hope to share that with you in the next few weeks for more details.

For those who are really struggling, you can purchase carbonated water and use flavored liquid stevias for a taste that is very similar to most sodas

Doughnuts and Pastries

Overall these foods are worse than soda as they not only contain sugar, typically in the form of high fructose corn syrup, but they also contain dangerous trans fats. The reason I did not list this one first is that they are not consumed by as many people on a regular basis.

For more information about how trans fats promotes allergies, while saturated fats relieve them, please see this previous article.

French Fries

Oh, they taste so good, but are ever so bad for you as they are loaded with the worst types of fat on the planet — typically highly refined and genetically modified omega 6 oils, such as corn, canola, and soybean oils.

If you’re still unaware of the link between allergies and genetically engineered food ingredients (particularly soy), please review this recent article by GMO expert, Jeffrey Smith.

These highly processed omega-6 oils are bad enough if you eat them in the form of unheated salad dressing, but when these oils are heated to a high temperature, they transform into a potent mixture that is sure to destroy your health.

Avoid these like the plague. Be particularly careful when ordering hamburgers and other similar foods in a restaurant as most will include fries by default, and once they are at your table they’re hard to resist. So please be sure to order a healthier alternative.

Nearly All Breakfast Cereals

Breakfast is, without question, the single most challenging meal to eat outside of your home. Most of the typical breakfast offerings will drag your health down. The most commonly consumed breakfast are breakfast cereals, which are merely disguised forms of high fructose corn syrup loaded with genetically modified (GM) grains. But pancakes, French toast, waffles, scrambled eggs and rolls don’t do much to improve your health either.

Many may wonder about the scrambled egg concern but the high heat oxidized cholesterol in the eggs and severely damages it. Far better to have the eggs MINIMALLY cooked or better yet raw eggs.

Processed Foods and Snacks

In addition to these specific examples, processed foods in general can contribute to allergies for a number of different reasons. Most processed foods contain a variety of food colorings, flavors, preservatives, and other additives can have a major impact. Junk foods also has a detrimental effect on your gut flora, which has major consequences for your overall health, weight control, and the development of allergies.

The Many Health Benefits of Maintaining Healthy Gut Flora

The ideal ratio between the bacteria in your body is 85 percent "good" and 15 percent "bad." That’s right – you need FAR more beneficial bacteria (probiotics) than you might think in order to maintain the right balance.

The key here is to avoid as many processed foods as you can. This is a challenge because over 90% of the foods that Americans eat are processed and the number source of calories is high fructose corn syrup. So the general principle is to avoid processed foods, but some foods are more particularly pernicious than others so let me give you some examples.

This ratio is essential for:

  • The proper development and function of your immune system
  • Protection against over-growth of other microorganisms that could cause disease
  • Digestion of food and absorption of nutrients
  • Producing vitamins, absorbing minerals and eliminating toxins

As you can see, probiotics perform a wide variety of functions, which renders them useful and beneficial for a number of health concerns, including the prevention or control of:

  • Food and skin allergies in children
  • Vaginitis
  • Premature labor in pregnant women
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Recurrent ear and bladder infections
  • Chronic diarrhea

One of the ways friendly bacteria help prevent allergies, infections and inflammatory conditions is by training your immune system to distinguish between pathogens and non-harmful antigens, and to respond appropriately.

When you’re deficient in these healthy bacteria, your immune system is ill equipped to address the many pathogens and antigens entering your system on a daily basis, and health problems can easily ensue.

Your Gut’s Microflora Also Impacts Your Weight

The microflora in your digestive system is also emerging as a major player in weight management, and needless to say, junk food and weight g

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Dr. Joseph Mercola

Dr. Mercola graduated from the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1982. And while osteopaths or D.O.s are licensed to prescribe medication and perform surgery just like medical doctors (M.D.s), they bring something extra to the practice of medicine.

Osteopathic physicians practice a "whole person" approach to medicine, treating the entire person — rather than just the symptoms. Focusing on preventive health care, D.O.s help patients develop attitudes and lifestyles that don't just fight illness, but help prevent it too. Dr. Mercola started out as most medical physicians do, with a practice emphasizing traditional western medicine — prescribing pills, treating symptoms rather than causes, and subscribing to the typical mainstream medical views. However, after seeing the many failures of traditional medicine, he began to investigate the value of holistic and natural medicine, and apply its principles when treating his patients.

Dr. Mercola strongly believes that the current medical system is largely manipulated and controlled by large corporations whose primary focus is profit. These corporations encourage the use of expensive and potentially dangerous drug and surgical interventions… interventions that do not address the underlying cause of disease. His passion is educating people about this manipulation and deception — and teaching them time-honored, natural, and inexpensive lifestyle alternatives.

So his website,, which started as a small hobby interest in 1997, has now grown to one and a half million subscribers — and increases 50% annually. It is the most frequently visited natural health website today, and ranks overall among the top 5,000 websites worldwide.

Besides being a New York Times bestselling author, Dr. Mercola also founded his own world-renowned Natural Health Center just outside of Chicago, Illinois, where tens of thousands have come to be treated with his multidisciplinary natural approach to health. You can learn more at

Please let us know what you think about this article. All comments will be moderated before being posted publicly.


  1. Smithy says

    Uh yeah MLackey.

    Way to go and make a great point. So glad you constructively contributed to the conversation.

    So many salient points you have made there. Why I count four of them!

    I’m sure you feel quite proud of your solid argument. Real grown up and useful. Showing off that advanced degree. Bravo!

  2. ZedeZ says

    Mercolla totally disregards ORGANIC CEREALS.
    The best of them is NaturePath. It’s a Canadian Co., with distribution facilities in US.
    These cereals are The very best out of all other garbage you see in a supermarket. Kashi is not 100% organic and is part of Kraft(if I’m not mistaken) Mafia.
    NaturePath every single ingredient is organic.
    I eat that every morning after eating some melon first thing in the morning, after 1 tsp of ACV with spring water.
    Don’t eat this cereal with all the almond and rice milks. They are all PASTEURIZED. I checked with the companies.
    Best if you find a good coconut milk or water. In glass is better, because the cans have this lining with BPA. But if no glass, then the cans should be ok, for a little amount on cereal. Add some cinnamon.

  3. says

    It is really about BALANCE!
    My Grandmother, Leona, died at 80. My Auntie Barbara, her daughter, died at 82. Aunt B was A HEALTH NUT!!!!!!!!!!!
    My Aunt and Uncle lived up in the mountains with tons of fresh air and pure water in the Sierra Mountains. Uncle Frank, who quit smoking in the early 60’s, died at 90! Big, barrel chested, Irishman, who worked hard at his garage and other concerns. Never saw him drink, get mad, or anything.
    Actor, Bob Cummings, died at 80 of kidney failure. He was A HEALTH NUT!!!!! Everywhere he went, he took a suitcase of Vitamins, and probably other supplements.
    Entertainer George Burns, died at 100. Smoked Cigars, drank Martini’s, was escorted by young women. (he IS God!)
    My father, 87, eats a ham and eggs and toast breakfast, or oatmeal. Eats hot dogs, turkey burgers, soda pop, ice cream, and such. He does take supplements.
    Studies show that 85-95% of illness and disease STARTS WITH STRESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Funny, you would think it would be your DIET. Not that diet is not important.
    One guy in town here, was a racquetball player. 42, best shape of his life. Played hard. Ate right, I assume, for being into sports. Had a MASSIVE heart attack in the lobby of the gym after a tournament match!!!!!! Died. For all his health, he was under a lot of stress. He probably enjoyed it. But you can enjoy something and NOT notice the stressors. You can also be in DENIAL OF YOUR STRESS!!!!!!!!!!!
    So, it is about BALANCE. Eat right, exercise for your abilities, meditate or whatever to reduce the stresses, ALL IN BALANCE.
    You need meat. Chicken Hearts are high in Ubiquinol. You need Veggies. You need Fruits. You need LIVE FOOD!!!!! You need total nutrition to feed your cells. You need to relax, and enjoy life. All in Balance.
    What to eat when you have food sensitivities has been hard for me, I have Grave’s Disease. I can have gluten free oatmeal. wow….. But I can have Yogurt and strawberry smoothies for breakfast too!!! YUM! I eat turkey. Mackerel. Even boiled chicken hearts with quinoa pasta and peas! Delish!! Flaxseed Gluten free MUFFINS are to die for. I do have ice cream. I could not have ice cream because of the sugar and my candida problem, I got the candida under control with probiotics, and I can eat ice cream. Had not had any for SIX YEARS!
    Foods to avoid…processed, refined flour, refined sugars, and artificial EVERYTHING! Anything that makes your system ACIDIC! Get alkaline drops. And anything, in my opinion, GMO’ed. And The so called “RICH” foods. These things end up CHOKING the cells!!
    Cookies, pies, cakes, donuts, candy, pop, ice cream, junk food, pastries, and pasta, even gluten free, anything not in the PRODUCE DEPARTMENT in its raw natural state, is going to clog your system, and be deficient in life giving vitamins and minerals. However, supplements can be just as wasteful. Some do not absorb readily. Some need other supplements to help the absorption process.
    SO THINK ABOUT BALANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    We all want snacks!!! Just maybe not EVERYDAY, FOUR OR FIVE TIMES A DAY!!!!!!!!! I KNOW GUYS WHO DRINK DIET SODA’S ALL DAY LONG!!!!!!!
    Think Weekend, or Once a Month.
    For every BAD THING YOU DO TO YOUR BODY, DO SEVERAL GOOD THINGS!!!!!!!!! Eat a salad with your MEALS!
    Be Well and Happy.

  4. enliteneer says

    I mix (and heat) the following three cereals every morning:

    1. Uncle Sam Cereal ( Whole Wheat Kernels is the first Ingredient, 10g Fiber, 2g of Sugar)

    2. Simply Fiber Cereal ( Wheat Bran first ingredient, 14g of Fiber, 0g Sugar)

    3. Kashi Truly Vanilla Hot Oatmeal (Whole Grain Rolled Oats first ingredient, 7g Fiber, 6g Sugar)

    Not gluten sensitive, so can’t imagine that high fiber / low sugar is unhealthy.

  5. vikingstork says

    Ratman, you know, I really hate this, when someone chews up an article ans spits it out all BACKWARDS. It doesn’t say anywhere you shouldn’t eat eggs, it says you shouldn’t FRY or otherwise OVERCOOK them. It converts the cholesterol in them and makes them very unhealthy and hard to digest.
    As for cereals, it warns against PROCESSED cereals, as they are surely GM an loaded with HFCS, and trans fats. There is nothing wrong with a bowl of oatmeal or buckwheat pancakes. But cereal grains, esp. wheat should be avoided altogether. They are loaded with anti-nutrients and gluten is getting linked with all kind of problems, celiac disease particularly.

  6. vikingstork says

    enliteneer — “nothing wrong with high fiber, but grains are also high in anti-nutrients, and have to be cooked for a long time to destroy these. Cereals are typically not cooked long enough, esp. when infra-red toasted on factory line.
    Immigants from middle East living in N America have children with high rate of rickets, because they still eat pita bread as a staple. Pitas take only a few minutes to bake, so the anti-nutrients are not destroyed, as in leavened baked bread. And the exploding popularity of wraps does nothing for people’s health, even tho they are convinced they are eating “healthy”

  7. vikingstork says

    Story about processed cereals.
    My friend started having diarrhea, and doctor checked everything, and no help. Finally one day the Dr says (pretty good for a DR, as average physician will not want to know what you eat “we were trained to push drugs, not to feed patients” is their argument).
    So my friend says Wheaties for breakfast, so Dr says stop eating them, and the diarrhea stopped almost immediately. That’s another aspect of food processing, toasting the shreds of wheat makes them crack on the surface and get to look like barbes on a fishing hook under magnification (ironically, modern fishing hooks don’t have barbs any more), and can be terribly irritating for your bowels.

  8. Anonymous says

    vikingstork –

    So is it fiber that’s an anti-nutrient, or is it in the wheats and oats?

    For example, what about fiber supplements, Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) (insoluble), or psyllium (soluble)?

  9. Anonymous says

    Funny how foods like eggs and whole grains (esp. wheat) have been in the human diet for thousands of years but are now being blamed for a multitude of health problems that have only been around for the last century or so. We live in a toxic world that is killing us in a thousand different ways, but not by consuming (organic) whole grains, eggs, and drinking raw milk. Junk food is junk but so is junk science.
    Pass the eggs, please.

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