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The Top Worst Foods You Can Eat, Revisited

I often get the surprising question: what are the worst foods you can eat? Obviously, in the world of nutrition, certain foods are much better than others. And some foods will certainly sap more energy out of you than they can possibly give you.

So let’s take a look at my list of all-time “worst foods” you should avoid at all cost. Please note that I won’t go into the obvious “junk” category. We all know that a plate of French fries isn’t the healthiest meal around.

Instead, I’ll look at many foods that many people actually think are healthy, including well-known diet gurus.

Caffeine — If someone came to me and said, “Fred, tell me only ONE thing I can change it my diet that would make a dramatic and positive difference in my health, I would, without hesitation, tell that person to quit caffeine and quit drinking coffee and other caffeinated beverages (which includes soda, tea, and even chocolate).

Contrary to the popular belief, caffeine does NOT give you energy. Instead, it saps precious energy out of you, while giving you the impression of getting a “lift”.

If you whip a horse, does the action of whipping give the horse “energy”? On the contrary, it forces the horse to exhaust its current energy. The horse may appear more energetic, but it will eventually have to lie down to recover.

But Fred, I’ve read in the newspaper that caffeine is actually good for us! Well my friend, I call that complete nonsense. There’s only two reasons why a “researcher” might say that caffeine is good for you:

1- That person is completely addicted to caffeine
2- That person is paid to do it by people who profit from caffeine

Caffeine is a drug and just like any other drug it has dangerous side effects. Inform yourselves. You’ll find more articles on that subject here.

Cheese & Concentrated Dairy Products — The second type of really bad food many people think is healthy is the concentrated dairy product category. This includes most cheeses. Cheese is laden with saturated fat, and contrary to the popular belief, will not make your bones stronger. (In fact, the countries that have the highest osteoporosis rates also are the biggest milk consumers).

You’ll get more benefits from giving up dairy products that you will from giving up meat. So that’s why I recommend that people transition off dairy products first before they become vegetarians.

Now, if you have some light cheese occasionally, such as goat’s cheese, it won’t be a problem. But the habit of eating cheese on a regular basis (which is out of proportion in the USA), is definitely one to give up if you want to experience greater health.

For more information on the topic, go to

Alcohol — Alcohol is not a healthy product. No, a “glass of wine” a day doesn’t keep the doctor away. I wrote in a previous article:

According to toxicology (the branch of pharmacology that deals with the nature and effects and treatments of poisons), alcohol is classified as a protoplasmic poison, because it is poisoning to both plants and animals – from the smallest microbe to the most complex animal. Alcohol kills microbes but also kills the cells of a complex organism, such as the human being. It is an intoxicant that ruins millions of lives and kills people by the thousand each day, directly or indirectly.

A glass of wine or beer that you have occasional in social events isn’t going to harm you. But the daily alcohol habit ultimately saps a lot of energy and life out of it.

Grilled and Barbecued Meat — If you want to protect yourself from cancer, avoid some of the worst, cancer-causing food on the planet: grilled and barbecued meat!

When meat is in contact with intense heat, a series of unhealthy chemicals are created. The black stuff on barbecued meat that tastes so good actually contains cancer-causing elements called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs.

So if eat meat, instead have it stewed, steamed or stir-fried at a low temperature.

Restaurant Food — Typically, food served in restaurant in rich in fat, sodium and pretty much everything that’s not good for you. Home cooking is not only healthier: it’s also cheaper.

If you eat out occasionally, there’s no need to start worrying about it. Enjoy. But if you’re the type who eats out several times a week (as most Americans do), you might want to reconsider this habit, or at least have a plan of what you’re going to order at a restaurant (there’s no law that says that you cannot order just a simple salad and a juice at any restaurant).

The last category is the obvious junk that everybody knows is not healthy: pizza, fried foods, and so on. A particular attention must be placed on avoiding fried foods as much as possible!

Please don’t view this article as negative. As I’ve noted before: your health will improve inasmuch as you’re able to remove certain unhealthy food from your diet, more than by adding healthy foods.

So start by handling those top “worst” foods, and then you’re ready for the next step… which is to add more healthy fruits and vegetables in your diet.

Raw Vegan Mentor Club

Frederic Patenaude
Frederic Patenaude
Frederic Patenaude has been an important influence in the raw food and natural health movement since he started writing and publishing in 1998, first by being the editor of Just Eat an Apple magazine. He is the author of over 20 books, including The Raw Secrets, the Sunfood Cuisine and Raw Food Controversies. Since 2013 he’s been the Editor-in-Chief of Renegade Health.

Frederic loves to relentlessly debunk nutritional myths. He advocates a low-fat, plant-based diet and has had over 10 years of experience with raw vegan diets. He lives in Montreal, Canada.