Published On: Mon, Sep 28th, 2015

7 foods nutritionists won’t eat

SodaEveryone splurges once in a while, even nutritionists. But these healthy eaters won’t touch certain foods. We asked some of the most-famous nutritionists from around the country which foods they’d snub — you’ll be shocked by some of their responses.

Diet Soda

“I cut out diet soda from my life about five years ago. I came to the conclusion that I didn’t need a dose of artificial ingredients on a daily basis, and I would be much better off drinking water and plant-based beverages, such as home-brewed iced tea, hot tea (herbal and regular), and coffee during the day. I don’t believe there’s enough science today to indicate that the diet beverages are harmful, but I also don’t think there is any true benefit to including them. About a year ago I tried a diet soda on a plane — after not tasting one for several years — and I found that it tasted absolutely awful. So, I guess I haven’t been missing much!”

—Sharon Palmer, RDN, author of Plant-Powered for Life

Carnival Corn Dog

“You’ll never catch me eating a carnival corn dog — so creepy. I know wayyy too much about what’s lurking inside of fatty, processed hot dog meat: corn syrup, nitrates, fillers, fat and more fat. In fact, there’s very little protein. Place it on a wooden stick, cover it in refined cornmeal batter and fry it up in a vat of oil? No thanks!”

—Joy Bauer M.S., R.D., founder of Nourish Snacks and nutrition/health expert for NBC’s Today Show


“I’m not saying I would starve to death before eating one, but they are definitely a food I avoid even when there are very [few] choices available. Here is why: They are basically a big bowl of sugar! The refined-carb product contains no nutrients that are beneficial for health or provide satiety. And they are easily overeaten for this reason — they have no fiber, protein or healthy fat. I always imagine a bag of pretzels as the same thing as a big bag of jelly beans. Those sugar calories affect your hormones and cause you to gain. And for what? A boring pretzel? No, thanks.”

—Keri Glassman, RDN, CDN, of Nutritious Life

Fat-Free Whipped Topping

“The one food I would never eat is ‘fat-free whipped topping.’ I find it tastes like the artificial ingredients it is made of, and I don’t care for it. If I want a creamy dessert topping, I use a small dollop of fresh whipped cream — a little goes a long way to make a dessert special — and you cannot beat its taste. Or, to lighten that up naturally and deliciously, I will fold in some plain Greek yogurt, for a topping that is wonderful with any fruit-based dessert.”

—Ellie Krieger, RDN, nutritionist, TV personality and award-winning cookbook author

Blended Coffee Drinks

“I am an avid coffee drinker who enjoys a morning and afternoon java run, but the assorted-flavor, sugar-loaded, blended coffee drinks are definitely something that I stay away from. These blends can go up to 81 grams of sugar!!! That amount of sugar is the equivalent of drinking two cans of soda, roughly 20 teaspoons of pure sugar, which can spike your insulin and build fat around your waistline. Aside from the sugar content, these drinks can have up to 510 calories, which can be a whole meal for some people.”

—Manuel Villacorta, M.S., R.D., author of Whole Body Reboot: The Peruvian Superfoods Diet

Imported Farm-Raised Shrimp

“I make a conscious effort to purchase and consume sustainable seafood, for both environmental and personal health. Imported shrimp are often unsustainably farmed and laden with chemicals and antibiotics. Sticking to this can certainly be a challenge, since 94 percent of the shrimp we consume in the U.S. is imported!”

—Kristy Del Coro, M.S., R.D., CDN, senior culinary nutritionist at SPE Certified

Reduced-Fat Peanut Butter

“Many of my clients are surprised to hear that most reduced-fat peanut butter is not necessarily a healthier version of regular peanut butter. While both regular and reduced-fat peanut butter contain about the same amount of calories (200 calories for two tablespoons), the reduced-fat variety contains more refined carbohydrates and sugar. Why? The fat that would be in the reduced-fat peanut butter spread is replaced with ingredients like corn syrup solids, sugar and molasses (read: even more sugar), plus starchy fillers. Those add-ins boost the spread’s sugar content to 4 grams and its total carbs to 15 grams. Compare that with natural peanut butter, which has just 1 gram of sugar and 6 grams of carbs.”

—Tanya Zuckerbrot, M.S., R.D., CEO of F-Factor, author of The Miracle Carb Diet

By Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN. Toby is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition.

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