Foods to avoid: The four worst foods to eat when losing weight

This article is about the four worst foods to eat when losing weight.

Before I begin, I’d like to ask you a question:

         What do all junk foods have in common?

Well, they all contain at least one of the four ingredients I am going to tell you about.

These foods are by far the worst foods to eat, and weight loss might be as simple as avoiding these four foods and replacing them with healthy foods.

These foods cause weight gain and contribute to many diseases that are common in our society today.

So, without further ado, these are the four worst foods to eat:

1. Added sugar in all its forms

A picture of Foods To Avoid
No surprise here, right?

Out of the four worst foods to eat, sugar is most important.

Sugar can turn any bland meal into a delicious treat.

But it’s bad, Real Bad!

It has a lot of calories, but no nutrients.

Sugar has many names

High Fructose Corn Syrup
Dehydrated Cane Juice
Corn Sweetener
Agave Nectar
Cane Sugar
Corn Syrup
Raw Sugar

This means that the more healthy foods you replace with sugar, the less you get of the essential vitamins, minerals, proteins and fatty acids that your body desperately needs to be healthy.

It contributes to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, rots your teeth, makes your breath bad and many others.

And that’s not all. It is also addicting and makes us crave even more of it. When we eat sugar, things happen in our brain that are similar to what happens with narcotics.

This is the reason it’s so hard to give up sugar.

But be aware. Sugar isn’t always sugar because sometimes it’s called different names, High Fructose Corn Syrup being the most common one. It is the same as sugar, but in a different form, and is just as bad.

To avoid sugar completely, you will need to start reading ingredient labels.

2. Wheat, especially refined wheat.

A picture of Worst Foods To Eat
The second of the worst foods to eat is wheat, especially refined wheat.

It is almost as bad as sugar. If you can eat wheat in moderation then it might be okay to eat whole wheat every now and then, although it would be optimal to eliminate it completely.

If you are diabetic or severely overweight, then you might do best by skipping all grains.

That’s right, ALL grains.

But if you’re just a little overweight, or merely interested in optimal health, then you can eat other whole grains in moderation as long as you eliminate refined wheat.

Why refined wheat?

First of all, refined wheat is void of nutrients and supplies empty calories like sugar. This means that if you eat a lot of it, you might develop a nutritional deficiency.

Second, it contains a horrible protein known as Gluten. A lot of people are sensitive to Gluten, and their health improves greatly when they eliminate it.

Third, it’s addictive. Just like sugar. When the proteins in wheat are digested, they turn into so called opioid peptides, which are substances that function in a way similar to heroin and morphine.

The effects are subtle, but real.

History shows that wherever sugar and wheat go, diseases follow.

3. Trans fats

A picture of Trans Fat
The third of the worst foods to eat is trans fat, also known as hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil.

The way these fats are made in the factory is really disgusting, and involves high heat and hydrogen gas. It is very strange that people ever thought they would be edible for humans.

Trans fats are unsaturated fats that are chemically modified to make them shelf stable and solid. They resemble healthy saturated fats, but are in fact very bad.

These fats are horrible for your cholesterol, raising small, dense LDL (bad) and lowering HDL (good). This drastically increases heart disease risk, the world’s nr.1 killer.

Trans fats may also increase abdominal fat gain, and they are definitely one of the worst foods to eat if you are concerned for your health.

Luckily, the government is cracking down on these nasty fats, setting laws that require manufacturers to eliminate or properly label products with trans fats in them. However, they can still be found in junk foods.

4. Industrial Seed And Vegetable Oils

A picture of Fats To Avoid
You may find the fourth of the worst foods to eat surprising, but these are seed and vegetable oils.

Some health gurus may have told you these are healthy, but that is wrong. These are oils that have been chemically processed, are void of nutrients and have a terrible fatty acid composition.

The way they are made is pretty disgusting too.

These oils are, in general, very high in polyunsaturated Omega-6 fatty acids.

You may have heard that these are good for you, right?

Industrial Oils

Cottonseed oil
Grapeseed oil
Sunflower oil
Safflower oil
Soybean oil
Canola oil
Walnut oil
Corn oil


Everything you’ve heard about polyunsaturated fats is wrong.

Yes, they are essential, but only in very small amounts compared to what is eaten today and the only polyunsaturated fats you should be increasing are the Omega-3s.

The ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 is supposed to be around 2:1 or 3:1. In western populations, the ratio is way higher than that and this is likely a major contributor to the diseases of civilization.

Excess Omega-6 fats trigger inflammation in the body, which is one of the major causes of disease.

By eliminating industrial seed and vegetable oils, you eliminate the major source of Omega-6 fats.

Other Potentially Problematic Foods

The four worst foods to eat that I mentioned above should be all you need to eliminate to start losing weight and gaining optimal health, but it is important to replace them with healthy foods which I have outlined in my article on foods to eat to lose weight.

When I am talking about foods to avoid, then I mean avoiding them completely. That does not include having a cheat meal once a week and completely pigging out.

If there are other foods that tend to be problematic for you and cause you to overeat, then it may be a good idea to minimize them too.

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  1. I LOVE the cover of your report! A friend’s family’s favorite story about his mother is the one time when his dad got up in the middle of the night to find his mother naked in front of the freezer eating ice cream directly out of of the carton! But also, seriously, you make good points. Stopped over from Fat Tues.

  2. Haha that’s funny :)

    And thanks for commenting.

  3. Hi Kris! This is a fine list to avoid even if you are not trying to lose weight! Thank you!

  4. Consumer Freedom says:

    The worst food to eat when losing weight could be anything, if you’re eating too much of it. Why single out sugar/high fructose corn syrup? It’s not about a short list of 4 foods you shouldn’t eat. It’s about burning off more calories than you consume. These overly simplistic “hit lists” do nothing to help anyone.

  5. I disagree with what you just said.

    It is true that it is a matter of calories in, calories out, but I think this is the wrong perspective to look at, unless for people that are willing to spend the rest of their lives weighing stuff and calculating their intake.

    Sugar and wheat are the main carbohydrate sources in the western diet, and a reduction in carbohydrate intake leads to automatic reduction of calorie intake. Reduced carb diets are the most effective for weight loss, without focusing on calories. This is supported by numerous studies.

    There is also some evidence that both sugar and wheat can be addicting, which leads to cravings and overeating.

    Not to mention that the foods I mentioned are just downright unhealthy, avoiding them will lead to improved health.

    • samantha says:

      hello. i am 12 and weighing 58kgs! its to fat for me. i have been trying to loose weight for 3 months but i only achieved to lose 1 kg. please help me?

  6. Hi Kris,
    What are your thoughts on coconut sugar (100%)? I am learning about primal diet & one website says “anything coconut” is good, but does coconut sugar cause an unwanted insulin response in the body?

  7. Coconut sugar is definitely a lot more nutritious than white sugar, as well as much lower on the glycemic index, but it will still cause an insulin response.

    I’d say it is a healthier alternative to regular sugar, but eat in moderation only.

  8. Very informative. “Hit list” articles are all I have time for and I greatly appreciate them! I’m 31 pounds down and looking forward to utilizing 4 of your articles I’ve read this morning to help me lose 30 more. I’m half way to my goal!

  9. Hey Lisa, thank you for the comment and congratulations on your success so far :)

    • Thank you. I lost 30 pounds strictly with low calorie and exercise. But now I’ve plateaued for nearly a month and I just can’t take it anymore. I’m working so hard with no results. So I’m going to try low carb and see if that will give me the boost I need.

      • Valerie Brooks says:

        WOW! Thanks for telling. Those plateaus in diets are very interesting and many similiar complaints. I believe there is something you need to change that you haven’t identified. Low carbs is very general. I wonder if there is some ingredient that your liver is overloaded with. Some cheat food or even medicine that just has to go or else.

  10. Hello Kris, your list looks a lot like what I have figured out from reading up on nutrition online. I would like to add: milk products. I watched a documentary where they showed a study from Britain, with two test groups who shared the same diet, with one difference: one of the groups also consumed milk products. That group had a calorie intake twice as high as the non-milk group. If I remember correctly, the documentary said that milk products made the body take up more calories from the food, on top of containing calories themselves.

    Anyway, I avoid: sugar, fat, wheat, and milk products. With this simple rule I keep my weight and BMI at an optimal level. I don’t need to go on a no-carb diet like so many recommend; I get lots of carbs from rice and potatoes, but still lose weight. (I keep slowly losing weight even though I’m not trying to.) It seems this rule keeps my calorie intake lower than my daily calorie burn, even while I never go hungry.

  11. Hi Kris, thank you so very much for all the info. Here I am, reading as much as I can and as fast as I can because I want to read it all… haha. (and reading out loud so my hubby can hear and I”m happy to say he is very interested and is even commenting..that’s great!). Anyhow, I’m on the path to lose some weight by eating healthy, so I think. My husband and I love to cook, we are all about homemade food – which brings me to my question; we use canola oil (usually about a tbsp. each time) for soups (as salad dressing with lemon and a pinch of salt (we are very careful with that too)), rice, some stews, etc. Now I know that canola oil is an industrial seed, what other alternative do we have? is olive oil an option?
    Thanks for your time!

    • Ha ha… just went to “foods to eat to lose weight” page and there was my answer! – but any additional advice from you would be great!

  12. Hello Jeanny. Yes, olive oil is a great option and extra virgin is the best :)

  13. Hey Kris…was reading your thoughts on dieting the healthy way. I am 45 yrs. old and 5’6….I used to ALWAYS way around 120 pounds. Give or take….but now I have found myself at 135!!!!!…..I have recently started swimming laps twice a week at the local indoor pool….what else will get me back to where I need to be?
    Would you suggest lots of fish?…salads?….bananas?…I need to lose at least 15 pounds before summer…but I want to do it healthy…..anything you could suggest for me would be appreciated!…thank you!


  14. One more question….everyone is always talking about cottage cheese….does this really count as a weight loss food?………just wondering :)

    • Valerie Brooks says:

      Yes, some cottage cheese has different carbs than other’s. I have a no carb cheese. I haven’t figured out what the issue is on why some cheese can have NO carbs. I believe wheat for carbohydrate is very dangerous and not because of gluten or sugar but some chemical they put into it spraying the fields. It messes with the thyroid and blocks some important processes and your toast. Every doctor can take your weight off in days or weeks…all of it, by tweaking the thyroid, or steroids…they don’t because…they don’t make money, could get sued and it’s a trick a professional wouldn’t dare use…it’s not a proper way to lose weight…just very real if someone wanted to.

  15. Tonya, if I were you I would focus my diet around unprocessed meats, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits and some nuts.

    The most important thing for you to do is to avoid sugar and wheat. That should probably do the trick for the majority of people out there, but if it does not work then you might need to cut back on other grains as well.

    Cottage cheese is low in calories and therefore considered a “weight loss food”, but you should only be eating it if you enjoy it since there’s nothing magical about it.

    You should take a look at these articles here:

  16. Definitely agree, but then there is the balance between health and fun. These bad foods are definitely tasty, and you can lose fat keeping them in moderation. Using intermittent fasting, you can even eat more of them, but that is a bad way to go as when you fast, you are not getting nutrients, so when you do eat it is important you fuel your body with proper vitamins and nutrients. Good post.

  17. Kris, I knew a lady a long time ago who lost a lot of weight partly by cutting out all bread. But I always thought that as long as it was healthy bread and I wasn’t eating a crazy amount then I was o.k. So many times I eat the bread with a meal because I think I need a certain amount of grains everyday. With having diabetes run in my family, this article has given me the freedom to do what my body has been asking me to. Thank you!

  18. I have lost 25 lbs and have my last seven to lose….I am running 15 miles a week, but am still having a hard time losing….I am stuck. Do you have any suggestions?? Also what about cheese on the low carv diet?

  19. I thought I was being really healthy eating double fiber whole wheat toast with natural peanut butter every day for breakfast. But now I’m confused. Is whole grain better, or should I stay away from grains completely? I am 41 and exercise daily but have been unsuccessful for over a year trying to drop 10 pounds.

    What a wealth of information, thanks!

  20. Is there any good oils.

  21. You forgot the alcohol, but it is terrible for your diet.

  22. I am suppose to lower my carbs and fats to reduce my cholesterol but I don’t know how, I don’t really eat much. I do want to lose weight and I don’t thing I can since I don’t consume many calories during the day, so any suggestions what would work to lose 15 lbs and fix my cholesterol, I can’t eat salads due to my acid reflux.

  23. Thanks for the simple guidance. I would add the following
    to our effort to loose weight and increase your health/QoL:

    First, eat less and move around more- no extremes here, just add a little exerise and reduce the volume of food that you consume and see where this leads. By slowly (emphasis here) increasing you commitment to exercise it will become a lifestyle choice and therefore a sustainable improvement.

    Second, focus on the quality of the foods that you do consume, and this article is very helpful in this regard.

    Finally, get adequate sleep and reduce the stress in your life. Again, exercise will help here but focussing on relationships and finances will help a lot.

  24. Marc Thomson says:

    I just am so glad for all the wisdom that you share with people so that they can be healthy. If this knowlege was more known to the American public then there would be a decline in obesity in America! Thanks so much for all your hard work.

  25. Heya Kris,

    awesome post as usual.

    I might add artificial ingredients, especially artificial sweeteners to that list.

    Personally I’m very suspicious of even allegedly healthy and “natural” sweeteners like xylitol and stevia. Those are probably better than aspartame (or less bad anyways), but I find it safest AND healthiest to stay away from most all artificial food ingredients.


  26. What is a good salad dressing to use?

  27. What’s a good artificial sweetener to use? A good oil to deep fry in? How much fat should I be eating each day if I cut out the carbs so I don’t get hunger pangs? I’m only 5’3″.

  28. I disagree with some of the comments you made…
    Oils can be good for you, depending on how they are made. You say certain oils are bad but then go on to say olive oil is good. Really you should be focusing on how the oil is made. Personally, I go for cold press oils, where the oil is taken from the pressing of the fruit. A lot of olive oils are actually obtained through chemical processes such as mixing the pressed fruit with a solvent and then removing the solvent. You also say to avoid ALL sugar and mention fructose as one to avoid. So are you telling everyone to avoid fruit and brightly coloured vegetables? As these all contain fructose. Oh and by the way, the word is ADDICTIVE not addicting.

    • It looks like you just barely skimmed through the article. Please, next time you decide to leave a comment then at least take the time to read all the words.

      I didn’t say that “oils” are bad. I said that seed and vegetable oils are, and I did provide a good argument for why I believe so. Added sugar is something to avoid, while the sugar in fruit and vegetables are not.

  29. I have been trying to stay under 50 carbs a day and eat healthy fats and count calories. But I am having a probably getting enough calories. I am aloud to have around 1400 and I usually only get between 800-1000 calories a day. I am worried that this is going to hurt me more than help me but I don’t know how to eat more calories without my fat and protein being too much. I am not skipping meals and I do eat when I am hungry. From what I have read on the web, I should have no more than 55 g of fat a day and about 90 g of protein. I am not sure if this is correct though for a low carb diet. I am losing weight but I don’t know if this is healthy. Any advice would be very much appreciated.

    • Hello Raelene, when you’re eating low-carb then you need to eat more fat and protein to compensate, so you can really throw that 55g and 90g number out of the window.

  30. hello.. I agree with this Low carb. diet is the best way to lose weight as i tried in 1 week i lost 5 kilos i am not eating rice, most i am drinking milk, bread, fruits and veg. also with some meats I observed too that i am not as hungry as before starving for food i am losing my appetite too. Now i am feeling more comfortable with my clothes and looking good in jeans. I will keep doing this until i achieve my deisired weight and figure. thanks.

  31. Hi, Kris! Very, very informative.. I have one problem, though. I have been eating ALL OF these in horrific amounts!! I also read your blog about cutting down on carbs and most things that have a lot of them are some of my favorite foods to eat (on a regular basis)! :O

    I was raised in a broken home (sadly) and was never taught how to eat right (my father loves microwavable meals) and I have Asperger’s Syndrome. I am now teaching myself to cook and eat right, but my disability makes it extremely difficult. My question is: since I am not very good at cooking and I know little to nothing about nutrition and what not, how the heck am I supposed to cut these things out of my eating habits when they are the only things I like (I am picky) and the only things I know HOW to cook? :(

    • Oh I forgot to add this: is it okay if I don’t specifically limit the carbs, but continue to cut out sugar, junk foods, oils, trans fat (fast food) and wheat? Just today I had two slices of healthy multi-grain wheat bread that had 40 grams of carbs.. :/ Not to mention the hash brown pattie I had with it. -_-‘

  32. Hey Kris,
    Great stuff, i’ve been reading through and following as much of what u wrote the best i can. I was just wondering one thing about the sweeteners what do u use personally? I didn’t see honey on the to avoid list, but i looked at the honey jar i have and i see it has alot of carbs, but that doesn’t make it bad for u necessarily does it? You would just have to cut carbs from other places if your going low carb and still wanna use honey for tea or whatever. I was just curious if there was any other good sweeteners with maybe less carbs than honey out there. Thank you, and thanks again for putting all this good info out there for people

    • Kristjan says:

      Hello Mike, I don’t really use sweeteners but I’ve heard good things about Stevia. I think honey should go in the “moderation” category. It’s better than sugar, but not something you should have every day.

  33. My sister is over 300 pounds and hasn’t lost anything but she is doing this and has been for months.

  34. Samantha says:

    hello there. i am samantha. can you help me choose what to eat, i mean, the best food to eat for breakfast. thanks

  35. hi there, what about salt? isn’t salt not good for your health?

    • Kristjan says:

      Salt is okay in moderation. Processed food is usually very high in salt, and if you avoid most processed foods then you have nothing to worry about. Sprinkling some salt on your meals to make them more palatable is absolutely fine.

  36. Roger Jackson says:

    What about xylitol as a replacement for sugar sweetness? Tastes better than Stevia and has no after taste.

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