5 Foods you Should "Quit" Buying and What to Eat Instead

Written By


Expert Reviewed By

Dr. Lauryn Lax, OTD, MS

Dr. Lauryn, OTD, MS is a doctor of occupational therapy, clinical nutritionists and functional medicine expert with 25 years of clinical and personal experience in healing from complex chronic health issues and helping others do the same.

Undereating | 5 Foods You Should &Quot;Quit&Quot; Buying And What To Eat Instead

Approximately 80% of all Americans are confused about what the word “healthy” means—especially when it comes to foods.

Are you buying foods that you THINK are healthy (but in actuality can’t play in the big leagues)?

Here are 5 foods you should quit buying—and what to eat instead

Gluten-Free Bread

Check your labels! Many products on shelves are ONLY missing one ingredient: Gluten. The rest of the ingredients? Similar to the processed versions they are replacing (sugars and additives included). In fact, many “gluten-free” products are filled with gluten-replacements that are STILL cross-contaminating with gluten itself. Look for “breads” with real-food ingredients.

Bread Breakfast Knife | 5 Foods You Should &Quot;Quit&Quot; Buying And What To Eat Instead

Replacement: Coconut Flour Tortillas (like Siete), Mikey’s Muffins (coconut flour based), Or (gasp) real fermented Sourdough bread from a local baker (3 ingredients only, similar to what they eat in other countries)

Bottled Smoothies & Green Juices

One word: Sugar. Many pre-packaged convenient juices and smoothies (even green juice) are sometimes stacked with 1-2 times more sugar than the maximum recommended dose for Americans in a given day (about 25 grams is the upper limit). And even if your smoothie has less sugar than that, many of these juices are highly processed or ingredients are “watered” down to preserve shelf life during processing. The result? A small (if any) amount of nutrients as the “real thing.”

Smoothie | 5 Foods You Should &Quot;Quit&Quot; Buying And What To Eat Instead

Replacement: Make a homemade smoothie (and pour in a stainless steel container to keep it cool if you don’t plan to consume right away).

Protein Bars

If you don’t recognize the names of ingredients on the food labels, chances are your body doesn’t either. And even if there is protein in the bar…is it absorbable and digestible? Many bars and protein powders contain soy, casein or legume-based proteins that are difficult for the body to digest (super allergenic, or contain “anti-nutrients” that can trigger leaky gut).

Protein Bar

Replacement: The real thing? Leftover protein from dinner, turkey or ham rollups, nitrate-free jerky, Epic Bars, real-food based bars (Bulletproof Bars, Primal Kitchen Bars, RX Bars).


Kombucha is “hot” right now to boost gut health, but not all kombuchas are created equal. Some contain upwards of 12-15 grams of sugar per 8 oz. serving, and don’t have the probiotics they claim. If the names of the strains of bacteria are not listed, or there’s more than 2-4 grams of sugar, you are drinking juice (not kombucha).

Put some fermented foods (like THIS kombucha) into your life. #ArmYourGut. (click on pic for more details)

Replacement: Low-Sugar kombuchas (2-4 grams), like Health-Ade, Synergy; Fermented foods–like sauerkraut and fermented veggies

Low-fat Yogurt

Many people reach for yogurt, just like kombucha, to get a dose of “healthy probiotics.” Unfortunately, the majority of commercial yogurts on shelves do NOT contain the probiotics their labels claim, due to the high-heating and processing they go through. Especially low-fat yogurt. Natural (real) yogurt comes from real milk. So if it’s low-fat or fat-free, you automatically know it’s been highly processed and heated to extract the milk fat. Milk fat is not only essential for ensuring your yogurt does contain some probiotics, but is also essential for absorbing and digesting the food itself (healthy fats contain Vitamin D and K to help us absorb our nutrients). In fact, a study of a popular line of low-fat and fat free yogurts a few years ago, discovered that people actually needed to eat about 25 times the amount of yogurt serving in order to get any probiotics the labels claimed.


Replacements: Grass-fed organic plain (full-fat) yogurt.


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