The Top 5 Foods I Try to Avoid Eating

Content by: Guy Lawrence

five foods to avoid

By Guy Lawrence

Somebody asked me this question the other day: From a dietary perspective, what would be the top five things you try to avoid eating?

Now I do need to elaborate a little. The first question I asked was are we already eliminating the obvious? If one were living like a rock star and fuelling their day with cigarettes and alcohol, this would be an obvious choice of elimination if looking to improve health. So drugs, cigarettes and alcohol are out.

And we are talking about food here… so eating a cardboard box or inedible objects are out too. Although the breakfast cereal packaging could be more nutritious than the contents!

The second question asked was are we talking about improving one’s health? Yes we were.

So after a little thought and without getting microscopic (I feel the number could be more than five), this was my answer.

The top five things I try to avoid each day

Now one thing to consider is this. If I am trying to avoid… say… trans fats, then I will look to avoid all foods containing trans fats. So a snack like potato chips are out as they contain trans fats. Low fat margarine, cookies etc. Make sense?

For me, this makes process of elimination much easier. Do I eat any of the below foods? Yes, but they are few and far between. They are not a staple in my daily diet. I always aim to stick to a minimum 80/20 rule that I talk about in my free eBook here.

Trans fats

trans fatsAs far as I’m concerned, these are hideous and I do my best to avoid them, FULL STOP.

If you truly value your health, I suggest you start to research these yourself and avoid them too.

Don’t confuse these with healthy fats though. I wrote a list of the fats I eat daily here. Sarah Wilson has written a great post on trans fats etc here.

Sugar (fructose in particular)

What can I say, no brainer really. Sugar comes in many forms and from many sources, and understandably this creates a lot of confusion. If you consume sugar in small amounts, especially if you are active, the body will generally cope. The problem with sugar is it’s insidious and is found in almost all foods in commercial supermarkets. Too much of the sweet stuff will definitely take it’s toll on your health as far as I’m concerned!

A great book to read on sugar is Sweet Poison by David Gillespie.


GlutenThis one slips under the radar a little unless you are gluten intolerant. There is a massive connection to your gut, its immunity and your overall health (I wrote about gut health here). My belief is that gluten wrecks havoc on your digestive track over time if it’s a staple in your daily diet.  I feel gut health is very important for overall wellbeing.

And yes, by eliminating gluten you are eliminating most grains (I’ll blog more on this).

Highly processed foods

Processed foodA bit broad I know, but I felt artificial flavourings, chemicals like the sweetener aspartame, food preservatives with E numbers etc deserved to go under this category. If the ingredients listed on the packet look like something you see in a chemical laboratory, I try to avoid it. Microwave meals, many canned foods, sauce packets, soft drinks etc. Avoiding highly processed foods will eliminate over 90% of the supermarket! Fresh is best… real food. Know your ingredients and cook yourself so you know what you are really eating.


SoySoy has become a staple for many over recent years, but personally I’m not a fan and it’s made my top 5. Believe it or not, the soybean is inedible for human consumption in its natural state and is highly processed and usually genetically modified. It is also linked to a host of health issues including hormones, gut digestion, infertility and cancer (I wrote a post on soy here).

If you do have soy in your diet, I suggest you do some research into it.


When I listed my top five, I wanted to list the things that I felt were relevant to everyone regardless of what their beliefs are around nutrition. Paleo diet, vegetarian, vegan etc. There are still so many things to cover. Dairy, grains, meat (grass fed/corn fed, processed/packaged), quantities of fruit daily etc. The list goes on!

So how is your health? Do you have any of the above as a staple in your daily diet? Do you agree?

Would love to hear what your top five would be…

On a side note: I truly enjoy writing these posts, hence our frequent blog posts. At the end of the day though, these are just my thoughts and feelings around a topic I’m passionate about. I encourage everyone to do their own research and check out the facts for themselves.

If you did enjoy the post and got something from it or have something to share on the topic, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. If you feel others would benefit from this then it would be great if you could share it using one of the icons below (Facebook etc). Cheers, Guy…

Replace processed foods with a 180 superfood smoothie here

Guy Lawrence

This article is brought to you by Guy Lawrence. Guy is a qualified fitness trainer with over 10 years of experience in the health industry. Guy worked at the UTS Fitness Centre in Sydney Australia where he specialised in exercise nutrition and obtained his Certificate in Exercise Nutrition and Certified... Read More

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16 Replies to “The Top 5 Foods I Try to Avoid Eating”
Carly says:

As you know Guy – I find it hard to say ‘NO’ to any food that is offered to me. But my 5 foods I try not to eat are (thank you for elinating alcohol as that would have only given me 4) are;
1) carbs including pastas and cereals
2) confectionary in general
3 ) soft drinks – soda ok? i tend to mix it with vodka and organice lime? hehe
4) bread
5) juice unless freshly squeezed

Have a good day 🙂

180nps says:

Thanks Carly, sounds like you are on the right track… Just stay away from those double vodkas and 3pm munches and you’ll be set! 🙂

Lyn says:

Great post Guy. I agree with all except I do eat Gluten. I know I would be better off without it but I haven’t made that change yet.
I do however chose more organic and less processed types of gluten like Spelt and Rye. They are a little easier to digest, so I would suggest to people who aren’t ready to give up grains to try this instead.

For those that think it’s too hard to go off these things, up unitl 8 months ago I use to eat all of these foods! Now I don’t even crave them! If I do eat fat or sugar I feel awful so my body is becoming more sensitive to the crap which makes it easier to avoid.

It’s not as hard as people think to avoid!

180nps says:

Thanks Lyn… It’s certainly a process over time cutting these things out from your diet.

I agree, it’s amazing how you body feels when you do put some crap back in it. Always a good reminder to stay away from it 🙂

Christian Baker says:

Awesome post… Keep em coming!

180nps says:

Thanks Christian, you’re too kind!

Karl says:

Nice article. I summarise my food to avoid as -anything that’s processed. If you think about that our covers all of you’re list plus much more

180nps says:

Thanks Karl. Agreed! Once processed foods are you are avoiding most of the unhealthy stuff.

Tim says:

Re: soy.
Some balance in your commentary is required:

Jessica says:

I read with interest everything the 180 guys have to say and agree with most however have never been convinced of the anti soy campaign. Happy to hear from others that it may not all be as bad as its made out to be. Thanks for the link!

Poppy Malone says:

Thanks Guy for another awesome article.
Would you be keen to go into more detail about Sugar (fructose in particular)
I am a avid fruit eater and do try to keep it to a min 3 serves a day. If the rest of your diet is pretty spot on and your very active.. is 3-4 serves of fruit bad?? Love to hear your thoughts on it.

180nps says:

Thanks Poppy… Regarding fruit I guess it depends on what your goals are. Here are two posts that you should find helpful 😉

I am on a weight loss plan, can I eat fruit?
Can I eat honey and agave syrup if I’m trying to lose body fat?

Matt Gray says:

Hey Guy,

I must admit I have a sweet tooth that I ususally give in to on a day off or cheat day. Also, I love my fruit and would eat a couple pieces a day.

I’ve removed dairy and automatically craved less sugar (go figure?) and have started to eat less bananas and more berries.

Do you recommend to use ‘pure carbs’ in a post workout protein shake? I find that I crave sugar less if I get the glycogen back to my muscles. I train twice a day 4 – 5 days per week.

Too much sweet poison!

Guy Lawrence says:

Hey Matt… For me personally, if I have a seriously intense workout & I’m physically shaking after it I will have something sweeter like coconut water or even a teaspoon of glucose & rock salt in my water. Normally though I blend the 180 protein powder with 1/2 a banana & some coconut oil & a some avocado… Bit slower to digest but it ties my over well until I have a proper meal… Hope that helps, Guy

Tanja says:

Great summary!
We need to get more people off soy. I’m convinced it was the one of the leading factors to my thyroid issues. Wish I had known all I know now 1o years ago…. But I guess it’s never to late to change! I’m staying faaar way from everything you mention here and feeling great!

Marie Welsh says:

Very nice suggestion. I think one of the effective way to avoid eating is to have a discipline. Because without discipline, everything that you planned to do and started to do will be in vain.

Comments are closed.