You’re walking through the grocery store.
On either side of the aisle, shelves are lined with food.
Some are foods human beings have been eating for hundreds of years—beans, flour, pasta, dried fruit—but most haven’t been around for much longer than you have.
These foods aren’t found in nature. They’re designed by chemists with one goal in mind:
To keep you coming back for more.
If you struggle with your weight, you may have believed that what you needed to do was eat less and move more.
You were duped.
By putting the blame on you, food manufacturers got off the hook. They didn’t have to disclose what they were doing to food to make it tastier, more convenient, and more addictive.
You may have thought the FDA was protecting you. After all, the Food and Drug Administration is tasked with making sure that food is safe.
A principle of U.S. food law is that foods in U.S. commerce must be wholesome and fit for consumption.”
But the FDA is mainly concerned about whether certain food additives might make people sick. They don’t really care about whether those ingredients are actually healthy.
As a result, the obesity crisis has come down to one thing:
Dollar $$$ signs.
Food manufacturers want consumers to come back for more, regardless of the impact on consumer health. They’re responsible to their stockholders, not the health care system groaning under the load of weight-related conditions.
By altering foods with chemicals, preservatives, and cheaper substitutes for expensive natural ingredients…
Food manufacturers have created what I call “Frankenstein food.”
It’s food that “looks human” but was made in the most unnatural way.
Here are 6 of the most shocking Frankenstein foods. They’re foods I grew up with, but they’re not foods that belong on our children’s plates.
1. Diet Soda
When I was a kid, I loved soda. It came in glass bottles, a rare treat.
Once I became a teenager, though, I did what all girls my age did: I switched to diet soda.
Diet soda was the “healthy” alternative. It didn’t taste as good as real soda—in fact, I never ended up liking the flavor—but it had no calories. Given that we were all obsessed with being thin, a no-calorie drink was a no brainer.
Little did we know that diet soda was even worse than its sugary counterpart.
Most diet drinks contain aspartame (also known as Equal or NutraSweet), which gives the illusion of sweetness while wreaking havoc on your body. Dr. Joseph Mercola calls it a “public health threat.”
Aspartame can actually increase feelings of hunger and cause excess calories to be stored as fat. Not exactly what we were signing up for by drinking diet drinks!
2. Coffee Creamer
Every office has a bottle of it by the coffee maker. Powdered coffee creamer. Cheaper than milk, stores indefinitely, what’s not to love?
Trans fats, for one. Partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oil are much, much worse for you than real cream.
Some brands use mono and diglycerides instead, but don’t be fooled. Trans fats can lurk there, too.
Add to that the sugar and artificial colors, and you’d be better off pouring real cream into your coffee.
3. Pancake Syrup
I thought I was putting maple syrup on my pancakes growing up. Little did I know that Aunt Jemima and Mrs. Butterworth were no relation to the maple trees of Vermont.
Pancake syrup is made from high fructose corn syrup and potentially carcinogenic caramel coloring (the same stuff you find in diet drinks). Although it’s a much cheaper substitute for maple syrup, it’s not worth the cost to your health.
4. Sugary Breakfast Cereals
Froot Loops was the breakfast cereal of choice for kids when I was growing up.
Many parents thought nothing of pouring their kids a bowl of Frosted Flakes or Fruity Pebbles before school. After all, the advertisements (shown during Sunday morning cartoons) clearly positioned these cereals as the perfect choice for kids.
I’ve written before about the shock I experienced when I discovered that American breakfast cereals come with a warning when they’re sold in Europe. These cereals can cause hyperactivity in children—not just because of the sugar but also because of the artificial flavors.
Sugary breakfast cereals don’t belong on the breakfast table. If your kids love them, do what I do: have them for dessert.
5. Doritos & Cheetos
Doritos and Cheetos don’t pretend to be healthy snacks. They contain MSG and the most vivid artificial colors ever made.
But what you may not know is that these popular snacks were designed to make you helpless to put the bag down.
That savory flavor that lingers on your tongue after you finish a packet of Doritos is designed to make you go back for another bag. Because Cheetos dissolve on your tongue, you can be fooled into thinking you’re not consuming many calories.
In fact, Cheetos are one of the most highly addictive snack foods out there. Great for Frito-Lay, not so great for you.
6. Oreos & Chips Ahoy
A 2013 study cited by Eat This, Not That  found that Oreos were more addictive than cocaine and morphine. No wonder, with all that palm oil and high fructose corn syrup!
Chips Ahoy aren’t much better, with trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors and colors.
Learn to Spot Frankenstein Foods
This list only scratches the surface of the monstrous foods sitting on the shelves of your local supermarket.
But you can learn to spot Frankenstein foods and protect yourself.
Step 1. Always read labels.
If you’re buying, say, ice cream, and the ingredients list is chocked with guar gum, carrageenan, mono and diglycerides, glucose solids, and so forth …
Get another brand.
Here’s a tip. Cheaper brands tend to be stocked with more fillers, since wholefood ingredients are more expensive and spoil more quickly.
Step 2. Get the plain kind.
If you’re looking to buy, say, yogurt, look for the plainest kind you can buy. That means the full-fat version with no added flavors.
That doesn’t mean you have to eat the yogurt like that, of course. Jazz it up at home with fresh berries, honey, vanilla, you name it.
But don’t let food manufacturers put stuff in your food that isn’t meant to be there.
Unfortunately, diet foods are some of the worst offenders. Just because it’s nonfat doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Nonfat diet foods are often loaded with sweeteners.
Similarly, if you want something delicious to go in your coffee, get real half and half. Or splurge on organic cream.
Nothing beats the taste of the real thing.