Now, this goes without saying, but the foods you eat play a critical role in your weight loss efforts. Nutrients, or lack thereof, can significantly impact hormonal balance, affecting everything from metabolism to mood. For example, foods rich in phytoestrogens, like soy and flaxseeds, can influence estrogen levels, while fatty fish high in omega-3 fatty acids can support the production of anti-inflammatory hormones. Additionally, sugar and refined carbohydrates can spike insulin levels, leading to imbalances that affect energy, weight, and even reproductive health. You may *THINK* what you are eating is “healthy,” but it might not actually be… Here are my top 10 “health foods” I avoid at all costs…

It’s all good if you think these foods are healthy… and maybe for some they are — but if you are trying to heal your adrenal glands, improve your hormone balance and/or make a comeback from burnout – you’ve got to avoid “fake health foods.” I’ve been working on balancing my hormones for over 20 years and used to eat ALL of these — let me tell you why I’m a total HATER now. 

Fat-Free Salad Dressing

Fat-free salad dressing is often called “weight loss-friendly” and easily traps women. Worse, they are usually a total sugar bomb. A two-tablespoon serving of Ken’s Fat-Free Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette has a shocking 14 grams of sugar—that’s 5 grams more than you’d get in a fun-sized Snickers bar (wtf… yea, I know). Want balanced hormones? Not if your blood sugar is dysregulated, sunshine. 

Turkey Bacon

Just eat the REAL THING, Boo. I see women all the time choosing turkey bacon for fewer fat and calories but it’s loaded with artificial colors, sodium, saturated fat, and nitrates, which the International Agency for the Research of Cancer has deemed “probably carcinogenic.” (yea, peace!) I’ll get some heat here — but listen — your liver’s gotta make sense of all these turkey bacon toxins so if you want balanced hormones eat the real thing.

Flavored Yogurt

Flavored yogurt is loaded with artificial colors and flavors (both potentially carcinogenic) and loads of sugar. Most of Dannon’s Fruit-on-the-bottom-Yogurt (strawberry, peach, cherry, raspberry, and strawberry banana) contains a whopping 22 grams of sugar per container. (If the RDA recommends the average adult consume 25g/day then wth is Dannon thinking right?), HEADS-up working women — you are already teetering on Adrenal Fatigue! Chronic elevated cortisol signals the liver to place more glucose in the blood stream leading to long-term increased blood sugar levels. Hello, multiple hormone imbalances!

Granola Bars

I don’t hate on ALL granola or granola bars (in fact Purely Elizabeth is fan fave in my house) but unfortunately most commercially processed granola bars are a SUGAR BOMB in addition to containing industrial oils so in a word, they’re pretty INFLAMMATORY. 

Farm-Raised Salmon

Wild-caught salmon is not only environmentally friendly, but it won’t contain the chemicals and preservatives that farm-raised salmon. Farm-raised fish are often bred in close quarters, fed a poor diet and given medication. You are eating what that fish eats so opting for wild-caught is not only healthier but better for the environment. Recent studies show that farm-raised salmon has half the healthy fat (Omega-3 Fatty Acids) and contains 11 times more toxins than farm-raised salmon.

Fruit Juice

Dr. Daniel Amen compares drinking orange juice to eating an unwrapped candy. There’s zero fiber and just an 8 ounce glass of liquid sugar (a.k.a “OJ”) spikes the blood sugar and causes the pancreas and liver a good bit of stress. Fruit juice is just a sugar bomb! Organic or not, make this an occasional treat instead of a mainstay staple to avoid unnecessary weight-gain. Not only is daily fruit juice consumption correlated to childhood obesity and cavities, kids who drink juice don’t drink enough water, which leads to dehydration, learning, sleep and behavioral issues.

Table Salt 

Know anyone who grabs a salt shaker on the table of a restaurant and goes to town? Grab it from them the next time you see it happen because white table salt is stripped of its nutritional value (trace minerals) and contains iodine! It’s true: a practice that began in the 1920’s, wreaks havoc on your hormones. 


Remember when everyone banished butter for the more heart healthy margarine in the 80s? Loaded with unhealthy vegetable oils, margarine has zero health benefit when compared to butter. Since fat burns fat, incorporating grass-fed butter into your cooking is an easy way to get more healthy fats into your diet daily. 

Artificial Sweetener

Those little pink, blue and yellow packets of artificial sweetener drive me nuts. Most folks think it’s a safer alternative than the good ole white stuff but the truth is artificial sweetener is just as addictive yet damages the amygdala – the part of your brain responsible for memory. 

Spinach Wraps

In theory, a spinach wrap may seem like the healthier alternative to wheat or white wraps, but in reality there’s no nutritional value because there is no fiber. Spinach wraps are just as refined as the latter – adding the same amount of carbs and calories to your lunch or dinner. 

Confused as to what to do next?? Food intolerance testing is one of the most coveted functional lab tests I run on patients because we can really zero in on what the body wants at the present moment – eliminate the rest – and facilitate healing, hormone balance and weight loss. 

Don’t forget to explore more of my blog posts and reach out if you have any questions.

The information provided in this blog post is for informational purposes only. The information is a result of years of practice and experience by Dr. Francesca LeBlanc. However, this information is NOT intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician. Do not use the information provided in this post for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. Please, do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read on this website.