Today's Working Hours - 8 am - 5 pm

~The Fattening Five~

October 18, 2018

Thou Shalt Not List

I despise DON’T lists.  Instead of veering me away, they beckon me like a bucket list!  Joshua Rosenthal, author of Integrative Nutrition: Feed Your Hunger for Health and Happiness, coined the term Bio-Individuality to encompass the philosophy of “there’s no one-size-fits-all diet.” Each person is a unique individual with highly individualized nutritional requirements. When it comes to food, although we may each gravitate towards different eating styles, ALL of us are better served by avoiding a cocktail of what I have named The Fattening Five.

Acesulfame Potassium

~What is It?~

Although innocent sounding enough, this laboratory creation is not a vitamin!  It is a calorie-free sugar substitute measured at two hundred times sweeter than sugar!

~Why don’t I want it?~

Realizing that consumers have become savvy to avoiding products with sugar, food companies now replace sugar with artificial sweeteners. All artificial sweeteners are distasteful, pun intended! But acesulfame potassium is in over four thousand products and increasing daily so it is a major player that needs to be spotlighted as a “Thou Shalt Not.”

Think about that birthday cake protein powder with twenty grams of protein and zero grams of sugar.  Does it taste sweet?  How can anything with zero grams of sugar taste sweet?  Artificial sweeteners!

This super sweet creation has been shown in recent studies to increase body weight and alter the gut microbiome.

~Where does it hide?~

Protein powders and supplements

Diet drinks

Diet or Lite foods


Soybean oil

~What is It?~

Most people visualize lean vegetarians when they hear the word soy.  Soybean oil is the polar opposite of that image.  Soybean oil is a cheaply produced, highly processed, highly inflammatory omega-6 oil that houses dangerous trans fats.

~Why don’t I want it?~

Realizing that consumers have become savvy to avoiding products with trans fats, food companies now reduce the serving size on the label.  Half a gram of trans fat per serving can still legally be marketed as trans-fat free.  The trick is to see if the serving size is something tiny, like one cookie.

Recent studies called soybean oil out as being more obesogenic and diabetogenic than fructose! In the study published by U.S. National Library of Medicine, soybean oil caused significant increases in weight gain, fat stores, diabetes, glucose intolerance and insulin resistance as well as contributing to fatty liver.

~Where does it hide?~

Vegetable oil

Lecithin (an emulsifier in many chocolates and candies)

Mayonnaise and salad dressings


Non-Dairy coffee creamers

Cooking oils in many restaurants


Boxed foods



~What is It?~

Sucralose, commonly known as Splenda, is a laboratory produced sweetener with a chemical structure more similar to DDT(pesticide) than sugar!

~Why don’t I want it?~

Just like Ace K, sucralose is one of the most commonly used artificial sweeteners. If you can just remember to knock out acesulfame potassium and sucralose you will be reducing your artificial sweetener intake by leaps and bounds.  Apples don’t have ingredient labels, and whole foods won’t have artificial sweeteners.

This super sweet creation has been shown in recent studies to stimulate appetite, increase carbohydrate cravings, and stimulate fat storage and weight gain.

~Where does it hide?~

Protein powders and supplements

Commercial baked goods

Nonalcoholic beverages

Chewing gum

Frozen dairy desserts

Fruit juices


MSG or Monosodium Glutamate

~What is It?~

Sodium is natural and glutamate is naturally found in the body, therefore Monosodium Glutamate must be healthy.  This false conclusion is adding inches to your waistline daily! MSG is a chemically created flavor enhancer that is present in more than just Chinese food.  Scarily and sadly, it is in most packaged products, sometimes under a pseudonym.

~Why don’t I want it?~

Food companies make money when we make purchases.  The best way to encourage us to make purchases is to make it irresistible.  I could chow down on a party sized bag of caramel filled chocolate candies.  But I could not chow down on the same volume of broccoli. This horrific concoction tricks your brain into thinking it is still hungry—the “stop eating” message never gets to your tongue-or your fork!  Do people binge on cookie dough or carrots?  There is a reason for this frantic “give me more” sensation, and it’s a direct result of the anti-appetite suppressant addictiveness of MSG.

MSG makes you fat.  It’s been proven. “MSG consumption was positively, longitudinally associated with overweight development among apparently healthy Chinese adults.” This study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concurs with the sentiment from the Public Library of Science study, “The amount of dietary monosodium glutamate (MSG) is increasing worldwide, in parallel with the epidemics of metabolic syndrome. Parenteral administration of MSG to rodents induces obesity, hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes.”  Say good-bye to MSG today!

~Where does it hide?~

Seasoning packets

Sauces, marinades, dressings

“Natural” flavors

Beef, chicken, pork flavoring or bouillon



Pseudonyms for MSG:  The ingredients here are just refurbished names of MSG.

Autolyzed Yeast Calcium Caseinate Gelatin
Glutamate Glutamic Acid Hydrolyzed Protein
Monopotassium Glutamate Monosodium Glutamate Sodium Caseinate
Textured Protein Yeast Extract Yeast Food
Yeast Nutrient



~What is It?~

Maltodextrin is carbohydrate starch processed from corn, wheat, rice, and potatoes.  Most of the time it is sourced from corn and is used a “filler” to give processed food more volume and fluff.

~Why don’t I want it?~

The glycemic index measures how a carbohydrate-containing food raises blood glucose. Foods are ranked based on how they compare to glucose which sits at 100.  Table sugar has a GI of 65 and maltodextrin’s GI trumps both, weighing in at 110!  The high GI of maltodextrin causes blood sugar to spike, and then our bodies store that excess glucose as fat.

This food additive has zero nutritional benefits. And it is generally combined with ingredients like brown rice syrup, high fructose syrup, wheat and oats, which is a recipe for turning your body into a fat-making machine!

~Where does it hide?~

Protein bars and powders

Cereals, cereal bars

Granola bars, snack bars

Commercial baked goods


Processed foods like cookies, chips, pastries


There is one super simple way to know you are avoiding the Fattening Five, and that’s by eating whole foods that don’t come in boxes.  When you are picking out cooking staples like seasonings, sauces, or protein powders (discussed in the next chapter!) be a label detective and make sure that you are choosing a clean product free from the Fattening Five.  Definitely when you are at a restaurant, ask the wait staff which dishes are MSG-free before ordering.


Here at Well Life Family Medicine we want our patients to be educated on how food affects total well-being.  We have two interfaces with the outside environment:

  • Our skin and what we absorb through it
  • Our digestive system and what we put in our mouths

You have control over how your body interfaces with the environment and educated decisions can put you on the course to a Well Life.  Call the office today to schedule a nutrition session with one of our on- staff nutritionists, and walk away with a blueprint to follow to a healthier, happier you!

Contributed by:

Jessica Sutterfield


Real Results! is considered a “fitness rehab” program! Jessica’s goal is to teach each client how to tackle nutrition and fitness on their own. That way after they’ve met their goals they can continue sufficiently on their own without going back to those previous bad habits. Of course some clients stay with Jessica indefinitely because they like the motivation and accountability.

Jessica has a B.S., MEd, and is a certified Metabolic Efficiency Specialist. She is certified by the International Association of Health Coaches, and has completed a fellowship program with the renowned Institute of Integrative Nutrition.


Through her own health journey, the countless clients she has worked with, and the intensive hours of education she has in this field Jessica has come to understand that Bio-Individuality should be the primary focus for each client relationship. What does that mean? It means that you are genetically and emotionally unique so why would a cookie cutter workout or diet work for you just because it worked for someone else?

Jessica takes pride and care in developing personal, positive relationships with each client on her schedule. You are more than just a face with Jessica!

“It is my honor as a fitness and wellness coach to support the Whole Person.  When we acknowledge the role of  nutrition, implement stress reducers, and deconstruct cravings we provide the support the physical body requires so that positive health changes can occur.”    
–Jessica Sutterfield


Privacy Policy