Reconsidering Your Food Choices: Bananas, Whole Grain Bread, Canned Soup, Artificial Dyes, Farm-Raised Salmon, and Yogurt

In this video, fitness expert Jeff Cavaliere addresses several common misconceptions about certain foods and their health benefits. He discusses a study that claims inorganic strawberries have pesticide protection similar to organic strawberries, but notes that the study has not been reproduced. He also highlights the potential negative effects of adding bananas to smoothies containing polyphenols. Cavaliere advises against consuming processed whole grain bread that has lost its nutritional value and warns about the excessive sodium content in canned soups. He recommends avoiding artificial food dyes and opting for wild-caught salmon over farm-raised salmon. Lastly, Cavaliere discusses the importance of prebiotics (such as fiber) for creating a favorable environment for good bacteria in the digestive tract.

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Key Insights:

  • In a study on inorganic strawberries, it was found that the juice from these strawberries contained so much pesticide that it could be used to respray the crop.
  • Adding bananas to smoothies may reduce the benefits of other fruits, as bananas contain an enzyme that degrades polyphenols.
  • Whole grain bread in the supermarket is often not actually whole grain, as the grains have been pulverized, resulting in a loss of nutritional value.
  • Homemade soup is a healthier option compared to canned soup, which often contains high levels of sodium due to preservation requirements.
  • Avoiding artificial dyes, commonly found in processed foods, is recommended due to potential dangers and links to hypersensitivity and hyperactivity in children.
  • Farm-raised salmon is often given food colorings in their feed to achieve a desired color, while wild-caught salmon is a better choice for health.
  • Probiotics in yogurts may not be as effective as believed, as they do not survive in the intestine, while prebiotics like fiber provide a better environment for good bacteria to grow.


There was a recent study published about inorganic strawberries, where they actually took inorganic strawberries from the supermarket, brought them home, put them in a commercial press, pressed the juice out of them, and there was so much pesticide in the juice, they were able to take that juice and respray the crop. Whoa! That’s nasty. And still have the same level of pesticide protection from the juice that was squeezed from an organic fruit.

What’s up guys? Jeff Cavaliere, Admit it, you’ve been on Instagram just like me, scrolling through the stories and something like that pops up and all of a sudden, you’ll never eat strawberries ever again. Well, I can kind of put your mind at ease a little bit, maybe. And that is I’m not sure that that study was ever reproduced to show what was being said there. However, are there other instances where you might want to actually reconsider some of the foods you’re eating? I believe there are. And as always, I’m going to use science to guide my decision making and help you into making some of the same decisions, perhaps if you agree. That being said, I’m going to start off with Rhonda Patrick, one of my favorite nutrition experts of all time, making me rethink one of my other favorite fruits, bananas.

Another thing that I’ve changed my mind on, and this is actually very, very recent, is adding bananas to my smoothie. Most of my smoothies I get greens and then a lot of berries like blueberries. And blueberries have polyphenols in them, they have flavonoids, they have anthocyanins. Well, it turns out bananas have an enzyme in it, um, called polyphenol oxidase, it actually degrades polyphenols. This was a human study that came out recently. Adding bananas to the berry smoothies, blueberries and stuff. Metabolites of polyphenols were significantly lower in plasma from people that had the smoothie with the banana added, versus not with the banana.

So, to start, it’s very important to understand that there’s nothing inherently wrong with a banana by itself. As a matter of fact, people like to bash bananas saying they’re high calorie. Let’s be honest, they’re higher calories than some other fruits, but no one ever really got fat eating a banana. However, if you’re trying to get the benefits of, let’s say, blueberries that we’ve all talked about, even here on this channel, you could be undercutting your sole purpose by including a banana in that smoothie of yours.

Now, this is a change that’s not new for me. It’s actually one I made a long time ago. However, it certainly gives me a lot more confidence when I hear somebody as good as Doctor Lustig talk about the reasons for avoiding whole grain bread. Because most of the time it ain’t whole grain bread. See, when I used to eat what I thought was healthier bread, I would go and look for things that said whole grain on them. Not realizing that all it really meant was how it started, not really how it finished in the package. Anything might start as a whole grain, but when you pound it and pulverize it, like he said, down to nothing. To the point where you’re taking away all the nutritional value, then what are you left with other than just a bunch of empty carbs? So, I made my way to those specialty health food stores or even Whole Foods, and I actually found what he was talking about. That brick like bread that can knock you out if you hit someone in the head with it. And remember, the goal is to preserve the integrity of that grain so that it doesn’t cause those insulin spikes that might happen from eating the fake whole grain bread. Look, this is a case where our best intentions can go awry, but it’s videos like this that are hopefully serving the purpose of making you aware of what those pitfalls might be so you can avoid them all together.

Now, this next one is actually a very personal choice of mine, but it comes along with a personal story. You see, there’s only two times in my life that I’ve thrown up. That’s it. When I was five and not again until I was in my mid-40s, I got some kind of a neuro virus that caused me to not throw up just once that day, but about 20 or 30 times. Now, that scarred me. But not necessarily the act of throwing up, but the fact that the last thing that I ate healthy was white beans soup. Fresh, unbelievable white bean soup that my wife had made. And unfortunately, every single time that I see white bean soup to this day, I get nauseous, and I want to throw up. I’ve had that strong of a PTSD experience with it that will not allow me to even have it in the same room as me. I’m sure you guys may have even a similar story. But what it actually does is it sort of illustrates a point that was actually homemade white bean soup, and it’s actually the only type of soup that I’ll ever eat. Because if you look at the amount of sodium that’s contained in a canned soup, you might run away and hide like I have forever. And don’t fall for the label lies where they make you think that there’s only 800 or 900mg of sodium in that can of soup because it is for two servings, and nobody eats just half a can. And it’s all due to the preservation that’s required to make canned foods last for a long time. Look, preservatives help mummies last a long time too, but they’re dead. So, what kind of quality of life is that? The bottom line is, soup is an amazing addition to a healthy meal plan that actually gives you a convenient way to get the vegetables in in a day that you might be missing right now, but you got to make sure you’re making it yourself, you’re not just relying on the cans on a shelf.

The next one for me is one that I’ve tried to cut out the best I can years ago and still find myself fighting because I’m just never fully aware of where these things exist. And we’re talking about artificial dyes. You know, those colors of the rainbow with a number attached to it at the end. Red number 40, blue number one, yellow number five, or number six. The bottom line is, guys, you should look to avoid these at every single turn. Because I don’t believe there’s anything that’s beneficial that comes from it, other than the fact that your food may look prettier on your plate, and that’s not a good enough reason to eat it. Especially when you realize some of the dangers that are linked to these things. One thing I know for sure is that there is some scientific literature linked to increased hypersensitivity and hyperactivity in kids, so I do my best to make sure that my children don’t eat these things.

But beyond that, there’s immunosuppressive effects that have been linked to these dyes, supposedly even at safe levels, whatever that might be. Or even carcinogenic links that have suggested that long time use of these could lead to cancer. Again, something I’m not interested in. When I made my own RX-1 pre-workout supplement, guys, I took all those food colorings out. And believe me, they’re on the market. I don’t want to name names but read the back of your label and some of the most popular ones actually have these colorings in them. For what reason? So that your pre-workout glows in the dark when you drink it? No thanks, I’ll pass and so should you, because these additives are adding nothing to your long-term health and should definitely be avoided at all costs.

And that brings me to food number six and believe it or not, it’s actually related to the last one. We’re talking about farm-raised salmon and coloring. Yes, because the natural color of farm-raised salmon is actually this very pale, almost white. But the way that they make it look like this is through the inclusion of some of the very same food colorings in the feed that they supply, these farm-raised fish. And as the old saying goes, you are not only what you eat, but you’re also whatever you eat ate because that’s also making its way into your body. So once again, the recommendation is to always seek out whatever it is you’re eating in its most natural form. Wild-caught fish is going to be better for you than farm-raised fish every single time. The bottom line is, make sure you’re also getting it from a reliable source because with all fish, no matter farm-raised or wild-caught, you’re still going to have to be concerned about heavy metal contents and high levels of mercury, so you want to be sure you know where you’re getting it from. But if it came down to these two choices, guys, certainly with salmon pass the farm, raise and choose that wild-caught every single time.

Yogurt has active cultures and active cultures help populate the intestine with good bacteria. The question is, if these foods worked, why would you have to keep eating them? If they’re live cultures, they reach the intestine. It’s nice and dark and murky, and certainly bacteria are growing in there. Why don’t they just set up shop? And the answer is because they’re not living anymore, they died. And that’s the reason why you needed them, is because your own died, because you have an inhospitable intestinal environment. So, you don’t need a probiotic, you need something that will let the bacteria grow. You need a prebiotic. Well, what’s the prebiotic that’s in real food? Fiber. But it’s been taken out of the processed food.

And so once again, Doctor Lustig makes me think twice about something that I’m eating every single day. And for me, that’s a good thing because I think we should always be open to reevaluating what we put in our body. But for me, I will continue to eat yogurt, and only because I do believe that I’m getting that prebiotic portion of the equation right by eating lots of fiber every single day. You can even go back to the whole grain bread, if you’re getting things like that. Right? And you’re eating enough of the vegetables, not the canned kind, but the regular vegetables, you should be providing your body with enough of the fiber to create that environment that’s necessary for the good bacteria colonization of your digestive tract. So, even though the yogurt portion of my diet may not really be hitting it out of the park, and I might actually be providing myself with a bunch of dead bacteria in the process. I still think that, as he said, the most important part is getting the fiber portion down to create a better environment for the yogurt that you are eating. Therefore, continue to eat your yogurt, but make sure you’re not avoiding your fiber if you want to do it right.

Now, if you want to know what I eat every single day, there’s actually 17 foods that make it into my daily nutrition plan. You can see that video here where I break each one of them down. Yes, yogurt is on that list. If you’re looking for a complete program, guys, that includes a meal plan, you can find it at Click Subscribe, turn on your Notifications so you never miss a video when we put one out. All right, guys, see you soon.