10 Commons Foods That Are Actually Fake

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Top 10 Worst Fake Foods

Just because the product you eat smells like a strawberry and tastes like a strawberry doesn’t mean it actually contains strawberry. Sometimes you need to ask yourself if what you are eating is a real food or is it just a mixture of chemicals and artificial additives. Here are 10 food imposters you should never ever eat ! As a start I would suggest you to read the food labels and see what they contain – you may be shocked by what you find out. I’ve already written in the past about the top 10 worst ingredients in food, and many of the foods listed below contain these ingredients, so watch out for what you eat.

1. Crab Sticks

crab stick

You may be thinking that you eat crab in crab sticks, but this name is misleading. Crab sticks are actually manufactured from a processed seafood made of finely cheap pulverized white fish flesh (called surimi), with different edible additions (crab extract, crab flavor, seasonings etc). Surimi is available in many shapes, forms and textures, and is often used to imitate the texture and color of the meat of lobster, crab, and other shellfish. In crab sticks it is shaped to resemble leg meat of a crab. It enables food manufacturers to take cheap fish and upgrade it to a taste of the most expensive fish meats such as crab or lobster. This could have been worse as fish is considered good for us, but still it’s not a crab and it’s still a highly processed product with many additives. The assortment of additives may include other fish products, but it is usually egg whites, oils, salt, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and various starches and gums to create the expected texture.

2. Easy cheese


easy cheeseEasy Cheese is the trademark for a processed cheese product also referred to spray cheese or cheese in a can, and is a descendant of squeeze cheese packaged in a squeezable plastic tube. This product was created for people who like to eat cheese but can’t be bothered to get a knife and slice it for consumption. It comes packaged in a pressurized can, much like canned whipped cream and does not require refrigeration. Whereas cheese is made from handful of ingredients, Easy Cheese contains many additives such as whey protein concentrate, canola oil, milk protein concentrate, sodium citrate, sodium phosphate, calcium phosphate, lactic acid, sorbic acid, sodium alginate, apocarotenal, annatto, cheese culture and enzymes.

3. “Cheez Whiz” cheese Dip

cheez whizCheez Whiz is a thick processed cheese sauce or spread, and many refer to it as ‘pseudo-cheese’. The yellow paste usually comes in a glass jar and is used as a topping for cheesesteaks, corn chips, hot dogs and other foods. The advantage of it is that it’s more spreadable and melts better than natural cheese.  A single serving, which is defined as just two level tablespoons, contains nearly a third of a day’s recommended maximum of saturated fat as well as a third of the maximum sodium recommended for most of American adults. The problem is that if you sit in front of the TV and start dipping your crackers in it, it’s hard to stick to only 2 tablespoons. Also there are so many items listed in this product, starting with the watery by-product of milk called whey, canola oil, corn syrup, and an additive called milk protein concentrate, which manufacturers had begun importing from other countries as a cheaper alternative to the more expensive powdered milk produced by American dairies. So is it really a cheese, or perhaps more of a yellow-dyed paste?

4. Tofurky Italian vegan sausage

tofurkyTofurky is one of the leading vegetarian turkey replacement brands, and is made from a blend of wheat protein and organic tofu. You’ve probably heard that cutting back on meat (especially red meat) can help prevent heart disease and cancer in some cases, but replacing it with processed meat substitutes comes with its own price. Most meat substitutes are highly processed and full of artificial additives. Many are made from soy protein isolate, wheat gluten and other textured vegetable proteins, but also some questionable ingredients that help to mold them into meat-like shapes. So read the label on the package before buying. If the list of ingredients is long, it’s more likely there are additives and preservatives to stabilize the food, add flavor, or change its consistency. Some of these additives can include unhealthy amounts of extra salt, fat and sugar, as well as artificial additives. So why not just opt for tofu and green beans instead?

5. Chicken nuggets


chicken nuggatsUsually chicken nuggets contain just 40-50% meat and have been battered and deep fried. The rest seems to belong more to an industrial factory but not to a food retailer. Chicken nuggets are sold in various portion sizes. We all know that white chicken meat is one of the best sources of lean protein, but what has happened is that some companies have chosen to use an artificial mixture of chicken parts rather than low-fat chicken white meat, batter it up and fry it. Chicken nuggets tend to have a high fat content because they are breaded and fried, and are high in calories, salt and sugar. Eating them occasionally will not kill you, but since they taste good, are cheap and convenient and kids love them, it’s easier to eat them more often.

6. Tang fruit drink

tangThis is a fruit-flavored breakfast drink that has been a part of many Americans’ breakfast since its release in the late 1950s. It was used by some early NASA astronauts in their space flights and was marketed as an astronauts drink. But you’re mistaken if you thought Tang was in any way related to fruit juice. For example, there is very little orange in the citrus flavored drink. According to its label, Tang contains sugar, less than 2% of orange juice solids, artificial colors and many other additives. Actually most of Tang’s flavor comes not from orange juice but from “natural and artificial flavor”. It is a drink that is engineered to taste like orange. You’d better have an orange with your breakfast to serve your body better. Instead of drinking this fake juice, go for real smoothie ! You can find out instructions on How to Make 10 Easy Smoothies for Breakfast.

7. White bread

white breadIt has been known for a long time that white bread and refined grains in general aren’t particularly nutritious with all the nutrients taken out. As you know, whole grains are a good source of fiber and complex carbohydrates and can also improve your digestive system’s health, but when the flour is refined, it loses many of its nutrients. Refined grains are no longer a complex carbohydrate and are no longer a slow release source of energy. They need little digestion and are absorbed rapidly so increase glucose levels in the body. During the refining process of wheat, the germ and the bran is removed and this means that the most nutritious part of the grain including fiber, vitamins and minerals is lost.  It can be fortified, but sometimes with cheapest form of minerals and vitamins that are poorly absorbed by the body.


8. Uncrustables – peanut butter and jelly sandwich

uncrustablesThese are massed produced sealed crust-less sandwiches. If you are too busy to spend 30 seconds making a fresh sandwich, then this product is for you. But look at the long list of ingredients and how processed this product is. The only thing on this list that looks like food is strawberries, but there is very little of it, and the rest are artificial ingredients that you’d be better to avoid, such as high-fructose corn syrup and heart-damaging hydrogenated oils.


9. “Gushers” fruit snack

gushersFruit Gushers are fruit snacks made primarily from sugar and fruit juice with other ingredients. The ingredient list for the strawberry flavor is long and doesn’t even mention strawberry but sugar, corn syrup, artificial colors and many other additives. So don’t fool yourself that this fruit snack is “fruity”. This is not a healthful snack product when, in fact, the product contains unhealthy partially hydrogenated oil, large amounts of sugar and artificial colors.


10. Maple flavored syrup

mapleMaple syrup is a syrup usually made from the sap of the maple tree, and many people love genuine 100% maple syrup, but the cheap, fake syrup that is a mix of water, high-fructose corn syrup and caramel coloring is not what you are looking for. In the United States, “maple syrup” must be made almost entirely from maple sap, although small amounts of substances such as salt may be added. On the other had “Maple-flavored” syrups include maple syrup but may contain additional ingredients. “Pancake syrup”, “waffle syrup”, “table syrup”, and similarly named syrups are substitutes which are cheaper than maple syrup, and in these syrups the primary ingredient is most often high fructose corn syrup and they have no genuine maple content.


So choose real foods as much as possible and be more aware of what goes into your body.

Red Bull: Avoid It to Reduce Your Risk of Having a Stroke and Heart Attack

red bullAnother drink you should avoid is the energy drink Red Bull. When feeling tired and low on energy, many people’s first reaction is to reach for a cup of coffee. Energy drinks are the other popular ‘solution’.

One of the most famous energy drinks, Red Bull, created a name for itself as a beverage that ‘gives you wings’. Sponsoring many extreme sport events, Red Bull’s marketing motto states that they support daring people and innovative ideas. They don’t mention the potential health dangers of their signature drink.

The popular Red Bull has now been associated with cardiovascular problems, including stroke and heart attack. It has been banned in Norway, Denmark and Uruguay, and France stopped selling it between 1996 and 2008.

Red Bull thickens the blood and provides the body with an unnatural level of stimulation. Scott Willoughby, lead researcher from the Cardiovascular Research Center at the Royal Adelaide Hospital in Australia, reports that one hour after drinking just one can of Red Bull, blood consistency of the research participants became abnormal and resembled that of a heart patient. Willoughby warns that when combined with stress or high blood pressure, Red Bull can cause damage to blood vessels and creates the risk of blood clotting. This is especially dangerous for people who have a predisposition to cardiovascular disease.

Red Bull’s primary ingredients are caffeine and sugar. It also contains aspartame, the artificial sweetener that has been linked to neurotoxic, metabolic, allergenic, fetal, and carcinogenic effects (read my article Here Is How Artificial Sweeteners Can Make You Sick and Diabetic). Reducing the amount of refined sugar and avoiding artificial sweeteners are featured in my e-book 70 Powerful Habits For A Great Health which will guide you how to take positive steps to improve your wellness and overall health. The Red Bull’s original manufacturer in Austria even warns their costumers not to drink more than two cans a day.

As with other caffeinated beverages, Red Bull gives you a quick high. But this is short-lived and it turns into a low, so you soon feel you need another energy boost. And another can (or cup). You enter a vicious cycle and many people get addicted to Red Bull and other energy drinks.

On top of the adverse effects connected with high caffeine content, Red Bull contains different chemicals that have not been properly researched yet. Many people also combine it with alcohol, which adds to the potential dangers. It means mixing a stimulant with a depressant. This can overload the body and lead to serious health problems. According to an article published in 2001 in the journal Medicine, Science, and Law, when combined with ephedra, which is also a stimulant, Red Bull can cause acute psychosis.

It is especially worrying that Red Bull and other energy drinks are marketed towards young people and students, creating a whole generation of people that is unable to reach normal energy levels the natural way.

So what is the alternative to drinking excessive amounts of caffeinated beverages?

Many experts advise that by doing the following things you can successfully boost your energy levels:

  • Improve your diet (find here 10 superfoods to superboost your energy and my other article about the best 8 secrets for endless energy).
  • Increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Cut down on sugars.
  • Reduce your stress levels (find here natural remedies for stress and anxiety).
  • Get enough good quality sleep.
  • Exercise regularly.

“Everything in moderation” is usually pretty sound advice, but let’s face it: Some things you should just not put in your mouth. From artificial flavors and colors to words you’d need an advanced degree in chemistry to pronounce, there are thousands of ingredients making their way into your food that are simply not, strictly speaking, food.

Bottom line: Even though you can buy these 10 foods at the grocery store doesn’t mean you should. find out more information about the top 10 worst ingredients in food  and about the top 5 Cancer causing foods to avoid. On the other hand, you can find more information about healthy eating and nutrition in my e-book Effortless Healthy Eating which is part of the Natural Health Revolution Program. This program will help you to achieve your health, nutrition or weight loss goals.

Read my other related articles:

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20 Responses to 10 Commons Foods That Are Actually Fake

  1. Directional Drilling says:

    Hey there! Someone in my Facebook group shared this
    website with us so I came to take a look. I’m definitely loving the
    information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers!
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  2. eva medrano says:

    i love to know all the good things and bad things regarding what foods we need to eat and best for our health…i want to learn more from you…..looking forward to read more,,,,it’s very inspiring…

  3. Sebastijan Veselic says:

    And these 10 foods are just some of the reasons obesity is on the rise worldwide =). Easy cheese and chicken nuggets are prime examples of food that looks like food we know but is infact a modernized plagued-with-unhealthy-chemicals adaptation of those foods.

  4. ganesh gm says:

    Thank you for giving very useful informations

  5. Tobias says:

    Thank God I don’t eat any of that stuff! The only thing that I HAVE eaten from that list is white bread which I stopped many years ago.

  6. Trudy Guldin says:

    Sad thing is most people can’t afford to eat healthy.The fake food is much cheaper. I would really like to eat healthier then I do.I just can’t afford to.

    • JJ Walkie says:

      Typical defeatist excuse. I’m sure you have cable TV, and internet access that you pay for, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you spend thousands of dollars on stuff that you WANT, rather than need. So, that “I can’t afford to eat healthy” line is just a bunch of self-abasement, and is nothing but a lame excuse that people come up with to avoid doing something that they know they need to do, but deep down, really don’t want to make the sacrifice and effort.

      • Jeffery Guldin says:

        Wow JJ…My wife wants me to look at this article and this comment is what I find. My wife and I have actually been homeless after being laid off just a week before losing our home to Sandy and a few other misfortunes after that. But we try to be positive. Actually we live at a shelter together. We both got into a program and we are currently working at local library…where we can use the internet. We have nothing but each other…How do you spew such judgement over a person that you have never met or seen… Lesson learned?

      • Rhonda says:

        Wow! Being a little harsh, aren’t we. My husband is retired and I have pretty much been a stay-at-home mother. Even though we aren’t destitute, we do have to watch our spending. It is very expensive to eat healthy. We are trying, reading labels, cutting out soft drinks & aspartame, However, I do find it difficult to find good food in the grocery that doesn’t cost a fortune. It bothers me greatly, when I put myself in the shoes of someone who is having difficulty paying the electric bill, to discover all that I can find to purchase is nothing but junk. I used to wonder why poor people had so much obesity. Not any more. I will admit that I do also notice that a lot of people who are having difficulty buying good food smoke cigarettes. Kicking that habit would go a long way in buying healthier food.

      • R says:

        Yeah, its somwhat harsh comment but he’s dead on “RIGHT”. THAT’s A LIE THAT JUNK FOOD IS LOWER IN PRICE. Actually scross the board, healthy food is much more inexpensive. Respectfully you need to get out of the ding dong/twinky/Captain crunch isles and visit the produce section.

        • Amanda says:

          I agree.
          To the Guldin’s: My husband, myself, and our 3 children became homeless in 2008 due to 2 things: #1) our landlord passing away and his family wanting the house we’d been renting for years & #2) my husband being laid off after 17 years with his company only a week after our landlord’s passing away. We ended up in a shelter (& then a traditional housing facility) for nearly a year…and we were still able to eat healthy. So, I have personal experience with being homeless and not eating junk. All while on food stamps (which homelessness qualify you for).
          We didn’t buy junk food, sodas, or juices (all of which are not healthy…we aren’t meant to drink juice…we are meant to eat the fruit).
          We went to the farmer’s market for cheap local produce.
          The bread store (that sells almost expired bread that can be frozen).
          We also used a lot of coupons (like $10 off a $50 purchase, as well as regular coupons for dairy products, whole grain whole wheat bread, etc) at the grocery stores. Plus, I made a ton of meals from scratch, all while confined to a wheelchair for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Multiple Sclerosis & severe spinal stenosis in my cervical joints *neck* & S1-T5 *mid to low back*.
          While I also agree with another commenter that said the wording in the comment to your wife was harsh, I know it can be done as I’ve done it and currently volunteer at the shelters we were in, on how the new people can do it too.
          Meal ideas? Chicken, brown rice & red beans. Homemade chicken soup (whole wheat brown noodles, or no noodles). Shredded chicken sandwiches or peanut butter & fruit preserve sandwiches. Bean soup. Whole wheat spaghetti with seasoned crushed tomatoes (plain canned, but watch the label!) or fresh tomatoes if at the Farmer’s market), with onion, garlic & Italian spices. Just a fraction of meal ideas to give the idea. Snacking on fresh fruit or vegetables. Also, we were drinking only water.
          We always managed to have various fruits and vegetables on hand (celery & carrots> each around $1,
          bananas> $1 for about a dozen, apples >$2 for a basket, strawberries> $1/pt $10-15 for a flat enabling the rare fruit smoothie for a breakfast x5, canned vegetables> 50¢ each at the cheap grocery stores where you bag your own stuff with your own bags or 79¢ generic at regular stores, watermelon> $2-4, etc).
          Somehow we managed to eat very healthy, with 3 growing children, myself, and my Type 1 diabetic husband for under $1 per person per meal.
          Libraries usually have free time on a computer, and a spiral notebook of paper to write down recipes is usually under $1 & is worth every penny. Often a shelter will provide you with paper if you ask.
          Once online, you have a wealth of information on how to eat healthy and still spend less than buying junk. With the money leftover on our food stamp card (EBT), we often would buy vitamins & supplements which *are* covered by food stamps.
          For the same price as a 64 oz fruit juice $4, bag of chips $4, and a couple of 2-liter sodas $4…you can have a bunch of fresh fruits and veggies (fresh, frozen or canned for the veggies).
          It’s a choice to NOT look (ie: Google) up info for cheap healthy meal recipes. Nobody is saying you must eat everything organic and shop only at expensive health food stores. However, I’ve given examples on how it can be done and I know there is a ton of information on the internet as I still go to the library to print new recipes out.
          Oh, a common topic is craving fries. That’s simple. You can buy a few fresh potatoes, and bake them. Use oil and pan fry if you also crave the oil and want them crispy. You just peel them and slice them up. Pickles? A cucumber sliced up, placed in a bowl with vinegar and a tiny bit of salt are ready within minutes. Craving sweets? Make a simple cobbler from scratch, have oatmeal with a sliced banana, bake bread pudding, or make pancakes using real maple syrup (you end up using much less as it’s highly concentrated vs the unhealthy syrups). No money for maple? Ok. Just Google how to make something called “simple syrup”. However, maple syrup is quite healthy and lasts a much longer period of time (even with children!).
          I hope you’re able to do some searching online to see how it really isn’t more expensive to eat healthy. I can’t afford to buy all organic foods, but whatever I can buy, I do!
          I just went and re-read your post and noticed you’re still homeless and both of you work at the library. You are surrounded with great information. If you’re in a shelter, you’re eligible for food stamps.
          I wish both of you the best of luck and hope you can get back on your feet soon! It can be hard…especially when people make terrible assumptions about anyone that is homeless and don’t know what life is like not having what so many people take for granted. So please, please take my comment into consideration.

      • Lisa says:

        To JJ. You have no facts. Your entire rant contains one assumption after another. That’s not cool.

      • rosemary says:

        You have a poor way of speaking to people. Although “some” of the things you say are true, you’re insulting and very pushy. Must not have to many followers that take your advice.

  7. lolwatomg says:

    I eat crab sticks that say IMITATION crab on there.

  8. tina says:

    They serve those crustless sandwiches for lunch at my kids school ….:(

  9. Suzan says:

    I am a diabetic. Once when I was in hospital, I received the Smucker’s P&J crust-less sandwiches for 5 meals over 1 weekend. This after having a meeting with the hospital dietitian concerning the limited choices for a diabetic.

    • Jenny says:


    • Amanda says:

      If you’re ever admitted back to the hospital, use the room’s phone to call the cafeteria’s staff and let them know you are a diabetic and kindly ask for a diabetic meal.
      We had to do that for my husband after he had a quad bypass (type 1 diabetes + an undiagnosed birth defect of his heart caused 3 heart attacks within a short period of time). They weren’t sending him those sandwiches, but they also weren’t sending a cardiac + diabetes tray! His blood sugars went crazy!!
      It turned out that the doctor had failed to put that info down (regarding the diabetes), so they were sending the wrong type of meal trays and menus!

  10. kiki says:

    I do not eat any of these things and I am still very fat.

  11. Jose says:

    I’m surprise Skim Milk is not on the list. It’s the King of fake foods. Everything that is real milk is taken out of it, and then milk product is added back.

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