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14 Foods & Supplements to Avoid at All Costs

Updated: Nov 17, 2022

In today's so-called 'Information Age', there are an infinite number of fads and diets out there, from Vegan to Carnivore, and everything in between!

The research behind the Max Vitality Protocol (MVP) shows that each of these 'diet dont's' disrupts the body’s ability to top off mineral levels, absorb essential minerals, and ultimately make ATP/energy. Research shows that avoiding this list, while also following the "MVP Diet Dos List", as closely as possible, helps mitigate the toxic load of stressors that negatively impact our ability to balance minerals and therefore, the other three pillars of holistic health (physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual).

I fully recognize that "everyone is different", and

that genes play a factor (although we could

discuss our ability to activate or deactivate certain genes). However, there is copious evidence that proves banishing these foods and supplements from your life will help you optimize your mineral levels and improve your systemic health!

  1. Genetically Modified Foods/GMOs: Many crops 🌽 are genetically modified so they won't be killed by glyphosate, other weed killers, or even bugs. As a result, GMOs are often drenched in toxic herbicides, causing immense problems for plants, animals, and the humans that consume them. These chemicals severely deplete trace minerals and destroy the critical soil microbes crucial to human health. In a recent study, a student consumed genetically modified food - for ten days in a row. After just ten days of consuming GMOs, he had 40% fewer healthy gut bacteria than the day before the experiment began. Foods that have been genetically altered, transform how our gut bacteria work and ruin the gut's ability to absorb minerals and essential amino acids. Consuming these foods can lead to nutrient deficiencies, altered digestion, allergic response, organ damage, and even gene transfer. One doesn't have to dig deep to find that highly respected researchers are against glyphosate and other weed killers. To avoid GMOs, I always recommend buying local and prioritizing organic free-range foods! If you are concerned about these toxins, check out my blog on How to Detox from Glyphosate to quickly cleanse your system and get back to feeling your best.

  2. Excess calcium: As detailed in our Mineral Basics Blog, calcium 🦴 is in a delicate balance with our beloved magnesium. Calcium is metabolized by... you guessed it, magnesium! In translation, calcium consumption depletes magnesium. Since many of us are already severely magnesium deficient, excess calcium will also cause our body to dump any unbound or extra calcium into our arteries, tissues, joints, and organs, fast-tracking calcification and, ultimately, disease. Most of us already get far too much calcium from our diet alone. Upping your magnesium levels while avoiding excess calcium should be the priority here.

  3. Synthetic Vitamin D: Did you know that 'vitamin' D is not actually a vitamin? It is a secosteroid hormone and one of the most potent hormones on Earth! A hormone that indeed should not be supplemented lightly or without caution. I don't take hormone D, not because it's the main ingredient in rat poison or because it's a secosteroid/hormone (although I admit that both are factors). The primary reason I don't take hormone D is that supplementing hormone D absolutely zaps our magnesium levels! Magnesium isn't just essential for the metabolism of calcium but also for the hormone D. There is much misinformation on this hormone, including how to interpret test results (which are typically inaccurate for many reasons) and the different forms of D (far beyond D3). I will explore more on this topic in future posts. But in a nutshell, magnesium is essential in the metabolism of hormone D, and taking large doses of hormone D will almost surely result in a severe case of magnesium deficiency, leading to calcification and much dis-ease! Hormone D and Vitamin A (Retinol) also need to be balanced mindfully, which I will also dig into in future blogs. All in all, please make sure you optimize your magnesium and retinol levels before you begin thinking about supplementing with this powerful synthetic, secosteroid hormone!

  4. Burnt food: Enzymes and some minerals are heat sensitive and deactivate easily when exposed to high temperatures. Cooking food 🔥 can destroy critical enzymes that aid digestion and mineral absorption, along with reducing the amounts of minerals in the food. Naturally, many foods are healthier when cooked, but we should all be mindful of the minimal effective dose of heat while preparing our healthy plates. Throughout history, meats were cooked just enough to kill the contained bacteria, not grilled at over 400F for 10+ minutes at a time. Food that is heavily overcooked or burnt is often void of enzymes and many soluble minerals and is chock-full of carcinogens and other chemicals that cause oxidative stress in the body. Consuming this burnt food results in inflammation, mineral depletion, and disease. In addition, it has also been linked to various cancers due to high levels of the toxic chemical acrylamide, among others! The takeaway is to research the minimum effective dose of cooking food and explore which cooking methods preserve the enzymes and minerals that fit your needs!

  5. Dyed foods: Foods that have colorings and dyes 🖍 should be avoided at all costs. Not only are most dyed food choices highly processed, but most are also zapped of their minerals & nutrients, while being high in calories and added sugar. Dyes typically contain extremely toxic carcinogens and contaminants that are absorbed into the skin and soaked up by low pH areas, commonly our fat cells, remaining stuck until they eventually perpetuate this dis-ease as it passes through our kidneys and/or intestines.

  6. Artificial Preservatives and Chemicals: Food contamination ☢️ has reached new heights. Nowadays, even our naturally occurring fruits and veggies can be high risk, especially when laced with preservatives and chemicals. These are used to help keep foods shelf-stable for far longer than they would naturally. Jams, juices, condiments, and baked foods are common abusers. Always be sure to check for additives on the food label which interact with our bacterial culture and wreak havoc on our gut health, ability to absorb minerals, and systemic holistic health.

  7. Excess Iron: It is essential to recognize that iron is a potentially toxic heavy metal, which in excess, has been linked to cancer, heart disease, and other illnesses. The RDA for iron currently varies between 8mg per day for men and 27mg per day for pregnant women. What these numbers don't take into account is our body's complex iron recycling system which recycles 24mg of iron every single day! New research shows that a properly functioning iron recycling system only requires 1mg of dietary iron per day (25mg total) to support our bodies' daily production of 250 billion red blood cells. Unfortunately, our foods have been fortified with extreme amounts of iron shavings since the 1950s, leading to a single bowl of Cornflakes containing a whopping 29mg of iron shavings per 100grams! Consuming more than the required 1mg of iron per day inevitably causes increased amounts of oxidation when it reacts with the oxygen in your body. This increased oxidation leads to reactive oxygen species (ROS), a highly reactive chemical that needs to be properly balanced. If these reactive oxygen species build without a corresponding rise in antioxidant enzymes (from vitamins A, C, and E), the production of ROS exceeds its elimination causing copious amounts of oxidative stress. Inflammation and DNA damage are signs of stage 2 of oxidative stress, and stage 3 is cell death. Excess, unbound iron not only stresses out our body, creating excess amounts of oxidative stress, but also kills our mitochondria, causing cell aging and, eventually, cell death! For anyone that still thinks that you, or someone you know, is iron deficient or identifies as anemic, I am not looking to gaslight you, I simply encourage you to closely look into the symptoms of iron overload, as they are nearly identical to that of (the much less common) iron deficiency. If you have tested your iron levels, it is helpful to know which ones were measured. If only your ferritin was measured, please note that ferritin is only a blood protein that *sometimes* transports & stores iron. Ferritin levels are only elevated when organ cells are breaking down and in need of iron from storage. When interpreting ferritin levels, it is important to know that ferritin levels are also directly correlated with levels of Ferroxidase activity. Ferroxidase regulates iron status & iron movement and requires copper, magnesium, and retinol to function. Knowing this and getting to the root of it, a low ferritin reading is much more commonly a sign of copper, magnesium, and retinol deficiency than a lack of iron. In addition, simply counting ferritin (which may or may not be holding iron inside), doesn’t account for all the potential iron stored in the rest of the body, including the liver and ceruloplasmin. A Full Monty Iron Panel is the best way to get an accurate look at how much iron is not just being transported via ferritin, but more accurately, how much iron is stored in the rest of the body. When the other stores of iron are checked and accurately interpreted, we find that the majority of humans are chock-full of excessive amounts of iron! A wonderfully written & well-researched article by Ray Peat, Ph.D., entitled "Iron's Danger's" outlines a stance that my research has led to resonate with me. Dr. Peat states, "Iron deficiency anemia exists in laboratory situations and in some cases of chronic bleeding, but I believe it should be the last-suspected cause of anemia, instead of the first." Overall, Iron is a complex topic, but please be extremely mindful when considering putting a potentially harmful heavy metal like iron into your body. I personally avoid all things with high amounts of iron or added iron. Fortunately, consuming copper-rich foods like avocado, beef liver, occasional fresh oysters, etc., are known to prevent excess iron from being stored. Also, drinking coffee with iron-rich foods has been shown to reduce iron's toxic effects. Using copper-rich foods like shrimp, oysters, etc., is known to prevent excess iron storage. Supplementing with vitamin E is also great because iron increases our requirements of vitamin E. Drinking Rosita’s Cod Liver Oil, also found on the Max Recommends Page, also helps with ferroxidase which manages iron overload. After the iron overload is confirmed with Full Monty Blood tests, donating blood is the most effective way to offload excess iron that may be stored throughout the body, oxidizing & creating dis-ease!

  8. Citric Acid: I have also made it a core value of mine to never consume food with citric acid, other than naturally occurring from citrus fruits. Citric acid used to come primarily from harmless citrus, but unfortunately, today, over 99% of citric acid comes from GMO black mold grown on GMO corn! Yes, even most 'organic' corn is genetically engineered. Corn, as we know it, did not exist even a few hundred years ago. Corn began as a wild grass called teosinte with tiny ears and very few kernels. Nowadays, corn's roots are almost always infested with mold (even if unnoticeable on the husk) and laced with vast amounts of phytic acid. This mold ruins your gut and its ability to absorb essential minerals. Black mold, aka citric acid, is used as a preservative in nearly everything nowadays, and it absolutely wrecks your immune system, trashes your gut, roasts mineral levels, and is responsible for much dis-ease... stay away!

  9. Canned Foods: - BPAs or Bisphenol A is a known carcinogen and hormone disruptor, which can severely weaken the immune system. Today most cans leach BPA's and heavy metals like aluminum and lead. Heavy metals often bind to the same receptor sites as critical minerals, exasperating dysregulation. In addition, canned food 🥫 is typically far more mineral deficient than its counterpart, which means you aren't supporting your immune system with the minerals and nutrients it desires. Kick the cans and keep it real!

  10. Simple Sugars: Although surprising to many, I am not super against white sugar or raw cane sugar, unlike many health professionals. I feel it has its place and is highly effective at mitigating stress levels in the body; a powerful tool that can do more good than harm. On the other hand, simple sugars like those found in sodas, energy drinks, and sports drinks are a hard no! With liquids, we get more sugar much faster, which goes directly into the bloodstream, which can be dangerous. In addition, Dr. Caroline Dean says, 'High Fructose Corn Syrup consumes a whopping 2x more magnesium than sucrose (table sugar)'. Consuming HFCS also can get us hooked on simple sugars, which dramatically alters our brain chemistry in a not-so-helpful way. The fructose that we find in whole fruits is fantastic and is powerful medicine when used at the right time with the proper dose. Avoid corn syrups and simple sugars!

  11. Fish Oils and PUFAS: By now, many of us have hopefully transitioned away from trans fats like Margerine or cooking oils, but just because a fat is not 'trans,' does that mean it is healthy? In recent years, there has been a craze in the alternative health world of influencers pushing their precious fish oils 🐟. As I dug deep down under the hood, I learned that Polyunsaturated Fats, or PUFA's, are a severe issue found in many so-called 'health foods, including fish oils. The structure of PUFAs makes them chemically unstable. PUFAs are vulnerable to damage from heat (below body temp 98.6F), light, and oxygen, which make them oxidize when they enter the body. Not only does this create oxidative stress and inflammation, which zaps our mineral levels, particularly magnesium, but they are also highly dangerous. The oxidized fats are extremely inflammatory and get stuck in our lysosomes, becoming incredibly difficult to 'flush' out. You should avoid certain oils and products made with them at all costs. These include corn, vegetable, canola, sunflower, and soybean. Also, limit nut kinds of butter (except a small amount at night), most nuts, and fish oil supplements, which are often full of oxidized Omega-6s. If you consume these products, supplementing with high-quality Vitamin E is essential in protecting yourself against the high levels of inflammation caused by PUFAs. Also, opting for low PUFA oils like coconut oil, butter and ghee will help keep oxidative stress down so you can keep your mineral levels optimized and perform at your best.

  12. Prescription drugs: At Max Vitality, we are determined to get to the root of our dis-ease. Using prescription drugs 💊 is a symptom-based approach to wellness. They can be helpful for short-term use and to nullify symptoms of different conditions. That does not mean they should be used as a crutch. Staying on them for long periods can do more harm than good. Over 50% of pharmaceuticals now have fluoride attached to the formula, which is known to rapidly deplete our magnesium levels and fast-track calcification. In truth, symptoms are rarely the root cause of the disease, as symptoms are our body's way of communicating illness to us. Using pharmaceuticals to treat symptoms can be like a parent putting on earmuffs to help heal their screaming baby. In addition, medical professionals are well aware of the contraindications caused by certain drugs, which cause disharmony in the system and ultimately lead to more disease. Focusing on the minerals and maximizing the amount of ATP energy in our body is how I have accelerated my health to a deeper level.

  13. Alcohol and other 'Black drugs': Alcohol 🍷 has caused more challenges than any other drug in the world, and it is legal! This list item may not make me super popular, but alcohol and other recreational drugs zap your mineral levels. Alcohol also reduces your ability to absorb nutrients and inhibits white blood cell production and function - proven in numerous studies. As a result, the low number of white blood cells produced have reduced effectiveness. Regarding other drugs, there is a concept that I was introduced to by the great Ram Dass years ago, which is the idea of 'black drugs vs. white drugs.' BLACK drugs involve drugs that lower our levels of consciousness or awareness, such as alcohol, cocaine, most pharmaceuticals, meth, heroin, etc. WHITE drugs, when used consciously, can be leveraged to raise our levels of awareness. These include psilocybin mushrooms, LSD, or forms of DMT like ayahuasca. Using these substances with consciousness, attention, and respect is the key. What about cannabis? Check out my thoughts on cannabis in my upcoming blog.

  14. Tap Water or Bottled Water: Tap water is the most underrated cause of disease! It is chock-full of heavy metals, pesticides, fluoride, chlorine, pharmaceuticals, birth control hormones and so much more; please do not go anywhere near it! Tap water is also the basis of all bottled water and canned drinks unless the label explicitly emphasizes reverse osmosis or R.O water. In addition to the fact that bottled water is primarily bottled tap water, it also has the obvious downside of microplastics, and BPAs discussed above. I used to go down to the local spring with 5-gallon jugs to guzzle spring water, but now I avoid spring water like the plague, thanks to its incredibly high amounts of calcium. Water is vital, so what is best? Reverse osmosis water re-mineralized with high-quality salt, ideally Icelandic Sea Salt, is the pinnacle of drinking water. Investing in an R.O water filter for your home or at least an R.O shower filter is a significant step.

The whole idea of this information and this entire course is to help you become a fully conscious being, where you take control of your health. I hope you will begin to note how you feel after eating and drinking the above items. Use this list and compare it to your lifestyle. I am not asking you never to consume any of these again. However, beginning today, I challenge you and invite you to start chipping away at some of the items on this list, or at least more consciously consuming them.

Whether it is cutting back on your intake of alcohol, soda, or sports drinks, prioritizing organic - no spray foods - or investing in a water filter, that is what I hope this blog helps you with today! If any questions come up regarding this list or anything health-related, please don't hesitate to ask.

Much love and gratitude,

Max Casa

President and Founder of Max Vitality

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