Dr. Axe: Hey guys, Dr. Josh Axe here with
Dr. Michelle Levitt.
She is a pediatrician and an expert in childhood
And today we’re going to be talking about
10 health foods killing our children, literally
truly healthy alternatives we’ll be covering
today as well.
And hey, if you’re like us, we love food right?
Dr. Levitt: Right, yeah.
Dr. Axe: We love snacking and we want to give
the kids out there and families some natural
healthy alternatives as well.
Hey, help us spread this message because the
number of kids today still eating sugary cereals,
school lunches, and some of these other foods
And the numbers of kids today struggling with
issues such as diabetes, and ADHD, and a number
of other health issues, these things just
continue to climb.
So be on mission with us, take a minute right
now, punch that Share button and click that
More families and kids especially need to
know how to use food as medicine.
So Dr. Michelle, let’s jump in and talk about,
number one 100% juice.
How is that a food that’s actually killing
or destroying our children’s health today?
Dr. Levitt: Okay, Josh so, honestly one of
the big, you mentioned kids overeating and
still eating this stuff because the parents
So it’s really important that we educate the
So one of the big questions I get, a newborn
family comes in.
“When can I start giving my baby juice?”
My answer is always “Never.”
So juice, a 100% juice, a 100% fruit juice,
and a lot of times the food label even trick
you and say no added sugar, but really it’s
been shown that the juice has just as much
sugar as pop.
So parents just don’t know it because the
way the labeling is.
It says fruit juice, it says 100%, it says
good source of vitamin C. But when we look
at the labeling . . . so the way it’s killing
our children sugar is the number one cause
of all the chronic diseases.
So heart disease, diabetes, non-alcoholic
and fatty liver disease, and these are things
I’m seeing in my kids, my youngest patient
I have with liver changes, and high cholesterol,
and high triglycerides is 3.
So we really need to know that the sugar is
what’s killing our kids and it’s starting
to cause leaky gut and then chronic illnesses.
And also allergies, asthma, ADHD, autism,
sugar is the reason.
In 100% juice, they take away all the fiber,
all the phytonutrients, all the vitamins,
and minerals, and you’re left with sugar water
Dr. Axe: Yeah, and Dr. Michelle, I just learned
something about you by you using the word
pop, that’s a Midwest word, I grew up in Ohio.
Dr. Michelle is from Ohio.
She’s from Akron, I’m from Dayton.
So we’re both Buckeyes at heart.
But that’s actually a word they use in the
I think in Georgia they say Coke for everything.
And up north they use the word soda for everything.
So anyway, I’m with you on the pop, stay away
from pop, soda, coke.
Well I don’t want to say the full brand name.
But anyway, a 100% juice can be just as bad
or worse and higher in sugar.
Stay away from those things.
And number two here, let’s talk about cereal.
Dr. Levitt: So cereal again, kind of getting
back to how the food is branded.
So, a lot of times you see these health claims
on the box.
Whole grains, good source of fiber, free of
preservatives, but really cereal is actually
multimodal why it’s bad for us.
So it’s slowly killing our children.
One is the sugar.
And two is the grain, so typically it will
say whole-grain, but it only has to be 50%
whole grain to be able to put whole grain
on the label.
Dr. Axe: Wow.
Dr. Levitt: So you really want to look for
100% whole grain, but even then the grains,
if they’re genetically modified they are sprayed
with glyphosate which actually has been caused,
shown to cause basically every disease known.
It’s literally killing our children and we
don’t even know it.
So in addition to the sugars and the grain,
it also has bad oils typically.
Dr. Axe: Yeah, you’re completely right and
looking up here at this screen and what we
have here, just to list off some of the things
that Dr. Michelle is mentioning here.
We’ve got sugar, we’ve got food coloring,
we’ve got glycophosphate, the chemical there,
you’ve got dairy in this bowl which is typically
pasteurized causing major issues.
Gluten and hydrogenated oils.
The list goes on.
So really the bowl of sugary cereal, this
is the absolute worst thing you can give yourself
or your children.
So again, it should be banned in households
Again, I don’t I don’t want to go this far.
I actually heard a doctor, a medical doctor
say, that eating a bowl of cereal is worse
than smoking a cigarette for children for
their health, that bad.
Dr. Levitt: Yeah, I would agree.
Dr. Axe: Crazy.
Dr. Levitt: I actually tell families, I would
rather have your child skip breakfast, do
not eat breakfast if you’re going to give
them sugary cereal.
They’re much better off not eating.
Dr. Axe: Good stuff.
Let’s talk about the process yogurts today,
what are your thoughts there?
And with dairy, I see this being present,
the most controversial food topic, both in
the nutrition space with parents.
What is your view on dairy and then is there
good dairy and bad dairy, and if so what are
Dr. Levitt: So dairy, yogurt, number one the
So you have to look at what’s happening, where
is the dairy coming from.
So what type of animals and is it processed
in a big industrial farm factory animal, and
then you’re getting bad fats from the animal
and the animals are fed grain, and GMO corn
and soy which you’re getting that in the product.
And then also the low fat, fat-free craze
where they’re creating these low fat yogurts,
they actually have to add sugar and artificial
sugar to make them taste good.
So they’re loaded with sugar, typically even
if you look at the labels that says organic,
they’re typically loaded with sugar.
So, I usually recommend, if you’re going to
do dairy yogurt try to find organic full fat,
grass-fed pasture raised source of yogurt.
But other things that are great goat’s milk
yogurt, coconut yogurt, kefir, coconut kefir,
those are great alternative.
So instead of buying the packages of sugary
yogurt, I actually have the families just
get those little cute tiny mason jars and
then just get some coconut kefir or goat’s
milk kefir and layer fresh berries or frozen
berries with that and make your own yogurt.
Dr. Axe: Good stuff.
Dr. Levitt: Yeah.
Dr. Axe: Dr. Michelle, let’s talk about number
four here, margarine and vegetable oil.
Actually, before we get it, let’s talk about
some alternatives here.
If we have a family and their parents right
now are giving their kids juice on a regular
basis, what are other beverage options that
you can give kids maybe rather than juice.
Something that has a little bit of flavor
aside from water.
Dr. Levitt: So definitely water is number
Dr. Axe: Yep.
Dr. Levitt: To add a little flavor, I usually
have them infuse their water.
So you just take water and add in like a handful
frozen fruit or fresh fruit, and then the
natural flavors will infuse in.
Coconut water, coconut milk, so again, really
the focus is just water.
So I kind of tell them there’s just no alternative,
you just need to drink water and you can infuse
the water with fruit if you want to add a
Dr. Axe: Yeah, I mean, I think the infused
waters are a great thing.
I know that again you can do this with strawberries,
grapes actually add some great flavor there.
Just a pinch and if you are going to do juice,
it’s a tablespoon, it’s just a splash of juice
And again it could be fresh pressed.
But again, soaking pineapple, actually the
whole pineapple in water that’s actually something
that kids will really love and that mild sweet
flavor will go a long way.
With cereal there, there’s some good today,
some good paleo or grain free alternatives,
or things that actually are just using a little
bit of honey as a sweetener.
It might be a good option.
And then the replacement here that Dr. Michelle
talked about was not saying don’t do any yogurt,
but go to your local farmers market get a
grass-fed yogurt, maybe a goat’s milk yogurt
and that could be an alternative.
Or something like a coconut cream instead.
And then Dr. Michelle number four here, margarine,
What’s the problem with these and then what
would an alternative be for families there
Dr. Levitt: Okay the problem with these is,
they’re typically sourced from a GMO type
So corn, soy, canola, they actually are sourced
from a GMO.
Then when they make them into the oil they
have to heat them and then they actually denatures
all the stuff and causes rancid oils which
are high in Omega-6 which cause inflammation.
So that’s the big thing with those.
Healthy alternatives would be coconut oil,
avocado oil, olive oil.
Again, find a good source and try to stay
away from the vegetable oils or the highly
Dr. Axe: Yeah, what are your thoughts on ghee
or grass-fed butter?
Dr. Levitt: Oh yeah, grass-fed butter and
ghee is excellent.
Dr. Axe: Great.
Dr. Levitt: Yeah, excellent.
So again, a lot of times, I remember growing
up, my grandma went off of butter and went
Dr. Levitt: Right.
Dr. Axe: I remember this thing within our
family to where my grandma started serving
that and my dad, when we go up and visit them,
my dad was there, my dad was like, “No, I’m
sticking with old butter.”
M dad is so funny because I’m like some of
the stuff that he was against like, “Stop
giving me that vegetable oil and that margarine.
I want my real butter,” and he stuck with
Bravo for being for being stubborn, but also
for eating healthy there.
All right, number five here, granola bars.
Dr. Levitt: So a granola bar is definitely
kind of, basically the same exact ingredients
And so you’re kind of getting to the same
problems with sugar, bad grains, bad oils.
And often, now they’re starting to add protein
to the granola bars.
But if you look at the ingredients, typically
the protein that’s sourced is soy.
And again, one of the highest genetically
But also alters the phytoestrogens, and their
hormones, and so we really want to stay away
from those protein based granola bars.
Dr. Axe: Yeah, I couldn’t agree more.
So again, and we want to say this that 90%
of granola bars out there are not healthy.
But there are now some healthier brands that
are using . . . that the big thing is read
the ingredient labels.
I mean if it says, sugar on there or corn
syrup, stay away.
Even if honey is the number one ingredient,
a lot of times it’s a refined honey, you want
to look for things like almond butter or nuts
in a bar that are high up there.
Some coconut oil and the natural fruits, raisins,
dates, much, much better options there.
And then let’s talk about fruit snacks today
and maybe even healthy chips.
What are your thoughts on those?
Dr. Levitt: So fruit snacks and veggie chips,
we want these quick snacky foods for our kids.
But fruit snacks are just, I mean literally,
just sugar in a gummy form.
So not only are we giving them the problems
with sugar but also rotting out their teeth
and causing more cavities and everything else
from the gumminess.
So fruit snack alternative, give the child
a piece of fruit.
Real fruit and just don’t ever buy fruit snacks
Dr. Axe: Yeah.
Dr. Levitt: Even organic ones, so organic
ones, they’re definitely better made but they’re
still just sugar.
You mind as well give them table sugar.
Dr. Axe: Yeah and I’ll say this, one of the
things my wife and I did we were going on
a trip once and we read this great recipe
and so we made our own fruit snacks.
Which is really the only way that you’re going
to get a healthy fruit snack.
And we bought some gelatin powder so we did
gelatin and some collagen protein mixed.
And we did a little bit of fruit and that
But basically, it was gelatin and whole fruit
and worked out well.
I want to say this about chips today, even
veggie chips, most of these are fried in vegetable
Dr. Levitt: Right.
Dr. Axe: Not good.
Dr. Levitt: And they’ll put sunflower and
You think you’re getting something healthier.
And also the number of one ingredient, it’s
not a veggie, it’s potato starch.
Dr. Axe: Yes.
Dr. Levitt: Which basically just turns right
Dr. Axe: Good point.
Dr. Levitt: Underlying theme of sugar here.
Dr. Axe: Yes.
So read those labels, if you are buying chips,
look for things like avocado oil and coconut
Those are going to be better oil alternatives.
They’re more stable under heat than sunflower
or safflower, because they’re mostly Omega-6
They’re very delicate and they oxidize very
Let’s see about seven here, whole-wheat bread.
I know growing up we thought, hey, we’re eating
100% whole wheat that’s healthy.
But not true.
Dr. Levitt: Yeah, right.
So whole wheat has a multitude of dimensions
to it really, but again it’s like that, it’s
a 100% whole wheat.
Again, where the grain is coming from, if
it’s sprayed with the Roundup it’s going to
have all those factors to it.
Not only that but the gluten in wheat has
been shown to also cause allergies, asthma,
But leaky gut and digestive symptoms in general,
just don’t feel good.
And not only that but some of the way the
wheat breaks down into a couple different
sugars like amylopectin and then the exorphins.
So the body actually turns it into this opiate-like
peptide, it’s little small protein that actually
shoots right to the morphine centers of the
And so it actually could be just as addictive
as sugar, as cocaine, the way hits the center.
So there’s so many dimensions of wheat that
why make it bad for you.
But again, also you even if you look at the
ingredients, it might say whole wheat, it
might say 100% whole wheat, but the second
ingredient is always some sort of sugar.
Dr. Axe: Yeah, great stuff.
So guys, we’re going to continue on here,
but if you’re just tuning into our program,
this is Dr. Michelle Levitt, she is a pediatrician
and she is a childhood obesity expert, works
at Akron Hospital in Ohio.
And we’re talking about the top 10 foods that
are killing our children today.
And giving you some healthier alternatives.
So, rather than whole wheat bread here, what
would you recommend?
You ever recommend like paleo bread or breads
with almond or coconut flour, or what do you
Dr. Levitt: I do.
I usually, I recommend people look for maybe
sprouted grain bread.
Dr. Axe: Great.
Dr. Levitt: And also if you’re going to do
the paleo bread you have to be careful because
those flours will still turn into sugar.
So you really have to be very careful with
those and a lot of times I try to get the
families to use romaine lettuce leaves, or
just not do bread at all.
And so just kind of getting out of that mindset
that you have to have the bread, but if you
do, try to do like a sprouted grain type bread.
Dr. Axe: Great.
Dr. Levitt: Again organic non-GMO, so you’re
not getting any of the Roundup type side effects.
Dr. Axe: Chemicals.
Dr. Levitt: Yeah.
Dr. Axe: Got it.
And by the way, if you guys are enjoying this
live training right now, we’re talking about
the worst foods for your health and your kid’s
Take a minute right now, punch that Share
button, and click that Like button.
We’re really trying to spread the message
here, food should be medicine, not poison
to families and children today.
And by the way, if you have fallen prey to
some of the marketing claims and you’ve been
consuming or your kids have whole wheat bread,
and sugary cereals, and some of these things.
Let us know, or let us know if you’ve got
Hey, what have you switched to as a family,
if you guys have gotten off the white bread
and wheat bread, what are you doing instead?
We’d love to hear from you right now on Facebook
Number eight, this is a big one sports drinks.
Why are these not so good?
Dr. Levitt: So sports drinks again, getting
back to the sugar.
Loaded with sugar and even the ones that say
zero calorie or diet, they’ll have artificial
sweeteners in them.
And also they’ll often still have sugar.
It’s surprising when you see, when you look
at the ingredients.
But they also have sometimes other preservatives
in them, and the dyes, and the coloring has
been linked to hyperactivity.
And then also like, really kids, unless they’re
working out vigorously maybe football in the
They don’t need to really replenish their
sugar or their sodium potassium after exercising
or activity, they just don’t need it.
So if you have an athlete who really is needing
to replenish, I usually have and replenish
So maybe add a banana for some potassium,
pomegranate seeds in a smoothie, to add some
potassium back in.
But a good alternative just for electrolyte
balance would be coconut water.
Dr. Axe: Yeah, exactly.
Dr. Levitt: So just do coconut water.
Dr. Axe: Yeah, as Dr. Michelle’s talking about,
these sports drinks, you can see the food
coloring it’s sugar.
And the type of sugar they put in these, it
is absorbed into your body really quickly
which is not what you want especially when
it comes to weight gain and a number of other
But again, if you’ve got a kid who’s hours
and hours of sports a day, coconut water,
I’ve seen even things like watermelon water
Those are much better alternatives.
And let’s talk about number nine here.
What do you think about low-fat foods or fat-free
foods for snacks?
Dr. Levitt: So low-fat and fat-free foods
again, to make them taste good they have to
supplement with some sort of sugar.
So it’s either artificial sugar and/or regular
But also, if it’s like low-fat or fat-free
crackers, typically with the bad oils again.
And so there’s just no place for a low-fat
or fat-free, there’s just no reason.
Dr. Axe: Yeah, not at all.
Most of things they’re adding in rather than
the fat is just toxic to the body.
Number 10 here, gluten-free packaged foods.
This might be one of the most deceiving labels
Dr. Levitt: Right, right.
So gluten-free has become this huge buzz term.
And so, in response there’s like a whole gluten-free
aisle now at the grocery store which everything
is packaged and processed.
So, even though they’re not using wheat or
gluten as the flour source, they’re still
using things like tapioca starch, rice starch,
that’ll just also . . .
Dr. Axe: White flour.
Dr. Levitt: Yeah, that just spike up the blood
sugar just the same.
And often they have tons of sugar and also
additives for fillers and stabilizers.
So like they just have so many more toxic
ingredients even though they don’t have gluten.
They’re so toxic from all the other things
and the bad oils again, typically found in
Dr. Axe: Yeah, I remember when I started,
I used to teach shopping classes at Whole
Foods and other health food stores, even Kroger.
And I would do these shopping classes and
I always stopped in the cracker aisle or the
cookie aisle and show them animal crackers.
Number one ingredient, white flour, number
two, sugar, but it had this big gluten-free
across the package.
Dr. Levitt: Right, right.
Dr. Axe: Don’t fall prey to the marketing
hype and lies here.
So I’m going to do a quick rundown here, and
then I want to let you know more about where
you can find more about Dr. Michelle.
And by the way again, if you’ve been enjoying
this live training, do us a favor.
Help spread the message, share this, love
this, like this, help get the message out
there for us.
But again, here are some things you want to
stay away from.
We talked about juice, we talked about processed
cereal, we talked about only doing yogurt
or kefir from your local farmers market, none
of the conventional stuff there.
Rather than margarine, using ghee and grass-fed
butter, and coconut oil, and avocado oil.
Staying away from the granola bars, doing
a trail mix instead.
Some raisins, and walnuts, and almonds, and
pumpkin seeds, things like that.
Stay away from these chips because listen
this is a big one.
A lot of those healthy potato chips today
they’re using sunflower, safflower oil, those
are being oxidized, they’re going to cause
inflammation and that’s not what you want.
Whole wheat bread, very high levels of gluten,
turns to sugar quickly.
Sports drinks we know aren’t the best because
of all the additives.
Rather than do that do coconut, watermelon
water, and just water.
Stay away from the fat free stuff, stay away
from the gluten packaging here as well.
And guys, if you want to learn more about
Dr. Michelle, she is a pediatrician and childhood
You can check out some of her great content
on how to lose weight naturally, and balance
hormones, and take care of families at drmichellemd.com.
So Dr. Michelle, thanks so much for being
part of our Ancient Medicine program.
Dr. Levitt: Yeah, great to be here.
Dr. Axe: And we appreciate you guys watching,
we appreciate you guys being on mission with
us, and helping transform the health of this
Have a great day.
Hi, Dr. Axe here.
I want to say thanks so much for checking
out this YouTube video.
And also, don’t forget to subscribe if you
want to get more great content on things like
herbs, essential oils, natural remedies, and
how to use food as medicine.
Also, check out more of our content on my
Thanks for watching.
In this episode of Ancient Medicine Today, Dr. Michelle Levitt, pediatrician and expert in childhood obesity, joins me to talk about some of the “health” foods that may literally be killing your children and healthy alternatives to offer up instead.
For more information on the causes of childhood obesity and natural solutions: https://draxe.com/childhood-obesity-and-school-lunches/
*This content is strictly the opinion of Dr. Josh Axe, and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Axe nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.