The quantity and the variety of food additives that’s found in our food today are overwhelming and are linked to many health risks. This includes food coloring and dyes, preservatives, anti-oxygen, emulsifying agents, thickening and gelling agents, and stabilizers. Some additives are quite safe such as Vitamin C added to prevent oxidation, but many others have been linked to serious diseases. I believe you need to know the facts and decide for yourself when you go grocery shopping what you should be buying for yourself and your family.
THE TOP 8 FOOD ADDITIVES TO AVOID:
1. Artificial Sweeteners & HFCS: Call them NutraSweet, Equal, Sweet N Low, they all can put your health at risk. Most artificial sweeteners contain aspartame, a carcinogenic (cancer-causing agent) substance known to induce migraines, headaches, dizziness, and seizures. Some other popular artificial sweeteners contain saccharin, a substance that could be linked to bladder cancer, or Acesulfame-K, which is linked to kidney tumors development. HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) which comes from corn, could be as unhealthy as other artificial sweeteners. According to the USDA, HFCS consists of 24% water, and the rest sugars. HFCS has been linked to metabolic syndrome and could contain mercury.
Found in: Sugar-free and diet sodas, flavored gelatin desserts, gum, drink mixes, baked goods, cereals,mints,cookies, toothpaste, and fruit drinks.
2. Mono-sodium Glutamate: Early in this century a Japanese chemist identified MSG as the substance in certain seasonings that added to the flavor of protein-containing foods. Unfortunately, too much MSG can lead to headaches, tightness in the chest, a burning sensation in the forearms an the back of the neck and is known to disturbs the neurological pathways, messing-up the satiety response and even causing brain cells to die. Often labeled MSG, autolyzed yeast extract or even simply as spices, mono-sodium glutamate is probably the food additive that is the most difficult to avoid. Not only the variety of names can be confusing, but the amino acid is added to almost any savory packaged foods. MSG is a substance called an excito-toxin.
Found in: Fast foods, Chinese restaurant foods, seasoning, canned soup, salad dressing, snack food, frozen dinner, lunch-meat, stock, sauces and bouillon and many other items.
3. Propylene glycol: Propylene glycol is a viscous substance that is used to enhance texture in liquids. Known to be linked to cancer, it is still used as a carrier for flavors (often artificial) in an array of drinks and dressings.
Found in: candy coating, sodas, sports drinks, salad dressing, beer, cakes, icing, and many other products.
4. Hydrogenated Oils: Oils that have been hydrogenated are transformed into trans fat, the kind of fat that leads to heart diseases, LDL (bad) cholesterol and cancer. Always check on the ingredient list, as it is still allowed by the law to label 0 trans fat even if it contains small amounts of it.
Found in: margarine, chips, crackers, baked goods, fast foods, just to name a few.
5. Food dyes: The great bulk of artificial colorings used in food are synthetic dyes. Artificial colorings found in candies, fruit drinks and dressings, has been linked to developmental and behavioral problems in children as well as cancer development. For decades synthetic food dyes have been suspected of being toxic or carcinogenic and many have been banned. Whenever possible, choose foods without dyes. Natural ingredients should provide all the color your food needs.
Found in: cheese, candies, sodas, fruit drinks, sports drinks, bakery, and many other food items.
6. Sulfites: Used to preserve foods, sulfites are among major food allergens. Sulfites have been linked to asthma, and can lead to headaches, skin rashes and breathing problems in sensitive people.
Found in: wine, dried fruits, lunch and cured meats.
7. Sodium nitrite/nitrate: Found mostly in processed meat, sodium nitrite and nitrate are used as a preservative. Several research have linked nitrate to cancer, but it’s still commonly used in food products.
Found in: cured meats, hot dogs, corned beef, bacon, ham, duck, lunch meats, smoke meat, and the list goes on.
8. BHA and BHT: These two closely related chemicals are added to oil-containing foods to prevent oxidation and retard rancidity. Used to preserve the color and flavor in processed food, BHA and BHT are used in a variety of foods. Those substances can disturb the neurological system, alter behavior and cause cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization, consider BHA to be possibly carcinogenic to humans, and the State of California has listed it as a carcinogen. Some studies show the same cancer causing possibilities for BHT.
Found in: cereals, gum, chips, shortening, candy, and much more.
I hope this has helped you be aware of what you are eating and help you to start checking labels before you buy any product. Make this the year that you and your family eat healthy and avoid the toxic chemicals that are loaded in so many processed foods. You have one life and one body so please take care of it. We can make one more step to “Saving Our Planet Earth,” “Going Green” by trying to eat Organic and Healthier foods!
Marla Gates is the owner of organic4greenlivings.com. Marla worked for over 10 years in healthcare, which helped her understand the dramatic need for changes in our society and how we view what healthy actually is. Her mission is education and awareness, so that people can make healthier choices and ensure a safe world for all of us to live in, now and for future generations. Since she has suffered from Environment Illness or Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS), for 20 years or more it has given her the first-hand knowledge on what chemicals and pollution can do to your health. She knows how important it is to clean up our environment. So come join her and read her blog. With her research on various topics, she will give the best information possible. She believes that we can clean up our environment, but it will take time. Rome was not built-in a day nor can we make our world safe in one day! Each one of us needs to do our part to make it safe for ourselves, our children, grandchildren and all future generations. We can only do it one day at a time and one step at a time! Please join her in “Saving Our Planet Earth” “Go Green” & “Organic” to Live A Healthier Life!