Have you ever read the ingredient list on the back of a food item and wonder what in the world some of the ingredients were? Start reading labels and know what not to buy. Here is a list of the 11 worst food additives on the market.
Artificial Colors – Most of the cheap, low-grade products contain artificial colors simply for visual appeal. It might sound harmless, but artificial colors are made from petroleum, coal tars, acetone or cochineal bugs. Research has shown food coloring to cause hyperactivity and behavioral issues (ADHD, ODD and OCD), adrenal gland, brain and kidney tumors, cancer, asthma and severe allergies. Ingredients to look for: Blue 1, Blue 2, Red 3 (erythrosine), Green 3, Yellow 5 (tartrazine) and Yellow 6.
Artificial Sweeteners – Commonly found in chewing gum, diet soda and sugar-free foods. They disguise themselves under such aliases as Acesulfame-K, saccarin, Equal, Splenda, NutraSweet, Sweet’N Low, sucralose, sorbitol and aspartame. Possible side effects are; blurred vision, memory loss, anxiety attacks, seizures, migraines, dizziness, depression, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain and cramps and various forms of cancers.
Benzoate Preservatives: BHA & BHT – both are oxidants preservatives that food companies use to preserve fats and prevent food from going rancid. They have been known to affect estrogen levels, while causing asthma, rhinitis, dermatitis, tumors and urticaria. BHT has been banned in England, but the FDA in the U.S. says it’s a-okay.
Brominated Vegetable Oil – A chemical that enhances flavor in citrus- based fruit drinks and soft drinks, BVO increases triglycerides and cholesterol and can cause serious damage to the liver, testicles, thyroid, heart and kidneys.
Potassium Bromate – A chemical that has been banned throughout most of the world and California requires a cancer warning on the label if this additive is an ingredient. But the FDA hasn’t illegalized it, just encourages bakers not to use it. Often found in white flour, breads and rolls. Potassium Bromate can cause nervous system damage, kidney disorders and gastrointestinal problems.
Propylene Glycol – The FDA claims propylene glycol is “generally safe”, except when used in foods. Maybe that’s because it’s also a mineral oil found in automatic brake fluid, hydraulic fluid and antifreeze. Propylene glycol is used to thicken dairy products and factory foods like soda and salad dressing.
Sodium Nitrate and Sodium Nitrite – Both produce cancer-causing agents in the stomach and can cause death, but have not been banned by the FDA because they prevent botulism. Found in meats.
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) – A flavor enhancer most often found in packaged foods, MSG might as well be radioactive. It can cause headaches, chest pain, high blood pressure, nausea, nervous system and reproductive disorders. Food manufacturers have even found ways to downplay it in infant formulas and over-the-counter-medications. Common nicknames are; hydrolyzed protein, autolyzed yeast, free glutamate and yeast extract. (MSG is found in the majority of fast foods, including Chick-fil-A)
Olestra – A synthetic fat that prevents your digestive system from absorbing fat. It also prevents the healthy absorption of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Olestra also leads to severe diarrhea, abdominal cramps, flatulence and gas.
High- Fructose Corn Syrup – Used as a sweetener and preservative in a wide range of foods (ketchup, salad dressings, bread, fruit juices, soda, cereal, candy, yogurt, cookies, pasta sauce, etc…). High fructose corn syrup is cost effective for companies because it is extremely sweet and cheap to produce. Processed foods that have added HFCS tend to be low in nutrient value and full of empty calories. Fructose is the main sugar in HFCS. Fructose does not stimulate insulin release in the body because of its chemical structure. Leptin is normally triggered by insulin release. Leptin is a hormone that tells your brain that you are full. Without the release of leptin, you continue to feel hungry, which can lead to overeating and weight gain.