Why do we want to avoid toxins and additives in foods? You may be thinking to yourself, “I watch my calories, I eat low-fat foods, etc.”, but have you read the labels on those foods? Do you understand the long-term health consequences of eating toxins regularly? Reading labels could save your life.
Here are 5 top food additives to avoid and why:
- High Fructose Corn Syrup– HFCS is a sweetener hidden in soft drinks and many processed foods. HFCS’s are associated with weight gain, diabetes, and inflammation.
- Artificial Sweeteners (Aspartame, Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium, Saccharin)- these artificial sweeteners are found in diet soft drinks, low-calorie processed foods, and more. Long-term use of Artificial Sweeteners has been linked to the risk of cancer and may cause headaches in some people.
- Sodium Nitrate/Nitrite– This preservative and flavoring additive can be found in bacon, ham, hot dogs, lunch meats, smoked fish, and corned beef, to name a few. The meat safety board states “Sodium nitrite is a salt and an anti-oxidant that is used to cure meats like ham, bacon and hot dogs. Sodium nitrite serves a vital public health function: it blocks the growth of botulism-causing bacteria and prevents spoilage. Sodium nitrite also gives cured meats their characteristic color and flavor. Also, USDA-sponsored research indicates that sodium nitrite can help prevent the growth of Listeria monocytogenes, an environmental bacterium that can cause illness in some at-risk populations.” Too much sodium nitrite has been linked to cancer.
- Artificial Colorings (Yellow 5, Red 40, etc.) – Artificial food coloring can be found in countless food products ranging from candy and soda to breakfast cereal and sausage. These synthetic food dyes cause hyperactivity in some children, can possibly lead to cancer, and may cause allergy-like reactions.
- Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (Trans-Fats)- Trans fats are made when food makers turn liquid oils into solid fats, like shortening or margarine. Trans fats can be found in many fried, “fast” packaged, or processed foods, including anything fried and battered, shortening and stick margarine, cakes, cake mixes, pies, pie crust, and doughnuts. Animal foods, such as red meats and dairy, have small amounts of trans fats. But most trans fats come from processed foods. So WHY should we avoid these? Eating these fats increase your risk for health problems such as heart disease ( Trans fats increase LDL, lower HDL), weight gain, and diabetes.For more detailed information: www.fda.gov/food/food-additives-petitions/trans-fat., health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/resources/2015-2020_Dietary_Guidelines.pdf