For a long time, food additives have been used to improve the flavor and appearance of food and extend their shelf life. But many of these additives don’t add any value to food.
Instead, they contain many artificial chemicals that can harm our bodies. Often, these additives are difficult to identify since they have numerous pseudonyms and written in tiny font.
Even though they are produced from plant sources, they can still cause harm. Here are the top six food additives to avoid.
Potassium bromate is used in white flour, rolls and bread to increase volume. There have been concerns that this chemical, an oxidizing agent, may be carcinogenic. A study published in 1982 found that it caused cancer in rats.This lead to the substance being put on the “possibly carcinogenic to humans” list by the Agency for Research on Cancer. Potassium bromate has been banned by governments including European Union, Canada, Brazil, China, and Peru.
2.High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
Most popular breakfast cereals and prepackaged treats are loaded with HFCS. Tissue damage that may lead to diabetes, obesity and heart disease has been linked to the reactive carbonyl molecules in HFCS. To make matters worse, HFCS is made from genetically modified corn, is processed with genetically modified enzymes, and many samples have also tested positive for mercury. The argument that “eaten in moderation” HFCS is safe, is also a lie. Here’s why. High Fructose Corn Syrup shuts down the brain’s ability to discern fullness and increases the desire to eat. It would be great if we only ate HFCS in moderation, but in the real world, that’s not possible. Once you start eating that stuff, you just want more and more. That’s one reason people who drink diet soda actually gain more weight.
3.Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
Glutamate is a naturally occurring amino acid that the body uses and needs. However, synthetic manipulation and processing of glutamate produces a form that is not found in nature and can be a toxin when ingested. Common symptoms from people that ingest MSG included headaches, flushing, poor attention, and weakness in the arms and legs.
Common Culprits of MSG include:
Food dyes are mainly found in candy, juice, and salad dressing. Blue #1 and Blue #2 have actually been banned in France, Norway, and Finland. Red #3 has been banned in the U.S but is still being used until supplies run out. This dye is known to cause thyroid cancer and chromosomal damage.
This commonly used preservative is used most often in fruit juices, sodas and salad dressings (although it is definitely not limited to these food items). One ground breaking study found that sodium benzoate increases hyperactivity in children and can lead to behavioral and learning problems, along with other certain coloring agents. The worst effects of this additive were seen in three year olds. While everyone can certainly benefit from eliminating this sodium benzoate from their diet, parents should be especially diligent.
5.Nitrates and Nitrites
These are synthetic preservatives that are often added to meats to make them look nice and pink, so that the consumer will think they look “fresher.” The problem is that nitrates, combined with high heat, form a substance called nitrosamines, which are known carcinogens. Nitrosamines wreak havoc on a cellular level and have been linked to colon, stomach, pancreas, and bladder cancer. Although nitrates can be naturally found in some vegetables, it’s the synthetic type that is applied to meat, and then activated by heat, that is the dangerous culprits.