If you’ve ever read the ingredients listed on packaged foods, you know that there’s a lot more in them today than in your grandmother’s generation. Virtually every processed food now contains a laundry list of preservatives, colorings, flavorings, emulsifiers and more. And unless you’re shopping at a natural specialty store, gone are the days when a loaf of bread contained just a few ingredients. Unhealthy food additives are laced into nearly every packaged item you can find at grocery stores.
People are used to hearing me say, “Food is not the enemy!” What we do to it –strip it of nutrients and add chemicals– is the enemy. One of the sessions I do with my clients is a 90-minute grocery tour at the store they normally visit. I teach them how to read and understand food labels (not just the calories, sodium and sugar levels, but ingredients and more) so they eat foods, not chemicals.
Food Additives You Should Steer Clear Of
There are currently more than 3,000 food additives added to foods in the United States. While some food additives are worse than others and ideally, you should steer clear of all of them, if you’re just getting started, my “top 10 to avoid” listed below is an excellent starting point:
1- Artificial Sweeteners
Aspartame, a.k.a. Nutrasweet and Equal, is believed to be carcinogenic and accounts for more reports of adverse reactions than all other foods and food additives combined. All artificial sweeteners are bad news, period. The label tells you it’s “artificial”, meaning, it’s not real food, and therefore, your body will not be able to utilize it as fuel.
2- High Fructose Corn Syrup
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) increases your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels and contributes to the development of insulin resistance and diabetes.
3- Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
MSG is used as a flavor enhancer. It is an excitotoxin, a substance that overexcites cells to the point of damage or death.
4- Trans Fat
Partially hydrogenated oils of any kind are simply another word for trans fats. Numerous studies show that these increase LDL cholesterol levels and risks of heart attacks, heart disease and strokes.
5- Common Food Dyes
Artificial colorings (red 40, blue 1, yellow 5, yellow 6, etc.) may contribute to behavioral problems in children and lead to a significant reduction in IQ.
6- Sodium Sulphite
This preservative used in processed foods, deli meats, and most wines (unless organic). People who are sulfite sensitive can experience headaches, breathing problems, and rashes. In severe cases, sulfites can actually cause death.
7- Sodium Nitrate/Sodium Nitrite
Many deli meats and various types of wine contain this common preservative. Sodium nitrate/nitrite has been linked to digestive disorders, allergies, and various types of cancer.
8-BHA and BHT
Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydrozyttoluene (BHT) are preservatives that affect the neurological system of your brain, alter behavior and have the potential to cause cancer. Unfortunately, you will find it in many skin care products and cosmetics as well as children cereals. Yikes!!
Sulphur additives are toxic and in the U.S., using them in raw fruits and vegetables is prohibited. Adverse reactions include bronchial problems, low blood pressure, and anaphylactic shock.
This additive is used to increase volume in some breads. It causes cancer in animals, and even small amounts create problems for humans.
Ward of Cancer and Other Diseases with a Nutritional Consultant
Want more? Contact us today 727-239-9443 and schedule your personal 90-minute grocery tour. It can be done on-site or virtually if you do not live in the Tampa Bay area. Our holistic health practitioner and nutrition expert will help you make smart choices.