Food Additives You Should Avoid

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Store-bought foods are usually treated with additives to prolong their shelf life or improve color/taste. Unfortunately, these additives do not add any value to the food we eat. In fact, some of them are downright dangerous.

One way to eat healthily is to learn how to read the labels. You want to cut back on processed foods and eat wholesome ones instead. But because food additives are widely used to process and package foods, it’s hard to know which ones to avoid. In today’s post, we are listing down some of the most dangerous food additives you should avoid at all cost:

Artificial Sweeteners

You think that zero-calorie soda is healthy? Think again. Diet sodas are laden with artificial sweeteners like aspartame. Aspartame is a classified carcinogen and neurotoxin. It also accounts for more cases of adverse reactions than all types of foods and food additives combined.

Too much aspartame leads to diminished brain function, short term memory loss, and other mental disorders. It could also lead to brain tumor, lymphoma as well as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. There is a long list of diseases linked to aspartame. Unfortunately, this sweetener is often used in baking goods, sodas, chewable vitamins and desserts.

High Fructose Corn Syrup

High fructose corn syrup or HFCS is a refined sweetener found in almost all processed foods. That’s because unlike other sweeteners, corn syrup is dirt cheap. HFCS is linked to obesity, diabetes, and high cholesterol level. It’s also the number one source of calories in the US! A diet rich in HFCS also raises the risk of tissue damage and other diseases. HFCS is found in salad dressings, breads, canned fruits, and vegetables.

Monosodium Glutamate

Monosodium glutamate or MSG is a type of amino acid used to enhance food flavors. It’s often added to soups, salad dressings, and processed foods. It’s also used in Chinese cooking and as seasonings.

MSG is classified as an excitotoxin. Compounds in MSG over-stimulate cells to the point that they become damaged. Studies show that too much MSG in the diet could lead to eye damage, obesity, depression, and disorientation. It could also lead to weight gain. How? MSG disrupts the neurological pathways of the brain. This leads to delayed feelings of satiety and overeating.

Common Food Dyes

Most food dyes are deemed safe enough for human consumption. But there are food dyes that lead to behavioral disorders in children, causing lower IQs and learning problems. Some studies also found that dangerous food dyes could also lead to cancer.  Unfortunately, food manufacturers use food dyes in their products all the time. It’s hard to avoid them because most processed foods contain them.

These food dyes include Blue #1 and Blue #2. These dyes are used in sodas, candies, and sports drinks. Blue #1 and Blue #2 could cause chromosomal damage. Red dye #3 and Red #40 is found in canned fruits, cherry pie mixes, and ice cream. These dyes increase the risk of thyroid cancer and chromosomal damage in lab animals. It could also disrupt transmission between the brain and the nerves.

Yellow #6 (E110) and Yellow Tartrazine are dangerous dyes banned in Norway and Sweden. Some studies suggest that these dyes cause kidney and adrenal gland cancer. It’s found in American cheese, fizzy drinks and store-bought lemonades.