Food additives have been used for centuries to improve the appearance and taste of food and prolong shelf life. However, do these food additives really "add" any value to your food?
Food additives find their way into our food to facilitate processing, packaging and storage, but how do we know what food additives are in that box of macaroni and cheese and why does it have such a long shelf life?
A typical American household spends about 90 percent of its food budget on processed foods and, in doing so, is exposed to a large number of artificial food additives, many of which can have serious consequences for their health.
Some food additives are worse than others. Here is a list of the main food additives to avoid:
1. Artificial sweeteners
Aspartame, (E951), more popularly known as Nutrasweet and Equal, is found in foods labeled "diet" or "without sugar." It is believed that aspartame is carcinogenic and represents more reports of adverse reactions than all other foods and food additives combined. Aspartame is not your friend. Aspartame is a neurotoxin and carcinogen. Known to erode intelligence and affect short-term memory, the components of this toxic sweetener can lead to a wide variety of diseases, such as brain tumors, diseases such as lymphoma, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue and emotional disorders such as depression and anxiety attacks, dizziness, headaches, nausea, mental confusion, migraines and seizures. Acesulfame-K, a relatively new artificial sweetener found in bakery, rubber and gelatin products, has not been thoroughly tested and has been linked to kidney tumors. Read more about the dangers of Aspartame here.
They are found in diet or sugar-free sodas, diet coke, zero-cola, gelatin (and other gelatins), desserts, sugar-free chewing gum, drinking mixes, baking products, tabletop sweeteners, cereals, breath pills, pudding , kool-aid, ice tea, chewable vitamins, toothpaste.
2. High fructose corn syrup
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a highly refined artificial sweetener that has become the main source of calories in the United States. It is found in almost all processed foods. HFC packs the pounds faster than any other ingredient, increases your LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels and contributes to the development of diabetes and tissue damage, among other harmful effects.
It is found in most processed foods, bread, sweets, flavored yogurts, salad dressings, canned vegetables, cereals.
3. Monosodium glutamate (MSG / E621)
MSG is an amino acid used as a flavor enhancer in soups, salad dressings, potato chips, frozen dishes and many restaurant foods. MSG is known as an excitotoxin, a substance that overexcitates cells to the point of injury or death. Studies show that regular consumption of MSG can cause adverse side effects that include depression, disorientation, eye damage, fatigue, headaches and obesity. MSG affects neurological pathways in the brain and disables the "I'm full" function, which explains the effects of weight gain.
Found in Chinese food (Chinese restaurant syndrome) many snacks, chips, cookies, condiments, most Campbell Soup products, frozen dinners and cold meats.
4. Trans Fat
Trans fats are used to improve and prolong the shelf life of food products and are among the most dangerous substances you can consume. Found in fried fast foods and in certain processed foods made with margarine or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, trans fats are formed by a process called hydrogenation. Numerous studies show that trans fats increase LDL cholesterol levels while lowering HDL ("good") cholesterol, increase the risk of heart attacks, heart disease and stroke, and contribute to increased inflammation, diabetes and other problems of health. Oils and fats are now banned in the Danish market if they contain trans fatty acids that exceed 2 percent, a movement that prohibits partially hydrogenated oils.
It is found in margarine, chips and cookies, bakery products, fast foods.
5. Common food dyes
Studies show that artificial colors found in soft drinks, fruit juices and salad dressings can contribute to behavioral problems in children and lead to a significant reduction in IQ. Studies in animals have linked some food coloring with cancer. Beware of these:
Blue # 1 and Blue # 2 (E133)
Prohibited in Norway, Finland and France. It can cause chromosomal damage.
It is found in sweets, cereals, soft drinks, sports drinks and pet food.
Red dye # 3 (also red # 40 – a more current dye) (E124)
Prohibited in 1990 after 8 years of debate for use in many foods and cosmetics. This dye continues in the market until the supplies run out! It has been shown to cause thyroid cancer and chromosomal damage in laboratory animals, it can also interfere with brain and nerve transmission.
It is found in fruit cocktail, maraschino cherries, cherry pie, ice cream, candy, bakery products and more!
Yellow # 6 (E110) and yellow Tartrazine (E102)
Prohibited in Norway and Sweden. Increases the number of kidney and adrenal gland tumors in laboratory animals, can cause chromosomal damage.
It is found in American cheese, macaroni and cheese, sweets and carbonated drinks, lemonade and more!
6. Sodium sulphite (E221)
Preservative used in the elaboration of wine and other processed foods. According to the FDA, approximately one in 100 people is sensitive to sulfites in food. Most of these individuals are asthmatic, suggesting a link between asthma and sulfites. People who are sensitive to sulfite may experience headaches, breathing problems and rashes. In severe cases, sulfites can cause death by closing the airway, leading to cardiac arrest.
It is found in wine and nuts.
7. Sodium nitrate / sodium nitrite
Sodium nitrate (or sodium nitrite) is used as a preservative, coloring and flavoring in bacon, ham, sausages, cold meats, canned meat, smoked fish and other processed meats. This ingredient, which sounds harmless, is actually highly carcinogenic once it enters the human digestive system. There, it forms a variety of nitrosamine compounds that enter the bloodstream and wreak havoc on several internal organs: the liver and the pancreas in particular. Sodium nitrite is widely considered a toxic ingredient, and the USDA actually tried to ban this additive in the 1970s, but was vetoed by food manufacturers who complained that they did not have an alternative to preserve packaged meat products. . Why is the industry still using it? Simple: this chemical turns bright red. Actually, it is a colored fixative, and makes old and dead flesh look fresh and vibrant.
It is found in sausages, bacon, ham, lunch meat, sausages, corned beef, smoked fish or any other type of processed meat.
8. BHA and BHT (E320)
Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) are preservatives found in cereals, chewing gum, potato chips and vegetable oils. This common preservative prevents food from changing color, changing flavor or becoming rancid. It affects the neurological system of the brain, alters behavior and has the potential to cause cancer. BHA and BHT are oxidants that form reactive compounds that cause cancer in your body.
It is found in potato chips, chewing gum, cereal, frozen sausages, enriched rice, lard, lard, sweets, gelatin.
9. Sulfur dioxide (E220)
Sulfur additives are toxic and in the United States of America, the Federal Administration of Medicines has prohibited its use in raw fruits and vegetables. Adverse reactions include bronchial problems, particularly in those prone to asthma, hypotension (low blood pressure), flushing, tingling or anaphylactic shock. It also destroys vitamins B1 and E. Not recommended for consumption by children. The International Labor Organization says you should avoid E220 if you suffer from conjunctivitis, bronchitis, emphysema, bronchial asthma or cardiovascular disease.
It is found in beer, soft drinks, dried fruits, juices, cordials, wine, vinegar and potato products.
10. Potassium bromate
An additive used to increase the volume in some white flours, bread and rolls, it is known that potassium bromate causes cancer in animals. Even small amounts in bread can create problems for humans.
Found in the bread.
Download the print version here and discover 2 additional food additives to avoid too:
Please print this and take it with you from shopping. Remember to read the labels and buy as healthy and organic as possible. The more whole and natural foods you eat, the better you'll find: foods that do not contain preservatives, chemicals, fillers, artificial flavors or artificial colors.
Were you surprised by any of these food additives?
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