The last century documents a tremendous development in food preparation. Today, over half “foods” available on supermarket and food store shelves are ready to eat, prepared, or ready to cook. They require minimal or no preparation to be ready to eat. This article covers a list of 50 toxic food additives, artificial sweeteners, and food colorings to avoid.
However, this convenience comes with its dark side. It is a fact that most of these “foods” contain additives and chemicals shown to harm laboratory animals and cause harm to the human body. If they are dangerous to animals, they are also dangerous to you. There are three major categories of ingredients you should avoid, namely artificial colors, artificial sweeteners, and food additives.
As increasing number of experts recommend, it wise to avoid as many chemicals is food as possible. Public health is important because whatever we consumer determines the health of a nation. Many people suffer from diseases they would otherwise prevent were they to avoid eating processed foods and additives. Here is a list of 50 toxic food additives, artificial sweeteners, and food colorings to avoid.
Food additives to avoid
Although most additives in this list fall in the FDA’s “safe list, growing concerns are listing most common food additives as unsafe when consumed in large quantities.
- Sodium nitrate: It is added to stop bacterial growth in processed meats and is the worst offender with links to cancer in humans.
- Sulfites: Used to maintain freshness of prepared foods. For sensitive people, it can cause difficulties in breathing.
- Azodicarbonamide: It is common in buns and bagels and can cause asthma.
- Potassium bromate: Used to increase volume in bread and has links to cancer in humans.
- Propyl gallate: This is common in products containing fat and has links to cancer in humans.
- BHT/BHA: This is a fat preservative used to extend the shelf life of foods and is linked to the growth of cancerous tumors.
- Propylene glycol: It is an antifreeze common in salad dressing and dairy products. Unfortunately, the FDA considers this food additive as safe.
- Butane: It is a known carcinogen put in chicken pieces to give them a fresh taste.
- Monosodium glutamate (MSG): This is a flavor common is causing headaches. Animal studies reveal its effects in heart failure, damage to nerves, seizures, and is carcinogenic.
- Disodium inosinate: It contains MSG and is common in food snacks.
- Disodium guanylate: Contains MSG and is used in snack foods.
- Enriched flour: This is refined starch, a product of toxic ingredients used in many food snacks.
- Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (Rbgh): It is version of natural growth hormone in cows genetically engineered to boost production of milk in cows. It contains high IGF-1 levels deemed carcinogenic.
- Refined vegetable oil: These oils include peanut, canola, sunflower, corn, and soybean oil with high omega-6 fats with links to heart diseases and are carcinogenic.
- Sodium benzoate: This carcinogenic element can potentially damage DNA and is a common preservative in carbonated beverages and salad dressing.
- Brominated vegetable oil: Bromate is poisonous is dangerous causing birth defects and organ damage and is used to suspend flavor oils in soft drinks. It is not required to be listed on label of foods, but is usually included secretly.
- Propyl gallate: This food additive is common in frozen dinners, popcorns, meat, and soup mixes. It is banned in some countries and proven cancerous in rats. FDA terms is safe.
- Olestra: This a substance that resembles fat and is unabsorbed by the human body. It is common in many snack foods and can lead to digestive problems. It is not healthy for the body.
- Carrageenan: This food additive is common in many prepared foods used in stabilizing and thickening. It is a potential cause of ulcers and is carcinogenic.
- Polysorbate 60: Used for thickening baked foods. Proven cancerous in laboratory animals.
- Camauba wax: Present in chewing gums. Also used to season some foods. Laboratory tests indicate it causing tumors and cancer in laboratory animals.
- Magnesium sulphate: Used in bean curd (tofu) shown to be carcinogenic in laboratory animals.
- Chlorine dioxide: This is a bleaching flour agent shown to cause hyperactivity and tumors in children.
- Paraben: Used in foods to prevent formation of yeasts and molds. May cause a disruption of hormones in the body linking to breast cancer.
- Sodium carboxymethyl cellulose: Used in thickening salad dressings. Can be carcinogenic is high quantities.
- Aluminum: Its presence in packaged foods can be cancerous and has links to Alzheimer and dementia.
Artificial sweeteners to avoid
The FDA regulates artificial sweeteners just like food additives although it is not applicable to products that are “generally recognized as safe”.
- Saccharin: This sweetener is carcinogenic is cancerous in rats; it is also dangerous to human.
- Aspartame: This is an excitotoxin and a potential carcinogen that can cause headaches, dizziness, and problems with the stomach.
- High fructose corn syrup: It is made from genetically modified cornstarch. It is known to cause problems with resistance to insulin, arthritis, diabetes, and obesity.
- Acesulfame potassium: It is an artificial sweetener used in ice creams and sodas. It has links to breast and lung tumors in rats.
- Sucralose: It is also known as splenda and can cause swelling of kidneys and liver.
- Agave nectar: This is a sweetener obtained from cactus. Its high fructose contents cause liver disease, insulin resistance, and the inflammation of body tissues.
- Bleached starch: It is associated with skin irritation, asthma. It is used in several products of dairy.
- Tert butylhydroquinone: It is used in the preservation of fish products and known to cause stomach tumors in high doses.
Related article: Health benefits of avoiding processed sugar
Artificial Food Colorings to Avoid
Although the essence of food colorings is to make foods more attractive, some experts point out their possibility of causing hyperactivity and asthma in children.
- Red #40: It is used alter color in several food stuffs. Petroleum is the source of all modern colors. It is banned in some countries in Europe and is carcinogenic. It can also cause hyperactivity in children.
- Blue #1: Is a common color in soft drinks, candy, and bakery products. It has potential to damage chromosomes and is carcinogenic.
- Blue #2: It is common in pet food beverages and candy. Known to cause brain tumor.
- Citrus red #1: It is sprayed on oranges to give them a ripe appearance. Damages chromosomes and is carcinogenic.
- Citrus red #2: It is also used in coloring oranges. Eating its peels is carcinogenic.
- Green #3: This is common in beverages and candies and is known to cause bladder tumors.
- Yellow #5: Common in candy, baked goods, and desserts. Some studies indicate that it can cause kidney tumors.
- Yellow #6: Expect this in baked goods, beverages, and sausages. Various studies indicate strong links to kidney tumors.
- Red #2: This food coloring has potential of causing asthma and is carcinogenic.
- Red #3: Expect it in baked goods, in ice creams, and cherry pie seasoning. It is carcinogenic and can cause thyroid cancer and damage nerves.
- Caramel: It is a coloring present in bread, pastries, sauces, and soft drinks. It is a product of ammonia and proven carcinogenic in mice. Do not expect food companies to disclose its presence as an ingredient.
- Brown HT: Expect it in many packaged foods. It is dangerous to children causing hyperactivity, is carcinogenic, and can cause asthma.
- Orange B: This food dye is present in sausages and hot dogs. It is dangerous for the bile duct and liver if consumed in high doses.
- Bixin: Children that consume products containing this food color are hyperactive. It can also cause asthma.
- Norbixin: It is a food color known to cause asthma and make children hyperactive.
- Annatto: This is another food coloring known to cause asthma and hyperactivity in children.
Health is a choice, make it better. We may not avoid all diseases, but those preventable, let us avoid.