Lately I’ve been contemplating the idea that we, as a culture, never take the time to really stop and think about what’s in the foods we eat on a daily basis. From generation to generation we continue to drift further away from the origin of our food supply. I believe we have this sense of “Well, if the government allows this food product on the grocery store shelf, then I can eat it!” These thoughts have urged me to research some of the most common ingredients found in foods today and how they impact our health. Be prepared, the results are not what I would call appetizing…
1. Artificial colors- (Red #40, Yellow #5, Blue #1, etc..)
These bad boys are typically found in baked goods, cereals, sodas, candy, gelatin, cough medicines, and even conventionally grown fruits and vegetables. Most of these colors are made from coal tars, petroleum, and antifreeze. Should humans be ingesting the same thing cars are? I don’t think so! How do these pose a risk to your health? Well, for starters, they have been linked to cancer, hyperactivity, allergies, asthma, and nerve damage. Also, most of these products are banned in some European countries. Since when is the color of our food more important than our health anyways? I’m pretty sure we would be A-OK without these!
2. Artificial sweeteners- (Aspartame, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sweet-n-Low, Splenda , Acesulfame, Equal, Saccharin, Sucralose, Sorbitol)
They are typically found in products marketed as a lower sugar alternative. such as diet foods and diet sodas. These products are a huge hype right now. Everywhere you look, you see “Sweetened with Splenda” on the label. These fake sugars have been linked to cancer, metabolism disorders, depression, migraines, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes.
*There has never been a good connotation with the word fake and there seems to be some truth to that. I don’t think the word artificial should be used to describe anything that I’m eating. So remember to use raw Stevia or Xylitol, in moderation, instead of these fake sweeteners!
3.Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
When I hear MSG, I immediately think of Chinese food. But what I have failed to realize is that MSG is actually in a wide array of foods, such as chips, crackers, cookies, frozen foods, canned soups, salad dressings, and lunch meats. MSG is known to cause insomnia, migraines, depression, and weight gain. Due to its bad rap, companies have found ways to mask MSG under about 30 other ingredient names. Therefore, MSG can be in the food your eating under a pseudo name and you won’t even know it! How rude! 🙂
4. Sodium Nitrate and Sodium Nitrite
These are used as a preservative in processed meats, such as hot dogs, lunch meats, and bacon. Once these preservatives get inside the human body, they are highly carcinogenic! They become highly toxic to your liver and pancreas in particular. In fact, the USDA attempted to ban the additive in the 1970s, but food manufacturers denied the bill because they had no other way to preserve meat products. These are also used to make old meats look more red and edible…eww!
5. Hydrogenated and Partially Hydrogenated Oils (Palm Oil, Soybean Oil, etc..)
These are found in the majority of processed foods. They are industrial created fats which are found in more than 40,000 food products. These have high levels of trans fats which raise cholesterol and may lead to heart disease.
While I know it hasn’t been appetizing to read this post, I hope it makes you more aware. I challenge you to get R.I.L.E.D up and Read Ingredients Lists Every Day! My rule of thumb is this: if I cannot pronounce half of the words on the ingredients list..I probably should NOT be eating it! The ingredients listed above are just a few of many food additives found in typical foods of the American diet. Check out how many health risks go along with just the ones I mentioned above. Don’t let the government decide what you are capable of eating; it is up to you to take charge of what you are putting in your body. So EAT ORGANIC as much as possible and try to avoid these unnatural products that bombard our grocery shelves. Your body and health will be much appreciative!