Monday, August 31, 2015

Harmful Ingredients Still Allowed in Our Food Today

Did you know that Unhealthy Processed Foods Outnumber Unadulterated Healthy Foods?  

Today, more than three quarters of supermarket shelves are stocked with packaged and processed foods. These boxed, canned, and frozen foods are just a part of the problem with the food supply.

Some of you already know about Monsanto and GMOs. Most people in the United States don't realize that they've been eating genetically engineered foods since the mid-1990s. More than 60 percent of all processed foods on U.S. supermarket shelves contain ingredients from engineered soybeans, corn, or canola. The GMO problem is something that I will discuss in another article because it's equally as important as the unhealthy chemicals in our food.

In total, there are more than 3,000 food chemicals purposely added to our food supply, yet avoiding them is a lot easier and more economical than you might think. You probably already know this, but the rule of thumb is that the best foods to stay healthy are unprocessed organic foods.

Here are some of the typical ingredients that are packaged, flavored and presented as food, which you should avoid.

1. TBHQ, A.K.A: Butane

Butane isn’t just for lighters anymore – it’s also an artificial antioxidant that they put it in chicken nuggets to keep them “fresh” tasting. So instead of your chicken nuggets being fresh, butane keeps them “fresh.” Eating butane probably wasn’t what you had in mind the last time you ordered those nuggets. Try homemade chicken wings instead, for fuel-free food.

Found in: Frozen, packaged or pre-made processed foods with long shelf lives such as frozen meals, crackers, chips, cereal bars and fast food.

2. BHA

This preservative is used to prevent rancidity in foods that contain oils. Unfortunately, BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) has been shown to cause cancer in rats, mice, and hamsters. The reason the FDA hasn’t banned it is largely technical. Nevertheless, the study, published in the Japanese Journal of Cancer Research, concluded that BHA was “reasonably anticipated to be a carcinogen,” and as far as I’m concerned, that’s reason enough to eliminate it from your diet.

Found in: Cereals, breads, crackers, snack foods, gum, pet food, make-up, lotions and soap to name a few.

3. Estrogen

Regular milk is full of hormones used by the milk industry to keep the cows estrogen in milk lactating all year round. So when you drink regular milk you take a shot of hormones with it. And all you wanted was a bowl of cereal.

Found in: All non-organic dairy, so organic is recommended.

4. Parabens

These synthetic preservatives are used to inhibit mold and yeast in food. The problem is parabens may also disrupt your body’s hormonal balance. A study in Food Chemical Toxicology found that daily ingestion decreased sperm and testosterone production in rats, and parabens have been found present in breast cancer tissues.

Found In: Beer, sauces, desserts, soft drinks, processed fish, jams, pickles, frozen dairy products, processed vegetables and flavouring syrups.

5. Propylene Glycol, A.K.A: antifreeze 

This food thickener, stabilizer, and emulsifier is derived from alginic acid esterified and combined with propylene glycol. Bear in mind that even though propylene glycol is used as a food additive, it has many industrial uses including automotive antifreezes and airport runway de-icers.

Antifreeze is used in cars, pills, cosmetics, deodorant, moisturizer and food! It keeps your car from freezing over, your moisturizer moist, and your ice cream creamy and smooth.

Found in: Cake mix, salad dressings, ice cream, flavored coffee, soda, margarine and even in dog food.

6. Caramel Colouring

The food industry treat sugar with ammonia, which can produce some nasty carcinogens. How carcinogenic are these compounds? A Center for Science in the Public Interest report asserted that the high levels of caramel color found in soda account for roughly 15,000 cancers in the U.S. annually. Another good reason to scrap soft drinks? They’re among The 20 Worst Drinks in America!

Found in: Coke/Diet Coke, Pepsi/Diet Pep

7. Aspartame

If you think you are making a healthier option because you chose to have diet soda over a regular soda drink, its time to think again. Crafty advertising may have given the term "sugar free" an impression of healthy alternative, but the truth of the matter is that chemical sweeteners are far from healthy. Aspartame is also highly addictive. The phenylalanine and methanol components increase the dopamine levels in the brain and cause a certain high. This further creates an addiction that is only made worse by the release of methyl alcohol or methanol, which is considered a narcotic.

Found in: Diet sodas, yogurts, chewing gum, cooking sauces, crisps, tabletop sweeteners, drink powders (cocoa, energy drinks), sugar-free products and cereals.

I've only listed 7 of these harmful ingredients, so you need to be wary of these additives as well:  High-fructose corn syrup, Artificial dyes, Preservatives and Trans Fat.

I make all my meals from scratch using organic ingredients. Please read all labels on foods you are buying to avoid these health risks, or better yet, buy organic whenever possible.  

Thank you for reading!  Please leave your comments and suggestions below.

Laurel xoxo


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