The Processed Food Industry (from fast food restaurants to the huge factories that create and package processed foods) is really only concerned about one thing… their corporate profits.
It’s a numbers game… and the sad fact is that growing and distributing fresh, healthy food is far more expensive per unit than manufacturing packaged food products that are ready-to-eat or “instant” or very easy to prepare… and that can sit on a shelf (in the store or in your pantry) for long periods of time without spoiling (“shelf-life”).
To create these modern nutritional marvels requires a great deal of tampering with the original food (if there ever was one), and numerous “added ingredients” as well as a bunch of food preservatives. And let’s not forget artificial colors, flavors and pesticides.
Let me let you in on a little secret… The bottom line to staying healthy & fit is to stick to a healthy diet… and nothing is healthier than eating organically grown fruit and vegetables.
Often referred to as “Raw Food,” organically grown and pesticide-free produce has been proven to be the safest and healthiest food for the human body. It is naturally filled with nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
So here’s a list of Food Additives that you really need to avoid!
1. Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil
Every so often a new “buzz word” is discovered by the news media whenever they talk about health or fitness issues. Until recently, the most often heard health topic in the news concerned Cholesterol levels.
Granted, Cholesterol is still an important issue and concern for many people (especially Boomers); but the newest kid (buzz word) on the block seems to be Trans Fat.
Does that mean anything to you? It should if you’re one of the millions who have fallen for the margarine trap. Or if you enjoy having a “packaged” muffin or pastry with your coffee in the morning, you need to know the hard cold facts about the dangers of eating foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.
It’s made by using a process in which vegetable oil is “infused” with hydrogen. When that occurs, the level of polyunsaturated oils (a healthy fat) is drastically reduced and “Trans Fats” are created.
Do a quick search on Google and you’ll discover that Trans Fats are closely associated with heart disease, breast cancer, colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, atherosclerosis and all the other problems related to elevated cholesterol.
2. BHA and BHT
The preservatives BHA and BHT are man-made ingredients that prevent oils used in processed foods from becoming rancid. Both are considered to be “Carcinogens” by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (US DHHS).
They’re both recognized for causing sleep disorders and are associated with numerous diseases and health problems including skin rashes, hair loss, liver and kidney damage, pancreatic cancer, fetal abnormalities and growth retardation.
In the last 40 years, the rate of Cancer deaths in the US has increased by over 50%! This is not a coincidence! Think about the fact that BHA and BHT have both been found to cause cancer in laboratory animals, and even the US DHHS says they’re unsafe for human consumption, yet the FDA continues to maintain that they’re safe to be used in the foods we eat.
Read the label before you buy… if it contains BHT or BHA, put it back.
3. Azodi-carbonamide (ADA or Bromide)
In food processing, ADA is an additive used in manufacturing of Bread products; it’s used for bleaching flour and as a preservative, keeping bread soft and preventing it from becoming stale.
Use of Azodi-carbonamide as a food additive is illegal in parts of Europe and in Australia. The UK has identified Bromide as a possible cause of asthma and the use of ADA in food processing in Singapore can result in up to 15 years imprisonment and a fine of $450,000!
Because the main use of ADA is in the manufacturing of foam plastics, like Styrofoam! The thermal decomposition of ADA releases nitrogen, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and ammonia gases which are trapped in the polymer as bubbles in a foam product.
Common examples are Styrofoam cups, gaskets for car doors and windows, padded floor mats, padded inserts for shoes, etc… And yet it is still found in several bread products sold in the USA.
Ever wonder why Wonderbread was so soft and could stay that way for weeks (if not months) on the shelf? Well, now you know.
4. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
Commonly used as the “flavor enhancer” in Chinese food, MSG has become one of the few additives that are now being recognized for its unpleasant side effects. It’s not uncommon to see signs in windows in Thai and Chinese restaurants that say “No MSG!”
But MSG is not just in Asian cuisine; it’s also a common ingredient in “flavor packets” and “marinades” in supermarkets. MSG is what is called an excitotoxin; a toxin that binds to certain receptors in your brain.
It basically “turns off” the neural receptors that tell you when you’re full, making you want to consume more food. It also over-stimulates your brain, resulting in an intense “rush” as your dopamine levels suddenly rise. The side effects of MSG include throbbing headaches (migraine trigger), rashes, dizziness as well as respiratory, digestive, circulatory and coronary concerns.
5. Olestra (Olean)
Hailed as a calorie-free fat substitute, Olean is a widely used chemical ingredient in numerous snacks, crackers and potato chips. Obviously what first comes to mind is that this is a good thing, being a “calorie-free” fat. But there’s a price to pay.
This additive is known to inhibit the body’s ability to absorb and assimilate several vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients. Side effects? How about severe bloating and gas as well as diarrhea and uncontrollable anal leakage?
Basically, not a pretty picture… a chemical ingredient that will add extra fat to your waistline, and then, to top it off, possibly surprise you with some unexpected explosive anal leakage? Uh, no thanks… Read that label.
6. Artificial Sweeteners
It should be a crime… People mistakenly think that they are doing their body a favor by using “Diet” versions of their favorite drink or foods… all in the effort to lose weight; but the truth is, artificial sweeteners are far worse than natural sweeteners.
They’re man-made chemicals that have some really insidious side effects… like cancer and neurological (brain) disorders because of the high toxicity of their eventual chemical breakdown within the body.
And to top it off, when combined with other food additives, they can have a far more potent effect on nerve cells. Don’t believe it? Read some of the many scientific research papers on the internet on the side effects of Saccharine and Aspartame.
If it says Diet (artificially sweetened) on the label… Stay away!
7. Refined White Sugar
Highly processed sugar is so common, it’s found in just about everything… but especially in processed foods. Start reading those labels and you’ll be amazed by the high amounts of sugar in soft drinks, baked goods (bread, cookies & pastries), pasta, tomato sauce and all kinds of canned foods and soups.
Unless you’ve been living on a desert island for the last 50 years, you’ve undoubtedly heard that white sugar consumption (and the corresponding spike in insulin levels) will cause weight gain, bloating, fatigue, arthritis, migraine headaches, lowered immune function, obesity, tooth decay, Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease.
8. Artificial Coloring
Artificial colors are chemicals added to foods and drinks for no other reason than to make them more appealing to the consumer. Many are derived from coal-tar and can contain up to 10 parts per million of lead and arsenic and yet are still being recognized as safe by the FDA. Others come from a wide range of less than appetizing sources.
Carmine, the most common ingredient in red food coloring is a clothing dye that dates back to the ancient Aztecs and is made from the crushed shells of a South American beetle. Carmine and other artificial colors have been known to cause severe allergic reactions as well as ADHD in children and may contribute to visual & learning disorders as a result of nerve damage.
These days, there’s really no way to get around this one… short of growing your own produce, or buying all your food from an Organic farm. Sadly the vast majority of food products (like 99.99%) has been in contact with and includes the residue of pesticides.
Over two billion pounds of pesticides are added annually to the amount that is used every year; and as the global demand for food escalates, there’s no end in sight. Many of those pesticides (used outside the USA) are known carcinogens.
In countries with no legislation to protect its citizens from the use of such pesticides, there’ve been near epidemic numbers of cases where these toxins have severely diminishing the body’s ability to resist infection, as well as contribute to a higher percentage of miscarriages and birth defects.
10. Sodium Nitrate and Nitrite
We saved this for last because of the ongoing debate about Sodium Nitrate (andNitrites ~ what Sodium Nitrate becomes in the process of curing meat)…
Thus, instead of completely avoiding Sodium Nitrate, we recommend you really limit to a minimum the amount of food you eat with Nitrites in it.
For several centuries, salt (Sodium Nitrate) has been used as a curing agent & preservative for fish & meat. Today it’s found in Deli-meats and in highly concentrated amounts in bacon, salami, pepperoni and other processed meats.
Nitrates and cancer
Several decades ago, researchers suggested Nitrates were linked to cancer in lab rats. This received a lot of media attention; but what received far less attention was when it turned out they were wrong.
The National Academy of Sciences, the American Cancer Society and the National Research Council all agree that there’s no direct cancer risk from consuming limited amounts of sodium nitrate… in fact, despite its bad reputation, Nitrites can actually prevent a very deadly disease!
Nitrates and Botulism
One special property of Nitrate is that it prevents the growth of Clostridium Botulinum… one of the most toxic substances known. Clostridium Botulinum produces Botulism, a paralytic illness that can quickly lead to respiratory failure and death.
Botulism bacteria are peculiar because unlike most microbes, they actually require an oxygen-free environment to live. Once exposed to air, it dies; so it tends to appear in canned foods, vacuum-packed foods, food stored in oil and improperly cured meats.
Interestingly, it turns out that Sodium Nitrate is especially effective at preventing the growth of Botulism.
Sodium Nitrate and a Healthy Diet
Considering that Sodium Nitrate occurs naturally in organic foods like spinach, carrots and celery, all the fuss about nitrites seems like typical media-driven hysteria. Moreover, when you consider the increased likelihood of contracting Botulism from eating Nitrate-free meat, it’s actually the nitrate-free foods that present the higher health risk.
Despite how delicious they might taste, a steady diet of processed Deli-meats will undoubtedly result in some less than desirable effects on one’s health. And not just from the Sodium Nitrate; but in concert and conjunction with all the other preservatives, additives and chemicals found in any processed food.
Studies show that frequent eating of processed meats can result in some rather unpleasant side effects that include headaches, nausea, vomiting and dizziness. Long term diets that included large daily amounts of Deli meats have been known to cause cancer, heart disease, embolism and strokes.
The Bottom Line…
If you have to buy or use a processed or manufactured food product, just be sure to read the Label! Better yet, stick to Organic Raw Foods purchased from a Whole Food or Organic Food Market and learn to cook without using a bunch of man-made chemicals and artificial ingredients.
The importance of proper nutrition cannot be emphasized enough. Your health is directly related to what you eat!
Most modern supermarket food is nearly worthless… filled with an abundance of empty calories and high fat & sugar content. The sad fact of the matter is there are are hardly any vitamins or minerals in processed foods.
Only Organic, fresh, raw foods possess high amounts of nutritional energy… and you don’t have to worry about reading the ingredient list on a bunch of raw vegetables!
Unfortunately we can’t always get or eat totally organic foods all the time… so it then becomes vitally important to supplement our diets with food supplements (vitamins, minerals, enzymes and anti-oxidants) in order to keep our digestion & metabolism running smoothly and to keep our bodies as healthy as possible. Just remember…
“You are what you eat” and “The longer the shelf-life… the shorter your life!”