You might think you eat healthy, well, think again. Most of the food you consume nowadays is contaminated with additives. They are getting you sick and manufacturers are not planing to make a change anytime soon. If you think about it, butter should be made out of cream and salt; peanut butter, of peanuts; and bread, of flour, water, eggs, salt and yeast. I invite you to check the ingredient’s list in the products I mentioned and see how many ingredients you find. I don’t believe it’s bad to eat cake or pizza; what is bad is that they come full of chemicals. That’s why people now are sicker and fatter than ever.
So, where can you start? First, let me share how organic food saved me; second, let me name the food additives you should avoid at all costs. Here is goes…
1. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
This is a sweetener created in a lab, it is cheaper and sweeter, so companies use it because it brings more revenue. You can find it in so many products it would surprise you, from candy and cookies to bread and meat.
2. Trans fats
Or better know as partially hydrogenated oils. A chemical process in which hydrogen is added to fats in their liquid form, to turn them solid fats, creates trans fats. They are added to your food so it tastes good after prolonged periods of time of being in a shelve.
You’ll find food that say “Zero trans fats” on the package and “Trans Fats: 0 g” in the nutritional label; but have partially hydrogenated oils in their ingredient’s list. Now, you might be wondering how is that possible. Well, very simple: according to the FDA, if the portion of the product has less than 0.5 g of trans fats, it doesn’t need to be on the label. So… 0.49g = 0g (I know!! This is a different kind of math!) Now, if a bag of chips has 15 portions (who eats one portion?) You could be eating up to 0.49g of trans fats per portion without even knowing it. According to doctors, trans fats should not be consumed by anyone, but the FDA says that you can eat up to 2.0 grams per day
3. Propylene Glycol
Companies add Porpilene Glycol to smoothies, juices, cough medicine and ice cream. It’s also one of the components of antifreeze, yes like the one you put in your car! For obvious reasons, as you are not a car, this chemical should not be in your food. Makes sense, right?
It is a dough conditioner. This chemical is made out of human hair and animals’ feathers. It’s found in baked goods, like bagels for example, and it’s used as a conditioner so that your bread is puffy
Is an additive that prevents liquids from separating, like in the case of milk, juices, toothpastes, among others. Although it comes from an algae, which is natural, it is considered an inflammatory food (specially to your gut), and it can create a lot of issues
6. Artificial Colors
They are made from chemicals derived from petroleum, do I need to say more? When you think about petroleum, you might think about it as combustible for your car, you wouldn’t think it is in your food. Artificial colorants are linked to ADD an ADHD. They are also considered carcinogens. I don’t think I would ever be able to list all the products that contain artificial colorants, but I can list the colorants you should avoid:
- FD&C Blue No. 1, 2 and 3
- FD&C Green No. 3
- FD&C Red No. 3 and 40
- FD&C Yellow No. 5 & 6
7. Modified Food Starch (or anything modified)
Do I need to say more? It is MODIFIED! Manufacturer put modified ingredients in so many products, like baked goods, frozen food, yogurts, sauces, salad, among others. It is sad and scary to see it in so many products, even at the health stores.
OK, let’s put it this way: if you don’t produce the enzyme lactase, you can’t break down lactose, and it’s called lactose intolerance. You can take a pill or buy lactose-free products and you should be fine. That was just an example to explain you what happens with Aspartame. There’s no enzyme in our bodies that can break down aspartame, so IT BUILDS UP IN YOUR BODY! Scary, right?
Aspartame is linked to many health problems like depression, brain fogginess, multiple sclerosis, anxiety, and even weight gain. Contrary to popular believe, it can make you gain weight because it is sweet, your brain recognizes something sweet is coming in, but your body doesn’t get any calories from it, so your body is in some kind of deficit and will try to make it up through the day. The worst part, you might not be able to see the name “aspartame” in the label because manufacturers use many commercial names:
- calcium cyclamate
- sodium cyclamate
- sweetening agent
9. Palm Oil
Studies have shown that is not suitable for human consumption and it is linked to cancer. On top of that, most the palm oil you find in food is not sourced environmentally friendly. It comes from palm trees cut to the bottom and that leaves many animals homeless (like orangutans). These guys can explain it better. Green Peace works on the conservation of rain forests and they have a lot of information too. You will find it in products with different names like:
- Palm Kernel Oil
- Palm Kernel Stearin (PKs); Palm Kernel Olein (PKOo)
- Partially hydrogenated Palm Oil
- Fractionated Palm Oil
- Organic Palm Kernel Oil
- Sodium Laureth Sulphate
- Sodium Lauryl Sulphates
- Sodium dodecyl Sulphate
- Elaeis Guineensis
- Glyceryl Stearate
- Stearic Acid
- Chemicals which contain palm oil
- Steareth -2
- Steareth -20
- Sodium Lauryl Sulphate
- Sodium lauryl sulfoacetate
- Hydrated palm glycerides
- Sodium isostearoyl lactylaye
- Cetyl palmitate and octyl palmitate
Cellulose is wood! Yes, wood, from trees. It is an anti-caking agent and manufacturers add it to shredded cheese to prevent it from sticking together (like it normally does)
Parabens are hormonal disruptors. They mimic hormones in your body and create such a chaotic unbalance. You can usually find them in cosmetics and skin-care and hair products; but you can also find it in food, like tortillas. So, you might be thinking you are being healthier by choosing wheat or corn tortillas over bread, but your are actually not.
They are added to meat because they prevent bacteria growth and so they look pink and appealing after a long time sitting in a store’s shelf. It sounds very good, the only problem is that they are carcinogenic.
13. Monosodium Glutamate
It gives food flavor, there’s no doubt about it. The problem is that it’s also linked to headaches, allergies, and brain damage
14. TBHQ & BHQ
They are preservatives. Chronic exposure to them can cause cancer, and behavioral issues in children
It gives flavor and texture to food, and prolongs its shelf-life. It has high glycemic index, which means it can spike blood sugar. It can come from potato, rice or corn. If it come from corn, it’s most likely from genetically modified corn, unless specified otherwise. It can cause weight gain, diabetes, bloating, among others
Dextrose is a type of sugar, which most likely comes from genetically modified corn, unless it says it’s organic. There’s no need to explain the side effects of continuous consumption of sugar.
17. Caramel Color
Caramel color is, obviously, used to give a caramel color to food and drinks. According to Consumer Reports, caramel color contains “a potentially carcinogenic chemical called 4-methylimidazole (4-MeI)”. You can find it in sodas, teas, and different kinds of food. This whole subject is so bad, that according to the Proposition 65 of California, companies like Cola Cola would need to put in their labels that their products could cause cancer. For obvious reasons, they are choosing to reformulate Coke rather than having that label on every can.
Steps to take if you find one of these ingredients in the nutritional label of what you intend to buy
- Put the product back in the shelve
- Turn around
- Walk away
Pretty simple right?
What to do now?
Finally, if you still don’t believe me, give it a try, try the organic version of what you already eat and experience the difference. I got rid of eczema, allergies, acid reflex and excess weight just by making that switch. Keep in mind that the first time you go to the store you will take hours because you will be reading labels and comparing items, but once you make it a habit, you will be in and out the store. In addition, it is important that you stop the source of toxins (what you’re putting in your body), but it also important to clean you body now from all previous damage. You might want to check out these 6 ways to detox your body At the same time, you might want to read 18 Worst Chemicals in Beauty Products too. You can eat better and detox daily, but you need to stop the current of chemicals coming to you
But it’s too expensive!
If you still believe buying organic food it is too expensive, think about it this way: if I had allergies, eczema, acid reflex and excess weight how much should I spend per month in medicine to help myself with these problems? On the same note, if I was taking medicine for all of these, they would have a side effect, and eventually I would be contaminating my liver and kidneys. Bottom line is that by eating organic I’m not spending more, I am investing in myself and the results are amazing, you feel better overall.
Remember, knowledge is power!
The decision is yours,