- March 15, 2015
It’s an undeniable fact: processed foods are everywhere. While the best way to nurture a healthy body is to consume only fresh, whole foods 100 percent of the time, this isn’t always feasible in our fast-paced world. If you are going to eat foods that have been processed in any way, it’s best to know precisely what to avoid when you’re out shopping for groceries. These top 8 harmful and damaging artificial ingredients should definitely be on your list of things to skip next time you’re loading up your cart.
Dangerous Food Additives: Protecting Your Family’s Health
Each of the following ingredients poses some risk to your health and should be avoided whenever possible.
- Artificial sweeteners – Despite the fact that so many artificial sweeteners contain zero calories, studies have shown that the consumption of additives like sucralose and aspartame actually causes even more weight gain than sugar over time. In addition to contributing to obesity, artificial sweeteners increase your risk of developing diabetes, diminish beneficial gut flora, and exacerbate inflammatory bowel disease.
- Artificial flavors – If you see the phrase “artificial flavoring” on anything you buy, the truth is that there is no way to know precisely what you’re eating. The flavor added could be comprised of a single compound or an amalgamation of hundreds of different chemicals.
- Artificial colors – In order to make processed foods appear more appetizing, the majority of manufacturers load their products with artificial dyes, many of which have been proven to cause hypersensitivity, hyperactivity, behavioral issues (particularly in children), and even cancer. Many of the dyes used in food and beverages are components of coal tar.
- Trans fats and vegetable oil –Trans fats have been proven to inhibit fundamental cell membrane function and increase the risk of diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Excessive consumption can also increase your chances of suffering a stroke. Though vegetable oils do come from organic sources originally – including soybeans, corn, and certain seeds – the final product on your local store’s shelf is far from healthy. When heated, vegetable oils actually degrade into toxic substances that are detrimental to heart and brain health.
- High-fructose corn syrup – HFCS is an ingredient in many foods and products that you might not expect, including various types of baby food, sandwich bread, and cough syrup. The liver is the only organ in the body that is capable of metabolizing high fructose corn syrup, treating it just like alcohol.
- Monosodium glutamate (MSG) – MSG is a commonly used flavor enhancer added to a wide range of food products, including everything from prepared meats and frozen meals to condiments and salad dressing. It has been linked to severe headaches, eye damage, depression, numbness or tingling, feelings of disorientation, fatigue, and obesity.
- Genetically engineered ingredients – The majority of developed nations worldwide consider GMOs unsafe, but unfortunately, the U.S. does not yet include genetically engineered or modified ingredients on product packaging. Consumption of GEs has been linked to stomach inflammation in pigs, particularly in males.
- Preservatives – Used to lengthen the shelf life of processed foods, preservatives have been shown to contribute to a variety of undesirable effects, including allergic reactions, cancer, liver toxicity, and much more. The best way to avoid exposure to preservatives is to eat certified organic foods as often as possible.
To learn more about how food impacts your health, please contact us today and speak with a member of our team. LANAP & Implant Center of Pennsylvania warmly welcomes patients from throughout Collegeville, Williamsport, Pottstown, Sunbury, Bloomberg, Lock Haven, and more.