Do you know what’s in your food?
Many of us don’t take the time to read the ingredient list on our favorite packaged foods. We just assume that if it’s on the shelf, it must be safe to eat. To be honest, this used to be me as well. I trusted if it was being sold on the shelf at the grocery store, it was good for my health.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
As a mom with food allergies and children who have inherited my sensitivities, I am well acquainted with finding the Nutrition Facts Label and scanning the ingredient list below in search of likely culprits.
You will find everything on the food label is listed by predominance. The ingredients used the most will be listed first, and the ingredients used the less will be listed last.
However, I have discovered there are a number of scary ingredients that are hidden in our food in plain sight, and most of us have no idea they are there or what they are.
Here are some of the most common scary food additives and their potential health risks.
*Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. If you have any questions or concerns, contact your doctor or certified medical professional
Partially Hydrogenated Oil
Partially hydrogenated oil, or trans fat, is a common ingredient in many processed foods. Trans fat is created when manufacturers add hydrogen to vegetable oil in order to solidify it. This process increases the shelf life of food products, but it also makes them much more unhealthy. Trans fat has been linked to a number of health problems, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Food dyes or artificial food coloring are used to add color to food. Food dyes have also been linked to ADHD and other behavioral problems in children.
High Fructose Corn Syrup
High fructose corn syrup is another ingredient that you’ll find in a lot of processed foods. This sweetener is made from corn starch that has been treated with enzymes to convert some of the glucose into fructose. High fructose corn syrup is cheaper to use and sweeter than regular sugar, so it’s used in a lot of products, including soda, cereal, baked goods, and condiments. Unfortunately, it’s also been linked to obesity and other health problems.
Monosodium glutamate is an additive in food used to enhance the flavor of food. MSG has been linked to several negative health effects, including headaches, dizziness, and nausea.
Propyl Gallate is a food additive that is used to prevent fats and oils from spoiling. Propyl Gallate has been linked to cancer in animals, and it may also be harmful to humans.
Diacetyl is a food additive that is used to give foods a buttery flavor. Diacetyl has been linked to lung disease in factory workers who are exposed to it, and it may also be harmful to consumers.
BHA, or butylated hydroxyanisole, is a food additive that is used as a preservative. BHA has been linked to cancer in animals, and it may also be harmful to humans.
Potassium bromate is an ingredient that is used to improve the texture of bread and other baked goods. Potassium bromate has been found to be possibly linked to cancer in animals, and it is banned in many countries.
Next time you visit your local grocery store, take some time to read the ingredient list on your favorite foods. And if you’re ever unsure about an ingredient, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor or a registered dietitian. They can help you make the best choices for your health.
References and more information:
8 Scary Ingredients and Food Additives to Avoid
23 Worst Food Additives in America
Overview of Food Ingredients, Additives, and Colors
Thanks for reading!
Food dyes are the killers for sure!