The Scariest Food Additives to Avoid
In the world of food, there are certain food additives to avoid. From aspartame, to MSG, found out which food additives are the most dangerous, and how much they can negatively impact your health.
These days, it seems that you have to worry about your food tasting good. Sure, you have to worry about the actual flavor, but what about what’s on the ingredient label? What do you have to fear listed on there?
“It is very difficult to pick up any type of food product today without it listing some foreign ingredient you can’t pronounce,” says Carrie Wissemeier, one of the lead dietitians for BistroMD. “Most of these ingredients are merely food additives that are added to foods to enhance flavors, or maintain a longer shelf life.”
This is good for preserving your food, but what type of affect do these food additives have on your health? Should they be avoided completely? With help from our expert dietitian, we explain what food additives you should avoid, and why they are potentially harmful to your health.
“Aspartame accounts for over 75% of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA,” says Carrie. “Many of these reactions are very serious, including seizures and possibly death.”
Aspartame was originally created back in 1965, when a chemist named James Schlatter was testing an anti-ulcer drug. This food additive was approved back in 1981 for dry goods, and for carbonated beverages in 1983.
“Aspartame is one of the most dangerous food additives to avoid,” says Carrie. “It is essentially made up of three chemicals: aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol. Most health professionals often refer to aspartame as ‘chemical poisoning’ which is basically what it is.”
So, if you use any type of flavor enhancers that contain aspartame, avoid them completely—your health could depend on it.
MSG, or Monosodium Glumate, is the food additive most commonly associated with foods that can lead to being overweight, like many processed foods.
“MSG is one of the most commonly used food additives, and it is one you should be very cautious of,” says Carrie. “MSG is 78 percent free glutamic acid, 21 percent sodium, and up to 1 percent contaminants.”
MSG is one of the worst food additives on the market today and is used in many processed foods such as canned soups, crackers, meats, and salad dressings.
“MSG is a dangerous food additive because it is classified as an excitotoxin,” says Carrie. “This means that MSG can overexcite your cells to the point of damage or death. This can cause brain damage to varying degrees, and can even trigger or worsen certain conditions like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and even Lou Gehring’s disease.”
The next time you want a cup of soup, or want to top your salad with delicious dressing, just use caution and make sure it's free of MSG.
3. Hydrogenated Fats
Hydrogenated fats are found in things like margarine, baked goods, and a variety of other processed foods. Hydrogenated fats are considered to be dangerous food additives as they are linked to obesity, and can also clog arteries.
“One of the main problems with hydrogenated fats is that it can be difficult to identify on nutrition labels,” says Carrie. “In order to identify if food has hydrogenated fats, look for ingredients like hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated soybean, canola, or cottonseed oil. We greatly limit the usage of these oils in our meals.”
You should also avoid typical junk food, like chips and cookies, as well as overly processed foods. Most of these contain hydrogenated fats, and can cause a number of health problems if they are eaten on a regular basis.
To help you avoid the plague of processed foods and unnecessary food additives, BistroMD is here to help you succeed at living a healthy lifestyle.
“Our meals are made with only the freshest ingredients, and we use minimal to no food additives,” says Carrie. “Our meals are also designed to help you lose weight through the proper combinations of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. You will receive proper nutrition portioned in healthy and delicious meals, delivered to your door, once every week. Getting healthy has never been so rewarding or so satisfying."