7 Nasty Food Additives You Should Avoid At All Costs

Fatigue? Bloating? Irregular bowel movements? Excess weight? Tired all the dang time? These could all be symptoms created by harmful ingredients in the "food" you're eating with snack items amongst the biggest culprits.

 

Items with long or non-existent expiry dates should always get a scrutinizing eye on their nutrition labels. As humans we are organic material which, (I know we don’t like to think about it but), will one day breakdown and decay. It only makes logical sense that we expect the same from the items we are ingesting.

 

Companies use these ingredients and food additives to cut corners, reduce expenses and increase margins, but at what cost? Our health. If you haven't already, educate yourself with the following list and begin to vote with your dollar. If we downright refuse to purchase highly processed food products, the food industry will be left with no choice but to respond accordingly.

 

PALM OIL

WHAT IT'S FOR: Helps packaged foods stay "fresh," meaning that the food can sit on the supermarket shelf for years without ever going stale or rotting. This stuff is in everything from chips to shampoo, instant noodles to biofuel. That’s right, they blend biofuels using palm oil to run vehicles. Still want that highly processed chocolate bar?

 

WHY IT'S BAD: These bad fats increase your risk of blood clots and heart attack. Besides causing physical health problems, palm oil has had an even more devastating impact on our environment. Some sources claim this ingredient is responsible for up to as much as 40% of the world’s deforestation not to mention depleting populations of the already endangered orangutans. Bottomline, palm oil is toxic for our bodies and the planet we live on.

cake illustration 

 

 

heart shaped vegan cookie illustration   

SHORTENING

WHAT IT'S FOR: Trans fats that mimic the consistency of butter. Commonly found as a cheaper alternative to butter in pastries, cakes and cookies. Shortening and oils are also common additives to mass market "chocolate" which the ingredients state as compound chocolate. It is a cheaper, dirtier version of what should be a nutritious and healthy treat.

 

WHY IT'S BAD: In addition to clogging your arteries it also increases your risk of metabolic syndrome and obesity.

 

 

 

HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP

WHAT IT'S FOR: The worst of the refined grains. It is a highly refined sweetener that’s found in most processed foods. It's sweet, it's cheap and it makes you crave more and more.

 

WHY IT'S BAD: This additive is so calorie-dense it’s one of the major contributors to the obesity epidemic. Like trans fats, it raises bad cholesterol levels and can lead to diabetes. It has been shown to drive inflammation which is associated with an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. But hey, everything in moderation, right? Right...well, if that's possible to control. The biggest issue with HFCS is the endless number of products it's found in. You may be consuming it on a much larger scale than you think or intend to.

vegan ice cream illustration 

 

 

 corn chip illustration  

MALTODEXTRIN

WHAT IT'S FOR: A fine white powder made from corn, rice, potato starch, or wheat. Even though it comes from plants, it's highly processed.

 

WHY IT'S BAD: Maltodextrin is high on the glycemic index (GI), meaning that it can cause a spike in your blood sugar only leaving you to crash later on. The more depeleted we feel, the more we desire another energy spike to get us back up and running which fuels more cravings for sugar or caffeine laden products. This vicious cycle is hard to break free from.

 

TBHQ (tert-Butylhydroquinone)

WHAT IT'S FOR: You know when they tell you if you can’t pronounce it you shouldn’t eat it? Well, say tert-Butylhydroquinone 10 times fast. It’s a synthetic antioxidant that is added to foods to prevent or delay oxidation. Oxidation causes food to lose flavour, quality, and colour. It is found in, rhymes with 'meese's', peanut butter cups, crackers, microwave & movie theatre popcorn, butter and chicken nuggets.

 

WHY IT'S BAD: There are differing opinions in the amounts that are toxic but studies that have found TBHQ to cause liver enlargement, neurotoxic effects, convulsions, and paralysis in laboratory animals.

 
popcorn illustration 

 

vegan biscuit illustration

MSG (Monosodium Glutamate)

WHAT IT'S FOR: Common food additive used to intensify and enhance the flavour of savoury dishes. Found in chips, crackers, fast food and processed foods.

 

WHY IT'S BAD: Weight gain, headaches and metabolic syndrome. It also impedes with our body's regulating systems overriding the signal to the brain that we've eaten enough and causing us to crave and eat more than we need to.

 

 

ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS

WHAT IT'S FOR: Used in many diet foods and beverages to enhance sweetness while reducing calorie content and carbohydrates particularly in the rise of popularity of the keto diet. Common ones include aspartame, sucralose, saccharin and acesulfame potassium.

 

WHY IT'S BAD: If eaten in excess, they have been known to cause headaches, migraines, and even promote tumour growth. They also interfere with our digestive systems and can cause cramping, bloating and diarrhea.

vegan wafers illustration

 

You know what they say, knowledge is power. Now that you know a little more about how sneaky the food industry can be, you can make better decisions for your health, your family and the planet. If you're looking for a better-for-you treat that doesn't contain any of the nasty additives mentioned above, check out our Dwarf Stars chocolate here.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published