Reading food labels is important, but the healthiest option is to eat foods that don’t have labels. You won’t find any ingredients on pastured chicken, spinach, or wild caught fish. But if you can’t avoid eating processed foods, reading labels will help you avoid ingredients that are harmful to your health.
Below are 8 toxic food ingredients you should look out for when buying processed foods.
1. Synthetic trans fats
One study found that women who consumed synthetic trans fats had a 30 percent higher risk of stroke. These fats have also been linked to diabetes, cancer, infertility and weak immune system. Synthetic trans fats are found in chips, hydrogenated vegetable oil, crackers and fried foods.
2. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
This ingredient is found in Chinese food and other foods like, processed meats, salad dressings, frozen foods and so on. It’s known to reduce brain functionality, and can worsen conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
3. Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners enhance cravings, increase appetite and cause weight gain. But weight gain is not the only problem you’ll face if you consume this ingredient. Inflammation, poor gut health, and diabetes are some of the health problems you may face. Here’s a list of artificial sweeteners you should look out for.
4. Artificial colors
Food dyes have been banned in some countries due to the health risk they pose. In fact, 5 food dyes (allowed in the USA) have been banned in Europe because they’ve been linked to ADHD and cancer. Food color is mostly found in candy, sodas, energy drinks, sauces, and so on.
5. Sodium Nitrates and Sodium Nitrites
These two common ingredients commonly found in sausages, bacon, hot dogs and other processed meats. They have been linked to metabolic syndrome, colon cancer and diabetes. Eating unprocessed meats is the best way to avoid them.
6. High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
Corn syrup is one of the reasons sugar consumption has increased over 20 times in the last 30 years. In fact, according to this study Americans consume more calories from corn syrup than any other source. Avoid foods with this silent killer.
Ingredients added to increase the shelf life of foods have been linked to cancer, allergies and so on. Preservatives are harmful whether they’re in solid foods or beverages.
8. Artificial Flavors
Artificial flavors like chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and so on are harmful to your health. Research shows that these flavors increase risk of Alzheimer’s and other diseases.