Food Additives That Secretly Damage Health
Could the chemical additives in the food you eat cause cancer, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes? According to research, yes they can.
A surprising number of common food additives used in the U.S. have been banned in Europe, Canada, Japan, and even China. They’ve been banned elsewhere because they are dangerous. But they are still lurking in foods you may be eating.
Read on and I’ll tell you what to look out for. I’ll give you some simple tips for making healthier choices.
What Are Additives For?
The food industry uses a lot of chemicals that aren’t good for you. They aren’t added to increase nutrition. Instead, they are used to create more profits for industry. Sadly, it is done at the expense of your health.
Preservatives are a common class of chemicals. While natural preservatives do exist and are safer, food companies use dangerous chemical preservatives because they are cheaper. Preservatives help to keep food from spoiling quickly, which extends the shelf life. So they are only needed for highly processed foods that sit on shelves for long periods of time.
Stabilizers are chemicals used to keep products from breaking down into different parts. For example, they keep salad dressings from separating. Natural, non-toxic stabilizers exist, but food companies sometimes use chemicals because they are cheaper.
Artificial colors and flavors are used in many foods. They add no nutritional value, but, as we’ll see, they are proven to be dangerous.
So again, as you can see, these chemicals are added to extend shelf life and make products appear more appealing. They are added so that food companies can make more profits. But as I’m about to show you, many of them are harmful.
The Worst Additives
In general, if foods contain chemical-sounding ingredients, you should look for alternatives to be safe. But here are some of the worst offenders. These are the additives that are proven to cause health harm.
- BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) is a common chemical preservative added to many packaged foods. In the state of California BHA is recognized as causing cancer. And the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services admits that BHA probably causes cancer. Not only that, but studies have shown that BHA may also cause brain damage. But it’s still used in many foods. Another related chemical, BHT, is often used together with BHA. BHT is also shown to be carcinogenic. So avoid both. They are banned in many countries already, but not yet in the U.S.
- Potassium bromate is a chemical used in bromated flour products, which are common. It is known to interfere with hormone balance. It’s also been linked to kidney damage, brain damage, and cancer. So why is it still used in food? Well, it’s only still used in the U.S., as it’s been correctly banned elsewhere. Meanwhile, you will be wise to avoid it. To do so, look for products made with unbromated flour.
- Propyl paraben is a chemical used as a preservative in many processed foods. It’s been banned in Europe since 2006 because it was shown to cause cancer. It is mimics estrogen, and it causes low testosterone and low sperm count in men. You definitely don’t want to be eating it. So if you find it listed in the ingredients of food, don’t eat it.
- Artificial colors and flavors make up a group of thousands of chemicals. Many of them have been proven to be linked to cancer. And many of them haven’t even been thoroughly tested. So stay away from anything with artificial colors or flavors listed in the ingredients.
These are some of the worst and most common. But other chemicals are used in foods as well, and many may not be safe. If you don’t recognize an ingredient as a natural food, my suggestion is that you don’t eat it. These food companies are cutting corners at your expense. And the government isn’t watching out for your health. So you’ve got to make smart choices.
Additives In Combination Worse Than Alone
Recent research has shown that as bad as single chemical additives can be, in combination they are even worse. The effects aren’t merely additive. Instead, the chemicals can increase the effects of one another. So the harm of two chemical additives together may be ten times worse than either alone.
Making Smart Choices
It’s really sad that so many food companies are so unethical. They aren’t looking out for your health. They will cut any corners they have to and do anything they can to sucker you into eating their toxic products. Of course that’s not true of all food companies. But those that use chemical additives are willing to risk your health for a few bucks.
My advice is that you stay away from any food products that contain chemical additives. Unfortunately, that includes a lot of cheap, convenience foods. But isn’t your health worth it?
Take a look at the ingredients if any foods you eat. They should all be things you recognize as foods. If not, look for an alternative.
Fortunately, many people are becoming savvy to the dangers of chemical additives. So it’s becoming easier to find convenience foods made with quality, natural ingredients.
And, of course, fresh, natural food is always free of chemical preservatives.
So I encourage you to make the effort to start to get chemical additives out of your diet. It will be well worth it.