(AscendHealthy.com) – Do you know what’s in your food? Many of the products you can find on the supermarket shelves have been ultra-processed, or altered greatly from their original food sources. Almost 60% of what we put on our plates has undergone this massive transformation, which can mean the introduction of all sorts of potentially dangerous additives you probably don’t want in your body. Here are some of the worst offenders.
You Need to Ditch These 9 Food Additives — Now!
You could be getting more than you bargained for if your foods contain any of these additives:
- Partially hydrogenated oils are processed to extend their shelf life and keep them solid at room temperature. Mayo Clinic warns that these processed oils contain trans fats, which can cause “bad” cholesterol to skyrocket and “good” cholesterol to plummet, raising heart attack and stroke risks. They’re so bad for you, they’ve been banned in the United States — but some manufacturers are taking advantage of a loophole allowing them to use the fats until 2021.
- Interesterified fat is another type of hydrogenated oil that’s supposedly safer than older methods. But, according to a Science Daily report, these fats could have devastating effects on glucose metabolism, possibly leading to diabetes.
- Brominated vegetable oil is in certain drinks to preserve citrus flavors. Mayo Clinic says it’s safe according to the FDA, but it adds that heavy consumption may cause memory loss, nerve issues and skin problems. This additive has been banned in Europe.
- Carrageenan is a common thickening agent you can find in homogenized milk, low-fat and nonfat foods and some meats. It’s an FDA-approved additive, but according to Medical News Today, it might cause digestive issues, inflammation and colon cancer.
- High fructose corn syrup could affect your metabolism, changing the way your body puts on weight. Not only does it appear to cause greater weight gain than other sources of sugar, but it may also cause you to carry more of that fat in your abdominal region. It also appears to increase diabetes risks.
- Monosodium glutamate (MSG) can increase the appetite, contributing to obesity. It may also exacerbate asthma, trigger “pseudo-allergic” responses and cause skin inflammation. Some people believe MSG causes “Chinese restaurant syndrome,” which can include headaches, flushing, muscle pain and burning or swelling in the face or mouth.
- Sodium phosphate occurs naturally in meats, eggs and nuts, but you’re likely to wind up with way more of this additive in your system if you eat a lot of processed foods. Too much can cause headaches, vomiting, painful bloating, irregular heartbeat and even seizures. People with kidney disease, problems with the intestines or heart disease should avoid foods high in sodium phosphate.
- Artificial colors like 4-methylimidazole (caramel color), Red 40 and Yellow 5 are as unnecessary as they are dangerous. Caramel color is the most common food coloring used worldwide — and it colors foods brown! Consumer Reports found it to cause cancer in mice, but there are currently no regulations on its use. Other food dyes may contain impurities like lead, arsenic and mercury — and some evidence suggests that they can trigger behavioral problems in children.
- Nitrates and nitrites occur naturally in some foods, particularly vegetables, but they’re also used to cure meats. They’re not so bad on their own, but Healthline warns that they form cancer-causing compounds called nitrosamines upon exposure to high heat.
Is it time to purge your fridge and cupboards? Check food labels carefully to make sure they don’t contain harmful additives, do what you can to wean yourself off processed foods and see what alternatives you can try. Ditch as many additives as you can to eat healthier and feel better.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension
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