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Entries in food additives (1)

Wednesday
Feb022011

Are there ingredients in food that are unsafe? If so, what are they?

There are a number of ingredients in use that are under ongoing investigation for being toxic and dangerous.  Here are just a few of the better known ingredients that are found in foods, mostly processed and refined foods.

Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.

These are vegetable oils that have been infused with hydrogen so they become solid at room temperature. Foods that have these oils in them have a long shelve life and don’t decay. Hydrogenated oils resemble natural fats but at the molecular level they are very different and the body has a difficult time processing them.  These oils are believed to contribute to heart disease, cancer, arthritis and may cause nutritional disruptions and deficiencies.

Trans-fats.

Trans-fats are fats and oils that are linked to heart disease. Trans fats consist of molecules that are difficult for the body to use and assimilate so they are stored.  Since fats are used to repair cellular walls, using hydrogenated or trans fats for that purpose makes for inferior repairs that cause the cell to mutate or die. This places a strain on a person’s immune system and can cause cells to become diseased.

BHA & BHT.

BHA stands for Butylated Hydroxy Anisole and BHT stands for Butylated Hydroxy Toluene. Both are chemical additives used separately or together to prevent fats in foods from becoming rancid. They can be used in packing materials or directly in the food. There some studies link BHA & BHT to certain cancers. 

High fructose corn syrup.

HFCS is an artificial sweetener that is widely used in many food and drink products and is less expensive than natural sugar. It is used as a preservative and flavoring in all sorts of foods including season salts, meat sauces and ketchup. Among prepackaged, processed foods, it is hard to avoid. It is one way people end up getting too many sugars in their diet. HFCS is currently seen as a contributing factor in a number of health issues including obesity and diabetes.

Sodium Nitrite.

Sodium Nitrite (NaNO2) is a preservative and color stabilizer used in meat and fish products. NaNO2 has been linked to cancers, migraines and COPD lung diseases.

Excitotoxins.

Excitotoxins include a number of ingredients that are additives used in foods like sugary drinks, snacks, gum and candy. Two of the excitotoxins are Mono Sodium Glutamate (MSG) and Aspartame, an artificial sweetener. Excitotoxins have been linked to nervous system disorders, ADD, ADHD, Parkinson’s disease multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and strokes.