Well of Life Center for Holistic Healthcare

What’s in this stuff?

Do you really know what is in the food you are eating? Have you checked the ingredients of those “healthy snacks” you just bought at the grocery store? There’s a good chance that many of the foods in your kitchen could include harmful additives.

Here are some ways to avoid food with harmful additives and to help you be on the lookout for sneaky ingredients that are sabotaging your health.

Avoiding Foods with Unhealthy Additives

Read the Food Labels and Ingredients Before you Buy

Learning to read food labels is, hands down, one of the most important things you can do as a consumer in our modern world. Food companies are brilliant in their marketing of junk foods to look healthy while hiding harmful ingredients under dozens of strange and long scientific names on the ingredients list.

Take a minute to look at the list of ingredients on some of the food in your pantry and see just how many are there. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you see Fructose, Sucrose or Dextrose? That’s extra sugar!
  • Does it have Monosodium glutamate? That’s MSG!
  • Do you see any partially hydrogenated oils? They contain harmful trans fats!
  • Can you even pronounce some of the ingredients?

So ask yourself, is this food going to be beneficial to your body or does it contain ingredients that are going to contribute to poor health?

Added sugar in foods

Sugar, Sugar, Sugar

One of the biggest things to be on the lookout for are added sugars. Sugar is added to everything from ketchup to salad dressing to packaged pizzas to flavored chips.

Did you know that sugar can be hidden under over 56 different names on a food label? Added sugars are hidden under many different names but the most popular are, as stated above, fructose, sucrose and dextrose. You can find a much more extensive list of hidden sugar names here.

Avoid MSGs

Food Additives

Food additives can be just as tricky to identify. One of the worst ones to look out for is the well-known flavor enhancer, monosodium glutamate, known as MSG. This toxic ingredient is linked to a host of health issues, from neurological disorders, to cancer, metabolic syndrome, weight gain and high blood pressure.

MSG has over a dozen names it’s disguised under, such as yeast extract, glutamate, autolyzed protein, textured protein, gelatin and more. Here you can find a more extensive list of names for MSGs.

Other harmful food additives to look out for are artificial sweeteners, flavors, colors, butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT).

Food additives are used to enhance the flavor or color of food and to provide preservation. However, these chemicals have no benefit for our bodies and are linked to countless health complaints. Even organic products can contain certain additives, such as carrageenan, which are considered “safe,” but only lead to inflammation.

check food you buy for additives

Say Goodbye to Food Additives Forever

As a general rule of thumb, if a packaged food has more than 10 ingredients, including some you can’t even pronounce, it’s probably best to not buy it. Becoming an educated consumer is not only crucial for your health, but also the health of your family.

Learning to read labels, understand what ingredients to avoid, and how to find safe alternatives will be instrumental in your health journey.

To learn more about unsafe ingredients in food, you can check out www.EWG.org for a huge database on the toxicity ratings of food and other products. You can also utilize smartphone apps such as ShopWell to help you make educated food choices.

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