Additives and Preservatives That You Should Avoid
You’ve probably heard that food additives and preservatives are harmful to health, but may only have a vague notion of what these substances are, what you use, and what foods contain them. In this article we will take a look at the dangers of food additives and preservatives, and which, in particular, they are especially dangerous to health.
What is a food additive?
A food additive, as its name suggests, is a substance that is added to food to preserve taste, improve taste, or improve appearance. Simple additives are, for example, spices, salt or vinegar.
However, from the second half of the 20th century, food additives became more complicated.
Instead of natural additives that had been used for centuries, laboratories began creating synthetic additives, some belonging to a branch of natural and others are totally artificial. These new additives are for example food dyes and artificial sweeteners, together with a number of other additives and preservatives.
What is a preservative?
A preservatives are substances added to food to prevent spoilage, avoiding the appearance of mold, or losing flavor. Other food additives are not technically preservatives, but nonetheless prevent food from drying out, getting to stay in perfect condition. These include additives such as preservatives:
Wetting prevent foods from drying
Coating agents Dan food bright coat
Agents color retention are added to help food to maintain its color
Emulsifiers prevent water and oil separate into mayonnaise, ice cream, UHT milk, etc.
These food additives and preservatives may not be so bad if consumed in small amounts. However, consumption of fast foods, frozen foods and processed foods has grown exponentially since they were introduced in the 1950s and 1960s, and so has our intake of food additives.
What are the most dangerous food additives?
The following list of additives, other than preservatives, we should avoid:
Artificial colorings: In the UK eight food dyes were recently banned by a study that showed a strong correlation between hyperactivity and other behavioral problems colorings in children. They are linked to allergic reactions, fatigue, asthma, skin rashes, hyperactivity, and headaches. The dyes are: Tartrazine (E102), cochineal red (E124), sunset yellow (E110), azorubine (E122), quinoline yellow (E104), and Allura Red (E129).
Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils: Also known as “trans fats”, the hydrogen atoms to regular vegetable oils are added to increase saturation. As a result, they are easier to bake and have a longer shelf life. Trans fats are known to increase the risk of heart disease and elevated cholesterol levels, but many products still contain them.
Artificial sweeteners: aspartame (E951), cyclamic acid (E-952), Saccharin (E-954) and Acesulfame K (E-950). You can negatively influence the metabolism and some have been linked to cancer, headaches, dizziness and hallucinations
Potassium bromate (E-924) to bread and rolls is added to increase the volume, potassium bromate has been banned worldwide except for the United States and Japan because it has been shown to cause cancer in animals.
MSG or monosodium glutamate: MSG causes severe headaches, nausea and / or vomiting in sensitive individuals. There is also some evidence suggesting that long term consumption of MSG and similar additives may be responsible for rare incidences of sudden cardiac deaths. MSG is often concealed in this food ingredient lists because it is always contained in:
- Calcium caseinate
- Autolyzed yeast and other yeast products
- monopotassium glutamate
- Glutamic acid
- texturized protein
- Sodium caseinate
Corn syrup, high fructose (HFCS): The syrup is high fructose corn particularly harmful. In 2010, researchers at Princeton University demonstrated a clear relationship between obesity and HFCS. Rats whose diets included HFCS gained more weight than rats that did not ingest the sweetener, even though their caloric intake was the same.
What is the most dangerous preservative’s health?
Sodium benzoate: sodium benzoate prevents the growth of bacteria and fungi, but is one of the most dangerous preservatives there is so dangerous that even the food industry giant Coca Cola has pledged to phase out its use. When sodium benzoate is mixed with vitamin C or ascorbic acid, a compound called chemical benzene is formed, a known carcinogen.
Sodium nitrate (E-251), sodium nitrite (E-250), potassium nitrate (E-252) and potassium nitrite (E-249) are used as a preservative in meats and sausages to preserve their color and flavor. They destroy red blood cells and are carcinogenic.
Olestra: This is a fat substitute lipid base; It is known to cause abdominal pain, gastrointestinal problems, and inhibits the absorption of important vitamins.
Sulfites (the E- 226 to E-227): Some wines and fruits contain sulfites to prevent bacterial growth and fermentation. Unfortunately, sulfites cause allergic reactions in many people, and in rare cases, this reaction can be fatal. From the 1980s, Congress began urging the FDA to ban sulfites on fruits and raw vegetables. They can produce Asthma and digestive irritation.
BHA and BHT (E-320 and E 321): These are compounds that preserve fats and prevent turning rancid. It can result in hyperactivity, angioedema, asthma, rhinitis, dermatitis, urticaria and tumors. They can affect the balance of estrogen in the body.
Propyl gallate: The propyl gallate is another preservative that should do without. It is used to prevent fats and oils from spoiling and often it is used in combination with BHA and BHT. It is sometimes found in meat products, chicken soup base and chewing gum. It has not been proven to be carcinogenic propyl gallate, but animal studies have indicated that there could be a link between its use and cancer, and therefore advised to be alert.
This long list of ingredients to avoid can seem overwhelming, but there is a simple way to eliminate all these ingredients in your diet: Stop eating processed foods. Instead, concentrate on eating fresh fruits and vegetables, organic whole grains, fresh farm eggs and fresh meat and dairy products. If you come in a vacuum-sealed package, in a bag or in a can, most likely they contain one or more of the ingredients listed above.