Top 10 Food Additives To Avoid!

Food additives have become very common in the modern-day diet plan but do they really add any value to the food we eat? The answer is ABSOLUTELY NOT. Used mostly to boost shelf-life, improve flavor, and to maintain color, (all to increase profits), most artificial additives are extremely harmful to our health. The simplest way to avoid exposure to these kinds of chemical substances is to understand the most common additives and also which foods they’re quite often found in. Here’s a list of the top 10 food additives to avoid.

1. Sodium Nitrite (or) Sodium Nitrate

Sodium nitrate/nitrite is used as a coloring, flavoring, and preservative agent in ham, bacon, hotdogs, corned beef, lunch meats, and other packaged foods. This harmful ingredient has been observed to create ‘nitrosamines’, most of which are human carcinogens. Several studies have revealed that consumption of food items containing nitrates/nitrites may result in a greater risk of esophageal, gastric, and rectal cancers.

2. Sodium Sulfite

This chemical is used in wine making and also in some other processed foods such as pastries, margarine, cheese, sausage, fish, and ground beef. According to the Food and Drug Administration, around 1 in 100 individuals is sensitive to sodium sulfites found in wine. People who are ‘sulfite’ sensitive may suffer from headaches, difficulty in breathing, and rashes. In extreme cases, sulfites can even cause death by shutting down the air passage completely, resulting in cardiac arrest.

3. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

MSG is an amino-acid mainly used as a flavor booster in soups, chips, salad dressings, seasonings, lunch meats and most restaurant food. An animal test linked MSG to damaging brain cells of infant mice. Also, other studies show that frequent consumption of MSG might cause damaging side effects, such as depressive disorders, disorientation, damage to the eyes, fatigue, severe headaches, and weight problems.

4. High Fructose Corn Syrup

High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is a refined synthetic sweetener. It has become the top source of calories in the United States. It is found in almost all processed and ready-made foods. Consuming HFCS boosts your bad cholesterol level and leads to the development of type 2 diabetes as well as tissue damage – a few among other dangerous effects. HFCS is mostly found in processed foods, bread, candy, canned fruits and vegetables, flavored yogurts, soft drinks, and cereals.

5. Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners are usually found in sugar-free or diet sodas, sugar-free gums, baking goods, drink mixes, breath mints, table-top sweeteners, pudding, ice tea, and even in toothpaste. It is cleverly disguised in many “health foods” as Acesulfame Potassium (Sunnett, Sweet One), Aspartame (Nutrasweet, Equal), Neotame, Saccharin (Sweet ‘N Low, Sweet Twin, Sugar Twin), Sucralose (Splenda). Packaging with artificial sweeteners will advertise “low or reduced sugar”, “no added sugars”, “low fat”, “sugar-free”, etc. Some of the reported results of consuming artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes are behavioral problems in kids, hyperactivity, allergic reactions, and perchance carcinogenic effects also.

6. BHA & BHT
BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole) and BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene) are chemical preservatives found in cereal products, potato chips, chewing gum, and vegetable oils. These popular additives keep foods from changing flavor and color, or getting rancid. It’s been proven to have an impact on the central nervous system, cause behavior changes, and also has the potential to cause some types of cancer.

7. Propyl Gallate

Propyl gallate is a chemical used in vegetable oil, chicken soup, meat products, and mayonnaise. It slows down the spoilage of oils and fats but can bring about stomach problems or skin complications for asthma sufferers and aspirin sensitive individuals. Scientific tests on mice claim that this preservative could potentially cause cancer as well.

8. Trans Fat/Hydrogenated Fats

Hydrogenated oils are widely used to boost the shelf life of many food products. They’re found in ‘deep-fried’ junk food and specific processed foods made with margarine or moderately hydrogenated oils (trans-fats are produced by a process known as hydrogenation). Several research has shown that trans fat boosts bad cholesterol levels while minimizing good cholesterol; leads to higher risk of cardiac arrest, cardiovascular disease, and cerebrovascular events; and contributes to diabetes, inflammation, and other health issues. Always look at ingredients list to make sure that the product doesn’t contain any hydrogenated oil.

9. Sodium Benzoate
Sodium benzoate is a food preservative and also used as additive. It is used in a number of highly processed foods and soft drink beverages. It’s suspected that sodium benzoate, along with other artificial food coloring agents, may cause attention deficit disorder (ADD) in some young children. Sodium benzoate present in carbonated drinks could also react with included vitamin-C to create benzene, a cancer causing compound.

10. Food Dyes and Artificial coloring agents

Nowadays, most of the food items are often laden with food dyes and coloring agents like Sunset Yellow S, Blue 1 and 2, Ponceau 4R, Conchineal Red A, Tartrazine, FCF, and much more. These chemical substances are mostly found in variety of products like soda, salad dressings, sports drinks, fruit juices, fruit cocktail, cherry pie mix, ice cream, bakery products, candies and more. Studies show these artificial colorings may lead to behavioral problems in kids and result in a significant decrease in their IQ level. They are also proven to cause adrenal gland and kidney tumors as well as allergic reactions in many people.

Attention Shoppers: Read the label carefully, then stay away from these harmful food additives.

Go to for more tips on how to avoid toxic foods!

Posted by Dr. Nick Barnes


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