Most Unhealthy Foods: Dangerous Additives In Food, Natural And Artificial Additives to Avoid to Maintain Good Health
One of the biggest reasons foods are unhealthy today is because of the additives they contain. According to the National Cancer Institute 1 in 4 deaths are caused by cancer and 1 in 3 Americans will get cancer at some point in their lives. The Center of Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 80 million Americans suffer from some form of cardiovascular disease.
The typical American diet consists of mostly processed foods containing carcinogenic and/or heart threatening additives. According to industry estimates around ninety percent of the food budget is spent on processed foods. Research shows that a high percentage of cancers and cardiovascular diseases are caused by the foods we eat. Unfortunately, millions of Americans believe they eat a fairly healthy diet and are not a high risk for cancer or heart disease.
A ham sandwich made with whole wheat bread served with a side of low fat potato chips may seem fairly healthy but is it? The bread may be made with potassium bromate, the chips with olestra and ham with sodium nitrate. If these foods were purchased at a U.S. Supermarket they usually contain some type of additive or preservative unless purchased from the health section. The purpose for these additives is to improve flavor, color, texture and shelf life. In the United States over 3000 additives are approved for use in food.
Here is a list of the 12 most dangerous food additives:
1) Sodium Nitrate - Nearly all processed meats contain sodium nitrate. Food companies use it to preserve food and improve the appearance and flavor. It is found in foods such as canned soup products, smoked fish, ham, hot dogs, lunch meats, bacon, and breakfast sausage. A Hawaiian studied revealed that students who ate the most processed meats had a sixty seven percent increased risk of pancreatic cancer over those who consume little or no processed meat. In the seventies, the U.S. department of agriculture attempted to have sodium nitrate banned but was unsuccessful due to resistance from the meat industry.
2) Potassium Bromate - is a bleaching agent and dough conditioner. The International Agency for Research on Cancer states that it may lead to cancer. The World Health Organization recommended that it be removed from all foods. Today it is banned in many countries but is still allowed in the United States. It is used by bread companies and a number of fast food restaurants according to the Center for Science in the Public interest.
3) Olestra - A fat Substitute recently approved by the FDA in spite of the objections by many leading scientists. Although olestra is effective at reducing calorie intake it has unhealthy consequences. Olestra binds to several essential nutrients, including cancer protecting vitamins and carotenoids, and flushes them from the body. According to the Harvard School of Public Health “ long-term consumption of olestra snack foods might therefore result in several thousand unnecessary deaths each year from lung and prostate cancers and heart disease...”
BHA and BHT - These preservatives are used to prevent oils and fats from becoming rancid. They are commonly used in potato chips, cereals, beer, butter, meats, dehydrated potatoes and chewing gum. Studies show that BHA and BHT may be a precursor to cancer. Check the labels because not all manufacturers use these preservatives.
4) Propyl Gallate - Like BHA and BHT, this preservative may cause cancer. It's used in meat products, vegetable oils, chicken soup base, potato sticks, chicken soup base and chewing gum.
5) High-fructose Corn Syrup - This sweetener is very popular with manufacturers because it is inexpensive, mixes easily with other ingredients and is very sweet. It is hard to find a food at the supermarket today with added sweetener that does not contain high fructose corn syrup. It is even found in products which don’t need to be sweetened such as bacon, spaghetti sauce, beer, english muffins, whole wheat bread and hamburger buns in order to give them a soft texture. The average person consumes sixty three pounds of high fructose corn syrup per year.
New research is revealing that this sweetener may interfere with metabolism, increasing the risk of heart disease. It seems to cause the liver to overload the bloodstream with heart destructive triglycerides. Researchers found that the chemical structure of high fructose corn syrup increases food cravings. The sweetener robs the body of chromium which regulates blood sugar, insulin and cholesterol levels. Avoid products with the words high fructose corn syrup, corn sweetener, corn syrup or corn syrup solids on the label.
6) Acesulfame-K - is an artificial sweetener which is used in gelatin desserts, baked goods, soft drinks and chewing gum. Studies show this additive may cause cancer and interfere with normal thyroid function.
7) Artificial colors - Most artificial colors used in foods are synthetic dyes. It has long been believed that these dyes are carcinogenic and many have been banned. Quality foods do not need food coloring. The natural color is all that is needed. These colorings are usually used in foods that are unhealthy and need better coloring.
8) Monosodium Glutamate - is used in many foods including soups, dressings, hot dogs and potato chips. According to Dr. Russell Blaylock, a neurosurgeon, MSG is linked to sudden cardiac death, especially in athletes. Over the years the FDA has received many reports about reactions caused by MSG. These reactions include nausea, chest pain, weakness, sweating, headaches, numbness, tingling, burning, facial tightness and pressure, rapid heartbeat and palpitations.
9) Aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet) - is an artificial sweetener found in low calorie foods and diet sodas. It is linked to brain tumors, lymphomas and leukemia.
10) Hydrogenated oils - Nearly all margarines sold at the supermarket contain hydrogenated oil which produce trans-fats. Commercially produced baking goods, processed foods and fast foods are high in trans-fats. Trans-fats are the number one cause of heart disease.
Reading labels is important. Memorizing or having a list of these dangerous additives on hand at the supermarket is a good idea. Making sure the foods you buy do not contain these additives will significantly reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease to you and your family.
11/12) BHA and BHT - These preservatives are used to prevent oils and fats from becoming rancid. They are commonly used in potato chips, cereals, beer, butter, meats, dehydrated potatoes and chewing gum. Studies show that BHA and BHT may be a precursor to cancer. Check the labels because not all manufacturers use these preservatives.