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Food Additives Making You Fat

Updated on February 12, 2015
Abby Campbell profile image

Abby Campbell is a Holistic Health Practitioner and President of 911 Body ResQ, an online store providing organic and non-GMO, supplements.

Abby Campbell, BSc, SFN, SSN, CPT, is a leading professional fitness and nutrition expert, researcher, and published author of "One Size Does NOT Fit All Diet Plan," one of Amazon's Top Gluten-Free and Weight Loss Diets. (You may read more about Abby at the bottom of this article.)

"STOP eating food dope and start losing weight!"

Dieting can be confusing with all the different weight loss programs on the market, and advertisements for commercial food products beg for your attention. Television. Radio. Internet. Mailings. Coupons. In-store banners. Highway bulletin boards. They are everywhere and promising you that you will be slim, beautiful, and sexy if you only buy their products. Unfortunately, big business has failed you with their never-ending and conflicting messages.

With you as the consumer, promises of health and getting skinny are made. The fact of the matter is that most manufacturered food products will make you sick and obese. Big business is not going to tell you what their products really contain because you would never buy them if you knew.

In fact, those big food manufacturers are actually making you into junkies while manipulating you to buy their food dope. Dangerous food additives are addicting. Don't be caught dumbfounded while big business prevents you from losing those unwanted pounds. Know what the four most dangerous ingredients are so that you can avoid them, and learn what foods actually contribute positively towards your health and weight loss.

Sweet surprises may give you a not-so-sweet surprise to your health.
Sweet surprises may give you a not-so-sweet surprise to your health. | Source

Addictingly Dangerous Ingredients

While you're enjoying their products, manufacturers are using ingredients to addict you. Why on earth would they do that? As with all business ventures, they want to keep your business for profit.

Some of the most additive ingredients used include the following:

  1. refined sugar
  2. high fructose corn syrup
  3. monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  4. aspartame

You may even see or hear advertisements on television or radio defending some of these products. As of late, much controversy has been on high fructose corn syrup as manufacturers uptalk their product on television commercials. Let's take a brief look at why these ingredients are addictive and dangerous to your health.


How many sodas do you have per day?

See results

Sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup Causes Body Fat

New research studies show that both sugar and high fructose corn syrup are more addictive than cocaine due to its cross-tolerance and cross-dependence between it and addictive drugs. This is due to the sweet receptors you carry on your tongues and its inability to adapt to the high consumption of them.

When these receptors are greatly stimulated by high intake, your brain is generated with reward signals while making you feel good. They actually have the potential to rescind normal self-control mechanisms. Your brain won't give your body the signal that it is satiated and it will therefore want more. This leads to addiction. Research shows that too much refined sugar or high fructose corn syrup will make you gain body fat.

Clinical studies also report that sugar and high fructose corn syrup contribute to diabetes and cancer growth.

"With devotion's visage and pious action we do sugar o'er the devil himself." ~T. Fuller
"With devotion's visage and pious action we do sugar o'er the devil himself." ~T. Fuller | Source

The Dangers of MSG (Part 1)

The Dangers of MSG (Part 2)

MSG Addiction

MSG was originally used as a food flavor enhancer in mostly low-fat and non-fat foods. However, it is now present in many pre-packaged foods.

MSG is also an excitotoxin or neurotoxin, a class of substances that damage and kill neuronal cells within the body, causing a degenerative effect on the brain and nervous system. MSG enters the brain through membranes in the mouth, thus entering the bloodstream as MSG foods are digested. Studies have shown that MSG induces obesity, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. Diet will not even help with obesity when excitotoxins are present.

Reports have also shown that MSG contributes to brain cell damage and trauma, retinol degeneration, endocrine disorder, stroke, epilepsy, neuropathic pain, schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

My Personal Experience with Aspartame

"In my mid to late 20s, I worked very hard on being healthy as I had just overcome cancer at 25. I got rid of most pre-packaged foods in my diet, as well as exchanged certain foods to 'sugar-free.' Because I had friends who suffered from diabetes that could have been controlled through diet, I thought this would be a positive diet transition. I opted for sugar-free jams, sodas, and gums. Not long after, I experienced symptoms such as eye and muscle twitches, as well as excruciating pain all over my body. The worst came to mind that cancer was back. My doctors assured me I no longer had cancer. However, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). For three years, I suffered. One day, I was sitting in my neurologist's office listening to other patients converse about their symptoms and how it was related to a couple of substances called 'aspartame' and 'MSG.' My doctor and I then experimented for the next six months by doing away with all processed foods that may contain additives, especially aspartame. Lo and behold, I felt like a new woman! My MS diagnosis was also overturned. Who would have thought that the USFDA would allow such a substance to be in our foods?" ~Abby Campbell

Aspartame - Sweet Poison

One of the most dangerous addictive substances in pre-packaged foods is aspartame, which is an artificial sweetener known better as NutraSweet, Equal, or Spoonful. Diet sodas, flavored packets for water, and diet foods are sweetened with this substance. Manufacturers are also continually adding aspartame to foods, such as gum and cereals, even though they are already sweetened with other types of sugars. It is made up of three chemicals:

Aspartic Acid

Aspartate is similar to MSG in that it is an excitotoxin, crossing the blood-brain barrier and causing damage and death in cells.


Aspartame combined with carbohydrates cause excessive amounts of phyenylalanine in the brain. This excess can decrease serotonin levels in the brain which lead to emotional and mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia.


Methanol is a deadly poison. When it reaches 86 degrees Fahrenheit in temperature, it breaks down into formic acid and formaldehyde. Since the body is normally set at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, all living tissues are embalmed.

Aspartame accounts for 75 percent of adverse reactions to food additives reported to the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA). There are over 90 different symptoms documented with migraines, muscle spasms, depression, fatigue, insomnia, heart palpitations, slurred speech, and joint pain being some of the few. According to physicians and researchers, certain diseases are caused, aggravated, or accelerated by aspartame: brain tumors, lymphoma, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and diabetes.

Sweet Poison: The Dangers of Aspartame

Eat Clean For Better Health

No matter what your diet has been, it's never too late to get rid of pre-packaged foods containing food additives. Start with getting rid of pre-packaged, processed, and refined foods. By opting for naturally clean foods, you won't need to count calories and you'll gain wonderful health benefits:

  • a well nourished body
  • tons of energy
  • less cravings
  • weight loss

Below is a table showing a healthier option. To keep your meals and snacks balanced, opt for a protein, carbohydrate (mostly veggies and some fruit), and a dietary yet essential fat. For the quickest fat loss, keep starchy carbs for after your two most strenuous workouts of the week or have them as 'treats.'

lean red meat
beans / legumes
butters (all nuts)
skinless chicken breast
applesauce (unsweetened)
bread (Ezekiel is best)
skinless turkey breast
oils (avocado, flax, olive, coconut)
pork tenderloin
Brussels sprouts
oats (all)
nuts (all)
berries (all)
potato (all)
rice (brown / wild)
chia seeds
egg whites
sweet potato / yam
coconut (unsweetened)
low-fat cottage cheese
greens (collards, kale, spinach, etc.)
egg yolk
Greek yogurt
extra virgin olive oil mayo
green beans
lemons / limes
orange (all)
onions, scallions
salsa (low-sodium)
peppers (all kinds)
squash / zucchini
sugar snap peas

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"Food can be used as a poison or a prescription for good health."
"Food can be used as a poison or a prescription for good health." | Source

About the author

Abby Campbell, BSc, SFN, SSN, CPT, is a leading professional fitness and nutrition expert, researcher, published author, and a naturopathic doctorate candidate. For more than a decade, she has coached thousands of women locally and online to lose body fat and lead healthy lifestyles. Hundreds have also consulted with her on gluten- and lactose-free diets due to health concerns such as Celiacs, depression, and developmental disabilities. Abby is from Northern Virginia but now resides near Charlotte, North Carolina. She has been married for more than 20 years and has three grown daughters, one of which is autistic. She is a 20+ year cancer survivor.


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    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Thank you for commenting, Peg. If your husband has Diabetes II, he can most likely overcome through diet. Aspartame is such a horrible additive that people just don't realize. I hope your hubby gets better soon! :-)

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Important and useful information here. Thanks so much for these great nutritional tips and explanations. My hubby is diabetic and I've often wondered if the aspartame in his diet sodas was causing some of his issues. Now I know. Tweeted and shared.

    • profile image

      Benjamin Chege 4 years ago

      You're welcome

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Thank you, Benjamin. I appreciate your comment. Have a wonderful day! :-)

    • profile image

      Benjamin Chege 4 years ago

      The article was useful and educative. Thumbs up:-)

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      You so make me smile, Dear Eric. :-) I see you are from Spring Valley, California, but I gathered from some of your other postings that you live out of the country and can access fresh foods easily. That's great! I wish we didn't have to wonder whether our foods are being tainted. So many regulations anymore! Why can't we just eat like our ancestors did back in the day. Even if Grandma made peanut butter cookies or apple pie, it was okay to have that treat because ingredients were more natural than what we use today. Besides, we ate healthy outside of those treats.

      Blessings to you, my friend. :-)

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Peace be ever upon you. Know that when I go, I will pray it for your soul.

      I do not want to buy red meat, I buy purple. But I buy it with grissle. I think just about everything that looks TV good is wrong. I like my figs dried and wrinkled. I reckon I am getting old. I like my peaches, cleaned and fresh with no makeup and sliced with no pit. Unless of course I pick them from the tree then all natural for me. I truly believe that the joy in which we eat is the nutrition our body we do treat.

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Thank you, Eric, for commenting and being a fan. I appreciate you! ;) Congrats on your remission as well!

      LOL on the skin of your chicken. If you eat pretty healthy most of the time, there are no worries! I sometimes have to have my crispy skin as well. :D

      And, yes, you are right about the "shelf life." Thanks for a great idea for a new hub. ;)

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Awesome read. I note you have me beat by one year on the "remission" schedule. I get your position but I am not taking the wonderful skin all crispy off my chicken.

      We are ethnic here and buy most food that has no preservatives. But something we should warn big old fat white guys about is that the "shelf life" of food and especially leftovers is not at all as long as fully chemically preserved rat poison food they are used to.

      You are on my short list for health hubbers.

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Actually, Sweet'N Low does not contain aspartame. It is saccharin, and its basic substance is a different chemical called "benzoic sulfilimine" (different from aspartame's structure). Saccharin does not cross the blood-brain barrier as discussed in my hub regarding aspartame. However, scientific studies have shown that it does cause cancer in rats. In humans, saccharin affects the brain's "feel good" hormone causing a craving for more sweets.

      As far as brown sugar, it is white sugar mixed with molasses to give it the dark color (in most cases). However, it would still be healthier than "white" sugar if one had to be chosen as it contains several minerals from the molasses. Minerals obtained from brown sugar include calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese, selenium, and a few traces of others. White sugar has absolutely no nutrient value whatsoever.

    • Autumn Renee profile image

      Autumn Renee 4 years ago from Midwestern US

      Aspartame is also found in Sweet-n-Low. Also be aware that brown sugar is more processed generally. My husband thought it was less since it wasn't white...but I believe it's mixed with molasses in many cases.

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting, iguidenetwork. I appreciate your comment. Good thing you listened to your instincts that MSG was giving you problems. I'm glad you are feeling so much better since giving up MSG. :-)

    • iguidenetwork profile image

      iguidenetwork 4 years ago from Austin, TX

      I was once reeling of migraine for many weeks. I suspected that it was too much preservatives (in particular MSG) in my diet. So I went on a non-MSG meals while trying to cure my migraines. This plan worked, and my migraine gradually disappeared.

      Thanks for informing me about the other harmful food additives. Up and useful.

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Have a wonderful evening, Epi. Enjoy the movies, my dear friend. :-)

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 4 years ago

      Thank you for your sincere, kind and most respected words Abby and do me a big favor now - give your beloved daughter a big hug from the three of us - the cats have been out all day and I asked for a night off from work for the 7th game in the Stanley Cup finals tonight which never happened as you know, lol, so I will make it movie night instead with The Sweeney, a British crime film, and a comedy, The Amazing Burt Wonderstone - and a look at the full moon now on the wane over the lake after. Have a beautiful evening and I will see you again.

      lake erie time 6:35pm and thank you for your esteemed advice

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Good evening, Epi. It's now almost 6 PM my way (I think we're in the same time zone but maybe an hour's difference). I would definitely check with your doctor to make sure you can take these. I bet he/she will most likely allow them. My 25 year old daughter is on an anti-depressant and other meds, and she was actually prescribed fish oils to keep her cholesterol low. When it doubt, it's always good to check and be sure. After all, you probably want your doctor to monitor because if symptoms are better with the supplements, then your medication dosages can be lowered. ;)

      I am sorry you have mood swings and understand as my daughter (as mentioned above) goes through a lot psychologically as well. I wish I could give you a great big hug in hopes that the bad stuff would just go away. :-)

      You have a wonderful evening and give Tiffy and Gabriel a nice petting for me.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 4 years ago

      Good afternoon Abby from Colin and his cat crew Tiffy and Gabriel after his night shift sleep at lake erie time 12:40pm and with my first cup of coffee and some nice harp music on a sunny fresh day here by the lake.

      Thank you for taking the time about recommending vitamins as listed above in your reply - yes I eat lots of veggies already but with the vitamins would I have to consult with my doctors on this Abby or just go ahead and take them?

      I do have mood swings and some days I feel lost and just want to sleep.

      Please have a wonderful afternoon and evening and once again thank you for our 'dialogue.'

      3 big hugs are being sent your way from the Canadians - C and T and G

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Good afternoon, Epi! It's great to hear from you today, and thank you for being a great support to me.

      At your age and height, your weight is right on target. I'm sorry to hear about the anti-depressants and anti-anxiety pills though. If I could encourage you to eat lots of veggies and take your vitamin-B complex, would you? Also, can you take fish oils? They all will help you so much with any moods. I hate to hear you going through this as you are such a beautiful person, and I love reading your poems.

      We also are due thunderstorms here for the next 10+ days. It's cloudy here and the humidity is high as well. Please stay dry. Pet Tiff and Gabriel for me. :-)

      P.S. I'm glad I gave you some admiration with some pics too. ;)

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 4 years ago

      Well Abby of most awesome - your hub presentations are always so beautifully laid out with your world class expertise on each subject in which you write and even some of your chosen images are very sexy - lol lol, and I mean that in a good way because we all like to admire both sexes who are in good shape because that is the whole point of advertising isn't it - the ideal self as seen in others who have already achieved that goal.

      Many of your facts and information are well researched and are eye opening too. I prefer orange juice to soda pop but orange juice has calories and sugar too so my main goal is always moderation - have whatever you want but in moderation I would say although I still have a high metalbolism even now at 55 and at 6'2" I weigh about 195 pounds.

      And now that I take anti-depressants and anti-anxiety pills along with my blood pressure pills, one asprin a day and a slow K pill I really have to watch my daily regiment and get my sleep and stay away from sodium and eat regularly too.

      So thanks for all that you do for your readers like me and I will share and link this handy reference guide to be bookmarked - on my FB wall.

      Sending warm wishes to you from the three of us - Colin, Tiffy and Gabriel at lake erie time 4:20pm

      and heavy clouds with showers threatening here but the humidity is still with us

      p.s. - and I always read the nutritional food chart on every product

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Thanks for commenting, Faith. I'm glad to hear that your sister is on a healthy lifestyle. I think we're all on a quest to continue finding healthier options. Foods are changing so quickly in the world (U.S.) right now, whether they are pre-packaged foods or what we consider natural, healthy foods. Therefore, we must be careful. Even being a nutritionist, I still am looking for ways to improve my nutrition. ;)

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 5 years ago from southern USA

      Thanks for the great article here. My sister is visiting with me for several months now, and she is just starting to get into proper health and nutrition, however, she is very healthy right now, but still wants to improve her nutrition. This article is very informative and useful.

      Voted up +++ and sharing

      Blessings, Faith Reaper

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Thanks for commenting, Rolly. I'm glad to hear you are a healthy eater and watch your labels. The sodium and sugars are definitely off the chart! I'm a great outdoors type of gal as well. My favorites are hiking and kayaking. Have a wonderful day!

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Abby... you are well informed and I can see where many of us over the years have been led astray. Thank you for all the hard work here.

      Fast foods are one of the greatest examples as too why many have become overweight and so far out of shape.

      The closest I come to fast food now is Subway. I prefer to eat a healthy diet at home watching all the labels and avoid all processed foods. It started several years ago when I started reading labels and the sodium content was off the charts. Preservations and other chemicals added are not a part of nutrition. I get plenty of exercise in the great outdoors.

      Hugs and Blessings from Alberta Canada

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      So true, Pat. This is exactly what I promote. ;)

    • profile image

      Pat Moon 5 years ago

      The only way to avoid food additives is to eat whole foods. Eating any processed food is risking additives.

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      I will warn you, Kathryn, as it can be addictive. Working out builds those endorphins (feel good hormones) which makes you want more. At least it's a healthy outlet. ;) Just don't overdo it! I think you're good to go though... sounds like you're easing into it. :D

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 5 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Thank you very much, your advice means a lot to me!

      I think adding more resistance/weight training will make a difference. I am at a good start, and I hope this pushes me forward!

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Hi Kathryn. You are such a sweetheart. I want you to know how much I really appreciate all your support. It means the world to me. Yes, you have my permission to include my book in your article. I would love it! :-)

      As far as your workouts, your workouts and timing sound just fine. For someone who is looking to lose body fat, I would suggest getting in some resistance/weight training 2-3 times per week and 2-3 days of cardio for at least 30 minutes. I would consider your most strenuous workouts the "hardest" one or two workouts you have during the week... probably the days you are using the most resistance. ;)

      And, you can ask me whatever you need. ;)

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 5 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Oh, absolutely, I will leave a review on Amazon! I was also thinking of doing a hub on my favorite health and fitness books, with just a short review of each. Would you mind if I featured yours? I wouldn't give away the details.

      I have two question after starting to read your book- 1) what do you consider strenuous exercise? I work out in the gym 2-4 times per week, about 5 minutes lifting weights (for now) and 30 minutes working out on the stationary bike and strider machines (with quite a lot of resistance, getting my heart rate up to "cardio level"). Would that be strenuous, or not-so-strenuous? 2) For someone who is pretty fit and not overweight but at the top of what is healthy, how often do you suggest working out per week?

      I don't want to ask too many questions, I was just curious. And by the way, love the book! It will be the most useful tool in planning my diet, and I am excited! I just stocked up on groceries. The only thing that will be tough for me is cutting down on starches, but I really want to burn fat, and if I do as you suggest and plan the meals ahead, it won't be hard.

      Thanks for the info about Splenda. That makes me happy. I used to have way too much sugar, and it was draining me, so Splenda has helped me cut it out of my diet significantly.

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Hi Kathyrn! I still use Splenda too and have done some research about it. I have also read the mixed reviews; however, most of the reviews don't elaborate on the specifics of how Splenda is made. What they call a "chemical" is a chemical in some foods; however, it is also naturally derived which is how it is with Splenda. One thing I do know is that it doesn't cross the blood-brain barrier like aspartame, which is good news! Thank you again for supporting me. Let me know how you like the book, and it would be great if you could leave a review on Amazon if you don't mind. Every bit helps! :D

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 5 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Fortunately, I'm not a big fan of soda. I do notice aspartame is in a lot, though. Iced tea is something I have seen it in.

      I do use Splenda. I have heard mixed reviews about it, but I hope it doesn't turn out to be harmful. I would have way too much sugar if I didn't have my artificial sweetener, only because I use it in my coffee.

      By the way, I received your book today! I started reading it while working out in my building's gym, and I am very excited to read more. So far it looks spectacular!

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Thank you, Linda! :)

    • LindaCSmith profile image

      Linda C Smith 5 years ago from United States

      Awesome post, so full of good and valuable information.

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Thank you, Carl & SaffronBlossom! :) Great on making the switch too t healthier options, Saffron!

    • SaffronBlossom profile image

      SaffronBlossom 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      This is a great hub, Abby! So interesting and I love all the detail and facts. I have trouble ditching the soda but I've recently made a shift to more fruits, vegetables, and good proteins (Greek yogurt or quinoa, I'm obsessed with it!) and I feel so much better overall.

    • profile image

      Carl Mason-Liebenberg 5 years ago

      Wow...this is a packed article. All this stuff is toxic, pure and simple and should be avoided like the plague. Great article!


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