10 Hidden Food Dangers
Food companies are quite savvy at disguising various additives and ingredients on the labels of their foods. I always say if you need a dictionary to look up an ingredient, then put it back. But some ingredients sound like they may be okay to consume, or perhaps you’re just not aware of what they actually are. Some of these were mentioned 2 blogs ago.
So this Top 10: Hidden Food Dangers will shed some light about what goes on your plate, and in your body. Bear this information in mind the next time you’re at your local supermarket – and make some smart choices!
1. Sodium Nitrite – This sounds like just some added salt right? Wrong. How would you feel if you knew sodium nitrate’s been associated with causing cancer in lab animals, and is highly carcinogenic? It’s found in many meat products like ham, bacon, hot dogs, and others, and has also been linked to leukemia and brain tumors. Not so harmless anymore is it? I currently don't eat land animals, but if you do I'd advise getting organic grass fed whould cut of meat, rather than processed per-sliced sandwich meats you're used to seeing in the store quite conveniently.
2. MSG – Sure we all know Mono Sodium Glutamate is bad for you by now, but guess what? It also has other names like textured soy concentrate, maltodextrin, yeast extract, autolyzed vegetable protein, and hydrolyzed vegetable protein. These contain MSG and as such may cause nerve damage. This is a tricky little tactic some companies use to avoid labeling their products with MSG. This is something to pay very close attention to, as I had recently purchased some no-sodium vegan veggie broth 9online assuming it had no sodium) that had yeast extract in it!
3. High Fructose Corn Syrup- I’m sure you know this one! I did a blog on it yesterday. HFCS is found in everything from soda to breakfast cereals. The problem is that since it’s made from genetically modified corn and enzymes, it’s loaded with “unbound” glucose and fructose molecules and has been associated with obesity, tissue and heart disease. It's heated to a temperature that changes the structure of the corn...and this only leads to bad thing.
4. Soybean Oil- Seems harmless upon reading it, but nearly half (and rising) of soybean crops are genetically modified, also known as GMO. When you play with Mother Nature, bad things are bound to happen. There’s been mounting evidence that GMO products have negative impacts on human health and because they’re unnatural, also pose a threat to the environment. If you do want to include soy in your diet, it's best to find non-GMO soy that is prepared in a fermented way, such as nato, miso etc. Un-fermented soy is not well digested (in spike of it's popularity) and it messes with the estrogen hormone in your body as well.
5. Enriched Flour- This actually sounds like a good ingredient doesn’t it? But “enriched” isn’t a good thing! In fact it’s actually quite bad as this product is highly processed and devoid of most of its nutrition since it’s been “bleached” and had most of the wheat germ and bran removed. Additionally, the type of iron that’s added in the enrichment process is heavily metallic and isn’t readily absorbed by the human body. Pretzels, cereals and pasta’s may contain this ugly imposter.
6. Potassium Bromate- Potassium is a key nutrient that’s needed for health, but don’t let this fool you into thinking it’s a healthy ingredient. It’s used to increase volume in breads, rolls, and other white flour products. But it’s also been shown to cause cancer in animals and may be a potential health risk for humans as well. Stick to getting potassium from fruits and veggies, and try avoid potassium Bromate as an ingredient.
9. Aspartate- This belongs to the “excitotoxin” category and is widely used as an artificial sweetener in soft drinks, ice creams, cereals, and many other products that are listed as “diet”, but also low in sugar. It’s chemical brother Aspartame is known to cause numerous health issues such as hallucinations, neuropsychiatric disorders, panic attacks, mood swings, dizziness, and even blackouts in some instances. You may be trying to watch calories, but using foods with this ingredient may cause you some serious health issues. It surprised me when speaking to friends how unaware they were of the dangers of aspertame...we've known this for years but because of the Large amount of foods it's in nothing has been done to remove products containing this ingredient...it wasn't until I pointed it out and it clicked to them "no wonder labels need to tell you in a separate quote that this product has aspertame."
10. Gluten – I’m listing this a hidden food danger because I truly believe most people aren’t aware that they have a negative reaction to it. I don't know if I have an intolerance, but I gave it up when I started my raw food diet for a few months, and never went back to gluten foods....exploring all the amazing alternative. Gluten is a starchy substance found in wheat, barley and rye and contains an insoluble protein that many people are allergic to. Some people may have Celiac disease, which causes a whole host of health issues and pain, but it’s also estimated that millions of Americans are gluten sensitive, meaning they too suffer from various health problems when they consume it. Gluten’s known to exasperate existing conditions such as diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, osteoporosis, dermatitis and psoriasis. There are so many alternatives to foods with gluten.