You’ve probably gotten the hint about processed foods and how they can affect your health, but are you aware of which ingredients are added to these foods to make them so unhealthy?
Sometimes we see familiar names on the nutritional value label, like high fructose corn syrup, sodium chloride, oils, and flavors from concentrate, yet we become oblivious as to what they actually are and why they’re in the food we eat.
Becoming more educated about ingredients that are detrimental to your health when consumed on a regular basis could make a huge difference for your body and mind.
Unless you’re making everything homemade, are very confident in what the food packaging label tells you, or have a very precise knowledge of how your meal is being prepared at a restaurant, you’re probably consuming a truckload of potentially dangerous artificial flavorings.
Artificial flavors, otherwise known as food additives, are used to help make flavor last longer. They are mixtures of chemicals often found in candies, sugary drinks, and other processed foods. These food additives are dangerous because they ultimately replace nutrients found in your food and can eventually be harmful to your body due the buildup of chemicals over time.
High fructose corn syrup is a blend of multiple corn syrups that have been enzymatically processed to convert a majority of the sugar’s glucose into fructose, which is used as an additive to enhance the flavor of food. In other words, it’s an artificially created sugar that your body isn’t built to process correctly. High fructose corn syrup is often found in sodas, energy drinks, candy, cereals, even bread… just about anything that seems a little too sweet to be natural. High intake of fructose has been linked to obesity, diabetes, and even certain cancers. Health concerns related to this ingredient have become more frequent due to the rise in replacements of natural sugars in the food industry.
Trans fats and hydrogenated oils are the leaders on the “fat path.” These ingredients are found in a majority of processed or fried foods, including potato chips, pastries, and fast food. While some trans fatty acids are naturally found in certain meat and protein products, most of the trans fats found in our food are made through a process of hydrogenation, which is when hydrogen is added to liquid vegetable oils to make it into a more solid compound. The American Heart Association has stated that trans fats found in most foods can increase the chance of cardiovascular disease because of the increase in negative low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.
Many people don't realize that the amount of salt already found in our food is more than enough for our body without adding even more salt at the dinner table. Most people have an intake of close to 3400 milligrams of sodium per day, which is nearly 1000 more milligrams than the suggested average of about 1500-2300 mg, depending on your diet. About three fourths of your body's daily consumption is taken from a regular diet consisting of three meals and a few snacks, provided you're using wholesome and nutritious ingredients. Before reaching for the salt shaker, keep in mind that high sodium chloride intake can directly result in high blood pressure and fluid retention, as well as offsetting the balance of electrolytes in your body.
What is it that makes those fruit snacks, treats, and soft drinks so vibrant and colorful? They’re called artificial dyes, otherwise known as food coloring. These chemically-created products are used to enhance the foods that you consume and ultimately have a more visually appealing effect than naturally colored products. Of the few currently approved color dyes, many have raised health concerns that involve allergic reactions, the possibility of cancer, and the formation of tumors. These lab-produced chemical compounds may look appealing on the outside, but when it comes to your health on the inside, you should take precautions and stick to naturally dyed foods. If you’re really picky about how pretty your plate looks, try adding vibrant vegetables that are full of color and flavor without the use of harmful ingredients.
Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Our products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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