What Food Additives Do to Your Health

The food industry has created ways and means to prolong the life and preserve different food items which used to be perishable in just a matter of minutes or hours. Processed foods including the instant and ready-to-eat variants are very appealing especially to the modern career person who needs to manage time very well, and time for eating must be adjusted in accordance to the hectic work schedule at the office. Oftentimes, instant and ready-to-eat foods are not healthy because they contain some additives. As time passes by, more and more evidences reveal that health depends not only on the type of food that people eat, but also on the things that are in the food itself.

Food additives were once thought safe. Now, scientists and researchers are claiming that these substances are toxic and can deteriorate a person's health in the long run.

What to Avoid

The World Health Organization stated that when food is contaminated with food hazards, adverse health effects are produced from the consumption of these food items. Approximately 2,800 substances are widely used as food additives without the people knowing it. The food industry has been making synthetic additives a great part of the people's diet. Some of the additives that you must avoid are the following:

• High-fructose corn syrup:
This food additive may lead to obesity. In addition to this, high-fructose corn syrup is produced from genetically modified corn that is sprayed with tons of chemicals.

• Artificial colorings and sweeteners:
First, artificial colorings may cause different types of cancer. It can also cause hyperactivity especially to sensitive children. On the other hand, artificial sweeteners like aspartame and saccharin can increase your chance of getting cancer.

• Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils:
Heart disease is the primary effect of the trans fats from these oils. Be careful in reading the food labels. There is a great difference between "0 trans fat" and "no trans fats"; the former has 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving while the latter means none at all.

• Monosodium glutamate or MSG:
Some people are sensitive to huge amounts of this food additive. Reactions to MSG include nausea, weakness, headache and burning sensation in the forearms and nape. MSG can also cause wheezing, difficulty in breathing and changes in heart rate.

• Sodium benzoate or benzoic acid:
This can cause allergic reactions. When this is combined with ascorbic acid in beverages, benzene is formed and this can cause leukemia and other types of cancer.

• Sodium nitrate:
This is usually found in cured meats such as hotdogs and bacon. This additive has been linked to several types of cancer.

• Potassium bromate:
Because it causes cancer in animals, bromate has been banned in many countries. This additive is usually found in bread products.

• Sulfites:
This additive destroys vitamin B1 in foods. Sulfites are used to prevent discoloration and bacteria growth but they also cause reactions in people, particularly those who have asthma.


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