When your stomach is protesting the fact you haven’t eaten in several hours, you might reach for the nearest thing you can put into your mouth. During these times, satisfying your hunger is probably at the forefront of your mind. You likely don’t agonize over every ingredient in the foods you devour. Unfortunately, all foods aren’t created equal.
Many items, regularly available at your local supermarket are made with potentially harmful toxic ingredients. Confusingly, while the United States Food and Drug Administration, FDA, allows the offending substances, many of them are banned in other countries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, an estimated 47.8 million Americans suffer from foodborne illnesses every year. Sadly, a projected 3,037 of these cases result in death. Due to the serious consequences you can face after ingesting toxic ingredients, consider avoiding the following foods at all costs.
Fat-free Potato Chips
For decades, potato chips have gotten a bad rap due to their high fat content. In an effort to win over health conscious consumers, potato chip manufacturers began offering snacks made with the ingredient olestra, also referred to as olean.
Besides contributing to gastrointestinal issues, olestra might lead to weight gain. In a 2011 study conducted at Purdue University, rats that consumed foods containing olestra ate more food and gained more weight than their counterparts that consumed a high-fat diet including regular, full-fat potato chips. Rather than grab a bag of olestra laced potato chips, reach for an organic option cooked in coconut oil instead of vegetable oils such as corn or soybean.
Coloring agents blue 1 and blue 2 provide sports drinks with their bright hues. According to a study published in the journal Science, blue 1 and blue 2 can negatively impact the cognitive function of hyperactive children. During the study, kids performed poorly on exams that measured their ability to remember images. When completing short workouts, swap sports drinks with water. For longer fitness endeavors, think about reaching for electrolyte packed natural coconut water.
Processed Macaroni and Cheese
Processed macaroni and cheese is a favorite among kids and kids at heart alike. This popular snack food and side dish contains coloring agents yellow 5 and yellow 6. These dyes are produced from coal tar. Coal tar is also utilized to seal-coat floors and kill lice. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, artificial food coloring has been associated with:
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, ADHD
- Cancer in animals
When you need to satisfy your macaroni and cheese cravings, select an organic brand containing no artificial colors, genetically modified ingredients, or dairy from cows treated with synthetic hormones.
Bacon contains sodium nitrates and sodium nitrites. These toxic ingredients are believed to contribute to the development of metabolic syndrome and colon cancer. When preparing meals at home, opt for fresh, organic meats rather than bacon and other processed ones.
Chewing gum consists of the substances BHA and BHT. Produced from petroleum, these ingredients have been found to raise the risk of cancer in animals. If you want to freshen your breath, brush your teeth or rinse your mouth with mouthwash instead of indulging in a piece of chewing gum.
Non-organic yogurt is typically derived from dairy cows that have been given the growth hormones rBST and rBGH. These hormones boost the level of another hormone known as insulin-like growth factor, IGF-1. In a few human studies, IGF-1 has been linked to:
- Breast cancer
- Colon cancer
- Prostate cancer
When you want a savory, healthy snack, opt for organic Greek yogurts instead of non-organic plain ones
Boxed pasta mixes often contain the toxic substance azodicarbonamide. Banned in Australia, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and most other European countries, azodicarbonamide has been associated with asthma. When shopping down the pasta aisle of your supermarket, look for gluten-free and wheat-free alternatives. Prepare your own pasta sauce at home rather than relying on heavily processed, store-bought options.
Artificially Flavored Citrus Sodas
While refreshing on a hot day, artificially flavored citrus sodas contain the food additive brominated vegetable oil, BVO. BVO is believed to contribute to the build-up of fatty tissues. It may also cause behavioral and reproductive problems. Sparkling water infused with a wedge of lemon or lime is a great substitute for artificially flavored citrus sodas.
Jellies and Jams
Your favorite, processed breakfast spreads likely contain sodium benzoate. Besides initiating allergic reactions in some people, sodium benzoate may be a trigger for hyperactivity in kids with ADHD. Consider swapping jellies and jams with fresh, ripe fruit.
While the FDA deems the aforementioned foods safe, research studies point in the opposite direction. In your quest to improve your health, strive to avoid these foods. Nowadays, healthy, organic alternatives are more readily available than ever before. Take advantage of the delicious opportunities available at your favorite grocery store or farmer’s market.
~ Health Scams Exposed