11 Dangerous Food Preservatives and Additives to Avoid

Natural flavoring can relate to virtually anything that originates from a natural source. Most additives and preservatives are quickly overlooked, but are certain to be far from being the most appealing ingredient listed in the food product.

Food preservatives

Risky preservatives and additives include: Added sugar (dextrose, corn syrup, HFCS, etc.); Added salt (check the sodium content); Artificial colors (ingredients beginning with FD&C); Artificial sweeteners (saccharin, Acesulfame-K, aspartame, etc.); and Chemical preservatives (sodium benzoate, sodium nitrate, Butylated hydroxyanisole, etc.).

Below is an overview of 11 additives and preservatives to avoid:

1 – Ammonium sulfate

A preservative like ammonium sulfate is commonly found in bread. In low doses, this ingredient is supposed to be entirely safe. It may also be found in garden fertilizer and cleaning products.

2 – Artificial sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners like Sorbitol, saccharin, and sucralose are made to be calorie-free, but they can still have a negative impact on the body. Certain sweeteners are said to disrupt the function of the metabolism, which is certain to mean weight is gained more easily and more difficult to lose. Also, the artificial sweeteners can cause dizziness, headaches, and some have even been linked to causing cancer.

3 – Butylated hydroxyanisole

Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) is a food preservative classified as a phenol-based additive and acts like an antioxidant for the ingredients. This preservative is used to help stop the food from turning rancid. In addition to food products, there is a high likelihood of finding BHA in animal feed, food packaging, and medication.

4 – Castoreum

Castoreum is most often added to fruit-flavored foods to give a more fruity taste. This ingredient is sourced from a beaver and comes from the perineal glands.

5 – High Fructose Corn Syrup

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is an artificial sweetener. This highly-refined additive is a common sight in most processed foods, cereals, salad dressings, flavored yogurts, candy, and breads. A regular intake of HFCS is certain to contribute to tissue damage, diabetes, and high LDL cholesterol levels.

6 – L-cysteine

L-cysteine is sourced from human hair or poultry feathers and counted as one of the natural proteins because it is consumed as an amino acid. This proteinogenic amino acid is found in a variety of products, such as cookie dough and bread.

7 – Potassium bromate

Potassium bromate is a common additive in bread-based products because it helps to enhance the quality of flour. While potassium bromate is banned in Europe, Canada, and China, it is still available to use in the food industry in the US (although certain food companies have ceased using it). Should the ingredient label include “enriched flour” or similar, this is an indication that this toxic chemical is included.

8 – Sodium benzoate

Sodium benzoate is a flavoring agent and antimicrobial preservative and common in the food industry. It is commonly found in acidic liquids, such as soft drinks, juices, and vinegar. Other foods include fast food hamburgers and margarine. This chemical is used elsewhere in fireworks.

9 – Sodium nitrite

Sodium nitrite is a common preservative used in meat products. It is used to retain the red color and prevent the growth of bacteria. Also, it can help to add flavor to meat, such as bacon or similar salty meats. This preservative is common in textile dyes and photography to act as a chemical reacting agent.

10 – Sodium sulfite

Sodium sulfite is a common preservative in processed foods, dried fruit and winemaking. Nearly 1/100 people have a sensitivity to this chemical compound. Sensitivity to sodium sulfite is noticed due to an outbreak of rashes, breathing problems, and headaches. The most serious side effect of this preservative is actually death because it has the ability to close down the airway and this results in circulatory arrest.

11 – Titanium dioxide

Titanium dioxide is a standard ingredient in commercial products like sunscreen since it has the ability to absorb UV-rays. This naturally occurring mineral is also found in coffee creamer, frosting, salad dressing, and milk.

Eat well

An effective solution to avoid many of the additives and preservatives is to eat a well-balanced diet with whole grains and fresh produce. Also, whole foods are much more beneficial for the health and well-being compared to package or processed foods. Although, if planning to buy the processed foods, try to limit the intake to those that have no or little in the way of preservatives or synthetic colors.

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