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I’ve read lots of articles lately about the chemical and sometimes outright toxic ingredients in food.  Wonder if you’ve eaten any of these lately?  Go pull out some things in your pantry and start reading the labels!

Here are my top 7 worst ingredients, in random order:

1. Artificial Food Coloring

Why It’s Bad: First off, they are derived from petroleum. The 3 most widely used dyes, Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6, are contaminated with known carcinogens. (A carcinogen is a cancer causing food additive)

Also Called: Caramel color, FD&C Blue #1, Brilliant Blue FCF, Bright blue, Blue # 2, Ingtotine, Royal Blue, Red Number 3, Erythrosine, FD&C Red No.40, Allura Red AC, Yellow 5 and 6, FD&C Green Number 3, Fast Green, and Sea Green.

2. BHA and BHT
Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydrozyttoluene (BHT)

Why It’s Bad: BHA and BHT are oxidants, which have been shown to form potentially cancer-causing reactive compounds in the body. They are preservatives used in many foods to prevent oxidation and extend shelf life.

3. Aspartame

Why It’s Bad: Aspartame is an excitotoxin. An excitotoxin is a neurotoxic chemical additive shown to harm nerve cells— overexciting them, sometimes to the point of cell death. Regularly consuming excitotoxins destroys significant numbers of brain cells and can lead to serious health problems, including neurological disorders. It  can cause headaches, dizziness, blurry vision, and gastrointestinal disturbances.

Also Called: NutraSweet, Equal, Canderel, Spoonful, Natrataste, AminoSweet, Splenda (Sucralose), Sweet ‘n’ Low (saccharine).

4. Potassium Bromate

Why It’s Bad: A form of bromide, it is used as an additive to increase the volume in some breads, rolls, and flours. It has been shown to cause cancer in animals and is banned in the EU, Canada, and several other countries.

Also Called: Bromic acid, potassium salt, bromated flour,

5. Sodium Nitrite and Sodium Nitrate

Why They’re Bad: When added to meat, the nitrates are readily converted to nitrosamines, which are associated with an increased risk of certain types of cancers.  In a 2007 analysis, The World Cancer Research Fund revealed that eating 1.8 ounces of processed meat every day increases your cancer risk by 20%.

Also Called: Soda niter, Chile saltpeter

6. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

Why It’s Bad: It’s an known excitotoxin (see definition above in Aspartame). MSG is an amino acid used as a flavor-enhancer in processed foods (one of the most common food additives).

Also Called:monosodium glutamate, monopotassium glutamate,
glutamate, glutamic acid, gelatin, calcium caseinate, hydrolyzed
vegetable protein, textured protein, autolyzed plant protein,
hydrolyzed plant protein, yeast extract, glutamate, yeast food
or nutrient, sodium caseinate, autolyzed yeast

7. Partially Hydrogenated Oils

Why it’s Bad: Manufacturers like it because it reduces costs, increases shelf life and stabilizes flavor. Trans fats are twice as difficult for the body to dissolve as saturated fats, and because they boost bad (LDL) cholesterol and have been shown to decrease good (HDL) cholesterol, they’re active agents of heart disease, diabetes, nutritional deficiencies and cellular deterioration.

The more you read about all the chemicals in our food, the scarier it is!  The only option is to eat whole ingredient food, and avoid ALL processed stuff.

To see a list of CLEAN Products that I LOVE, click here!