Think about it. How many times do you prioritize eating processed food or “instant” products because you don’t actually have the time to spare to cook breakfast from scratch? In the recent years, plenty of food and drink “improvements” have been made.
This doesn’t come as a surprise. We live in a day and age where everything has to be present in the snap of our dainty little fingers.
Our lifestyles are fast-paced and spontaneous, and for the most of us, we don’t have a choice but to consume what’s there and move on with our daily tasks. Heck, even typical supermarket food is pre-packaged. They need either minimal preparation or none at all.
But as is the case with everything in this world, this convenience harbors a dark side — waiting patiently for us to consume too much until our bodies break down.
Most of the food on our shelves contain chemicals and additives that are known for harming either the human body or laboratory animals. And if they harm animals, they can hurt you too…
Any food that’s been canned, dehydrated, or had chemicals added to it is considered processed food. And these make up about 60% of the average American diet.
We hardly ever consider the food we eat as ‘poison,’ or ‘toxic.’ But the truth of the matter is, they are. No amount of convincing ourselves is going to change that.
Here are some toxic ingredients you should try to avoid having in your food at all costs:
According to the US Code of Federal Regulations, Title 21 – Food and Drugs:
“Food additives include all substances not exempted by section 201(s) of the act, the intended use of which results or may reasonably be expected to result, directly or indirectly, either in their becoming a component of food or otherwise affecting the characteristics of food.”
Monosodium glutamate is a processed “flavor enhancer.” While glutamates are present in some natural foods, such as meat and cheese, the ones exploited by the processed-foods industry are separated from their host proteins through hydrolysis. High levels of free glutamates have been known to cause diabetes, adrenal gland malfunction, seizures, high blood pressure, excessive weight gain, stroke, and other health problems.
Sodium Nitrates and Sodium Nitrites
These two different preservatives are found in processed meat. It is found particularly in bacon, lunch meat, and hotdogs. They cause colon cancer and metabolic syndrome — both of which lead to diabetes. Always choose fresh and organic meat. Avoid these as much as you can.
Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Benzoate
These preservatives are added to sodas to keep mold from growing and thriving. But benzene is a known carcinogen linked with thyroid problems. Dangerous levels of this chemical build up when plastic bottles of soft drinks are exposed to heat, or when the preservatives are combined with Vitamin C.
Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA)
Although it’s been deemed safe by the FDA, this doesn’t excuse BHA from being potentially harmful. This preservative causes cancer. Its main job is to help prevent spoilage and food poisoning, but disrupts your endocrines and throw your hormones into chaos.
Artificial sweeteners, or otherwise known as sugar substitutes, are used in places of natural sweeteners. They are non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS), and noncaloric sweeteners.
Sucralose, or more popularly known as Splenda. It is popularly used as a sugar substitute by people looking for low-calorie alternatives. Because of this, it’s quite popular among people looking to lose weight, but not completely willing to sacrifice consuming sweets. Don’t let it fool you though. Sucralose can cause your liver and kidneys to swell, and it can lead to shrinkage of your thymus gland.
Agave nectar is a sweetener present in various “health food.” It’s marketed as a natural and diabetic-friendly sweetener that doesn’t spike blood sugar levels. But, like most cases, when a product undergoes processing and refinery, it loses most — if not all — of its nutritional value. Highly processed agave nectar contain high levels of fructose which cause insulin resistance, liver disease, and body-tissue inflammation.
Saccharin is 200 to 700 times sweeter than sucrose (table sugar). It doesn’t raise blood sugar levels and has no calories, but scientific studies found that it contains carcinogen — which causes bladder cancer in rats.
High Fructose Corn Syrup
HFCS is a sweetener made from corn starch. The amount of refined sugar we consume has declined over the past 40 years, but we’re consuming 20 times as much HFCS. In addition, the cornstarch is made from genetically-modified corn. HFCS increases triglycerides and boosts fat-storing hormones. It causes obesity, diabetes, heart problems, arthritis, and insulin resistance.
Artificial Food Coloring
If you find your children, or even you, getting attracted to food’s lovely colors, it’s probably because of artificial food coloring. But as pretty as they make your food look, the health complications you’ll get from them doesn’t make them worth it.
Take a look at MPH Program List’s long list of food coloring to avoid:
- Red #40: Found in many foods to alter color. All modern food dyes are derived from petroleum. A carcinogen that is linked to cancer in some studies. Also can cause hyperactivity in children. Banned in some European countries. (Worst Offender)
- Blue #1: Used in bakery products, candy, and soft drinks. Can damage chromosomes and lead to cancer.
- Blue #2: Used in candy and pet food beverages. Can cause brain tumors
- Citrus red #1: Sprayed on oranges to make them look ripe. Can damage chromosomes and lead to cancer.
- Citrus red #2: Used to color oranges. Can cause cancer if you eat the peel.
- Green #3: Used in candy and beverages. May cause bladder tumors.
- Yellow #5: Used in desserts, candy, and baked goods.Thought to cause kidney tumors, according to some studies.
- Yellow #6: A carcinogen used in sausage, beverages and baked goods. Thought to cause kidney tumors, according to some studies.
- Red #2: A food coloring that may cause both asthma and cancer.
- Red #3: A carcinogen. that is added to cherry pie filling, ice cream, and baked goods. May cause nerve damage and thyroid cancer.
- Caramel coloring: In soft drinks, sauces, pastries, and bread. When made with ammonia, it can cause cancer in mice. Food companies not required to disclose if this ingredient is made with ammonia.
- Brown HT: Used in many packaged foods. Can cause hyperactivity in children, asthma, and cancer.
- Orange B: A food dye that is used in hot dog and sausage casings. High doses are bad for the liver and bile duct.
- Bixin: Food coloring that can cause hyperactivity in children and asthma.
- Norbixin: Food coloring that can cause hyperactivity in children and asthma.
- Annatto: Food coloring that can cause hyperactivity in children and asthma.
The Bottom Line
If you can, just stay clear of processed food altogether. Nothing good can come out of things that have been scientifically proven to cause bodily harm in the long-run. They’ll mess up your fitness routine anyways.