Go up any aisle in the grocery store, and you will see rows of shelves packed with processed foods that are loaded with chemical additives. These additives extend the shelf life of the food and make cheaply processed food taste better.
Reading an ingredient label is like reading a 2nd language! Some ingredients sound sketchy, like ascorbic acid, but it’s just a form of Vitamin C. Others, however, have been linked to many health problems, such as cancer, tumors, and hormonal issues.
I have included a list of the worst ingredients, according to the Environmental Working Group.
- Nitrites & Nitrates-found in jerky and preserved meats, which is linked to stomach cancer; choose nitrate-free jerky instead.
- Potassium Bromate-found in breads and crackers, and is linked to tumors; choose natural, preservative-free breads and snacks.
- Propyl Paraben-found in bath and body products, which disrupt the endocrine system and acts as a weak, synthetic estrogen; could cause decreased sperm counts; look for paraben-free foods and bath products.
- Butylated Hydroxytoluene(BHT)-it’s a food preservative, and may cause lung tumors; check ingredient labels and choose natural and organic foods.
- Butylated Hydroxyanisole(BHA)-found in potato chips and preserved meats, and could cause tumors; shop for all-natural snacks and chips containing only ingredients you recognize.
- Propyl Gallate-found in products with edible fats, such as sausage and could cause tumors; look for natural meats containing only ingredients you recognize.
- Theobromne-found in bread, cereal, and sports drinks; the possible reproductive and developmental effects of theobromine were never satisfactorily explained to the FDA; buy natural cereals without additives.
- Diacetyl-found as butter flavoring in microwavable popcorn and in yogurt, cheese, and maple flavoring; it’s associated with bronchiolitis obliterans, and irreversible respiratory illness; choose natural popcorn, organic cheese and yogurt, and pure maple syrup.
- Phosphate Food Additives-found in packaged baked goods, preserved meats, and other heavily processed foods, this ingredient is linked to heart disease and high blood pressure and is especially dangerous to people with kidney disease; shop for organic products whenever possible.
- Aluminum-found in many processed foods, aluminum has been linked to developmental problems in pregnant animals and may be associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders; always read the list of ingredients on your food!