When mindfully shopping, reading labels is a must. But how to tell what is okay from what is toxic? As one of my nutrition teachers says: “if you can’t make it in your kitchen, don’t buy it in a package.” Here is a list of the top 10 ingredients you will want to AVOID when shopping:
1. Artificial Colors
There’s a reason why most sugary treats give us a rush. Hidden artificial colors in foods can cause hyperactivity and headaches.
2. Bleached White Flour
Found in most white breads, bleached white flour is usually stripped of nutrients and fibre and adds little value to our diets.
3. High-Fructose Corn Syrup
This ingredient is found in most processed foods, including lunch meats, and has no nutritional value. It has also been linked to increase risks of type 2 diabetes, and overconsumption can be damaging to our livers.
4. Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners give food that sugary taste that is also quite addictive. Artificial sweeteners are almost always chemically derived and have been linked to migraines and even cancer.
5. BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene)
BHT or butylated hydroxytoluene is often added to most processed foods to preserve fats. An overconsumption of this chemical can cause allergic reactions on the skin.
6. Partially Hydrogenated Oil
Partially hydrogenated oils (which are often found in cake mixes, peanut butter and baked goods) can decrease good cholesterol levels, are linked to heart disease and are hard for the body to dissolve.
MSG (monosodium glutamate) is a food additive that is found in many foods, especially in fast food restaurants. MSGs can overexcite our nerve cells in the brain and can even (eaten in large amounts) cause brain cell death. On top of that, MSGs also can lead to exhaustion after a big meal.
8. Sodium Nitrate And Sodium Nitrite
Sodium nitrates and nitrites are chemical compounds commonly found in meat products like bacon and hot dogs, according to about.com. Nitrates and nitrites can affect the way your body uses sugar and may increase the risk of diabetes and colorectal cancer.
9. Sodium Benzoate
Sodium benzoate is a chemical preservative that is used to prevent the growth of bacteria in foods like jams, fruit pies and soft drinks. It can also deprive our cells of oxygen and weakens the immune system.