Did you know that the same box of cereal in the US has more harmful ingredients than the same cereal in the UK?
Based on a 2017 article published on the business insider, the United States has different health regulation rules from other countries when it comes to dangerous chemicals added to the food. Many of these ingredients have been banned and deemed illegal in Europe and are still allowed in the US. Some reasons why there are chemicals in our food are for longer shelf life, more flavor, and coloring to make your food more visually appealing.
The fact is that most of the packaged foods we eat whether they’re candies, cereal or tomato sauce could be detrimental to our health. But how bad can it be? Yes, the obvious reason for many is weight gain. But what we may not always be aware of is that the list of issues is longer than just that.
Symptoms of bad chemicals in your food can range anywhere between random headaches, digestive problems, hormonal issues, and even cancer. Yes, many of the foods you might be consuming can cause cancer. Before we start dissecting labels, know that if your cereal, cookies, or any other product you have in your kitchen or snacking pantry has more than 10 ingredients then it’s not worth the try. Also, watch out for hard to pronounce ingredients. When in doubt don’t eat it.
Before we go into dissecting ingredients, let’s talk about junk food.
Well, you must have heard the Pringle’s slogan “once you pop you can’t stop” and this slogan is not wrong. Junk food is addicting and this is no accident. This type of “food” is loaded with sodium, sugar, additives & preservatives.
Too much sodium leads to heart and blood pressure problems. Too much sugar leads to weight issues, inflammation, and behavioral problems.
Here are 3 top “no-no” ingredients in food labels to avoid:
- Artificial colorings: Would you ever eat Play-Doh, or chew on a Crayola? If your answer is no, then perhaps reading the words yellow #40, red #12 and so on are probably a no-no also. Know that when coloring and numbers are found in your food it translates to synthetic ingredients which can cause, skin rashes, nausea, and other unwanted side effects.
- Artificial sweeteners: Such as Splenda, Sucralose, Aspartame, Nutrasweet, Truvia, and Sweet ’n Low. Chances are that all of these are still offered at your local coffee shop or they are in those, diet sodas, and “sugar-free” cookies. Want a better sweetener option? Look for coconut sugar, maple syrup, or honey. The use of artificial sweeteners has been linked to cancer, seizures, and metabolic disorders as some people may not be able to metabolize the artificial sweeteners. In some instances, it can lead to overeating and blood sugar issues.
- Sodium Nitrate: Used in red meats to preserve color and flavor. The chemical make- up of this product causes cancer in the stomach, other effects are headaches, vomiting, nausea, and dizziness.
Now that you have this important list, take notice of how your body reacts through the day. The best way is to make a food diary. There are times in which a weird mood or allergic reaction may be related more to the food you consume than just a seasonal allergic reaction.
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