Found in almost any type of food, these substances are meant to preserve and enhance the flavor of what we are eating, providing the products with a particular taste and smell.
Some additives are purely used to color certain products after preparation therefore making them more appealing to customers.
Each additive has a certain number assigned: European countries use an ‘E’ number for approved additives; other countries use only the name or the number. Sure, we’ve all been taught to read the label of the products we buy in supermarkets, but what do we do when almost all of them contain these additives? How do we know which ones are safe to consume and which aren’t?
Here is a list with potentially harmful additives which should be avoided or consumed with caution:
They are used in diet foods, soft drinks, pastry, desserts, chewing gums or other goodies. Even if they are meant to substitute sugar or cut down the calorie amount, you should know that they can cause numerous serious health problems such as: tooth decay, they can increase the risks of developing cancer and heart diseases, neurological problems (dizziness, hallucinations), digestion problems.
Annatto(E160b),Blue1(E133),Blue2(E132),CitrusRed2(E121),Green 3(E143),Orange B(E101),Red3(E127),Red 40(E129), Yellow 5(E102),Yellow 6(E110)
These additives are often used in beverages, sausage casings, candies, baked goods , gelatin desserts and even pet food. They can cause edema in the heart, asthma, rashes and many other health problems.
Nitrates and Sulfites
Sodium nitrate (E250), Sulfur Dioxide (E220), Sodium Bisulfite (E222)
They are used in coloring and flavoring bacon, ham, corned beef, smoked fish and other types of meat; and preserving dried fruit, wine, processed potatoes.
Both substances from these categories can cause several health problems: severe allergic reactions like dermatitis, stomach disorders and can also damage the blood flow to the brain.
Hydrogenated vegetable oils (Trans Fat)
They found most commonly in margarine, crackers, fried restaurant foods, microwave popcorn, baked goods.
This type of additive can cause premature heart attacks which can be fatal for some consumers.
Even though sometimes it means spending a little bit more time in the supermarket, make sure that you read all the labels. Good looking food may fool you into thinking it is a hundred percent natural, when in fact it has many of these additives.
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Filed under: Nutrition by Alice in Dietland