Reading labels is a lifeskill. Something I feel should be taught in schools. Unfortunately though it is not and I feel like that is extremely empowering to know so you can make an educated decision on what to put into your body. It’s truly eye opening how many chemicals and questionable ingredients make it into our food supply. Modern life demands we reach for convenience and packaged foods and reading nutrition labels is more important now than ever! Today I thought I would share some common offenders. Let’s dive in!
Made in labs, no calorie alternative to sugar. Linked to dementia skin rashes and more.
There is way too much of it in our food and easy to go over the limit set by The American Heart Association of 6 teaspoons per day for women and children. If you are used to eating packaged oatmeal or cereals for breakfast , flavored yoghurt for snack and dessert not to mention the soft drinks, you may just be getting more than your daily limit! An excess in refined sugar can lead to obesity, daibetes and insulin resistance.
An addictive stimulant. Found in gums, soft drinks, diet pills and pain relievers. It is naturally occurring in coffee, cocoa and tea. an excessive amount of caffeine is not good a it excretes calcium from the bones and can cause osteoporosis and infertility.
GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS
GMO’s are plants or animals that have had their DNA modified. They have not yet been proven safe and studies have shown decreased immunity in plants as well as animals. Most of soybean, canola, cotton and corn crops in the U.S are GMO.
SODIUM NITRATE AND NITRITE
These are two preservatives that are added to processed meat to give it the red color and enhanced flavor. They transform into NITROSAMINES, a cancer causing agent in the stomach.
The brand name is Olean. It is a fat substitute in snack foods.
BROMINATED VEGETABLE OIL
BVO as it is commonly referred to is used to keep flavor oils in soft drink in suspension. It has been linked to birth defects etc.
HYDROGENATED AND PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED OILS
This is a solid form of oils processed to make snacks shelf stable.
BUTYLATED HYDROXYANISOLE (BHA) AND BUTYLATED HYDROXYTOLUENE (BHT)
BHA and BHT are food additives that prevent oils from going rancid. These have been deemed a human carcinogen by the U.S Department of Human and Health Services.
Linked to birth defects, cancer etc.
MSG is a food additive used to enhance the flavor of various foods such as frozen foods, soups and fast foods. It is known to cause headaches, dizziness, skin irritation and more.
Dyes and food coloring added to cereals, yoghurts and snacks to make them visually pleasing. Linked to hyperactivity in kids with ADD. Made from coal tar containing lead and arsenic.
Manufacturers are paying attention to public demand and bringing out healthier alternatives to some overly processed products but it is still very important to keep a look out.
This is a two part series on READING NUTRITION LABELS. Tune in next week for part two!
Do you read labels? How do you make better food choices? What do you look for when buying packaged foods? Let me know in the comments below!