6 Food Additives to Avoid

Wait!  What's in that delicious muffin you're eating? Or those potato chips you're crunching on?  Or that canned soup you're slurping? 

Maybe, a lot more than you thought! 

Chemical additives are used to affect flavors or preserve products, and although they do have certain uses these additives can negatively affect your health.  It's important to pay attention to and be aware of what is actually in your 'food' and to look for alternatives that aren't filled with harmful additives.  

Listed below are some common food additives that could be dangerous to your health:

1. Titanium dioxide.  

Titanium dioxide is a common ingredient in sunscreens, but it's also used as a food additive.  You may find it in salad dressings, powdered sugars, baked goods and other items.
  • The International Agency for Research on Cancer considers titanium dioxide a dangerous food additive and recommends that consumers avoid eating it. The agency labels it as a class 2 carcinogen based on several studies.
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) labels it as a GRAS product. GRAS stands for "generally recognized as safe," but titanium dioxide is a controversial ingredient.
2. Sodium benzoate. 

Sodium benzoate is used as a preservative in multiple food and drink products such as salad dressings, jams, sodas, and pickles.
  • Sodium benzoate can cause allergic reactions in some people.
  • One of the main concerns with sodium benzoate is the product that is formed if it's mixed with ascorbic acid.  Some food and drink items contain both sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid, so benzene can form.  Benzene has been linked to cancer in several studies.
3. Brominated vegetable oil. 

This additive is found in sodas and has been linked to several health issues.
  • The Food and Drug Administration doesn't consider brominated vegetable oil a GRAS (generally recognized as safe) product.  In addition, discussions about banning this additive are an ongoing topic.
  • Brominated vegetable oil is banned in Japan & Europe, and several companies in the U.S. no longer use it.
  • This additive can allow bromine to accumulate in your body and reach unsafe levels.  Bromine has been linked to thyroid issues, nerve damage, cancers, and other health concerns.
4. Potassium bromate. 

It may sound similar to brominated vegetable oil, but potassium bromate is actually a completely different food additive.
  • Potassium bromate can be found in breads, flours, crackers and other baked goods. It's banned in multiple countries, and health experts recommend that consumers avoid it because of the health issues.
  • This food additive is classified bt the International Agency for Research on Cancerr (IARC) as 'possibly carcinogenic to humans'.  It has been banned in many countries.  

5. Interesterified fat. 

This fat is used to help preserve food and help it last on store shelves.  However, it's a controversial additive that has been linked to different health issues.
  • Interesterified fat can be found in baked goods, canned soups and other food items.
  • Experts are concerned that interesterified fat may be just as dangerous as trans-fat.  The additive has been linked to heart disease, high cholesterol, liver issues, blood sugar level issues, and other concerns.
6. BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole). 

You may have noticed this common food additive in your cereal, butter, beer, crackers, gum, or potato chips.  BHA can also be found in baked goods and preserved meat.
  • This food additive is considered a carcinogen by the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • It's a controversial item that continues to be the focus of multiple food safety debates.
  • BHA can negatively affect the body in several ways.  It can disturb normal sleep patterns and affect your appetite.  It can also hurt the kidneys and has been linked to cancer. BHA may cause hair loss and other issues.
By paying attention to ingredient lists, you can see what common chemical additives are in the food you're eating.  I encourage you to learn more about their features, uses, and side effects, and take care with what you are putting in and on your body.  

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  1. Interesting article. Im not so much aware of this, thanks for pointing them out.

  2. I have been doing some research on titanium dioxide just the other day, I didn't know it was put into food! i was looking at it for sunscreen, its inert against the skin so it's fine to lather onto the skin!! it's a natural alternative to the crappy sunscreens out there, but only causes problems if you inhale the nano-particles found in the loose powder foundation.

  3. It’s certainly worrying, what manufacturers will put in their products to achieve that “bliss point.” Makes me want to do more home cooking (although labelling for non food scientists would be nice).

  4. Wow crazy to really analyze what's in your food! Thank you for sharing.


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