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Health Alerts > 9 Ingredients to Avoid in Processed Foods
9 Ingredients to Avoid in Processed Foods

I'm an advocate for whole, unprocessed foods. Whether we like it or not, packaged and processed food has become a huge part of our food industry and, as a result, a part of many of our diets.

Although there are some brands that are O.K.there are many more that border on outright unhealthy and "scary." Many packaged foods that seem healthy often contain fillers, preservatives and other ingredients you don't want in your diet.

It is always preferable to choose organic products that have only a handful of ingredients, all of which should be recognizable. One test to know whether an ingredient is healthy is to ask yourself whether your grandmother would recognize it. If not, there is a good chance the ingredient is less natural food and more man-made chemical.

Another good test is whether or not you can easily pronounce the ingredient. If you feel like you need a science degree to pronounce it properly, chances are the ingredient is worth avoiding.

If you do have to resort to a processed food for a snack or dinner (anything canned, packaged, etc.), try to avoid those that contain the ingredients listed in the following chart. These ingredients are some of the most highly processed and least healthy of all:

Ingredient List: Why it is Bad? and Why it is Used?

* Chemical compounds made from coal-tar derivatives (Cancer Forming)to enhance color.
* Linked to allergic reactions, fatigue, asthma, skin rashes, hyperactivity and headaches.

* Cheap chemical mixtures that mimic natural flavors.
* Linked to allergic reactions, dermatitis, eczema, hyperactivity and asthma
* Can affect enzymes, RNA and thyroid.

(Acesulfame-K, Aspartame, Equal(r), NutraSweet(r), Saccharin, Sweet'n Low(r), Sucralose, Splenda(r) & Sorbitol)
* Highly-processed, chemically-derived, zero-calorie sweeteners found in diet foods and diet products to reduce calories per serving.
* Can negatively impact metabolism
* Some have been linked to cancer, dizziness hallucinations and headaches.

* Compounds that preserve fats and prevent them from becoming rancid.
* May result in hyperactivity, angiodema, asthma, rhinitis, dermatitis, tumors and urticaria
* Can affect estrogen balance and levels.

* Chemical that boosts flavor in many citric-based fruit and soft drinks.
* Increases triglycerides and cholesterol
* Can damage liver, testicles, thyroid, heart and kidneys.

* Cheap alternative to cane and beet sugar
* Sustains freshness in baked goods
* Blends easily in beverages to maintain sweetness.
* May predispose the body to turn fructose into fat
* Increases risk for Type-2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke and cancer
* Isn't easily metabolized by the liver.

(Monosodium Glutamate)
* Flavor enhancer in restaurant food, salad dressing, chips, frozen entrees, soups and other foods.
* May stimulate appetite and cause headaches, nausea, weakness, wheezing, edema, change in heart rate, burning sensations and difficulty in breathing.
* An indigestible fat substitute used primarily in foods that are fried and baked.
* Inhibits absorption of some nutrients
* Linked to gastrointestinal disease, diarrhea, gas, cramps, bleeding and incontinence.

(Palm, Soybean, Cottonseed, Canola and others)
* Industrially created fats used in more than 40,000 food products in the U.S.
* Cheaper than most other oils.
* Contain high levels of trans fats, which raise bad cholesterol and lower good cholesterol, contributing to risk of heart disease.



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