Rule: If you’re wondering whether to purchase a certain product in the grocery store, read the list of ingredients. If you can’t purchase everyone of those ingredients to re-create that same item- don’t purchase. I’m an ingredient reader and although my list could take up about three blogs, I’d like to share 5 ingredients that you should absolutely avoid.
Sodium Benzoate: A preservative used to prevent food from molding. In a lot of foods- salad dressings, sodas, juices, cake mixes, to name a few. When mixed with vitamin C, sodium benzoate turns into benzene, a known carcinogen and DNA damager. Studies are also showing it may cause hyperactivity in children. Used very often in the U.S., but banned as an ingredient in Europe.
BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole ): Used frequently in processed foods that have a long shelf life to prevent food from spoiling. Although the FDA has it in the generally regarded as safe (GRAS) category, it has been shown to cause cancer in animals. So, whats it doing to humans? Check labels, if your consuming processed foods (number one- limit or cease that) your most likely taking in BHA.
Potassium Benzoate: A close cousin to sodium benzoate, it can form benzene, a carcinogen when combined with vitamin C, the ascorbic acid in juice and soda. Potassium benzoate shows up in places least expected like apple cider, low fat salad dressings, and jams. SO, once again, read labels.
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG): Chinese food put MSG on the map but it doesn’t stop there. MSG is regarded as safe in small quantities (but us Americans don’t know the meaning of small) but it does cause adverse reactions like increased appetite (something else Americans don’t need), sweating, rapid heartbeat, swelling, abdominal pain, and numbness. Enough said.
Hydrogenated oils: Hydrogenated oils have been linked to diabetes, coronary disease and obesity. Hydrogenated oils turns into trans fats. Trans fats increase the “LDL” bad cholesterol while decreasing the “HDL” the good cholesterol. That combination increases your risk for heart disease. The real problem is that if a food has less than 0.5 grams of fat per serving, it’s not required to be on the label. And if you consume multiple serving sizes, the amount of trans fat you take in can rack up.
Simply put, avoid these harmful ingredients from ever being in your pantry — cook more and avoid processed foods.