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The Top 10 Worst Food Ingredients To Avoid Like The Plague

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Most natural food or ingredients usually have a short-shelf life. However, those yummy noodles you slurp, packet of chips you crave for and canned fruit preserves that silently scream ‘diabetes’, are made to last longer than they should, by big food companies using some (nasty) key ingredients. So here’s what makes some food, a party for your taste buds but can be poison for your body.1

1. Monosodium Glutamate

1-Monosodium-Glutamate

(MSG) is an amino acid and the most common flavor enhancer in processed food.

Found In

Various processed foods such as potato chips and similar snacks, salad dressings, canned meats, soups, frozen or ready-to-eats (including Campbell’s Chicken Soup, Cheez-Its etc.)

It’s Bad Because

It possesses a neurotoxin chemical called excitotoxin, that damages and sometimes even kills nerve cells by overexciting them. In the long-term, it can lead to complicated neurological disorders and obesity, especially from regular consumption.

Other Names

Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Yeast extract, Glutamate, Barley Malt, Calcium Caseinate etc.

2. Aspartame

2-Aspartame

Aspartame are artificial sweeteners.

Found In

Diet-soda, juices, sugar-free candies, heat-and-eat breakfasts, desserts, making about 6000 products in the market.

It’s Bad Because

It is also an excitotoxin and can be carcinogenic, cause neurological side-effects like headaches, dizziness, and deteriorate the gastrointestinal walls. Containing 10% methanol, the body converts it into formaldehyde, which is a potent toxin to the nerves, causing reported toxic reactions for those who eat a lot of food with it.

Other Names

Sugar-free capsules, Saccharine, Equal, Spoonful, etc.

3. High Fructose Corn Syrup

3--high-Fructose-Corn-Syrup

(HFCS) is a refined-sweetener where the corn starch separated from corn kernel, is turned into sweetened corn syrup using acid hydrolysis.

Found In

Various manufactured products under popular brands of, Kraft, Quaker, Hunts, Nurti-Gain, caustic soda and more.

It’s Bad Because

Most HFCS food are made from genetically-modified corn, the highest source of calories that lead to obesity, diabetes, cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, arthritis and are catalysts for insulin resistance. A 2009 study by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy said almost half the samples of commercially distributed HFCS, had mercury, a heavy and toxic liquid metal.

Other Names

Glucose or fructose syrup, corn syrup, iso-glucose etc.

4. Agave Nectar

4-Agave-Nectar

Agave Nectar is a heavily processed food sweetener extracted from a cactus, majorly imported from Mexico to the US, called agave (also used to make Tequila).

Found In

Flavored yoghurts, sauces, energy bars, sodas, breads, cereals, soups, ice creams, and Agave sweetener.

It’s Bad Because

amongst all commercially sold sweeteners it contains around 50 to 90% fructose, proven to cause insulin resistance, a symptom of Type-2 diabetes. The liver also processes and converts it into fatty deposits. So eating excessive amounts, increases uric acid levels, causing inflammation in the lower body organs, which can lead to fatty liver disease, high-blood sugar and blood pressure.

Other Names

Agave Syrup

5. Artificial Food Coloring

5-Artificial-Food-Coloring

Artificial Food Coloring is the additive used to give your food, a burst of color, just like those tie-and-dye inks for clothes.

Found In

Most beverages, jams, Mac and cheese, candies, puddings, condiments, fast food, ice creams, meat and fish, to give them a fresh look.

It’s Bad Because

as they are made from petroleum and although controversial, many have been prohibited in Europe, because of the ill effects they had on lab-test animals. In a study on food dyes by the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s (CSPI), the commonly used dyes of: Red 40 and 3, Yellow 5 and 6, that are carcinogenic, are still widely distributed in the US. The preservative, sodium benzoate in it can cause hyperactivity, decrease attention span in children, and cause attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), even if the kids were previously healthy.

Other Names

Any names of colors, such as FD&C Blue, FCF Sea Green etc.

6. Butylated hydroxyanisole

6-Butylated-hydroxyanisole

(BHA) and butylated hydrozyttoluene (BHT) are common preservatives used in many food products to extend shelf life by inhibiting oxidization.

Found In

Packaging materials, cosmetics, frozen meats like sausages and patties, cereals, potato chips, chewing gum, beer, butter, vegetable oils, and animal food.

It’s Bad Because

They are oxidants, that can stimulate production of cancer-causing cells in the body, as confirmed by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Other Names

Oxidants

7. Sodium Nitrite And Sodium Nitrate

7-Sodium-Nitrite-and-Sodium-Nitrate

Sodium Nitrite and Sodium Nitrate are chemicals that help preserve meat.

Found In

Most meats like salmon, dried fish, bacon, hot dogs, canned meats like Vienna sausages etc.

It’s Bad Because

After entering the meat, these chemicals get converted into nitrosamines, which are carcinogenic, especially when stored at high temperatures. In 2007, The World Cancer Research Fund stated that consuming up to 2 ounces of processed meat daily, increases cancer risk by 20%.

Other Names

Nitrate soda and Chile saltpeter.

8. Potassium Bromate

8-Potassium-Bromate

Potassium Bromate is a bromide that is added to fluff up breads and flour.

Found In

Baked food in the US, like Wonder Bread, Sunbeam, some toothpaste and mouthwash.

It’s Bad Because

Evidence shows that it causes cancer in animals and is prohibited in Canada, Europe, and few other countries. Since 1991, the FDA ban, discouraged bakers from using it too.

Other Names

Bromic acid, potassium salt, enriched flour etc.

9. Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone

9-Recombinant-Bovine-Growth-Hormone

(rBGH) is a genetically engineered strand of a natural growth hormone made in cows, to increase milk production.

Found In

Danon, General Mills, Wal-Mart, Starbucks, and more (but it is never labeled on the containers).

It’s Bad Because

Milk from these cows have excess insulin-like growth factors (IGF-1), which can cause breast, colon and prostate cancers. The hormone also induces mastitis in cows, creating pus and blood that seep into the milk. Adverse effects include antibiotic resistance and hastening puberty in girls.

Other Names

Recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST).

10. Refined Vegetable Oil

10--Refined-Vegetable-Oil

Refined Vegetable Oil comes in many commercial cooking oils, like corn, canola, peanut etc.

Found In

Baked and fried food, cooking oils, margarines etc.

It’s Bad Because

It is made from seed extraction to chemical deodorizing and bleaching at high temperatures. This eliminates the natural minerals that are good for us, but preserves the omega-6 fatty acid, which causes inflammation, blood-cholesterol and heart disease.

Other Names

Hydrogenated oils

References   [ + ]

CureJoy Editorial

The CureJoy Editorial team digs up credible information from multiple sources, both academic and experiential, to stitch a holistic health perspective on topics that pique our readers' interest.

CureJoy Editorial

The CureJoy Editorial team digs up credible information from multiple sources, both academic and experiential, to stitch a holistic health perspective on topics that pique our readers' interest.

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