by Registered Dietician Janell Buchkoski, MS, RD
Would you eat your favorite breakfast cereal if you knew that it contained Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT), a product also used in jet fuel and embalming fluid? Can you imagine grilling your low fat veggie burger if you found out that its main ingredient is Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)?
Today, we will expose the hidden dangerous food additives that are lurking in so-called “healthy” foods.
1) BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene)
A common additive used to prevent oxidation in a wide variety of foods, including most breakfast cereals. According to the National Toxicology Program, BHT is known to cause cancer on the basis of experimental findings in animals. It is also used in jet fuels, rubber petroleum products, transformer oil, and embalming fluid.
2) High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
Unlike sugar or sucrose, HFCS can only be processed by your liver, where it is turned into triglycerides and stored as fat in your body. HFCS is highly addictive. Your appestat, the nutrient control center in your brain, does not recognize HFCS, therefore it keeps telling your body to consume.
3) Food Dyes
Almost all colorants approved for use in food are derived from coal tar and may contain up to 10ppm of lead and arsenic. Certain hues have been linked to causing hyperactivity in children, tumors and cancer.
4) Soybean Oil
More than half of all soybean crops grown in the U.S. are genetically-modified (GMO).
This preservative is used to prevent rancidity in foods that contain oils. Unfortunately, BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) has been shown to cause cancer in rats, mice, and hamsters. 6) Caramel Coloring
To make caramel coloring, food industries treat sugar with ammonia, which produces carcinogens. A Center for Science in the Public Interest report asserted that the high levels of caramel color found in soda account for roughly 15,000 cancers in the U.S. annually.
These are all used as a flavor enhancer. When MSG is added to products directly, the FDA requires manufacturers to disclose its inclusion on the ingredient statement. But when it occurs as one of the following byproducts, the FDA allows it to go unrecognized. Textured soy protein concentrate, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, carrageenan, maltodextrin, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, modified cornstarch: All of these are basically different names to hide ingredients that either contain Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) or form MSG during processing.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
It’s time to pay more attention to the ingredient labels in the foods you buy. Simply try to eat foods in the most unadulterated “original” format as often as possible. And here’s a shortcut, any food packaging that has a long list of ingredients with names that sound like they’re from a distant planet is not the kind of food you want to eat. Instead,
eat foods with a short and easy to recognize list of ingredients.