Food Additives: M'm, M'm Bad.
List of ingredients. That's the first thing I, as a nutrition professional, read on a nutrition label.
I don't even look at the fat grams or calories or cholesterol content unless the ingredient list passes muster.
Wanna know what I'm looking for?
The absence of food additives, whether they be
The human body is a finely tuned machine! At the cellular level, trillions of interactions occur each day. Yet we think nothing of introducing foreign substances into our bodies. We care more about the carb content of our food than what's actually in it.
Ever stop to think about how that banana cheesecake yogurt (with only 100 calories of course) can actually taste like banana cheesecake?
Or how Sugar Free Strawberry Jello (many dieters' favorite "free food") has such a pretty red color, delicious strawberry flavor and less than 10 calories?
Food additives are what make it all possible.
They're used to preserve flavor or improve taste and appearance (forget about health!) and can be divided into several categories based on their purpose:
Acids are added to make flavors "sharper", and also act as preservatives and antioxidants. Common food acids include vinegar, citric acid, tartaric acid, malic acid, fumaric acid, lactic acid.
What's the big deal about food additives?
Well, many are poorly tested and possibly dangerous!
(Wanna know which ones? See this Alphabetical List of Food Additives: Which Ones are Safe, Poorly Tested, or Possibly Dangerous?)
One class of food additive, food dyes, have been shown in studies to have adverse affects on lab animals and are believed by many medical professionals to cause Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and other forms of hyperactivity.
(Read more scientific studies and medical papers that offer evidence of the malevolent role chemical additives play with our health and behavior.)
Unfortunately chemical cuisine is standard fare thanks to our dependence on processed foods. Food additives and foods with poor nutritional value go hand in hand.
My professional advice?
Take your food seriously. Avoid food additives by:
Cutting back on your additives: just one more step on your path to healthy eating!
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