Saturday, March 12, 2011

Why are food additives still remaining in our food?

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It is amazing to see the array of chemicals and preservatives that remain in foods today.  Sadly, the foods affected are not only processed ones, but include freshly grown ones as well.

 For years researchers have pointed out the potential dangers of the artificial substances, but yet, they remain in our food.  What can the American consumer do to safeguard the health of their family?

This article has information regarding some of the popularly found preservatves in foods that we regularly use.  Beware - read the labels.

Commonly used preservatives

Sodium benzoate - This preservative forms a chemical called benzene in the presence of vitamin C.  Benzene can damage DNA, the genetic materal and may increase hyperactvity in children with ADHD.  It is also a carcinogen.

This preservative is found in juices, soft drinks and condiments. (Sadly, many of the foods that sodium benzoate are added to contain high levels of vitamin C, such as juices.)

Sodium nitrates and sodium nitrites - These chemicals are used to maintain the red color in cured meats and to inhibit botulism.  However, in the acidic environment of the stomach, they form nitrosamines which become carcinogenic.

These chemicals are found in hot dogs, sausages, Spam, ham, lunch meat and cured meats.

Potassium sorbate - Eliminates mold and yeast in cheeses, wine and yogurt.  Can trigger allergic reaction, nausea and vomiting.

The artificial sweeteners

This is probably one of the most widespread areas of chemical additive use that exists.  Since Americans are usually on some type of a weight loss program, hundreds of pounds of this stuff are being consumed annually.  And, to add insult to injury, artificial sweeteners are found in some unexpected places like medications and condiments. Therefore, the choice is not in the hands of the consumer-it has already been made for you.

Splenda/sucralose - This artificial sweetener is a chlorinated sucrose derivative.  Causes shrinking of the thymus gland.

Aspartame - Probably the most popular sweetener in use today.  This  sweetener can cause headaches, seizures, nausea, weight gain and other neurological problems.

High fructose corn syrup - This sweetener is made from chemically altered corn starch. This process is inexpensve, hence this explains why this sweetener is found in so many foods. Problem is that the body is tricked by this sweetener-normal digestive pathways are bypassed which results in the quicker conversion of this sugar to fat.  HFCS can quickly elevate triglycerides, which contributes to elevated cholesterol.

All of these sweeteners can be found in baked goods, breads, gum, candies and medications.

Artificials that are just there

Artificial colors and flavors are things that seem to be added to foods just to make it look good and to make it sell. Of course, the health implications are ominous snce these too are added to foods without our knowledge.

Commonly used colorings include:

FD&C red #3 and #40; FD&C yellow#5 and #6; FD&C blue #1 and #2.

Needless to say, these chemicals are potental carcinogens and damaging to the reproductive system.

In summary

Avoid processed foods.  Buy locally grown fresh foods. Read the labels on all foods.  Your family's life depends on it.

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