It is super important to read food labels. You need to know what is really in the food that you’re eating. My biggest piece of advice is to try to purchase foods that don’t have a lot of ingredients, maybe less than 10, or no labels at all like fresh produce. Another tip is to see how many unfamiliar words there are on the label. Do you really want to eat something you can’t pronounce? I don’t!!! At first it may seem overwhelming to buy foods this way. Remember that moderation is key. If it is too hard for you to limit all of the items, try cutting back on a few. We are looking for progress, not perfection. Little changes do add up.
Here are my top fifteen ingredients you should watch out for on food labels.
- Monosodium Glutamate (MSG): MSG is commonly found in processed foods, everything from canned goods to potato chips. When you ingest MSG, it damages nerves by “overexciting” them, as well as harming brain cells and sparking your appetite, causing you to eat more.
- Artificial Flavors: Found in a majority of foods today, artificial flavors can have serious negative effects on your health. These effects include reproductive complications, neurotoxicity and cancer causing tendencies.
- High Fructose Corn Syrup: High fructose corn syrup can be found in just about any sweet processed food. Aside from it being made from genetically modified corn, high fructose corn syrup can cause accelerated weight gain, insulin resistance and even diabetes when consumed in large quantities over a long period of time.
- Table Salt: We are not talking about sea salt or Himalayan pink salt, we are talking about man-made table salt. Table salt contains over 30 chemicals and is bleached, causing spikes in blood pressure and is detrimental to the liver and kidneys.
- Low-Fat or Fat-Free Products: Low-fat or fat-free products are a sham. Because there is less fat in the product, manufacturers compensate by adding massive amounts of sugars and artificial sweeteners to give the taste of a full-fat food.
- Hydrogenated or Fractionated Oils: These two types of oils are toxic. Hydrogenated oils, in effect, are used for preserving products. When you consume the hydrogenated oils however, it is like pouring “plastic sludge” into your blood stream. Fractionated oil, on the other hand, is the almost solid fat product extracted from oil and has extremely harmful effects on the body.
- Artificial Coloring: Artificial coloring has been linked to cancer. Different colorings, such as Blue 1 and 2, as well as Red 3 and Green 3, are connected to cancers ranging from the thyroid to the bladder.
- Soy: Marketed as a healthy product to consume, soy can have serious effects on health, especially for women. It can disturb estrogen in women, cause early puberty in girls, and contribute to a reduced sex drive.
- Canola Oil: Aside from being an effective insect repellant, canola oil has no benefit whatsoever to the human body. It is extracted from plants that have been genetically modified and extensively bred.
- Potassium Sorbate: Potassium sorbate began a revolution in food preservation. While it will successfully keep food fresh, it is a carcinogen known to cause cell mutation in animals and have “toxic” effects on organs.
- Enriched Wheat: You should avoid anything that is labeled “enriched,” but especially enriched wheat. Enriched wheat has added niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, folic acid and iron after they had already been removed while the wheat was being processed. While these have been added back, the wheat now holds little to none of the nutritional value it started with.
- Sugar: Sugar is in almost every single processed food you can buy today. Such a massive intake of sugar can influence an irregular metabolism, high blood pressure and eventually have a negative impact on the liver.
- Sucralose: Normally found in little yellow packets, sodas and protein shakes, sucralose is extremely dangerous. Also called chlorinated sugar, sucralose contains chlorine, which is prevalent in bleach and disinfectants. Chlorine does not at all work with your metabolic process and can even damage it if you consume enough.
- Aspartame: While aspartame is 200 times sweeter than conventional sugar and only has four calories per gram, it is considered a “multi-level carcinogen.”
- Polysorbate 80: Normally found in ice cream and vaccines, polysorbate 80 can have severe negative effects on your health. Toxicology reports have found that polysorbate 80 weakens the immune system, can cause anaphylactic shock, can cause infertility, bring on premature puberty and even damage parts of female reproductive organs.