For years food additives have been used to preserve the shelf life of foods, as well as enhance flavors. While these food additives are legal and used in hundreds of food items, there are many that you should generally avoid when you can. It’s important to read the label of the food you’re eating and be aware of the ingredients used.
MSG. Monosodium glutamate is typically used to enhance the flavorings of food. This is commonly found in take-out meals, salads, entrees and soups. This ingredient causes damage by over-stimulating cells. It also slows down neurological pathways and can affect how full someone feels during a meal. Some effects of consistent MSG consumption include fatigue, headaches and depression.
Aspartame. This artificial sweetener is commonly used as a “sugar free” substitute for coffee, beverages and other food items. It is believed to be carcinogenic and may be a very dangerous food additive over time. Found in many diet sodas and other foods, aspartame has been linked to different ailments such as diabetes, emotional disorders and chronic fatigue.
Trans fats. Primarily used to prolong the shelf life of snacks like potato chips and other food products, trans fats are incredibly unhealthy to consume. They manage to increase bad cholesterol while decreasing levels of good cholesterol, putting you at risk for heart disease and stroke.
High fructose corn syrup. Refined for the purpose of sweetening, high fructose corn syrup has been responsible for some of the highest number of consumed calories in the country. Being one of the most commonly found sweeteners on the market, it has been linked to cholesterol issues, diabetes development and other harmful effects.
Sodium sulfite. Commonly used as a wine preservative, sodium sulfite has had adverse affects on many people who come in contact with it. One out of every hundred people experiences some type of allergic reaction to sulfites in food and drink. Reactions may include headaches, rashes and breathing problems.
It’s important to keep a keen eye on what you’re putting into your body for fuel. Remember to purchase more fresh, organic ingredients and avoid processed foods. For more information on nutrition or to consult a physician nearest you, please visit us online at the Plaza Medical Center of Fort Worth. You can also take advantage of our online Find-A-Physician service.