Have you been putting too much thought into what’s on your plate lately? Well, welcome to the club! And, what better time than now to lean away from indulgence and move towards a more healthy-minded space?
If you’re a young mom who is always on the lookout for ways to spruce up the health quotient in your food, watching out for the seemingly harmless food additives that go into your meals might be a great way to start with.
With health experts stressing the grave health consequences of food additives, here are five top names on the list to avoid.
1. Sodium Nitrite (NaNO2)
Love stocking up on processed meat and ready-to eats? Well, that’s a red flag in itself. Most yummy treats are packed in sodium nitrite, a food additive which lends canned/frozen meat their characteristic red color and flavor. The enhancer might amp up the taste, but poses serious consequences to your health—inhibiting the growth of bacterial spores that cause botulism, a foodborne illness, along with retarding the development of rancidity.
2. Monosodium Glutamate (Msg)
A popular additive found in most Chinese takeaways; Monosodium Glutamate enhances the flavor of savory dishes. Despite having received major flak and earning a bad rep over the years; MSG continues to find a place several best-selling dishes, processed meats and takeaways to date. Yet, ODing on the food additive has proven to cause grave health conditions to young children as well as adults alike—headaches, flushing, sweating, facial pressure or tightness, numbness, tingling or burning in the face, neck and other areas, rapid, heart palpitations, chest pain, nausea, and weakness and the like.
Got a sweet tooth? If yes, you might be consuming Aspartame—an artificial sweetener—a lot more than you’ve ascertained. Aspartame is a popular ingredient in sugar-free sodas, chewing gum, Jell-O, Kool-Aid, and other sugary snacks. Aspartame enhances the sweetness in a snack bar, but health reports have suggested long term health ills—increase in blood glucose levels and aggravates anxiety.
4. Potassium Bromate
Love the fluff in the bread of your favorite brand? Beware, it could be enhanced use of Potassium Bromate at play. Aside from causing irritation to the lungs on regular consumption over prolonged periods of time, it can transform into oxides and radicals on entering the system.
This food additive is commonly used to enhance the voluminous quotient of white flour, bread, and rolls, lending your bake an extra dose of softness. Yet, regular consumption of foods that contain Potassium Bromate can pose serious health hazards.
5. Artificial Food Colouring
Rainbow-colored icing on cakes, colorful candy and drinks are a treat to the eyes. Artificial food colors do make foods look appealing, but did you know that they can cause allergies, hyperactivity in children or even cancer? Studies have found that the consumption of food dyes has increased by up to 500% in 5 decades! Imagine the harm that they cause if consumed regularly.
So, the next time you pick up a tasty-looking product from the shelf, don’t forget to flip it over and read its contents. The key to healthy eating is to reduce packaged and processed and to choose high-nutrient, whole foods that are safe for the entire family.
– By Pooja Prabbhan