|In my last blog I explained what processed food is and gave some reasons as to why we should all avoid them. This week I‚Äôm pin pointing which foods and substances we should avoid, how they affect us as well as some scary facts!You will notice the word Carcinogen re-occurs in this article. Carcinogen: Is an agent directly involved in causing cancer. Mutagen: A chemical agent that changes genetic material which includes carcinogens.These are the things we need to be looking out for:
Preservatives are a type of additive used to help stop food from spoiling.¬†Nitrates and nitrites¬†are used to preserve meats, but are known to cause¬†asthma, nausea, vomiting, and headaches. In addition to allergic reactions, this is also true for¬†sulfites (sulfur dioxide, metabisulfites etc‚Ä¶), which are generally used to stop fungal spoilage, as well as the browning of peeled fruits and vegetables.
Sodium nitrite¬†in some foods is capable of being converted to¬†nitrous acid¬†when ingested by humans. While animal testing showed thatnitrous acid caused high rates of cancer,¬†it is still in use. Nearly all processed meats are made with¬†sodium nitrite. Yet this ingredient is a pioneer to¬†potent cancer-causing chemicals¬†that accelerate the formation and growth of cancer cells throughout the body. When we eat sodium nitrite in popular meat products,¬†nitrosamines¬†are created in the body where they promote the growth of various cancers, includingcolorectal cancer and pancreatic cancer as well as leukemia. Expectant mothers should avoid consuming sodium nitrite due to the greatlyheightened risk of brain tumors in infants.
Benzoic acid aka sodium benzoate¬†is used in margarine, fruit juices, and carbonated beverages. It can cause¬†severe allergic reaction and even death¬†in some people.
Sulfur dioxide¬†is a toxin used in dried fruits and molasses and to prevent brown spots on peeled fresh foods e.g. potatoes and apples.¬†Sulfur dioxide¬†disguises rot, hiding inferior fruits and vegetables. In the process, it¬†destroys the vitamin B¬†contained in produce.
Many coloring agents are derived from¬†coal tar,¬†and nearly all coloring is synthetic. Norway has a total ban on all products containing¬†coal tar.¬†Though some artificial food dyes have been banned because they are¬†believed to cause cancer,¬†most dyes used today are artificial. They are also related to¬†allergies, asthmas, and hyperactivity.
The extensive list of foods and beverages in which color is changed includes butter, margarine, the skins of oranges and potatoes, popcorn, maraschino cherries, hot dogs, jellies, jellybeans, carbonated beverages, and canned strawberries and peas. Even the chicken feed on large-scale egg farms is colored so that chickens will lay golden-yolked eggs similar to those laid by free-range chickens.
Some of the worst FD&C colors include:¬†Green¬†#3, Blue #1, Blue #2 and Yellow #6 which cause allergic reactions and cancer in lab animals. Red #3 is a carcinogen, which may obstruct with nerve transmission in the brain and causes genetic damage.¬†It is illegal in cosmetics, but allowed in food, and¬†it‚Äôs particularly harmful to children. Yellow #5 causes allergic reactions to those sensitive to aspirin. It could be life threatening. Citrus red #2 is a known carcinogen. It‚Äôs only allowed to color orange skins.¬†So, if you use orange zest in some of your recipes, you may be ingesting carcinogens.¬†Any color with ‚Äúlake‚ÄĚ after it means that aluminum has been added to the color to make it insoluble.
Emulsifiers, Stabilizers, and Thickeners
These additives change the texture of our foods. Emulsifiers can prevent ingredients from separating into nasty globs in food such as mayonnaise and ice cream.
A relation to anti-freeze,¬†propylene glycol¬†is a synthetic solvent used as an emulsifier in foods. Although it is known to be¬†toxic to the skinand other senses, and is considered a¬†neurological toxicant,¬†the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has deemed it generally recognized as safe (GRAS).
Potassium bromate¬†is used in flour to give bread and baked goods a sponge-like quality. It is also used in toothpaste, mouth washes and gargles.¬†It is a carcinogen, mutagen and highly toxic. It is banned worldwide, except in the U.S. and Japan.
While antioxidants such as alpha-carotene are recommended by health specialists to prevent premature aging, some antioxidants used as food preservatives could be unhealthy. Included in nearly all processed foods, antioxidants prevent fatty foods from spoiling when exposed to oxygen.
Propyl gallate¬†is used as an antioxidant in fats, oils, candy and many other processed foods.¬†It is a carcinogen and is known to cause kidney, liver and gastrointestinal issues. It can cause allergic reactions to people with asthma and sensitivity to aspirin. It has not been sufficiently tested.
BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) and BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole)¬†are two of the most widely used, yet most controversial of all the antioxidants. So frightening were the results of BHT and BHA in animal testing, that a number of countries have severely restricted their use.
BHA is known to cause cancer in humans. Both BHA and BHT are toxic to the liver and kidneys.¬†BHT may react with other ingested substances to cause the formation of¬†carcinogens. They are known to cause¬†behavioural problems and hyperactivity.¬†They cause¬†allergic reactions,¬†may also contribute to the development of¬†tumors and cancer.
In spite of these findings, the use of BHT and BHA has increased, rather than decreased, in the U.S.A. but banned in England.
The most common food additive is flavoring. There are over 2000 in use and are usually made up of a large number of chemicals. Artificial flavors are linked to¬†allergic and behavioral reactions,¬†yet these ingredients are not required to be listed in detail as they are usually recognized as safe.
MSG (monosodium glutamate)¬†is a popular flavor enhancer that has been¬†found to cause mutilation in laboratory mice. It‚Äôs been banned from use in baby foods, but is still used in many others. It causes¬†allergic and behavioral reactions which include headaches, dizziness, chest pains, depression, and mood swings,¬†and is also¬†a possible neurotoxin.
Refined flour has had the brown shell of the grain stripped away, leaving the white, refined starch found in white bread, rice, pasta, cookies and several other junk foods.
Without the shell of the grain, refined starches are broken down quickly into sugar and absorbed immediately into the bloodstream¬†causing glucose levels to rise, and increasing the risk of obesity.
Refining Destroys Goodness:
Healthy unsaturated fatty acids¬†¬†are lost during the milling process. Half the vitamin E is damaged when the wheat germ and bran are taken off. Refining wheat into white flour removes between 50-93% of the wheat’s magnesium, zinc, chromium, manganese, and cobalt.
As well as 50% of calcium, 70% of phosphorus, 80% iron, 50% potassium, 65% of copper, 80% thiamin, 60% of riboflavin, 75% of niacin, 50% of pantothenic acid and about 50% of pyridoxine is lost.
Most processed foods include sweeteners, many of which are artificial sugar alternatives containing no natural sugars, such as¬†saccharine and aspartame.
Cesulfame-K, also known as¬†Acesulfame-potassium¬†or¬†‚ÄúSunnette‚ÄĚ¬†is an artificial sweetener. It has not been sufficiently tested for human consumption. The FDA approved this additive even though the tests done to verify its safety did not meet FDA standards and¬†caused cancer in lab animals. This increases the probability that it will cause cancer in humans.
Saccharin, or¬†Sweet ‚ÄėN Low, is an artificial sweetener that is known to cause cancer. Because of pressure from the food industry, in 2000, saccharin was removed from the list of cancer-causing chemicals, in spite of the reality that studies still show it causes cancer in lab animals.
Artificial sweeteners can cause¬†behavioral problems, hyperactivity,¬†and¬†allergies.¬†Because saccharin was shown to¬†increase the occurrence of bladder cancer¬†in animal testing, all foods containing it are required to have a warning label.
Part of the process wheat endure to become the white flour in baked goods includes bleaching. Countless chemical bleaching agents are used including¬†oxide of nitrogen, chlorine, chloride, nitrosyl, and benzoyl peroxide¬†mixed with chemical salts.
Chloride oxide¬†‚Äď which catalyzes a chemical reaction that¬†kills beta cells in the pancreas¬†‚Äď is now being¬†linked to diabetes.¬†This is common scientific knowledge in the research community. Never the less, the FDA still allows companies to use chloride oxide in processed food.
In my next blog I‚Äôll be giving you some tips on how to save yourself and your loved ones from an early grave! Remember that once healthy eating becomes a habbit it‚Äôs easier than you think!