When it comes to food most of us have our ready made, pre packaged and often pre-cooked favourites. People realise that certain fast foods or sugar filled snacks are bad for us, but most people don't know exactly HOW bad some added ingredients actually are.
It's common knowledge if you want to stay as healthy as possible you should eat fresh nutritious food and drink a lot of water, as well as balancing a healthy diet with exercise. However the need to stay healthy shouldn't stop any of us from enjoying the occasional treat. Below however are some ingredients listed in many, many products that you may not know the hidden dangers of.
Aspartame: One of the most prevalent sweeteners used in food manufacturing. Research has shown that prolonged consumption of it can cause blurred vision, seizures and even neurological conditions. Not to mention the migraine headaches associated with it, any labels bearing it should be something you should consume little of, if not avoid completely. Also be mindful of Sucralose (Splenda), these low cal alternatives to sugar have actually been shown to PROMOTE weight gain.
Yeast Extract: Many food products that claim to be 100% natural actually contain Yeast Extract. This is an ingredient that actually sounds pretty naturally harmless itself and could be skimmed over in a list. This is why manufacturers love it. In reality it is a form of MSG in disguise and can contain up to 14% 'free glutamate' - aka 'the bad stuff'.
Phosphoric Acid: The name says it all really. Phosphoric acid is added to fizzy drinks to make it that little bit, well, fizzier and to add the sting in your nose when you gulp down too much pop. As well as annihilating tooth enamel, which is why dentists loathe fizzy drinks, phosphoric acid also has other uses outside of the beverages department. Think scrubbing rust off war ships, and dissolving steel nails. That sort of thing.
Casein: Ironically, Casein is used in many many 'soy' based cheeses which vegetarians unknowingly buy to use as an alternative to cows milk based cheese. For those of you with a vegan lifestyle who buy brands that aren't directly aimed at vegans, be sure to skim through soy alternatives labels' to double check that Casein is NOT listed.
Lanolin: Often cloaked as 'gum base' on packets of chewing gum, Lanolin is actually the oils secreted from sheeps wool. Eughk!
Fake Vitamins: The keyword here is Hydrochloride and if you see it listed, it should ring some alarm bells if you're buying the product for it's 'healthy' value. Anything with hydrochloride added to the end (eg. Thiamin Hydrochloride) is actually a chemically produced form of synthetic B vitamins, which nutritionally are almost useless to you.
Sugar: Yep, plain old sugar. It's not rocket science to know it's bad for you in too high amounts however many people don't realise that during the process from sugar cane to the sweet white powder (thrown on pretty much everything), the good parts of the sugar can are actually lost. The 'good' part, called molasses are used by farmers to feed their animals. So, ironically, farm animals are given the better parts than what is sent off to be humanly consumed. Diabetes, obesity, nutritional deficiencies and mood swings are all associated with high-sugar diets.
Most foods sold today are created in laboratories rather than crafted in kitchens, which is why it is is better to always cook from as fresh as possible and source your food responsibly. The problem with this though is that the modern day worker doesn't have time to cook for hours, or mill around shops grabbing separate ingredients to then return home, only half way to a hot meal. The work that goes into food production, such as multi-variate data analysis and product research is vita, however there are some crafty angles food companies take in concealing so read up and learn the truth behind certain ingredients.
About the Author - James enjoys reading and writing about the risks of certain types of food. A good resource for anyone looking to do further research is http://www.camo.com because they offer a variety of helpful software.
If you are aware of any health problem which may compromise your general health, it is important to seek treatment. A Health and Wellness Counselor may help you, to bring you back in balance and to good health through, detoxing, healthy eating and living, create a proper diet suited for your condition, advise natural remedies, herbs, wholefood supplements and organic cosmetics.
Barbara is a qualified nutritionist offering Health, Nutrition & Lifestyle Counseling. She gives Healthy weight loss advice and promotes the Mediterranean diet. She is the author of the Med Life Diet - creating healthy lifestyle habits and attitudes for life !