7 Worst Food Additives You Need to Watch Out For

7 Worst Food Additives You Need to Watch Out For

What are food additives?

A food additive is a substance used to preserve or enhance food. It improves the texture, taste, or appearance, and prolongs the shelf-life of products. You can find these in the ingredients list of most foods in your pantry. As a result, these substances make their way into your regular diet. But consuming food additives poses several health risks. 

Most synthetic food additives can be harmful to the body. That’s why it’s important to check the label of the products you buy. Here are seven of the worst food additives you need to avoid:  

food additives in snacks

1. Artificial Food Coloring 

Artificial food coloring is an additive found in anything from condiments to confectionary. These are used to add vivid and bold colors to food. Blue #1, Red #40, Red #3, Yellow #5 and Yellow #6 are some of the most dangerous. Consuming these can lead to allergies (1), thyroid tumors (2), and hyperactivity in children (3). 


2. Sodium Nitrite 

Sodium nitrite is a preservative commonly used on processed meats. High intake of nitrites and nitrates is associated with cancer. (4) In fact, processed meats, in general, can increase your risk of developing bladder, colorectal, and breast cancer. (5, 6, 7)


3. High-Fructose Corn Syrup

This corn-derived sweetener is heavily used in soda, candy, salad dressings, and breakfast cereals. Consuming beverages with this additive leads to increased belly fat and blood sugar levels. It also decreases insulin sensitivity. (8) It also promotes chronic inflammation, a condition linked to many health issues like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. (9, 10)


4. Carrageenan

Carrageenan is used as a thickener and preservative in many dairy products. It can even be found in plant-based dairy alternatives like almond milk. Carrageenan is harmful to digestive health. It is linked to inflammation, increased blood sugar levels and a higher risk of intestinal ulcers. (11, 12, 13


5. Sodium Benzoate

Manufacturers use sodium benzoate to preserve acidic foods. Most sodas, pickles, condiments, and dressings have this additive in common. It may trigger ADHD symptoms in children and adolescents. (14, 15)  Sodium benzoate can also convert into benzene, a known carcinogen. (16)


6. Trans Fat 

Trans fat is consumed by eating baked goods, microwave popcorn, and margarine. Multiple studies associate trans fat with cardiovascular diseases. (17, 18, 19) A diet high in trans fat can also increase inflammation. (20) One study found it increases the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes in women. (21)


7. BHT or Butylated Hydroxyanisol

Butylated Hydroxyanisol (BHA) is a substance derived from petroleum. It is a preservative usually found in cereals, butter, crackers, and beer. A high intake of BHA can lead to the development of cancerous tumors. (22)

Maintain a healthy lifestyle by giving your body what it needs! 

We care about your health and well being as much as you do. BoostYourImmuneSystem.org has informational articles to help you lead a healthy lifestyle. Read through our blog to learn more.

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