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Beware These Food Dangers when Shopping

Not all ingredients are as harmless as they may seem. Here’s a quick guide to some of the most concerning additives approved by the US government and how you can protect yourself and your loved ones from their potential harms:

1. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
Widely used as a sweetener in countless food and beverage products, HFCS poses significant health risks. Studies have linked its consumption to obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even certain types of cancer. To avoid HFCS, opt for products sweetened with natural alternatives like honey or maple syrup.

2. Aspartame
Although arketed as a calorie-free sweetener, research has linked it to serious health problems, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, seizures, headaches and mood disorders. Choose products without artificial sweeteners.

3. BHT/BHA (Butylated hydroxytoluene/Butylated hydroxyanisole)
These petroleum-derived preservatives, commonly found in processed foods, have been linked to allergic reactions, carcinogenicity, and hormonal disruptions. When shopping, look for products that are free from BHT and BHA or opt for fresher, minimally processed alternatives.

4. Artificial Colorings
Brightly colored foods may be visually appealing, but their vibrant hues often come at a cost. Artificial colorings have been implicated in hyperactivity in children and may contain carcinogenic contaminants. Choose products that use natural colorings derived from fruits, vegetables, and spices.

5. Fluoride
While touted for its dental benefits, fluoride has been linked to adverse effects on brain development, thyroid function, and overall health. To minimize exposure, opt for fluoride-free toothpaste and filtered water.

6. Artificial Flavorings
With over 700 synthetic chemicals falling under this umbrella term, artificial flavorings offer little in terms of nutritional value and may pose health risks. Choose whole foods and products with minimal processing to avoid unnecessary exposure to artificial flavors.

6. Mono- and Diglycerides of fatty acids (MDGs) (“Apeel” Coating contains this)
The production process of MDGs often involves the use of hydrogenated oils. Hydrogenation can lead to the formation of trans fats, which are known to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease by raising levels of LDL cholesterol and lowering levels of HDL cholesterol. Additionally, MDGs may contain trace amounts of potentially harmful substances, such as glycidol esters and 3-monochloropropanediol (3-MCPD). These compounds can form during the processing of vegetable oils and have been linked to adverse health effects, including organ damage and cancer, in animal studies.

Tips for Safer Shopping

  • Read labels carefully and familiarize yourself with common additives to watch out for.
  • Choose whole, unprocessed foods whenever possible.
  • Opt for products with minimal ingredients and avoid those with lengthy, unpronounceable additives.
  • Support brands that prioritize transparency and use natural, wholesome ingredients.

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