Learn more about additives in food you eat

Published 7:57 am Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Do you eat canned, processed or frozen dinners? Many people do, but do they realize just how unhealthy most of that food is?

More than 3,000 additives are used in processing the food we eat in preserving. The ingredients in these additives can cause serious health issues.

I do not wonder why so many Americans have cancer. An additive is anything manufacturers purposely add to food to obtain the desired results.

There are two types of additives, direct and indirect. Direct additives in foods would be any artificial flavors, preservatives, buffers, neutralizers, stabilizers, texturizers, emulsifiers, colors, bleachers and cleaning factors. Indirect additives would be anything packaged, processed, containing pesticides, or animal medicines.

From eating these additives, one may experience ear infections, allergies, asthma, hyperactivity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and obesity.

Below are some additives that are preservatives you will probably find on every processed food.

One is monosodium glutamate, MSG, which is used to strengthen the flavors of meat and spices. MSG can cause brain damage and other detrimental health problems.

Another additive commonly used is aspartame, used in artificial sweeteners, and has three ingredients that can all cause permanent brain damage. Olestra, or Olean, is artificial fat that cannot be digested. It can cause tumors, pains in the intestines, and diarrhea.

Butylated hydroxyanisole, BHA, is poisonous to the kidneys. Aluminum is an ingredient in many additives, and remains of it have been discovered in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Artificial flavors are also additives. In fact most additives are flavors. Some other harmful additives include aluminum sulfate, butylated hydroxyloluine (BHT), monoglycerides, diglycerides, phenylalanine, nitrites, and hydrogenated oil.

There are many other additives, but these are the most familiar ones that need to be avoided as much as possible.

It may be difficult to locate additives on the labels of foods because they are listed in microscopic print, but they are usually listed with the nutrition facts. The additives recorded first has the most amount in that product, and the last has the smallest amount. The labels should always be read even in a food store or if a product is labeled to have “all natural” ingredients.

There are also other methods to preserve food other than adding chemicals. One way is by canning, discovered in 1809, by Nicholas Appert; it can be used for meats, vegetables, soups, juices, fruits, jellies, etc. Drying is another way to preserve, and it happens to be one of the oldest procedures. One can also use freeze drying, fermentation, pasteurization, pickling, refrigerating, salt curing, sugar curing, and smoking. Any of these techniques would aid in preservation, though the nutritional value would be considerably less.

I hope you have seen how harmful additives and preservatives can be serious health hazards to our bodies. Only a few additives were recorded compared to the more than 3,000 other additives that are used in many other products. They nearly all have permanent effects like brain damage, tumors, infections, and cancers. More people should be motivated to research additives to better their health.