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       Volume I - July 18, 2008

12 Food Additives to Avoid Like the Plague!
by Alice Osborne

According to MSN Health and Fitness, adding stuff to our food isn’t always a good idea, especially when it comes to our health. Be a fastidious label-reader and avoid these additives like the plague!

Now if you’re anything like Alice’s husband, you might be thinking, "Oh for Pete’s sake, this doomsday stuff is getting annoying. Don’t you have any GOOD news?"

Fair response. And yes, we do have good news: Our health is in OUR hands, not the mega-conglomerates whose bottom line is our money, not our health. SO, that said, we can take charge, avoid the junk passed off as food, and do more cooking with real whole foods. This information is meant to arm you for success!

BOO #1. Sodium Nitrate (also called Sodium Nitrite)
This is a preservative, coloring, and flavoring added to bacon, ham, hot dogs, luncheon meats, smoked fish, and corned beef. Studies link eating it to various types of cancer.

BOO #2. BHA and BHT
Butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydrozyttoluene are used to preserve common household foods. They are found in cereals, chewing gum, potato chips, and vegetable oils. They are oxidants, which form potentially cancer-causing reactive compounds in your body.

BOO #3. Propyl Gallate
Another preservative, often used in conjunction with BHA and BHT. It is sometimes found in meat products, chicken soup base, and chewing gum. Animal studies suggest it could be linked to cancer.

BOO #4. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
MSG is an amino acid used as a flavor enhancer in soups, salad dressings, chips, frozen entrees, and restaurant food. It can cause headaches and nausea, and animal studies link it to damaged nerve cells in the brains of infant mice.

BOO #5. Trans Fats
Trans fats are proven to cause heart disease. Restaurant food, especially fast food chains, often serve foods laden with trans fats. This stuff is so bad and the evidence so conclusive, that regulations outlawing its use are now in effect in many major cities.

BOO #6. Aspartame
Also known by the brand names Nutrasweet and Equal, is a sweetener found in so-called diet foods such as low-calorie desserts, gelatins, drink mixes, and soft drinks. It’s linked with cancer and neurological problems, such as dizziness or hallucinations.

BOO #7. Acesulfame-K
This is a relatively new artificial sweetener found in baked goods, chewing gum, and gelatin desserts. There is a general concern that testing on this product has been scant, and some studies show the additive may cause cancer in rats.

BOO #8. Food Colorings: Blue 1, 2; Red 3; Green 3; Yellow 6
Five food colorings still on the market are linked with cancer in animal testing. Blue 1 and 2, found in beverages, candy, baked goods and pet food, have been linked to cancer in mice. Red 3, used to dye cherries, fruit cocktail, candy, and baked goods, has been shown to cause thyroid tumors in rats. Green 3, added to candy and beverages, has been linked to bladder cancer. The widely used yellow 6, added to beverages, sausage, gelatin, baked goods, and candy, has been linked to tumors of the adrenal gland and kidney.

BOO #9. Olestra
Olestra, a synthetic fat found in some potato chip brands, can cause severe diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and gas. Olestra also inhibits healthy vitamin absorption from fat-soluble carotenoids that are found in fruits and vegetables.

BOO #10. Potassium Bromate
Potassium bromate is used as an additive to increase volume in some white flour, breads, and rolls. It is known to cause cancer in animals, and even small amounts in bread can create a risk for humans.

BOO #11. High Fructose Corn Syrup
We’re probably beating a dead horse on this one, but still, this is such an insidious health robber that we dare to repeat the warning: Watch out for foods with added HFCS, such as baked goods, cereals, crackers, sauces and tons of other processed foods. It is unsafe for your health, promotes bad nutrition, and it’s making us FAT.

BOO #12. Sodium Chloride
A dash of sodium chloride, more commonly known as salt, brings flavor to a meal. But too much salt can be dangerous for health, leading to high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure.

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