How to Read Labels and Avoid Harmful Additives
Learning how to read and understand labels to avoid harmful additives takes a little time and studying. But, it’s time well spent. There are several additives to avoid, including high fructose corn syrup, artificial coloring, and flavors.
Avoiding Harmful Additives
The most harmful additives in processed foods to avoid every day include:
- Trans fats and hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils
- Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
- Artificial sweeteners
It is easy to avoid most of these additives by eating fresh fruits and vegetables. Eliminating most sugars and refined starches will help you to lose weight and keep it of naturally.
Trans Fats and Hydrogenated Oils
Hydrogenated vegetable oil is used in many products. Hydrogen is pumped into vegetable oils to form a solid substance, such as margarine. This is an artificial trans fat that can raise the bad cholesterol level (LDL) and lower the good cholesterol (HDL).
Hydrogenated oils are found in most commercial baked goods and deep fried foods. The oils are reused to fry foods at many fast-food chains.
The FDA has finally eliminated hydrogenated trans fats from the safe list. But, foods using less than .05 grams of trans fats can list the trans fats as “0g” on food labels.
Natural trans fats are found in beef, pork, lamb, and some dairy products such as butter and cream. Eat lean cuts of meat and low fat dairy products.
MSG is another product on the list to avoid harmful additives. This preservative and flavor enhancer is found in Asian food, canned soups, and vegetables among other products.
Although the FDA still considers it safe, many people react to it with allergic symptoms. These range from headaches to heart palpitations. Check the ingredients list for MSG the next time you buy packaged food.
Aspartame, saccharine, sucralose, and other artificial sweeteners are packaged under a variety of names. These products are sweeter than sugar and calorie free. They are often recommended for people with diabetes.
Some problems with these artificial sweeteners:
- Aspartame has been known to cause diarrhea and other stomach problems
- Saccharine may cause cancer
- Most of these artificial sweeteners are chemical in origin
There are also natural sweeteners, such as stevia and pure honey, that may be better sugar substitutes than chemical compounds.
Preservatives keep packaged food from spoiling. Sodium nitrite and nitrate are added to processed meats and canned foods. Brominated vegetable oil (BVO) is used in soft drinks to keep flavor oils suspended. These preservatives and sulfites found in many products than can cause allergic reactions.
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The trained dietitians at NYC Weightloss Solutions will explain about different food labels and how to avoid harmful additives and preservatives. To schedule your free consultation, click the icon below and enter your information online. Or, call direct at (212) 759-8118.
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