If a food label contains any of these, PUT IT BACK

Most health conscious people know to keep an eye out for calories, fat, and carbs when they’re browsing the supermarket aisles. But are you paying attention to the additives, flavor-enhancers and often lab-generated chemicals that are also hidden in that product?

And as a rule of thumb, aim for whole foods, the stuff that doesn’t have labels, that will give you the important nutrients without any extra processed crap. Look out for these ingredients the next time you go shopping for food:

  • Partially hydrogenated oil:  This nemesis of heart health is the primary source of trans fat. Trans fats are twice as difficult for the body to dissolve as saturated fats, and because they boost bad cholesterol and have been shown to decrease good cholesterol, they’re active agents of heart disease, diabetes, nutritional deficiencies and cellular deterioration. Foods that normally contain trans fats include margarine, vegetable oil, crackers, cookies, baked goods, salad dressings, breads and chips.
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup: This is a highly processed form of glucose. Too much sugar will harm bodily processes in countless ways, including increasing risk for diabetes, obesity and other metabolic disorders.
  • MSG: It goes by many names – monosodium glutamate, maltodextrin, sodium caseinate, autolyzed yeast, autolyzed vegetable protein, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, yeast extract, and even citric acid. If you see any of these on the label put it back! It’s often found in canned soup, diet beverages, packaged sausages and frankfurters, salad dressing and some packaged vegetarian foods.
  • BHA & BHT: Butylated Hydroxyanisole and Butylated Hydroxytoluene – no sane person would willingly eat foods, after reading the table, with these 2 ingredients written on the side even without knowing what they are! BHA and BHT are antioxidant preservatives used in cereals, potato chips and chewing gum to keep them from going rancid.
  • Food Colourings: Some foods are colored with natural substances like beta-carotene and carmine. It’s the unnatural ones you want to avoid – Red #3, used in candy, baked goods and desserts, has demonstrated chromosomal damage and thyroid tumors. Red #40, found in drinks, desserts, candy and pet food, has spurred lymph tumors in lab testing. Yellow #5 (tartrazine) and #6 may cause thyroid and kidney tumors, lymphocytic lymphomas, and chromosomal damage.