Label Lessons
We all know the language of labels is incredibly confusing. Low fat, high in fiber, no saturated fat, high fructose corn syrup, new flavor-same look, etc. I could go on forever but the main point is that you must take the time to read every single ingredient on every package before you purchase it.

There are currently over 14,000 additives used in commercially packaged foods. Many of these ingredients are dangerous to our health, however restaurants and manufacturers are not required to disclose these hazards. This is how so many of us become ill and end up with issues from cancer to food allergies, leaky gut, hypothyroidism and so much more. You always want to avoid artificial chemicals, colors, bleached white flour, hydrogenated fats, words you cannot pronounce and chemical preservatives such as MSG, BHA, BHT & Nitrates.

When you stop to read the ingredients on a food label, ask yourself, ‘Can I pronounce these ingredients?’ If not, it doesn’t belong on your plate.

Here is a list of ingredients that you and your family should avoid:

  • Artificial Colors: Food colorings are used to replace colors lost in processed foods and to make food look pretty. Please don’t let these colors deceive you because they are synthetic dyes that are often coal-tar derivatives. These artificial colors lead to hyperactivity, allergies and asthma. They are found in sausage, baked goods, soda, pastries, candy and fruits such as oranges that are sprayed with red dye to make them appear ripe. What can you do to avoid them? LOOK for fresh, organic fruits and vegetables and juices that do not have additives in them.
  • Artificial Preservatives (BHA, BHT, Sodium Benzoate, etc.): These artificial preservatives are synthetic petroleum-based and fat soluble antioxidants used by manufactures to prevent retard rancidity and oxidation. They can cause allergic reactions, hyperactivity, cancer and cause issues to the liver and nervous system. They are found in ice cream, cereal, cosmetics, cheese spreads, hummus, salsa, chewing gum, baked goods, fried foods, chips and carbonated beverages. What can you do to avoid them? LOOK for drinks with ‘no artificial antioxidants’ and avoid poor quality vegetable oils- instead look for cold pressed virgin oils that contain natural antioxidants such as Vitamin E.
  • Nitrates & Nitrites: Nitrates and nitrites are chemical compounds that are often used in making cured meat products such as hot dogs and bacon. Smoked, preserved and cured meats are often loaded with nitrates and nitrites to preserve shelf life and give them their pink hue. These preservatives can prevent the growth of bacteria and can turn into cancer-causing nitrosamines in your stomach. They are known to cause headaches, nausea, dizziness and vomiting. What can you do to avoid them? LOOK for organic lean meats (it is rare to find a product that is 100% nitrate-free; manufacturers make claims such as “no nitrates added.”) You can choose meat alternatives such as quinoa and beans.
  • Monosodium Glutamate (MSG): MSG is hidden in everything from salad dressings to sauces as well as candy, snacks, infant formula, medications, seasonings and vitamins. What can do you to avoid it? LOOK for MSG-free snacks and read labels carefully so you can make healthier choices for you and your family.

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