11 Food Additives to Ditch

Food additives are nothing new. In fact, they've become somewhat acceptable over the years for most of us. However, some are downright questionable! That's why it's fundamental to know which ones to look out for!

Manufacturers will never stop looking for new ways to keep their food fresh-looking and more flavorful but many preservatives are chemically derived and some people develop allergic reactions to them over time.

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There’s no doubt that Americans have a love affair with processed foods, (which contain the most additives), and spend a whopping 90 percent of their monthly food allowances on them. This leaves the door wide open for the associated health issues that may ensue.

The FDA (Food and Drug Association) has approved around 3000+ food additives, which are added during the production, processing, or storage of ‘said’ food.

Food Additives may be:

  • derived from nature
  • used to boost texture
  • used to enhance appearance

    Some are used to boost the nutritional value of a food but most are used to preserve shelf life or to enhance the taste. Does that mean they’re safe to ingest over the long term? Are they truly beneficial? Here’s a list of the additives that seem to do more harm than good. Try and ditch them whenever it’s possible and remember to read the ingredients on the foods you buy regularly. They could change any time.

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    11 Food Additives to Ditch

    Trans Fat

    Trans fat (partially hydrogenated fat) was originally developed to prolong the shelf life of a product. It is most often found in deep fried foods, processed foods, vegetable oils, baked goods, chips and crackers, and margarine.

    In November of 2013, the FDA finally made a move to ban partially hydrogenated oils (PHO’s), the primary dietary source of trans fat in processed foods, in the US.

    Although their consumption has declined over the last two decades, the current intake remains a concern. Trans fat has been determined by health experts to raise LDL (bad cholesterol), lower HDL (good cholesterol), increase inflammation, and contribute to diabetes and other health issues. The reduction of their use could prevent 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths from heart disease and stoke each year.

    The independent IOM (Institute of Medicine) has concluded that trans fat provides no known health benefit and that there is no safe level of consumption.

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    Food Dyes

    If you’ve ever wandered down the cereal isle in your local grocery, you can’t help but notice the vast amount of dyes that are added to them. Fruity Pebbles, Fruit Loops, Lucky Charms and many more are brimming with dyes in many colors!

    Artificial colorings are also abundant in soda, baked goods, fruit juices, and salad dressings. Children have the most adverse reactions to a number of dyes, including but not limited to behavioral problems specifically. Artificial dyes may even lower IQ and some studies have linked a number of them to cancer.

    Blue #1 and Blue #2 (E133)

  • May cause chromosomal damage.
  • Found in: pet food, candy, cereal, soft drinks, sports drinks

    Red #3 & Red #40 (E124)

  • Red dye #3 was banned in 1990 after 8 years of debate from use in many foods and cosmetics. Continues to be on the market until supplies run out!
  • Proven to cause thyroid cancer and chromosomal damage in lab testing.
  • May interfere with brain to nerve transmission.
  • Found in: candy, fruit cocktail, maraschino cherries, cherry pie filling, ice cream, bakery products

    Yellow #6 (E110) and Yellow Tartrazine (E102)

  • Increases kidney and adrenal gland tumors in lab rats.
  • May cause chromosomal damage.
  • Found in: candy, American cheese, macaroni and cheese products, sodas, lemonade etc.

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    Sodium Sulfite (E221)

    If you’ve ever gotten a hangover from drinking wine, you’ve experienced the sulfites at work! Sodium sulfite is a preservative that’s used in making wine and can be found in other processed foods. Around one in 100 people has adverse reactions to their consumption, according to the FDA. The majority of affected people are asthmatic, which infers a link between the two.

    Anyone with a sulfite sensitivity may:

  • Experience headaches
  • Have breathing problems
  • Develop rashes
  • Found in: Wine and dried fruit

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    Sodium Nitrate/Nitrite

    Sodium nitrate is a food additive and preservative. It is used to color and flavor many forms of processed meats. Nitrates are highly carcinogenic once they enter the digestive tract. Once there, they form a variety of nitrosamine compounds that enter the bloodstream and wreak havoc on a number of internal organs, including the liver and pancreas. Sodium nitrite:

  • Is widely viewed as a toxic ingredient.
  • Turns meat products bright red.
  • Is a color fixer, in the way that it makes old meats appear fresh.
  • Found in: hotdogs, bacon, ham, luncheon meat, cured meats, corned beef, smoked fish or any other type of processed meat

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    BHT and BHA (E320)

    Butylated hydrozyttoluene (BHT) and Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) are preservatives. They are used to prevent foods from becoming rancid and/or changing color or flavor.


  • Affects the neurological system of the brain.
  • Alters behavior.
  • Has the potential to cause cancer via oxidation.
  • Found in: Candy, jello, potato chips, chewing gum, cereal, frozen sausages, enriched rice, lard, shortening

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    Sulfur Dioxide (E220)

    If you ever used to get diarrhea from eating from a salad bar, you’ve experienced dioxides! Because so many cases of digestive issues were reported in the past, the FDA has prohibited their use on raw fruits and fresh veggies today. However, they are still approved for use in a variety of other foods and drinks. Adverse reactions to dioxides include:

  • Bronchial problems particularly in asthmatics.
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure).
  • Flushing tingling sensations.
  • Anaphylactic shock.

    Dioxides destroy vitamins E and B1 and are NOT safe for children. The International Labor Organization suggests that anyone with conjunctivitis, bronchitis or asthma, emphysema, or cardiovascular disease should avoid dioxides altogether.

  • Found in: Processed vinegar, beer, potato products, soft drinks, dried fruit, juices, cordials, wine

    The other four food additives are...

    Potassium Bromate

    Even small amounts can create problems. It causes really bad cases of acne for some people. Find out why here.


    Toxic ingredient found in... Learn more here.

    High Fructose Corn Syrup

    Basically a fake sugar, but why is it bad? Find out here.

    Monosodium Glutamate (MSG / E621)

    Big trouble maker found in many foods. Find out which ones here.


    Horrible ingredient. Is known to cause… Find out more here.

    Food additives help bring inexpensive foods to your table and with prices constantly creeping up all the time, there’s no doubt they’re warranted. I truly wished we could turn back time however, and ditch all of the technological stuff that led manufacturers to their creation. Since that’s not possible, you have to be detective-like to make sure what you’re buying is what you think it is. Different foods affect us all uniquely. If you have a bad reaction from eating something, don’t buy it again. It’s as simple as that!

    Always consult your physician before using natural remedies, especially for anyone with preexisting conditions or anyone currently taking prescription medications. Although many efforts are made to ensure that the advice given on this site is professionally sound, the advice is not intended to replace a mutual relationship with a medical provider.

    Related Pages on This Site

    Carrageenan – Have a Little Colitis with Your Coffee?

    Aspartame – The GMO Poop Neurotoxin

    High Fructose Corn Syrup – What Nature Never Intended!

    The Secret Sources of MSG

    Stay Healthy and Save Your Life!

    The Secrets of Longevity

    Non GMO Foods Versus GMO Foods – Facts, Pros and Cons

    How to Decrease Inflammation to Improve Your Health


    FDA takes step to further reduce trans fats in processed foods

    Top Additives to Avoid

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