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6 Bad Ingredients in Food Labels



By Diane Hanson

Learning to read ingredient labels is important when you want to eat healthy. It is not something that requires expert knowledge. In fact, it is very simple once you know what to look for, and what unhealthy ingredients to avoid.

As a general rule of thumb, if you don’t know the ingredient, or never heard of it, chances are that it is a chemical or processed ingredient. You want to avoid bad ingredients that are not whole food.

Also, if these processed ingredients are listed first, second or third on the ingredient label of a packaged product, put it back and opt for a healthier choice. For example, a healthy loaf of bread should read “whole wheat, oats, or some other grain” on its ingredient label.


Unhealthy Ingredients on Food Labels to Avoid

1. Refined sugars.

Refined sugars include glucose, dextrose, fructose, and galactose, all of which offer little or no nutrition. Too much simple sugars cause weight gain and promote storage of fat.


They also raise your insulin levels, which results in a weakened immune system.


Look for healthy wholesome foods that are naturally sweet such as fruit or honey. Be aware that sugar creeps up in many unsuspecting places such as “healthy” cereals, and “low fat” products such as sauces, salad dressings, or chips.





2. Bleached White Flour.

Bleached flour is a manufactured creation. It is stripped of its natural nutrients and fiber, which makes bread soft and fluffy. As a result, the product has little nutritive value to your diet.


When choosing a wheat or grain based product, pick those that have whole grains or unbleached flour.





3. Partially Hydrogenated Oil or Hydrogenated Oil (Trans Fats)

Hydrogenated oils are not natural and definitely unhealthy. Food manufacturers use (partially) hydrogenated oils because it extends the shelf life of food products, and make food taste good. Trans fats are commonly found in fast food, chips, cookies, baked goods, and french fries.

Trans fats can cause many illness including obesity, high cholesterol, coronary disease, diabetes, birth defects, allergies in children, and may even linked to cancer.

Avoid unhealthy foods that have trans fat at all cost. Opt for healthier products that contain monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats.




4. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)

High-fructose corn syrup  is a man-made sweetener that is highly processed, cheaper and sweeter than sugar. Beverages and other processed foods made with high-fructose corn syrup are often high in calories and low in nutritional value.

Regularly consumption of such bad foods has the potential to promote obesity, which may lead to type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and coronary artery disease.

Opt for only natural sweeteners, or natural herbs, such as Stevia.




5. Aspartame, Saccharin, Sucralose or Phenylalkaline (Artificial Sweeteners)

Artificial sweetener is bad for you. Research has indicated that aspartame is carcinogen that is known to cause cancer.

Saccharin has also been found to be carcinogenic and may also potentially lead to bladder cancer. Saccharin also contains sulfonamide and may cause sulfa allergies such as skin diseases, headaches, nausea and diarrhea.

Sucralose contains impurities such as heavy metals, arsenic and methanol. It may also have chlorocarbons, consumption of which may lead to kidney and liver inflammation.

Healthy and safe alternatives to artificial sweeteners are organic maple syrup, sorghum syrup, raw honey, or Stevia.




6. Sodium Nitrite

Sodium nitrite is a food additive that changes the color of food and also prevents the growth of certain bacteria. It is used to preserve and dry cure meats such as hotdogs, luncheon meats, bacon, sausages, and even meats in canned soups.


Laboratory studies have found strong links between high consumption of processed meat and cancer. This toxic substance can also increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease and dementia.


Always choose fresh, organic free-ranch meat instead.



Look out for these bad and unhealthy ingredients on the food label the next time you grocery shop. Keep in mind their potential bad health effects, and take charge of your health by watching what you eat.



bad ingredients on food labels

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