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The “scaries” at your food shelves

19 March 2009 789 views No Comment

Did you know that about 80 per cent of the foods we eat today are refined and chemically altered?
The average American consumes 10-15 pounds of salt and additives per year. Food additives make foods more pleasing to the eye and prevent foods from spoiling so quickly.

Here are some quick “nasties” on your grocery shelf:

•Aspartame (aka: Equal, NutraSweet): enhances the taste of artificial sweeteners and is about 200 times sweeter then sucrose. Consists of two amino acids linked by methanol (alcohol found in antifreeze). In your body, these components break down to make formaldehyde and then formic acid – both potent metabolic poisons that affect the nervous system and are carcinogenic.

•BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole): preservative that acts as an antioxidant in baked goods, candy, chewing gum, soup bases, breakfast cereals, shortening, dry mixes for cake, dehydrated potato and ice cream. BHA is carcinogenic, liver and kidney toxic and associated with children’s behavioral problems.

•BHT (butylated hydroxytolulene): prevents frozen/fresh pork sausage (fat) and freeze-dried meats from going rancid. The base product is also found in chewing gum. Allergic reactions and liver enlargement can be side effects.

•Caffeine: stimulant and addictive agent found in coffee, tea, soft drinks and chocolate. Large amounts for long periods affect blood sugar release, as well as liver, central nervous system, heart and respiratory systems. It can cause irregular heartbeats, insomnia, irritability, and mood swings.

•Nitrites: preserve meat and improve flavor (lunch meats/ hot dogs). Large amounts can be toxic and has been associated with increased risk of oral, urinary, bladder, esophagus, stomach and brain cancer. Hot dog ingestion in children can increase their risk of developing childhood leukemia and brain cancer.

•Sorbate: preservative to prevent mold and yeast growth in chocolate syrups, deli salads, cheesecake, pie filling, preserves, baked goods and artificially sweetened jellies, wines, cheese and yogurt. This chemical interrupts enzyme function in the body and some people experience allergies in the form of skin eruptions or diarrhea.

•Sulfites: preservative and bleaching agent to reduce and prevent discoloration of dried vegetables and fruits, sliced fruit, beer, wine, salad dressing, gravies, corn syrup, wine vinegar and sauces. Reactions include hives, dizziness, and difficulty breathing.

•Sugar: any form is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream to provide short-lived energy and is an empty calorie. It is stored in the liver and muscle as glycogen or converted to body fat if not burned. Sugar almost immediately depresses immune function and increases risk of infection and allergies. Sugar is stripped in the refining process of key minerals, vitamins and fiber that are needed to help breakdown sugar more slowly. Increased consumption is related to diabetes, obesity, tooth decay and hyperactivity.

The bottom line is try to stay in the fresh food section in your grocery store and far away from processes boxed foods. Your body will love you for it!

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