The 7 Worst Ingredients In Processed Food

[The Following is an Excerpt From: http://goo.gl/j5xg9z]

1. Artificial Sweeteners


Experiments have found that sweet taste, regardless of its caloric content, enhances your appetite, and consuming artificial sweeteners has been shown to lead to even greater weight gain than consuming sugar. Aspartame has been found to have the most pronounced effect, but the same applies for other artificial sweeteners, such as acesulfame potassium, sucralose and saccharin.

Yet, weight gain is only the beginning of why artificial sweeteners should generally be avoided. Aspartame, for instance, is a sweet-tasting neurotoxin. As a result of its unnatural structure, your body processes the amino acids found in aspartame very differently from a steak or a piece of fish.

The amino acids in aspartame literally attack your cells, even crossing the blood-brain barrier to attack your brain cells, creating a toxic cellular overstimulation called excitotoxicity.

Further, inflammatory bowel disease may be caused or exacerbated by the regular consumption of the popular artificial sweetener Splenda (sucralose), as it inactivates digestive enzymes and alters gut barrier function. Previous research also found that sucralose can destroy up to 50 percent of your beneficial gut flora.

2. Synthetic Trans Fats

These are common in foods that contain partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, such as crackers, chips, most store-bought baked goods, and any fried foods just to name a few examples. Synthetic trans fats are known to promote inflammation, which is a hallmark of most chronic and/or serious diseases.

For instance, in one 2010 study, post-menopausal women who consumed the most daily synthetic trans fat had a 30 percent higher incidence of ischemic strokes.
Synthetic trans fats have also been linked to:


Cancer: 

They interfere with enzymes your body uses to fight cancer
Diabetes: 
They interfere with the insulin receptors in your cell membranes
Decreased Immune Function: 
They reduce your immune response
Problems with Reproduction:
They interfere with enzymes needed to produce sex hormones

Heart disease:
Y
our intake of trans fats should be as low as possible
No “safe upper limit” has even been established because, quite simply, there is none


3. Artificial Flavors

What’s particularly alarming when you see a word like “artificial flavor” on an ingredients label is that there’s no way to know what it actually means. It could mean that one unnatural additive is included, or it could be a blend of hundreds of additives. For example, strawberry artificial flavor can contain nearly 50 chemical ingredients.

Or take the artificial flavoring called diacetyl, which is often used as a butter flavoring in microwave popcorn. Research shows diacetyl has several concerning properties for brain health and may trigger Alzheimer’s disease. Genetically engineered flavor enhancers can also be listed under the artificial flavor (or natural flavor) label.

4. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

This flavor enhancer is most often associated with Chinese food, but it's actually in countless processed food products ranging from frozen dinners and salad dressing to snack chips and meats. MSG is an excitotoxin, which means it overexcites your cells to the point of damage or death, causing brain dysfunction and damage to varying degrees including potential triggering or worsening of learning disabilities, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Lou Gehrig's disease and more.

Part of the problem is that free glutamic acid (MSG is approximately 78 percent free glutamic acid) is the same neurotransmitter that your brain, nervous system, eyes, pancreas and other organs use to initiate certain processes in your body.

5. Artificial Colors

Every year, food manufacturers pour 15 million pounds of artificial food dyes into U.S. foods -- and that amount only factors in eight different varieties. As of July 2010, most foods in the European Union that contain artificial food dyes were labeled with warning labels stating the food "may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children." The British government also asked that food manufacturers remove most artificial colors from foods back in 2009 due to health concerns.

Nine of the food dyes currently approved for use in the US are linked to health issues ranging from cancer and hyperactivity to allergy-like reactions -- and these results were from studies conducted by the chemical industry itself. For instance, Red # 40, which is the most widely used dye, may accelerate the appearance of immune system tumors in mice, while also triggering hyperactivity in children.

Blue # 2 used in candies, beverages, pet foods and more was linked to brain tumors. And Yellow 5 used in baked goods, candies, cereal and more may not only be contaminated with several cancer-causing chemicals, but it's also linked to hyperactivity, hypersensitivity and other behavioral effects in children.

6. High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)

It’s often claimed that HFCS is no worse for you than sugar, but this is not the case. Because high-fructose corn syrup contains free-form monosaccharides of fructose and glucose, it cannot be considered biologically equivalent to sucrose (sugar). Sucrose has a glycosidic bond that links the fructose and glucose together, which slows its break down in the body.

Fructose is primarily metabolized by your liver because your liver is the only organ that has the transporter for it. Since all fructose gets shuttled to your liver (if you eat a typical Western-style diet, you consume high amounts of it), fructose ends up taxing and damaging your liver in the same way alcohol and other toxins do. And just like alcohol, fructose is metabolized directly into fat – it just gets stored in your fat cells, which leads to mitochondrial malfunction, obesity and obesity-related diseases.
The more fructose or HFCS a food contains, and the more total fructose you consume, the worse it is for your health.

7. Preservatives

Preservatives lengthen the shelf-life of foods, increasing manufacturers’ profits (at your expense since most are linked to health problems such as cancer, allergic reactions and more). Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated Hydrozyttoluene (BHT) are preservatives that affect the neurological system of your brain, alter behavior and have the potential to cause cancer. Tertiary Butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) is a chemical preservative so deadly that just five grams can kill you.

The preservative Sodium Benzoate -- found in many soft drinks, fruit juices and salad dressings – has been found to cause children to become measurably more hyperactive and distractible. Sodium Nitrite, a commonly used preservative in hot dogs, deli meats and bacon, has been linked to higher rates of colorectal, stomach and pancreatic cancers. And the list goes on and on…


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