10 Additives and Preservatives You Don’t Want In Your Food

Almost all nutrition authorities now state that the consumption of fresh and whole foods is one of the best ways to maintain one’s health. Unfortunately, that will always be easier said than done and there are now countless forms of preservatives and additives that are placed in even the most innocuous foods that many eat every single day. For those that would like to steer clear of a number of serious unwanted side effects, here is a closer look at 10 common additives and preservatives that should be avoided whenever possible.
1. Butylated Hydroxyanisole
More commonly referred to as BHA, this food preservative was designed to prevent various foods from spoiling or going bad during transportation. Unfortunately, it is also a very toxic carcinogen and has been linked to much higher rates of cancer.
2. Sodium Nitrite
Both sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate are used to preserve the taste of a meat as well as the color, most commonly within bacon. They are also used as a metal coating and will turn into a human carcinogen when the body breaks them down in one’s stomach.
3. BVO
Brominated vegetable oil is used as an additive to improve the ‘fruity’ flavor of juices and sodas. When it is consumed on a regular basis, however, this form of oil will attack everything from the liver and heart to the kidneys and colon.
4. Benzoate
Benzoates are a class of preservatives that are applied to fatty foods to prevent them from going rancid. They also have a very powerful impact on the chemical balance within one’s body including testosterone and estrogen levels.
5. HFC
High fructose corn syrup is a very affordable sweetener and preservative that is added to countless food products throughout the world. When consumed, it immediately turns to fat within the body and large quantities over the years will increase one’s risk of type 2 diabetes.
Olestra is often marketed as a fat substitute in fried and baked goods, many times even toted as a healthier alternative. It also been linked to deteriorating nutrient absorption and a slew of ongoing and immediate gastrointestinal issues.
7. MSG
Frequently used as a flavor enhancer in restaurant foods, MSG has long been known to be an extremely unhealthy additive. It mostly affects the respiratory and circulatory systems with side effects including headaches, wheezing, edema, and a drastic change in the heart rate.
8. Castoreum
Castoreum is actually one of the few additives in this list that has no recorded side effects, but where this chemical comes from is disheartening. Food-grade castoreum is collected by excreting the waste glands of beavers and then purifying the substance before placing it in food as a flavor enhancer.
9. Potassium Bromate
This substance is used within various breads and other products to improve the quality and flavor of the flour. It has also been banned in Europe and Canada as it has been proven to be harmful in even the smallest of doses.
10. Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners are not only one of the most common additives in today’s world, they also lead to a handful of serious medical issues. Sweeteners such as sucralose aspartame will immediately have a negative impact on one’s metabolism and long-term studies have shown ongoing consumption will increase the chance of developing everything from migraines to various forms of cancer.
It may seem like there are too many harmful additives and preservatives lurking in food to keep track of, but focusing one’s diet on natural and fresh products is a great way to avoid many of these common substances.