If you want to feed your family healthier food, there are a few things to make sure aren’t in the food you serve. Here are Terri’s ‘Top 5 Chemicals to Avoid in Food’ so you can eat without worry!
1) Sodium Nitrate & Sodium Nitrite
These two similar ingredients are used in many processed meat products (think hot dogs, bacon, and lunch meats) because they act as food preservatives. However, both have been linked to different types of cancer. A better bet is to opt for meats labeled “nitrate-free” or “nitrite-free”.
This artificial sweetener is found in thousands of diet drinks and foods. While it’s been around for decades, it is one of the most controversial ingredients in our food chain. Some research suggests it is actually linked to many medical problems and even weight gain. Check with your doctor about making the switch to a new ingredient available known as Stevia. It’s a zero-calorie sweetener which comes from the Stevia plant.
3) Certain Food Dyes & Colorings
More and more parents are becoming increasingly concerned because of research which suggest food dyes are linked to hyperactivity in children. Think about all the artificially colored food items on the market such as juices, boxed foods, and bakery items. The safer choice is to avoid foods with numbered dyes on the ingredient list. Also, seek out organic foods which don’t contain synthetic food dyes and colorings.
4) BHA & BHT
Butylated Hydroxyanisole and Butylated Hydrozyttoluene are two similar additives which are common food preservatives. They work by preventing fats and oils from spoiling so you’ll see them used in chips, cereals, and even chewing gums. The concern is that they can cause cancer and can alter behavior. These additives aren’t banned from foods but they do have to be on the label. Also, remember that it’s usually junk food which contains them.
5) Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA)
While PFOA is not added to our foods, many of our foods are contaminated with it. That’s because it’s used in food packaging and cookware. This chemical is linked to cancer and once it’s in your body, it can stay there for years. PFOA is used in many microwave popcorn bags and certain non-stick cookware. If you want to keep it out of the foods you eat, consider banning microwavable popcorn from your home and using non-toxic cookware such as cast iron or stainless steel.