1. Hydrogenated oils/trans fats – These overprocessed fats have been shown to cause heart disease, nutritional deficiencies, general deterioration of cellular health, and much more. Hydrogenated oils are present in cookies, crackers, baked goods, reduced-fat spreads like margarine and many other manufactured foods. Why are these harmful oils used? To extend shelf life and maximize manufacturer profit. Remember, hydrogenated oils are also known as trans fats. Beware of misleading marketing claims! Even if a prod­uct says that it contains “0g trans fat,” that product can legally contain up to 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. Always read the ingredient list to see if any hydrogenated oils are listed in the ingredients.iStock_000014317673Large
  2. MSG – MSG (or monosodium glutamate) is a food additive found in many processed and packaged foods. It is used as a flavor enhancer and has no health benefits. In fact, MSG has been shown to be detrimental to our health because it is a neurotoxin and has been linked to many side effects. MSG is hidden in many foods, including processed snacks, soups, bouillon, sauces, dressings and many canned and frozen foods. Manufacturers are required to list MSG in their ingredient labels… but MSG goes by many names! It can be called natural flavors, autolyzed yeast, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, vegetable protein extract, spices or other general terms that you may not even recognize as being sources of MSG.
  3. Sodium nitrite and nitrates – These preservatives can cause cancer and are primarily found in processed meats like hot dogs, bacon and sausage. They’re used to make meat appear red (in other words, they‘re a color fixative).
  4. High-Fructose Corn Syrup – Also known as HFCS, this heavily processed syrup is an inexpensive sweetener used in soft drinks, candy and packaged foods. (Including bread and many other baked goods.) Fructose has been shown to play a role in obesity, diabe­tes and increased levels of inflammation. Just 20 ounces of HFCS-sweetened soda, sports drink or tea has 17 teaspoons of sugar. The average teenager often consumes 40 ounces of these drinks a day! And then there’s the fact that sugar depresses the immune system for up to 5 hours after ingestion.
  5. Artificial colors FD&C (Blue No. 1, Blue No. 1 Lake (coal tar dye; may contain aluminum), Blue No. 2 Lake, Citrus Red No. 2, Green No. 3, Red No. 40, Red No. 40 Aluminum Lake, Yellow No. 5, Yellow No. 5 Lake, Yellow No. 6, & Yellow No. 6 Lake). These chemical dyes are found in many packaged foods, cereals, candies and children’s foods. Dyes have been shown to contribute to hyperactivity in children, and they may also contribute to learning and visual disorders as well as nerve damage. Dyes may be carcinogenic or cause allergic reactions.

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