Are your healthy foods toxic?! 

This month, our clinical team wants to equip you to use safe methods of cooking and food storage in order to protect the nutrition in your foods, rather than destroying it! Follow along!

Our second step is to go through your food storage and eliminate all food that contains additives. To do this, take a look at the labels on your items and watch for sneaky ingredients that are sabotaging your health.

Learning to read food labels is hands down one of the most important things you can do as a consumer in our modern world. Food companies are brilliant in their marketing of junk foods to look healthy and how to hide harmful ingredients under dozens of different names. As you look at each item in your cabinets, ask yourself, how many ingredients are there? Is there added sugar, and if so, how much? Can you pronounce all of the ingredients? Are there trans fats? Is there MSG? Overall, is this food going to be beneficial to your body or does it contain ingredients that are going to contribute to poor health?

Two things to always be on the lookout for are sugar and food additives. Sugar is added to everything from ketchup to salad dressing to packaged pizzas to flavored chips. Can you believe that sugar can be hidden under over 56 different names on a food label? Food additives can be just as tricky to identify. One of the worst ones to look out for is the well known flavor enhancer, monosodium glutamate, shortened as MSG. This toxic ingredient is linked to a host of health issues, from neurological disorders, to cancer, metabolic syndrome, weight gain and high blood pressure. MSG has over a dozen names it’s disguised under, such as yeast extract, glutamate, autolyzed protein, textured protein, gelatin and more. Other harmful food additives to look out for are artificial sweeteners, flavors, colors, butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT). Food additives are used to enhance the flavor or color of food and to provide preservation. However, these chemicals have no benefit for our bodies and are linked to countless health complaints. Even organic products can contain certain additives, such as carrageenan, which are considered “safe,” but only lead to inflammation. 

As a general rule of thumb, if a packaged food has more than 10 ingredients, including some you  can’t even pronounce, it’s probably best to not keep it. Becoming an educated consumer is crucial, not just for yourself but for your family. Learning to read labels, understand what ingredients to avoid, and how to find safe alternatives will be instrumental in your health journey. To learn more about unsafe ingredients in food, you can check out www.EWG.org for a huge database on the toxicity ratings of food and other products. You can also utilize smartphone apps such as ShopWell to help you make educated food choices.