Six Food Ingredients to Watch Out For
Chicken fingers, vegetable chips, milk, and bottled water. These things are all supposed to be good for you, right? Well, maybe, and maybe not. There are a number of chemical additives that are now part of foods many people buy at their local supermarket which are not going to benefit your health. Below is a brief primer on six of these additives, and what foods you're likely to find them in:
A form of butane, the same thing that fuels your lighter, is used as an artificial antioxidant to keep foods 'fresh' tasting, delay the onset of rancidness, and extend the shelf life of a food. It has been used in some brands of chicken nuggets and in some fast foods. As you might imagine, there are a number of negative health effects associated with ingesting butane. Ingesting this chemical has been associated with nausea and tinnitus (a ringing in the ears)
Watch for it in the Ingredients list on food packaging.
That green dust on your veggie chips isn't contributing to your daily serving of vegetables. It's Spinach Dust, which is dehydrated Spinach that has been sapped of its nutritional value. While often found in 'healthier' vegetable flavoured health foods, it actually has no health benefits.
You probably know Antifreeze from using it in your car. We bet you didn't know it's also an ingredient in some types of cosmetics and foods. Propylene Glycol can be found in some cake mixes and dog foods. Although it is metabolized during digestion, it's probably not something you really want to put into your body. Make sure to check the Ingredients label before buying a product that may contain Propylene Glycol.
Vanillin is a by-product of the pulp industry that is used as an artificial vanilla flavouring. It can often be found in artificially flavoured yogurts, commercial baked goods, candy, and sodas.
A chemical used for artificial raspberry and vanilla flavouring, Castoreum comes from the castor sacs of North American Beavers. It has been approved by the American Food and Drug Administration as a food additive. Castoreum is found in many artificial raspberry flavoured products, such as: ice cream, Jell-O, teas, and fruit-flavoured drinks.
A naturally occurring female sex hormone that is increasingly being found in dairy milk. Estrogen in milk has been studied as a possible cause of prostate cancer in men. Nothing has been proven definitively, but it's something to keep an eye on as new research is conducted.
A good lesson to take from this is that it's always better to 'go natural' when you're buying groceries by choosing fresh fruits and vegetables along with protein packed choices (like salmon) over microwave oven dinners, pre-packaged foods, and processed meats. If you need advice on food choices from one of our Dietitians, feel free to give them a call at: 1.800.298.0684