Wednesday, January 9, 2013

7 Ingredients to Avoid When Grocery Shopping

It's a dangerous world we live in and we need to be careful of what we put into our bodies more than ever.

For the majority of us, we don't stop to think of the food we eat as poison because we would never put anything dangerous into our body right?

But if you really stop and think about it, some of the ingredients commonly found in food these days can be considered toxic. These include chemicals or highly processed ingredients that do nothing for our health and cause harm instead.

Chances are if you can't pronounce the names on the list of ingredients, it is bad bad bad. The following are the 7 ingredients you should avoid like the plague when grocery shopping.

Why you need to say 'NO' to these ingredients?

1. High Fructose Corn Syrup 

This sweet poison is essentially refined sugar and it works to increase triglycerides, boost fat-storing hormones and encourage people to overeat, thus gaining weight in the process. You could be looking at obesity, insulin resistance and heart disease in the long run.

2. Trans Fats

The cholesterol-maker is what the ingredients label should read. These fats also known as 'shortening' or 'hydrogenated', may help prolong the shelf life of most products. But when you consume trans fats found in junk food for example, you're raising your bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides while lowering your good HDL level. These fats increase your risk of blood clots and heart attack.

3. Artificial Flavours

General rule of thumb – anything that is artificial has no business being in your body. There are over 100 possible chemical additives in the market today and research has shown that these ingredients can lead to various side effects such as allergic and behavioural reactions.

4. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

The ultimate flavour enhancer used in the food industry to stimulate taste buds and cause us to eat more. High levels of free glutamates (the ones that have been separated from their host protein through hydrolysis) can have serious effect on brain chemistry. It could also potentially increase your risks of chest pains, heart palpitations and headaches.

5. Artificial Colours

Again, the fake stuff that shouldn't be in our body, most especially in children. The artificial colours of blue 1 and 2, green 3, red 3 and yellow 6 have been linked to thyroid, adrenal, bladder, kidney and brain cancers. Studies have reported that these chemicals can aggravate sinus congestions, allergies, hyperactivity in kids and worsen symptoms of ADD and ADHD.

6. Artificial Sweeteners

There are many names for this supposedly diet-friendly sweeteners. Among them are aspartame, saccharin, sucralose and acesulfame potassium. The artificial ingredient is harder on our metabolic systems than plain old sugar. It tricks the brain to forget that sweetness equals to extra calories and thus you are more likely to keep eating the treats carelessly. Potential side effects include problems with the nervous system as well as cancer.

7. Preservatives

Also one of many names. Benzene is a known carcinogen that has been linked to serious thyroid damage, while BHA or Butylated Hydroxyanisole which is often used to prevent spoilage and food poisoning, can disrupt the endocrine and hormones. Sodium nitrates and sodium nitrites commonly found in processed food like hot dogs and bacon, are both cancer-causing chemicals as well.

*Always read the label before you put anything into your cart. There are thousands of products containing endless ingredients at the supermarket but not everything belongs in your body. If you can help it, choose to go fresh. Read here for some suggestions on good ingredients to have in your fridge.

Source: Jillian Michaels, Naturally Savvy

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