Monday, July 22, 2013

Getting Real about Artificial Flavors and Ingredients

Hello readers! Have you ever read a food label and wondered exactly what all those long scientific words meant? While we have all heard of the heat that high fructose corn syrup is getting in the news, there are more artificial flavors and synthetic ingredients.

Natural Ingredients: Companies add natural flavoring to make their products taste better. In short, they are created in a lab. Flavors can compensate for flavor loss during processing and substitute real ingredients to lower production costs and increase shelf stability.

Synthetic Colors- Synthetic colors are chemicals that do not occur in nature and are made in a lab. Below are the most popularly used dyes in the U.S.
  • Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6

Trans-Fats: even if the label says 0, there is still a marginal amount of trans-fat in this product. Consumption of food containing trans-fat has equivocally shown to increase the risk of heart disease. An FDA loophole allows manufacturers to round down to 0, even when there are 0-.49 gram of trans-fats in the food.

TBHQ: tertiary butylhdroquoinone) is used to keep oils from going rancid since it is a petroleum derivative. Yummy right

Soy Lecithin: Lecithins are oily substances that occur naturally in plants (soybeans) and animals (egg yolks). Soy lecithin possess emulsification properties-meaning it helps keeps things together.
Modified corn starch- Modified cornstarch is a food additive, which is created by treating starch, causing the starch to be partially degraded. Modified cornstarch can be used as a stabilizer, thickening agent, or an emulsifier. Starches may be modified to change texture of a food. 
A food label from the back of a box of macaroni and cheese

Enriched wheat flour-WHITE FLOUR. When they finish milling the flour, there are NO vitamins, minerals, or FIBER left, since they are all removed in the milling process. In order to give it some nutritional value, they then add-back some vitamins and minerals, but the result is not as nutritious as if they had simply ground the whole-wheat grain into flour.

Corn syrup/high-fructose corn syrup- Corn syrup is a sweetener that is chemically similar to table sugar. However, too much added sugar can contribute unwanted calories that are linked to health problems, such as weight gain, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and high triglyceride levels. All of these boost your risk of heart disease.

Titanium Dioxide-Is a carcinogen but has been used in cosmetics and vitamins Find out more here

Pyridoxine Hydrochloride- Pyridoxine hydrochloride is important in the production of the brain chemicals serotonin and norepinephrine, according to the Mayo Clinic. Vitamin B6 is also a building block for myelin, the material that insulates nerves. HOWEVER, too much of it can lead to nausea, vomiting, and loss of brain nerves with long term use

Palm Oil- Palm oil is high in saturated fat, and it is often very close to solid at room temperature, unless it is specially treated.

Glycerine- used in soaps and lotions so what is it doing in your food?!
-Eating Clean in College

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