Review of Nutrition Labels
Review of Nutrition Labels
When it is time to restock our refrigerators we go to the grocery store, some of us with a specific list to fit our needs. We peruse the aisles picking up groceries of all sorts in all different kinds of packaging. But, do we ever consider where these groceries come from? Or better yet, what is in the food we buy?
The Food Pyramid tells us to get our protein, vegetables, grains, fruits, and dairy for a well rounded diet. Unfortunately, we get many other things that we don’t want when we consume the foods that we believe to be good for us.
What is in My food?
Unfortunately, the vast majority of foods in your local grocery store
are not “all-natural” or organic. This means that your food has undergone some processes to maintain its color, grow bigger, taste better, and live longer. These processes incorporate many steroids and chemicals in order to achieve these aspects. Many of these steroids and chemicals can be detrimental to your health and may even be negating the nutrients you need daily.
It is important that you review the nutrition labels of food products in order to be a wiser shopper and a wiser eater. Below are 10 of the chemicals commonly found in your groceries:
This is a gas that is injected into fruits such as apples and bananas to block the natural horomones that ripen fruit. This can preserve apples for up to one year and bananas for a month… what does your body do with it?
These colors are derived from hundreds of chemicals to create the perfect color for your food item. To make these colors, scientists use coal-tar dyes and petrochemicals that are highly carcinogenic. These food dyes can be found in yogurts, chips, motrin, cake icing, powdered drinks, candies, children’s vitamins, frozen pizza, and even pickles but not limited to. Be aware of artificial colors in your food as they are extremely detrimental to your family’s health.
Dyes may be listed as artificial colors or may be listed as one or more of the following: Blue 1, Blue 2, Green 3, Red 3, Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, FD&C Lakes, and Citrus Red 2.
A single artificial flavor could be derived from hundreds of chemicals just like an artificial color. This is so scientists can perfect and mimic a desired flavor for your food. As an example, some artificial vanilla flavorings are created from petroleum or paper-mill waste… yuck!
This is an artificial sugar that may have no calories but it is not supposed to be broken down by the human digestive system. Many people are not born with the ability to break down the amino acids used to create this substance and as a result it is not recommended for pregnant women or infants.
Benzoic Acid/Sodium Benzoate
These preservatives are often added to meat, milk, drinks, low sugar products, and cereals. Beware of these chemicals especially because they inhibit the functions of digestive enzymes, cause headaches and stomachaches, asthma attacks, and can cause hyperactivity in children.
High Fructose Corn Syrup
This is commonly used as a sweetener in many food items. A small amount is alright but many processed foods contain a lot of “hidden” high fructose corn syrup. Consuming large amounts of this ingredient can lead to heart disease.
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
This chemical compound is used as a flavor enhancer in many products such as chips, salad dressings, seasonings, and condiments. This is a highly addictive chemical that can cause headaches and stomach upset.
Hydrogenation is the process of heating oil and passing hydrogen through it to make it denser substance. Partial-hydrogenation leaves oils at a consistency similar to that of butter. These oils are used in many foods partly because they are much cheaper than real butter. These oils are also highly addictive and in high consumption can lead to weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease.
This is commonly used as a filler for white flour, breads, and rolls (giving them more volume). This substance is known to cause cancer in animals and is also very dangerous to humans even in small amounts.
Sodium Nitrite and Nitrate
These chemicals are commonly used to preserve meats. Nitrate is not harmful to humans but it converts very easily into Nitrite. When Nitrite combines with secondary-amines compounds (usually in the frying process) it forms nitrosamines which are extremely dangerous carcinogenic compounds.
It is very difficult to go grocery shopping today without finding at least one of these chemicals in your food items. But, you can drastically reduce the amount of chemicals you consume by choosing “all natural” or organic products. Eating healthy is your health insurance for the future. Treasure Coast Urgent & Family Care urges patients to review nutrition labels to maintain your personal health. If you are concerned that health related problems are associated with any of these ingredients, please consult Treasure Coast Urgent & Family Care immediately to give your body the care it deserves.