10 Ingredients to Avoid in Your Food ...


10 Ingredients to Avoid in Your Food ...
10 Ingredients to Avoid in Your Food ...

We all know that some foods are healthier for us than others, and that some foods are just plain bad for us. But did you know there are some individual ingredients you need to avoid? Here’s a list of the ten ingredients to avoid in your food…

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High Fructose Corn Syrup

High Fructose Corn Syrup Photo Credit: Ikayama

The jury is still out on whether or not HFCS contributes to obesity, but studies have shown that obesity rates in the U.S. have increased since the 1980’s along with our consumption of HFCS. Regardless of what scientists decide, it’s plain enough — we consume far too much sugar and HFCS, so we ought to be careful of both. That's one way toavoid obesity.


Partially Hydrogenated Oils

Partially Hydrogenated Oils Photo Credit: moonpies for misfits

Partially hydrogenated oils are, in short, trans fats, which are so unhealthy they’ve actually been banned in some part of the U.S. Trans fats are so bad for your heart that you shouldn’t just “avoid” them, you should cut them out of your diet altogether! Do it for the sake of ahealthy heart.


Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) Photo Credit: Lisa Chu Photography

You may have noticed Chinese take-out menus declaring that they are “MSG-Free.” Why is this a big deal? MSG is often used to boost the flavor in foods, so “real” ingredients can be used in smaller quantities, thus making food cheaper. While it hasn’t been proven to be harmful, some people who consume it report that it makes them jittery, causes insomnia and nausea. If you try it and it makes you ill, then avoid it in the future.



Caffeine Photo Credit: (Erik)

Caffeine appears in most coffees, teas, and even chocolates. But did you know that it’s addictive, and can lead to short-term health problems, like sleeplessness, jittery nerves, and even interfere with the absorption of calcium? It’s also been linked to an increase in miscarriages. Consume caffeine in moderation if you can and avoid it altogether if you’re pregnant.



Sodium Photo Credit: kevindooley

We only need 500 mg of sodium each day to survive, but we Americans get far more than that. Too much sodium can lead to hypertension and heart disease. Sodium is used to preserve canned and packaged foods, so avoid them and you’ll ingest far less sodium. In short, stay away from Chef Boyardee and the likes!


Sodium Nitrate

Sodium Nitrate Photo Credit: ricko

Sodium nitrate is used to keep preserved meats looking pink and delicious. Unfortunately, it’s been linked to a higher risk of cancer. Check your ham, bacon,beefand sausage products to make sure they don’t contain nitrates, which aren’t really necessary, now that we have freezing and refrigeration.


Food Colorings: Blue 2, Red 3, and Green 3

Food Colorings: Blue 2, Red 3, and Green 3 Photo Credit: only alice

As far as I’m concerned, if lab tests have shown these food colorings to cause cancer in rats, then it’s not fit for human consumption. The FDA considers these to be safe, but even the chance that these particular colorings could cause cancer is enough reason for me to avoid them.


Aspartame and Saccharine

Aspartame and Saccharine Photo Credit: bookgrl

These two are very widely used artificial sweeteners (Equal, NutraSweet, and Sweet N Low), and both have been linked, in numerous studies, to an increased risk of cancer. The results aren’t inconclusive: these products have been linked directly to cancer. Avoid them if possible, and certainly don’t give them to children!


Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA)

Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) Photo Credit: Carlos Porto

BHA is a chemical antioxidant often used in chips and crisps, but lab studies have shown a link to it and cancer in rats. It’s controversial because the cancers occur in a part of the rat and mouse biology we humans don’t have. I avoid it anyway. Better to be safe than sorry right?



Olestra Photo Credit: Newly born

Olestra is a fat substitute, one that’s not absorbed into the body. It was invented by Proctor and Gamble, and is used in their Pringles and Lay’s “light” chips. While this sounds like a miracle, consider what happens to something that’s not absorbed during digestion. That’s right — it passes right through your system, causing diarrhea, cramps, and flatulence, sometimes severe. Ick! I’d suggest avoiding Olestra and choosing baked crisps, instead.

Now that you know what you have to avoid, pay attention to the ingredients label when you’re at the grocery store. What food ingredient do you avoid, and why? Please let me know, so I can look out for it too!

Top Photo Credit: Buxmama

Feedback Junction

Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

Really good post and blog, but it'll be hard to remember all those names! I guess the best way to avoid all these ingredients is to avoid products that have been manufactured, especially junk food. Eating natural and organic food lowers your risk of getting cancer altogether.

So sad that our technology is growing so rapidly, yes we also are producing more and more food additives which slowly kill us. But them again, smoking causes lung cancer, and so does second hand smoke, but I know a man who smoked all his life and lived to be 95, then another person who never smoked died of lung cancer at an early age, leaving behind his wife with 4 children. I think, living a healthy lifestyle is a plus, but destiny also plays a big role.

Meat is a good food to avoid! It saves the animals and you from lots of gross diseases that you can get from eating meat!

Thanks for this informative post Jen. Guess I have to pay more attention to the ingredients I buy!

im a mother of 3 and im 22 i worked realy hard on tring to keep my body in good shape and not use being pregnant nor using the fact i have 3 kids to be over weight or anything like that then i got on the nuva ring and that all went down the drain i gain 40 pounds in 4 months and i was so upsat i tried to pertect myself and do the right thing byu being on birth control and it bit me hard this hurts me in many was and i dont see me losing it i changed my birth control but nothing i need help to get me on the right path to losing this weight.

I'm sorry, but most of your information is very wrong. Try citing actual sources next time you publish an article; If you had done your research, you'd know that many things, such as aspertame causing cancer, to be quite false. The rats in those studies were given them human equivelent of up to 2000 cans of diet soda a day, for months. Protip: If the studies you used are dismissed and unsupported by the general scientific community, it's usually a sign that they don't have their facts straight.

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