Label Library

~ “Avoid food products containing ingredients that are A) Unfamiliar, B) Unpronounceable, C) More than five in number or that include D) High-Fructose Corn Syrup.  None of these characteristics, not even the last one, is necessarily harmful in and of itself, but all of them are reliable markers for foods that have been highly processed to the point where they may no longer be what they purport to be.  They have crossed over from foods to food products.” – Michael Pollan

Acesulfame-K: Acesulfame-K, also known as acesulfame potassium, represents one of the food additives used for sweetening drinks. Acesulfame K, also known as acesulfame potassium or ace K, is approximately 200 times sweeter than sugar. Acesulfame K has no calories because it’s not metabolized by the body. Acesulfame K is sold under the brand names of Sunett, Sweet One, and Sweet & Safe. It is approved by the FDA, but there are several potential problems correlated with consumption of this food additive. Even though there are many studies that attest its safety, acesulfame potassium is still suspected of causing benign thyroid tumors. In rats, the development of such tumors took only 3 months, a period in which the concentration of this additive in the consumed food was between 1 and 5 percent. This is a very short period of time, so the substance is believed to have significant carcinogenic properties. Methylene chloride, a solvent used in the manufacture of acesulfame potassium, is the substance that may give the food additive its potential carcinogenic characteristics.
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Ammonia Bicarbonate and Ammonia Carbonate: What it is: Alkali, Leavening Agent.
What we know: Ammonium carbonate and bicarbonate were used in the food industry as a raising agent (e.g., for gingerbread) before the introduction of baking soda. Ammonium bicarbonate is still used in many food products, in addition to baking soda.
Ammonium bicarbonate is an irritant to the skin, eyes and respiratory system. Additionally, the acrylamide that is formed during the baking process has been connected to cancer in lab animals.
Other Names: Bicarbonate of ammonia; Ammonium hydrogen carbonate; Hartshorn; Powdered baking ammonia; Bicarbonate salt of ammonia; Carbonic acid monoammonium salt; Acid ammonium carbonate
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Artificial Coloring: Artificial food coloring is any chemical or un-natural substance that is added to food or drink to change its color. Though past research showed no correlation between Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and food dyes, new studies now show synthetic preservatives and artificial coloring agents aggravate ADD & ADHD symptoms. Several major studies show academic performance increased and disciplinary problems decreased in large non-ADD student populations when artificial ingredients, including artificial colors, were eliminated from school food programs. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a nonprofit health advocacy organization, recommends avoiding all artificially colored foods.  Artificial flavorings are derived from chemicals made in a laboratory and offer absolutely no nutritional value and are a magnet for processed foods. They show up in almost everything today, including bread, cereals, flavored yogurt, soups mixes, and cocktail mixers, so they can be hard to avoid. Every single artificial flavor in the food industry has some kind of detrimental health effect. These include neurotoxicity, organ, developmental, reproductive toxicity and cancer. Food colorings still on the market are linked with cancer. Blue 1 and 2, found in beverages, candy, baked goods and pet food, have been linked to cancer in mice. Red 3, used to dye cherries, fruit cocktail, candy, and baked goods, has been shown to cause thyroid tumors in rats. Green 3, added to candy and beverages, has been linked to bladder cancer. The widely used yellow 6, added to beverages, sausage, gelatin, baked goods, and candy, has been linked to tumors of the adrenal gland and kidney.
Information Provided ByThe Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI);

Aspartame: What it is: Artificial sweetener: Diet foods, including soft drinks, drink mixes, gelatin desserts, low-calorie frozen desserts, packets. Aspartame is approximately 200 times sweeter than sugar. Aspartame is marketed under the NutraSweet, Equal and Sugar Twin brands.
What we know: Aspartame is an artificial, non-saccharide sweetener. This sweetener is marketed under a number of trademark names, including Equal, NutraSweet, and Canderel, and is an ingredient in approximately 6,000 consumer foods and beverages sold worldwide. Upon ingestion, aspartame breaks down into several residual components, including aspartic acid, phenylalanine, methanol, and further breakdown products including formaldehyde, formic acid, and a diketopiperazine. Aspartame is a multi-potential carcinogen, even consumed daily at 20 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. That is a lower quantity than the maximum recommended by the FDA. It’s one reason you should never purchase major brands of chewing gums
Information Provided ByThe Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI),

In response to growing awareness about the dangers of artificial sweeteners, what does the manufacturer of one of the world’s most notable artificial sweeteners do? Why, rename it and begin marketing it as natural, of course. This is precisely the strategy of Ajinomoto, maker of aspartame, which hopes to pull the wool over the eyes of the public with its rebranded version of aspartame, called “AminoSweet”. Changing aspartame’s name to something that is “appealing and memorable”, in Ajinomoto’s own words, may hoodwink some but hopefully most will reject this clever marketing tactic as nothing more than a desperate attempt to preserve the company’s multi-billion dollar cash cow. Do not be deceived. (Source)

Autolyzed Yeast: What is it: Flavoring enhancer: Used in baking, brewing, and various foods.
What we know: Upon dying, yeast cells automatically break-up in a process called autolysis. The remaining elements include a mixture of fats, minerals, proteins, and monosodium glutamate (MSG). Careful studies have shown that some people are sensitive to MSG. Reactions include headache, nausea, weakness, and burning sensation in the back of neck and forearms. Some people complain of wheezing, changes in heart rate, and difficulty breathing. Some people claim to be sensitive to very small amounts of MSG, but no good studies have been done to determine just how little MSG can cause a reaction in the most-sensitive people. People who believe they are sensitive to MSG should be aware that other ingredients, such as natural flavoring and hydrolyzed vegetable protein, also contain glutamate. Also, foods such as Parmesan cheese and tomatoes contain glutamate that occurs naturally, but no reactions have been reported to those foods.
Other Names: Autolyzed Yeast Extract; Less than 2% of Autolyzed Yeast Extract; Autolyzed Yeast; Salt Autolyzed Yeast Extract; Faex; Yeast Autolyzate
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Azodicarbonamide: This is a chemical whose primary use is in the production of foamed plastics and and the manufacture of gaskets. In the United States it is also used as a food additive and flour bleaching agent. In the UK, the H.S.E has identified azodicarbonamide as a respiratory sensitiser (a possible cause of asthma) and determined that products should be labeled with “May cause sensitisation by inhalation.” (Source)

It is banned as a food additive and in food packaging in the United Kingdom. It is also banned in most European countries as well as Australia. And its use in Singapore has some pretty severe penalties (up to 15 years in prison and $450,000 fine). The following fast food chains use azodicarbonamide in their bread: McDonalds, Burger King, Subway, and Kentucky Fried Chicken. To protect you and your family, here is a guide that details which bread products contain and do not contain azodicarbonamide.

BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole): This preservative is used to prevent rancidity in foods that contain oils. Unfortunately, BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) has been shown to cause cancer in rats, mice, and hamsters. The reason the FDA hasn’t banned it is largely technical—the cancers all occurred in the rodents’ forestomachs, an organ that humans don’t have. Nevertheless, the study, published in the Japanese Journal of Cancer Research, concluded that BHA was “reasonably anticipated to be a carcinogen.”

Bleached Wheat Flour: What it is: Processed wheat flour: Used in baked goods.
What we know: See “Enriched Wheat Flour”
Information Provided byAmerican Diabetes Association, CSPI

BHT (Butylated Hydrozyttoluene): What it is: Preservative: Used in cereals, chewing gum, potato chips, oils, etc.
What we know: BHT retards rancidity in fats, oils, and oil-containing foods. It is an oxidant, which forms potentially cancer-causing reactive compounds in your body. According to The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a nonprofit health advocacy organization, it either increased or decreased the risk of cancer in various animal studies. They indicate it is an unnecessary additive or is easily replaced by safer substitutes and advocate that we should all avoid it when possible.
Information Provided ByThe Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI)

Canola Oil: Canola or rapeseed oil is poisonous to living things and is an excellent insect repellent. It is an industrial oil, not a food. It is a genetically modified plant designed through intensive breeding and genetic engineering techniques. The Canadian government and industry paid the FDA $50 million dollars to have canola oil placed on the (GRAS) List, “Generally Recognized As Safe”. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find products that do not contain Canola oil. Over-consumption of oils like canola cause an abundance of Omega 6 fatty acids — this imbalance increases the risk of inflammation, heart disease, obesity, and prostate and bone cancer.
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Caramel Coloring:  The sugar in caramel coloring is treated with ammonia, which can produce some nasty carcinogens. A Center for Science in the Public Interest report asserted that the high levels of caramel color found in soda account for roughly 15,000 cancers in the U.S. annually.

Carageennan: Carrageenan is a common food additive that is extracted from a red seaweed, Chondrus crispus. Carrageenan, which has no nutritional value, is used as a thickener and emulsifier to improve the texture of ice cream, yogurt, cottage cheese, soy milk and other processed foods.  All forms of carrageenan are capable of causing inflammation… chronic inflammation is a root cause of many serious diseases including heart disease, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, and cancer.

Carrageenan is used in animal experiments to predictably cause inflammation, which allows pharmaceutical scientists to test the effectiveness of new anti-inflammatory drugs. In a report Cornucopia released, there is indication that scientists have raised concern about carrageenan’s safety for decades.  These concerns are based on their research linking the common food additive to gastrointestinal disease in laboratory animals, including colon tumors.

Read the labels of your organic milk boxes too, many of them have carrageenan.  Just because the product is organic does not mean it is good for you!  I also recently discovered that the Zico brand of chocolate coconut water contains carrageenan.  You are better off drinking non-flavored coconut water, the only ingredient is 100% natural coconut water. One great way to protect yourself and your family is by looking at Cornucopia’s Carrageenan Shopping Guide.

The Cornucopia Institute, one of the organic industry’s most important watchdogs, has put together a petition demanding that the FDA remove carrageenan from the food supply. Click HERE to sign the petition, and please share this with your friends. Read Cornucopia’s comprehensive report on carrageenan.

Castoreum: Castoreum is one of the many vague “natural ingredients” used to flavor food. Though it isn’t harmful, it is unsettling. Castoreum is a substance made from beavers’ castor sacs, or anal scent glands. These glands produce potent secretions that help the animals mark their territory in the wild. In the food industry, however, 1,000 pounds of the unsavory ingredient are used annually to imbue foods—usually vanilla or raspberry flavored—with a distinctive, musky flavor. You’ll find it in potentially any food containing “natural ingredients”

Corn: We are at the point where all corn products, including fresh corn should be avoided. The percentage of genetically modified corn is just far too high. More than 85% of the corn now consumed in the U.S. is genetically engineered. It grows its own pesticide within the corn kernels so that insects won’t eat it.  This has been linked to organ failure in lab animals. You will never know if you are actually consuming organic corn. Modified cornstarch, dextrose, maltodextrin, and corn oil should all be avoided. All are high in omega-6 fatty acids, which can promote inflammation, cancer, and heart disease. While your body needs both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids to perform at its full potential, most experts recommend an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 1:1–currently most Americans consume about 15-20 times more omega-6 acids than omega-3s.

Today’s corn plants are more like little pesticide factories with roots. Most of the nation’s corn supply is genetically engineered to either produce its own pesticide supply within the plant or withstand heavy sprayings of chemicals, which wind up inside of the food. That’s problematic not just for bees, but for people, too. Avoid corn because most is genetically modified, and on top of that, most of the seeds are treated with systemic pesticides that are killing our bees.  And the sublethal effects of these pesticides also slowly impair our health.
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How to avoid GM corn? Avoid processed and packaged foods, conventional meat and dairy, and obvious corn product. Around 12,000 products in the typical U.S. supermarket contain corn. The best way to protect yourself is to buy organic foods labeled as non-GMO. Ironically, organic corn on the cob might be safe while the white vinegar and cookies in the next isle are not. (Source)

The Solution: In one way or another, corn is present in the vast majority of processed foods. From ketchup to salad dressing, and even bread, it’s hard to escape corn ingredients. One to look out for? “I always try to avoid foods containing high-fructose corn syrup,” says Langworthy. “Not only is it unhealthy, but the pesticides used in the production of the corn is detrimental to honeybees and other pollinators.”

To avoid genetically engineered corn, which has never been tested for long-term impacts on human health, choose organic or Non-GMO Verified foods.

Disodium Inosinate: What it is: Synthetic Flavor enhancer: Used in baked goods, ice cream, confections, dairy products, meats, and seasonings.
What we know:  It is a food additive often found in instant noodles, potato chips, and a variety of other snacks. It is used as a flavor enhancer, in synergy with monosodium glutamate (also known as MSG; the sodium salt of glutamic acid) to provide the umami taste. As it is a fairly expensive additive, it is not used independently of glutamic acid; if disodium inosinate is present in a list of ingredients but MSG does not appear to be, it is possible that glutamic acid is provided as part of another ingredient or is naturally occurring in another ingredient like tomatoes, parmesan cheese or yeast extract.
Cautions: Careful studies have shown that some people are sensitive to MSG. Reactions include headache, nausea, weakness, and burning sensation in the back of neck and forearms. Some people complain of wheezing, changes in heart rate, and difficulty breathing.
Information Provided By: FDA, M. Ash, I. Ash, Handbook of food additives (Synapse Information Resources, Endicott, NY, ed. 2nd, 2002), pp. xiii, 1079

Disodium Guanylate: What it is: Synthetic Flavor enhancer: Used in baked goods, canned foods, poultry, sauces, seasonings, and soups.
What we know: Disodium guanylate is produced from dried fish or dried seaweed and is often added to instant noodles, potato chips and snacks, savoury rice, tinned vegetables, cured meats, packet soup. As a food additive it is usually used in synergy with glutamic acid (monosodium glutamate, MSG). If disodium guanylate is present in a list of ingredients but MSG does not appear to be, it is likely that glutamic acid is provided as part of another ingredient such as a processed soy protein complex.Cautions: Careful studies have shown that some people are sensitive to MSG. Reactions include headache, nausea, weakness, and burning sensation in the back of neck and forearms. Some people complain of wheezing, changes in heart rate, and difficulty breathing.
Information Provided By: FDA, J. Smith, L. Hong-Shum, Food additives data book (Blackwell Science, Oxford, 2003), pp. xvii, 1016, M. Ash, I. Ash, Handbook of food additives (Synapse Information Resources, Endicott, NY, ed. 2nd, 2002), pp. xiii, 1079

Enriched Wheat: Wheat is already one of those grains that should be avoided, but the key word to watch out for is ‘enrichment’. That means niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, folic acid, and iron are added after these and other key nutrients are stripped out in the first place during the refining process. That applies to whether it’s wheat, rye, or other grains. Enriched flour is really just refined flour that has had a few nutrients re-added to it, but not enough to make any food made from this nutritionally worthy.
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Enriched Wheat Flour: What it is: Processed wheat flour: Used in baked goods.
What we know: A wheat grain contains three parts, the bran, germ, and the endosperm. The bran is the outer hard shell of the grain. It’s the part of the grain that provides the most fiber and most of the B vitamins and minerals. The germ is the next layer and is packed with nutrients including essential fatty acids and vitamin E. The endosperm is the soft starchy part in the center of the grain.
White flour (including enriched wheat flour) is a refined grain, meaning the germ and bran are removed and all that remains is the starch. In the United States, we enrich or add some vitamins and one mineral back into refined grains. About 11 vitamins and minerals are removed with the elimination of the germ and bran, and only five are added back.
All white flours (unless otherwise stated) use bleaching agents such as chlorines, bromates, and peroxides. Use of chlorine, bromates, and peroxides is not allowed in many countries due to health concerns.
Chlorine bleaching agents have been linked to a chemical reaction in the body that has been shown to destroy beta cells in the pancreas, which in turn promotes diabetes.
Bromate rapidly breaks down to form innocuous bromide. Bromate has been shown to cause cancer in animals. The tiny amounts of bromate that may remain in bread pose a small risk to consumers, however, Bromate has been banned virtually worldwide except in Japan and the United States. It is rarely used in California because a cancer warning might be required on the label. In 1999, the Center for Science in the Public Interest petitioned the FDA to ban bromate.
Benzoyl Peroxide is a bleaching agent used in refined flours, cheese, milk, rice, starch. It’s also used as an acne medication, an antiseptic in many cough medications and an anti fungal in ointments. There is concern that ingredients treated with benzoyl peroxide leave trace amounts of benzene, a known carcinogenic when baked. Although the amounts of benzene that form are small, leading to only a very small risk of cancer, there is no need for consumers to experience any risk.
Azodicarbonamide is a flour bleaching agent and is described above.
A good rule of thumb, especially for grains is that the further away a food is from its natural state, the less nutritious.
Information Provided ByAmerican Diabetes Association

Enriched Bleached Flour: See Enriched Wheat Flour

Food Dyes: Many fruit-flavored candies and sugary cereals rely on artificial dyes and flavorings. Not only do these dyes allow manufacturers to mask the drab colors of heavily processed foods, but certain hues have been linked to more serious ailments. A Journal of Pediatrics study linked Yellow 5 to hyperactivity in children, Canadian researchers found Yellow 6 and Red 40 to be contaminated with known carcinogens, and Red 3 is known to cause tumors.

High Fructose Corn Syrup: What it is: Sweetener: Soft drinks, other processed foods.
What we know: High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is produced from cornstarch that has been enzymatically treated and then is subjected to several other processing steps to form a highly processed, unnatural liquid sweetener, the most common of which (HFCS-55) is chemically similar to regular table sugar. Since its introduction, HFCS has replaced sugar in numerous processed foods because it’s cheaper and easier to blend than sugar. The main difference between sucrose and HFCS comes from the difference in the chemical make-up between them. In HFCS, the fructose and glucose molecules are ‘unbound.’ By contrast, the fructose and glucose in sucrose (sugar) are joined together to form a single molecule called a disaccharide.
It is best to avoid this highly processed, unnatural sugar and reach for minimally-processed foods, rich in whole grains, fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. HFCS causes insulin resistancediabeteshypertension, increased weight gain, and not to mention manufactured from genetically modified corn.
Information Provided ByAmerican Chemical Society, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Mayo Clinic, WebMD, CSPI, Chi-Tang Ho, Ph.D. Rutgers University, Wikipedia,

Hydrogenated or Fractioned Oils: Fractionating oil is a process most often used on palm and palm kernel oil that involves heating the oil, then cooling it quickly so that it breaks up into fractions (hence the name). The key thing is that the filtration process separates out most of the liquid part of the oil, leaving a high concentration of solid unhealthy fat behind which is terribly toxic for human consumption. Hydrogenated oils are oils that are often healthy in their natural state, but are quickly turned into poisons through the manufacturing and processing they undergo. They take these naturally healthy oils such as palm, kernel, soybean, corn oil, canola oil or coconut oil and they heat it anywhere from five hundred to one thousand degrees. They then become fantastic preservatives because all the enzymatic activity in the oil has been neutralized during the hydrogenating process. Hydrogenated oils are the closest thing you can get to plastic sludge running through your body. If you see “hydrogenated” anywhere on an ingredient list, run like the wind.
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Hydrolyzed Corn Gluten: What it is: Fat, oil, shortening: Flavor enhancer: Instant soups, frankfurters, sauce mixes, beef stew.
What we know: Hydrolyzed protein or gluten (or HVP/HVG) is protein that has been hydrolyzed or broken down into its component amino acids. While there are many means of achieving this, two of the most common are prolonged boiling in a strong acid or strong base or using an enzyme such as the pancreatic protease enzyme to stimulate the naturally-occurring hydrolytic process. According to the FDA, hydrolyzed protein is used to enhance flavor and contains monosodium glutamate. When added this way, the labels are not required to list MSG as an ingredient. MSG as a food ingredient has been the subject of some health concerns. Other sources of glutamate, include hydrolyzed vegetable proteins, autolyzed yeast extract and hydrolyzed yeast extract.
The FDA permits the use of hydrolyzed proteins with restrictions on usage levels (CITE: 21CFR102.22).
Information Provided By: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Menadione Sodium Bisulfate Complex: What it is: Synthetic Vitamin K
What we know: Menadione is synthetic source of Vitamin K; however, it is widely believed to be inferior to natural sources of Vitamin K and has been ordered off the shelves as an over-the-counter drug by the FDA (FDA regulation 21CFR330.12). The only other records on the FDA website refer to using Menadione in animal feed and drinking water. Menadione sodium bisulfate is a water soluble derivative of menadione. This additive should be avoided.
Other Names: Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex
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Monosodium Glutamate (MSG): The food additive “MSG” is a slow poison which hides behind dozens of names, such as natural flavoring, yeast extract, autolyzed yeast extract, disodium guanylate, disodium inosinate, caseinate, textured protein, hydrolyzed pea protein and many others. Currently, labeling standards do not require MSG to be listed in the ingredient list of thousands of foods. MSG is not a nutrient, vitamin, or mineral and has no health benefits. The part of MSG that negatively affects the human body is the “glutamate”, not the sodium. The bound glutamic acid in certain foods (corn, molasses, wheat) is broken down or made “free” by various processes (hydrolyzed, autolyzed, modified or fermented with strong chemicals, bacteria, or enzymes) and refined to a white crystal that resembles sugar. There are a growing number of Clinicians and Scientists who are convinced that excitotoxins play a critical role in the development of several neurological disorders, including migraines, seizures, infections, abnormal neural development, certain endocrine disorders, specific types of obesity, and especially the neurodegenerative diseases; a group of diseases which includes: ALS, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and Huntington’s disease.

When reading labels note that the following ingredients always contain MSG: Hydrolyzed Protein, Sodium Cassienate, Yeast Extract, Maltodextrin, Autolyzed Yeast, Textured Protein, Calcium Cassienate, Hydrolyzed Oat Flour
These ingredients usually contain MSG: Malt Extract, Malt Flavoring, Bouillon, Barley Malt, Broth, Stock, Flavorings, Artificial Flavorings, Natural Flavorings, Natural Beef Flavoring, Natural Chicken Flavoring, Natural Pork Flavoring, Seasonings
These ingredients could have MSG: Whey Protein, Carrageenan, Smoke Flavor, Soy Protein Isolate, Soy Protein, Whey Protein, Vegetable Gum, Corn Syrup, Pectin.
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Olestra: What it is: Fat substitute: Chips, crackers.
What we know: Olestra (also known by its brand name Olean) is a fat substitute that adds no fat, calories, or cholesterol to products. It has been used in the preparation of traditionally high-fat foods such as potato chips, thereby lowering or eliminating their fat content. Olestra was accidentally discovered by Procter & Gamble (P&G) researchers in 1968. According to The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), Olestra can cause diarrhea and loose stools, abdominal cramps, flatulence, and other adverse effects. Those symptoms are sometimes severe. Even more importantly, olestra reduces the body’s ability to absorb fat-soluble carotenoids (such as alpha and beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, and canthaxanthin) from fruits and vegetables. Those nutrients are thought by many experts to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. Olestra enables manufacturers to offer greasy-feeling low-fat snacks, but consumers would be much better off with baked snacks, which are perfectly safe and just as low in calories. Products made with olestra should not be called fat free, because they contain substantial amounts of indigestible fat.
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Parabens: These synthetic preservatives are used to inhibit mold and yeast in food. The problem is parabens may also disrupt your body’s hormonal balance. A study in Food Chemical Toxicology found that daily ingestion decreased sperm and testosterone production in rats, and parabens have been found present in breast cancer tissues.

Partially Hydrogenated Oil: Don’t confuse “0 g trans fat” with being trans fat-free. The FDA allows products to claim zero grams of trans fat as long as they have less than half a gram per serving. That means they can have 0.49 grams per serving and still be labeled a no-trans-fat food. Considering that two grams is the absolute most you ought to consume in a day, those fractions can quickly add up.  Look for partially hydrogenated oil on the ingredient statement. If it’s anywhere on there, then you’re ingesting artery-clogging trans fat.

Polysorbate 80: Polysorbate 80 has been found to negatively affect the immune system and cause severe anaphylactic shock which can kill. Food and Chemical Toxicology has shown that Polysorbate 80 causes infertility. It accelerates maturing, causes changes to the vagina and womb lining, hormonal changes, ovary deformities and degenerative follicles. What is very suspicious about this ingredient is its addition to vaccines. Scientists are obviously aware of its ability to cause infertility yet it continues to appear in children’s vaccines. You will also commonly find this in a child’s favorite treat, ice cream.
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Potassium Benzoate: Potassium benzoate often shows up in seemingly innocuous foods such as apple cider, low-fat salad dressings, syrups, jams, olives, and pickles. It is just as hazardous as Sodium Benzoate so read your labels.
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Potassium Sorbate:  As one of the most prolific preservatives in the food industry, it is difficult to find an ice cream without potassium sorbate. However, it is not only recommended to avoid this chemical, it’s a necessity to eliminate it from our foods. The food industry and its scientists will parrot endless myths that potassium sorbate is not a health threat because of its safety record and non-toxic profile. This could not be further from the truth. Food and chemical toxicology reports have labeled potassium sorbate as a carcinogen, showing positive mutation results in the cells of mammals. Other studies have shown broad systemic and toxic effects on non-reproductive organs in animals. No long term studies have ever been initiated on either animals or humans, so there is simply not enough evidence to theorize what could happen after years of ingesting this preservative. However, based on short-term carcinogenic and toxic effects, is it worth the risk to find out?
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Propyl Gallate: A preservative, often used in conjunction with BHA and BHT. It is sometimes found in meat products, chicken soup base, and chewing gum. Animals studies have suggested that it could be linked to cancer.
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Saccharin: What it is: Artificial sweetener: Diet products, soft drinks (especially fountain drinks at restaurants), packets.
What we know: Saccharin (Sweet N Low) is 350 times sweeter than sugar and is used in dietetic foods or as a tabletop sugar substitute. According to The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), many studies on animals have shown that saccharin can cause cancer of the urinary bladder. In other rodent studies, saccharin has caused cancer of the uterus, ovaries, skin, blood vessels, and other organs. Other studies have shown that saccharin increases the potency of other cancer-causing chemicals. And the best epidemiology study (done by the National Cancer Institute) found that the use of artificial sweeteners (saccharin and cyclamate) was associated with a higher incidence of bladder cancer.

In 1977, the FDA proposed that saccharin be banned, because of studies that it causes cancer in animals. However, Congress intervened and permitted it to be used, provided that foods bear a warning notice. It has been replaced in many products by aspartame (NutraSweet). In 1997, the diet-food industry began pressuring the U.S. and Canadian governments and the World Health Organization to take saccharin off their lists of cancer-causing chemicals. The industry acknowledges that saccharin causes bladder cancer in male rats, but argues that those tumors are caused by a mechanism that would not occur in humans. Many public health experts respond by stating that, even if that still-unproved mechanism were correct in male rats, saccharin could cause cancer by additional mechanisms and that, in some studies, saccharin has caused bladder cancer in mice and in female rats and other cancers in both rats and mice.  In May 2000, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services removed saccharin from its list of cancer-causing chemicals. Later that year, Congress passed a law removing the warning notice that likely will result in increased use in soft drinks and other foods and in a slightly greater incidence of cancer.
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Sodium Benzoate: What it is: Preservative: Fruit juice, carbonated drinks, pickles, preserves.
What we know: Sodium benzoate is a preservative. It is bacteriostatic and fungistatic under acidic conditions. It is used most prevalently in acidic foods such as salad dressings (vinegar), carbonated drinks (carbonic acid), jams and fruit juices (citric acid), pickles (vinegar), and condiments. According to The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a nonprofit health advocacy organization, manufacturers have used sodium benzoate (and its close relative benzoic acid) for a century to prevent the growth of microorganisms in acidic foods. They appear to be safe for most people, though they cause hives, asthma, or other allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. In children, sodium benzoate may adversely affect behavior (especially in children with Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder).
Another problem occurs when sodium benzoate is used in beverages that also contain ascorbic acid (vitamin C). The two substances, in an acidic solution, can react together to form small amounts of benzene, a chemical that causes leukemia and other cancers. Sodium Benzoate can convert into lethal carcinogenic poison when combined with absorbic acid. Professor Peter Piper, a professor of molecular biology and biotechnology, tested the impact of sodium benzoate on living yeast cells in his laboratory. What he found alarmed him: the benzoate was damaging an important area of DNA in the “power station” of cells known as the mitochondria. “These chemicals have the ability to cause severe damage to DNA in the mitochondria to the point that they totally inactivate it: they knock it out altogether.”
Other Names: Benzoate of Soda; Benzoate sodium; Benzoic acid sodium salt; Sodium benzoic acid; Sodium Benzoate Flakes
Information Provided By: The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI),

Sodium Chloride: A dash of sodium chloride, more commonly known as salt, is the culprit that the mainstream media and medical community claim we should stay away from. They’re right, but only because it’s not real salt. Common table salt (sodium chloride) has almost nothing in common with traditional rock or sea salt. If a food label lists salt, or sodium chloride as an ingredient, that’s the bad stuff and you need to avoid these foods wherever possible.
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Sodium Nitrite: Nitrites and nitrates are used to inhibit botulism-causing bacteria and to maintain processed meats’ pink hues, which is why the FDA allows their use. Unfortunately, once ingested, nitrite can fuse with amino acids (of which meat is a prime source) to form nitrosamines, powerful carcinogenic compounds.

Soy: Although it’s often lauded as a healthy, cholesterol-free, cheap, low-fat protein alternative to meat, soy is NOT a health food. Any foods that list soy in any form as an ingredient should be avoided. Soy protein, soy isolate, and soy oil are present in about 60 percent of the foods on the market and have been shown to impair fertility and affect estrogen in women, lower sex drive, and trigger puberty early in children. Soy can also add to the imbalance between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. The only soy products fit for human consumption are fermented and organic and you will never find this type of soy in any processed foods. The majority of soy is GMO and you can’t get around this.
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Soy Lecithin:  Soy Lecithin has been lingering around our food supply for over a century. It is an ingredient in literally hundreds of processed foods, and also sold as an over the counter health food supplement. However, most people don’t realize what soy lecithin actually is, and why the dangers of ingesting this additive far exceed its benefits. Soybean lecithin comes from sludge left after crude soy oil goes through a “degumming” process. It is a waste product containing solvents and pesticides. The toxic hexane extraction process is what is commonly used in soybean oil manufacture today. Another big problem associated with soy lecithin comes from the origin of the soy itself. Look out for this emulsifier in ice creams, chocolate and many processed creams.
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Sucralose: Splenda/sucralose is simply chlorinated sugar; a chlorocarbon. Common chlorocarbons include carbon tetrachloride, trichlorethelene and methylene chloride, all deadly. Chlorine is nature’s Doberman attack dog, a highly excitable, ferocious atomic element employed as a biocide in bleach, disinfectants, insecticide, WWI poison gas and hydrochloric acid. Chlorocarbons are never nutritionally compatible with our metabolic processes and are wholly incompatible with normal human metabolic functioning. Sucralose is a very common additive in protein mixes and drinks so beware all of you who love to add these into your smoothies.
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Sugar: The single largest source of calories for Americans comes from sugar. Sugar is loaded into your soft drinks, fruit juices, sports drinks, and hidden in almost all processed foods–from bologna to pretzels to Worcestershire sauce to cheese spread. And now most infant formula has the sugar equivalent of one can of Coca-Cola, so babies are being metabolically poisoned from day one if taking formula. Sugar changes metabolism, raises blood pressure, critically alters the signaling of hormones and causes significant damage to the liver — the least understood of sugar’s damages. If it’s not a natural sugar, it doesn’t belong in your food.
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Sulfur Dioxide: What it is: Preservative; bleach: Used in dried fruit, wine, processed potatoes.
What we know: Sulfiting agents prevent discoloration (dried fruit, some fresh shrimp, and some dried, fried, or frozen potatoes) and bacterial growth (wine). They also destroy vitamin B-1 and, most important, can cause severe reactions, especially in asthmatics. To non-sensitive individuals, sulfites are safe. If you think you may be sensitive, avoid all forms of this additive, because it caused at least twelve identifiable deaths in the 1980s and probably many, many more in the preceding decades. Deaths and less severe reactions were linked most commonly to restaurants foods. Sulfite levels in the lettuce and potatoes served at restaurants were often extremely high, because workers would allow the vegetable to sit in a sulfite solution for far too long a time. As a result of pressure from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a congressional hearing, and media attention, the FDA banned the most dangerous uses of sulfites and required that wine labels list sulfite, when used. Since those actions, CSPI has not been aware of any additional deaths. Sulfur dioxide is generally recognized as safe by the FDA with usage limitations defined by current good manufacturing practices (FDA regulation 21CFR182.3862). Good manufacturing practice dictate that sulfur dioxide is not used in meats, in food recognized as a source of vitamin B 1, or on fruits or vegetables intended to be served raw to consumers or sold raw to consumers.
Information Provided ByThe Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), FDA, M. Ash, I. Ash, Handbook of food additives (Synapse Information Resources, Endicott, NY, ed. 2nd, 2002), pp. xiii, 1079

TBQH: What it is: Stabilizer; Preservative: Used in baked goods, confections, margarines and oils, processed meats, pre-cooked pastas and rices.
What we know: TBHQ is a highly effective preservative for unsaturated vegetable oils and many edible animal fats. As a food additive, It’s added to a wide range of foods, with highest limit (1000 mg/kg) permitted for frozen fish and fish products. Its primary advantage is enhancing storage life.
In high doses, it has had some negative health effects on lab animals, such as precursors to stomach tumors and damage to DNA. A number of studies have shown that prolonged exposure to TBHQ may induce carcinogenity. Other studies, however, have shown protective effects for TBHQ and other phenolic antioxidants. The Hyperactive Children Support Group (HACSG) of Canada recommends to avoid it.  TBHQ is listed as a food preservative, and is permitted for direct addition to food intended for human consumption (FDA regulation 21CFR172.185).
Information Provided By: FDA, M. Ash, I. Ash, Handbook of food additives (Synapse Information Resources, Endicott, NY, ed. 2nd, 2002), pp. xiii, 1079

Vegetable Shortening: What it is: Fat, oil, shortening: Margarine, crackers, fried restaurant foods, baked goods.
What we know: Trans fat (or hydrogenated oil) is made when manufacturers add hydrogen to vegetable oil–a process called hydrogenation. Hydrogenation increases the shelf life and flavor stability of foods containing these fats. Trans fat can be found in vegetable shortenings, some margarines, crackers, cookies, snack foods, and other foods made with or fried in partially hydrogenated oils. Unlike other fats, the majority of trans fat is formed when food manufacturers turn liquid oils into solid fats like shortening and hard margarine. A small amount of trans fat is found naturally, primarily in some animal-based foods.
According to the American Heart Association, trans fats raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and lower your good (HDL) cholesterol levels. Eating trans fats increases your risk of developing heart disease and stroke. It is also associated with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. A committee of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concluded in 2004 that on a gram-for-gram basis, trans fat is even more harmful than saturated fat.
Fully hydrogenated vegetable oil does not have any trans fat, but it also does not have any polyunsaturated oils. It is sometimes mixed (physically or chemically) with polyunsaturated liquid soybean oil to create trans fat free shortening. When it is chemically combined with liquid oil, the ingredient is called interesterified vegetable oil. All these oils have been shown to promote inflammation in the body, an overactivity of the immune system that has been implicated in heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other chronic conditions.
Information Provided By: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Wheat Flour: What it is: Processed wheat flour: Used in baked goods.
What we know: See “Enriched Wheat Flour”
Information Provided By: American Diabetes Association, CSPI


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