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All 122 Toxic Ingredients Found on Nutrition Labels + Free PDF Download!

Stay Away From Unnatural Additives

Food additives are often used to maintain, enhance or modify flavors, texture and color of food. While some additives may be safe for consumption, there are still a number of unnatural ingredients that can have harmful effects on our health.

It is important to understand the potential risks of consuming certain food additives and stay away from them. Many artificial sweeteners, colors and preservatives should be avoided. These additives can cause digestive problems, headaches, nervous system damage and even cancer.

To ensure that you are consuming only safe additives, read food labels carefully and look for words such as salt or sugar alcohol instead of their chemical names. Avoid products with unrecognizable ingredients like monosodium glutamate (MSG), sodium nitrate and hydrogenated oil.

Check the ingredient list for any product that you are buying, even if it appears to be a naturally healthy food item. Manufacturers may add unnatural preservatives or flavorings to boost flavor or increase shelf life.

Finally, opt for natural ingredients whenever possible. Natural ingredients such as herbs and spices are great flavor enhancers and healthier alternatives to chemically-engineered additives.

 

High Fructose Corn Syrup

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a sweetener made from cornstarch that is used in many processed foods and beverages. It is a highly refined product and has been linked to numerous health problems, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and liver damage. HFCS also contains no nutritional value and can cause an imbalance in blood sugar levels.

What to look for on the label:

  • High fructose corn syrup: linked to obesity, insulin resistance, inflammation, and other chronic diseases.
  • Corn syrup solids: can lead to blood sugar levels rising quickly.
  • Glucose: can cause an increase in hunger hormones and cravings for more sugary foods due to the brain perceiving sweetness differently from glucose alone.
  • Fructose: linked to increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and fatty liver.
  • Dextrose/dextrins: can cause a sharp rise in blood sugar levels.
  • Crystalline fructose: has been linked to higher risks of type 2 diabetes, glycation, inflammation, and obesity.

It is important to keep a watchful eye out for HFCS on labels, as it can hide under many different names.

, All 122 Toxic Ingredients Found on Nutrition Labels + Free PDF Download!

Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners are synthetic chemicals that are added to food and drinks to give them a sweet taste without the calories of regular sugar. While artificial sweeteners may be lower in calories than regular sugar, they have been linked to numerous health problems, including headaches, weight gain, cancer, and neurological disorders.

What to look for on the label:

  • Aspartame: linked to neurological disorders, headaches, and mood disturbances. Can cause dizziness, headaches, blurred vision and stomach problems. Neurotoxin.
  • Sucralose: can cause an imbalance in gut flora, which has been linked to a wide range of health problems including weight gain and digestive issues.
  • Neotame: linked to adverse gastrointestinal effects, such as nausea, vomiting, and cramps.
  • Saccharin: Carcinogen found to cause bladder cancer in rats. (Worst Offender)
  • Acesulfame potassium (Ace K): Used with other artificial sweeteners in diet sodas and ice cream. Linked to lung and breast tumors in rats. Liver damage, kidney damage, and cancer.
  • Sucralose: Splenda. Can cause swelling of liver and kidneys and a shrinkage of the thymus gland.
  • Bleached starch: Can be used in many dairy products. Thought to be related to asthma and skin irritations.
  • Tert butylhydroquinone (TBHQ): Used to preserve fish products. Could cause stomach tumors at high doses, detrimental effects on immune system

It is important to be aware of these artificial sweeteners on food labels and steer clear if possible.

 

Added Sugars

Added sugars are added to foods and drinks to make them taste sweeter. Too much sugar can lead to weight gain, heart disease, diabetes and other health issues.

What to look for on the label:

  • Maltodextrin: It is a highly processed starch derivative that can cause spikes in blood sugar levels, particularly in individuals with diabetes.
  • Dextrose: While generally recognized as safe, excessive consumption of dextrose, particularly in processed foods, can contribute to elevated blood sugar levels.

When reading food labels, look for added sugars and try to choose products that are lower in sugar.

 

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a flavor enhancer that is commonly found in Chinese food and other processed foods. MSG has been linked to numerous adverse health effects, including headaches, nausea, dizziness, chest pains, and even depression.

What to look for on the label:

  • Monosodium glutamate: linked to a range of adverse health effects.
  • Monopotassium glutamate: can lead to brain toxicity by causing excessive glutamate levels in the brain to overstimulate nerve cells, resulting in cell death
  • Yeast extract: often contains MSG and can cause similar symptoms as MSG.
  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP): also often contains MSG and can cause the same health problems as MSG.
  • Autolyzed yeast: another form of MSG that can cause similar symptoms.
  • Glutamate: a form of MSG that can be naturally occurring or added to food as an ingredient, and can cause the same health problems as MSG.
  • Glutamic acid: known to exert toxic effects on the nervous system
  • Granulated yeast extract: msg, neurotoxin
  • Disodium guanylate: Also used in snack foods, and contains MSG.
  • Disodium inosinate: Found in snack foods, this ingredient is known to contain MSG (monosodium glutamate)
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It is important to be cautious of these ingredients when reading labels and avoid them if possible. These are just a few of the many food additives that should be avoided in order to keep your diet healthy and nutritious. By reading labels carefully and avoiding these additives, you can ensure that you are eating the best foods possible.

 

Trans Fats

Trans fats are made through an industrial process that adds hydrogen to vegetable oils to make them more solid and have a longer shelf life. They are found in many processed foods such as fried foods, snack cakes, cookies, crackers, and many more. Consuming trans fats can lead to numerous health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, obesity, diabetes, and more.

What to look for on the label:

  • Partially hydrogenated oils: these are the primary source of trans fats and should be avoided.
  • Hydrogenated oils: can contain small amounts of trans fats, so it is best to avoid if possible.
  • Shortening: can be high in trans fats, so check labels carefully before consuming.
  • Olestra: Fat-like substance that is unabsorbed by the body. Used in place of natural fats in some snack foods. Can cause digestive problems, and also not healthy for the heart.
  • Monoglycerides and Diglycerides: These may contain trans fats, which are known to raise bad cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease.

It is important to watch out for these ingredients on labels and avoid them if possible. There are healthier alternatives out there, such as olive oil or canola oil, that offer many of the same benefits without the health risks associated with trans fats.

 

Sodium Nitrite

Sodium nitrite is a preservative used in processed foods to preserve color and flavor. It has been linked to an increased risk of cancer, stomach irritation, headaches, and other adverse health effects.

What to look for on the label:

  • Sodium nitrite: linked to increased risk of cancer and other health problems.
  • Sodium nitrate: similar to sodium nitrite and can cause the same health issues.
  • Nitrates/nitrites: both forms of sodium nitrate and should be avoided if possible.
  • Potassium nitrite: increased risk of cancer, commonly found in canned foods
  • Potassium nitrate: Causes irritation to the gastrointestinal tract, nausea, diarrhea, irritates skin and respiratory tract

It is important to be aware of these ingredients on labels and avoid them whenever possible.

It is important to avoid these ingredients when possible as they can be hazardous to your health. There are healthy alternatives out there that offer the same benefits without the risks associated with sodium nitrite.

 

Flavorings

Natural flavors are added to food and drinks in order to give them a desired flavor or scent. Many times, these natural flavors can be made from artificial ingredients, so it is important to read labels and watch out for any potentially hazardous chemicals that may be hidden inside.

What to look for on the label:

  • Natural flavors: include artificial ingredients, not listed in detail on the label.
  • Artificial flavors: should be avoided as they are usually made from chemicals that are not good for your health
  • Flavoring agents: this contains unlisted artificial ingredients
  • Vanillin: Synthetic vanillin may not provide the same health benefits as natural vanilla and may lack the complex flavor profile of the natural compound.

It is important to be aware of these ingredients and choose products that contain only natural ingredients, as artificial flavorings can have many adverse health effects.

 

Artificial Food Colorings

Food colorings are used to give foods a more attractive appearance, but some experts believe they cause serious health problems, including asthma and hyperactivity in children.

  • Red #40: Found in many foods to alter color. All modern food dyes are derived from petroleum. A carcinogen that is linked to cancer in some studies. Also can cause hyperactivity in children. Banned in some European countries. (Worst Offender)
  • Blue #1: Used in bakery products, candy and soft drinks. Can damage chromosomes and lead to cancer.
  • Blue #2: Used in candy and pet food beverages. Can cause brain tumors
  • Citrus red #1: Sprayed on oranges to make them look ripe. Can damage chromosomes and lead to cancer.
  • Citrus red #2: Used to color oranges. Can cause cancer if you eat the peel.
  • Green #3: Used in candy and beverages. May cause bladder tumors.
  • Yellow #5:  Used in desserts, candy and baked goods.Thought to cause kidney tumors, according to some studies.
  • Yellow #6: A carcinogen used in sausage, beverages and baked goods. Thought to cause kidney tumors, according to some studies.
  • Red #2: A food coloring that may cause both asthma and cancer.
  • Red #3: A carcinogen. that is added to cherry pie filling, ice cream and baked goods. May cause nerve damage and thyroid cancer.
  • Caramel coloring: In soft drinks, sauces, pastries and breads. When made with ammonia, it can cause cancer in mice. Food companies not required to disclose if this ingredient is made with ammonia.
  • Brown HT: Used in many packaged foods. Can cause hyperactivity in children, asthma and cancer.
  • Orange B: A food dye that is used in hot dog and sausage casings.  High doses are bad for the liver and bile duct.
  • Bixin: Food coloring that can cause hyperactivity in children and asthma.
  • Norbixin: used to color butter, margarine 
  • Annatto: known to trigger symptoms of IBS
  • Titanium Dioxide: Used as a whitening agent, it has raised concerns about potential effects on intestinal health and immune function. Commonly known as paint thinner 
  • Chlorine dioxide: Used in bleaching flour. Can cause tumors and hyperactivity in children.
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Preservatives

Preservatives are added to foods in order to keep them fresh for a longer period of time. Many preservatives are linked to health problems, such as allergies, asthma, and even cancer.

What to look for on the label:

  • Sulfites
  • Propyl gallate: can mimic estrogen potentially resulting in male organisms developing female traits, increasing risk of developing cancer in estrogen-sensitive tissues such as ovary, breast, prostate, etc. 
  • Benzoates
  • Sorbic Acid: found in wines, cheese, bread, muffins, donuts, pies, cookies, protein bars, and makeup; damages respiratory system and known skin and eye irritation 
  • Sodium Benzoate: converts easily to benzene, a known carcinogen, linked to ADHD
  • Glyphosate: a pesticide known as RoundUp, has been banned for use as a pesticide due to its known cancer causing properties
  • Potassium Benzoate (E212): the potassium salt of benzoic acid, is a food preservative that inhibits the growth of mold, yeast and some bacteria. It works best in low-pH products, below 4.5, where it exists as benzoic acid.
  • Calcium Propionate: It is used as a preservative in some foods and has raised concerns about potential associations with behavioral changes and allergic reactions.
  • EDTA
  • Dimethylpolysiloxane: It is an anti-foaming agent used in processed foods and is considered safe, but its long-term effects on human health are not fully understood.
  • Propylparaben: It is a preservative that may disrupt hormone function and has been associated with reproductive and developmental issues in animal studies.
  • Methylparaben
  • Citrus acid: linked to fatigue, confusion, light headedness, skin irritation 
  • Phosphoric acid: decreased bone density, kidney problems, vitamin deficiency
  • Carbonic acid: found in sodas, carbonated beverages and linked to tooth decay, obesity, and other health issues
  • Tocopherols: labeled as “vitamin E” but is synthetic; has been linked to several kinds of cancers, including skin cancer, different digestive cancers, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and liver damage
     

It is important to be aware of these ingredients and choose products that contain only natural preservatives, as artificial preservatives can have many adverse health effects. By reading labels carefully and avoiding these additives, you can ensure that you are eating the best foods possible. Additionally, many foods such as

It is important to be aware of these ingredients and choose products that contain only natural preservatives, as artificial preservatives can have many adverse health effects.

 

Hydrogenated Oils

Hydrogenated oils are vegetable oils that have been chemically altered to make them more shelf-stable. They are often used as an ingredient in processed foods such as chips and cookies as they help to extend their shelf life. However, hydrogenated oils have been linked to numerous health problems, including heart disease and diabetes due to their high levels of trans fats.

What to look for on the label:

  • Brominated vegetable oil: Keeps flavor oils in soft drinks suspended. Bromate is a poison and can cause organ damage and birth defects. Not required to be listed on food labels. Associated with neurological harm
  • Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil:  contains high levels of omega-6 fatty acids and may contribute to an imbalance between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, which is associated with inflammation and various health issues.
  • Hydrogenated Corn Oil
  • Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil
  • Hydrogenated Palm Oil 
  • Hydrogenated Rapeseed Oil: commonly known as canola oil
  • Hydrogenated Sunflower Oil: linked to formation of free radicals, making skin more susceptible to sun damage and skin cancer 
  • Hydrogenated Safflower Oil.
  • Hydrogenated Coconut Oil
  • Interesterified Fat: promotes inflammation, enlargement of the fat cells, and fatty liver disease
  • Margarine: associated with an increased risk of lung, colon, rectum, breast, endometrium and prostate cancers .
  • Shortening: increased risk for heart disease, heart attacks and stroke
  • Vanaspati: Heart diseases by increased consumption of trans fatty acids is directly related to the risk of cardiovascular diseases, obesity, colon cancer

 

BHA/BHT

Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) are preservatives that are commonly used in processed foods such as cereals and snack foods to prevent oxidation or rancidity. These chemicals have been linked to cancer in animal studies and therefore should be avoided whenever possible.

What to look for on the label:

  • BHA: a known carcinogen, ability to contribute to development of cancer
  • Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT): a known endocrine disruptor, linked to deterioration of thyroid health, preservative commonly found in cereals and other foods 
  • Butylated hydroxyanisole: Developmental and reproductive toxicity, increased risk of cancer
  • Butylhydroxytoluene: disrupts gastrointestinal tract, linked to weight gain and metabolic disorders
  • 2,6-Di-terbutyl-p-cresol: May cause damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure, suspected of damaging fertility or the unborn child
  • Butylhydroxytoluene: As an endocrine disruptor, it can impact testosterone levels as well as affect sperm quality

It is important to read labels and avoid these ingredients when possible, as consuming them could be hazardous to your health. Look for healthier alternatives, such as natural antioxidants or preservatives.

Partially Hydrogenated Oils

Partially hydrogenated oils are vegetable oils that have had some of their fatty acids changed through a process known as hydrogenation; this makes them more solid at room temperature which extends their shelf life but also increases their trans fat content significantly which can increase the risk of heart disease if consumed regularly over time.

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What to look for on the label:

  • Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
  • Partially Hydrogenated Canola Oil
  • Partially Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil
  • Partially Hydrogenated Corn Oil
  • Partially Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil
  • Partially Hydrogenated Palm Oil
  • Partialy Hydrogentaed Sunflower Oil
  • Partially Hydrogenated Safflower Oil: can affect heart health because they increase “bad” (low-density lipoprotein, or LDL) cholesterol and lower “good” (high-density lipoprotein, or HDL) cholesterol
  • Partially Hydrogenated Coconut Oil

It is important to read labels and avoid these ingredients when possible, as consuming them can significantly increase the risk of heart disease.

 

Sulfites

Sulfites are preservatives that are commonly found in dried fruits or wines; while sulfites do not pose any immediate health risks they can trigger allergic reactions or asthma attacks in certain individuals so it’s best to avoid them whenever possible.

What to look for on the label:

  • Sulfur dioxide: Sulfur dioxide irritates the respiratory tract and increases the risk of tract infections
  • Sodium sulfite: associated with asthmatic reactions, like difficulty breathing, hives, dermatitis, anaphylaxis
  • Potassium bisulfite: found in bottled soft drinks, fruit juice, beer, wine
  • Potassium metabisulfite: The substance is corrosive to the eyes. The substance is irritating to the skin, respiratory tract and gastrointestinal tract.
  • Sodium bisulfite: May cause burns to the digestive tract. Material is extremely destructive to tissue of the mucous membranes and upper respiratory tract.
  • Sodium metabisulfite: found in jams, potato chips, pickled foods, baked products

It is important to read labels and avoid these ingredients when possible, as consuming them could be hazardous to your health. Look for healthier alternatives that do not contain sulfites.

 

Carcinnogens

Carcinogens are substances that can cause cells to become cancerous and are found in many processed foods such as cured meats, smoked fish, pickled vegetables, and canned goods. It is important to avoid consuming these food items whenever possible as they have been linked to various types of cancer.

What to look for on the label:

  • Azodicarbonamide: Used in bagels and buns. Can cause asthma.
  • Potassium bromate: Added to breads to increase volume. Linked to cancer in humans.
  • Carrageenan: Stabilizer and thickening agent used in many prepared foods. Can cause ulcers and cancer.
  • Polysorbate 60: A thickener that is used in baked goods. Can cause cancer in laboratory animals.
  • Camauba wax: Used in chewing gums and to glaze certain foods. Can cause cancer and tumors.
  • Magnesium sulphate: Used in tofu, and can cause cancer in laboratory animals.
  • Paraben: Used to stop mold and yeast forming in foods. Can disrupt hormones in the body, and could be linked to breast cancer.
  • Sodium carboxymethyl cellulose: Used as a thickener in salad dressings. Could cause cancer in high quantities.
  • Aluminum: A preservative in some packaged foods that can cause cancer.
  • Enriched flour: Used in many snack foods. A refined starch that is made from toxic ingredients.
  • Cellulose: Used as an anti-caking agent, it is generally considered safe, but high intake may lead to gastrointestinal discomfort.
  • Butane: Put in chicken nuggets to keep them tasting fresh. A known carcinogen.
  • DATEM (Diacetyl Tartaric Acid Esters of Monoglycerides): It is an emulsifier that has raised concerns about potential negative effects on the immune system and gastrointestinal health.
  • Soy Protein Isolate: It may contain anti-nutrients and potential allergens, and some studies suggest it may negatively impact thyroid function.
  • Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH): Engineered version of the natural growth hormone in cows, used to increase milk production. It is associated with elevated levels of IGF-1, which has been implicated in various types of cancer.
  • Propylene glycol: Better known as antifreeze. Thickens dairy products and salad dressing. Deemed ‘generally’ safe by FDA.
  • Propylparaben: It is a preservative that may disrupt hormone function and has been associated with reproductive and developmental issues in animal studies.

 

It’s important to remember that while many of these additives can be dangerous, there are healthy alternatives out there. Be sure to read labels and do your research so that you can make informed decisions about what goes into your body. Eating a clean and balanced diet free from additives is essential in maintaining optimal health.

At the end of the day, it is important to be mindful of what you are eating and make sure that your diet contains mostly fresh, whole foods. Doing so will help ensure that you are getting all the essential nutrients and vitamins needed for optimum health. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be hard – just read labels, choose organic where possible, and make mindful decisions about what goes into your body. Your health will thank you!

So, next time you’re at the grocery store, remember to check labels and make sure that you are avoiding these additives. Read up on foods before buying them and do your research so that you can make informed decisions about what goes into your body. Making small changes such as these will help ensure that you are eating the best foods possible for your body and your overall health!

 

 

 

 

 

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