In an effort to make things more convenient and cheaper for the consumer, and more profitable for the food companies, there has been a flood of processed foods on the market in the past few decades. As a result of this food evolution, obtaining adequate levels of nutrition has become extremely difficult with these inferior, stripped down, and synthetic “frankenfoods” littering the shelves. It seems we have lost our ability to prepare and satisfy our food cravings with whole foods anymore, and instead, require quick and easy answers to titillate our taste buds.
Unfortunately, the “easy” way out comes with consequences, and these 10 ingredients are the most common ways people slowly but surely destroy their health. Avoid them at all costs.
1. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
Found in nearly all processed food ingredients, it is mostly consumed through fruit juices, sodas, and sweet snacks. Its been referred to as poison that causes obesity and liver damage. It is completely unnatural, goes through a terrible process that leaves it riddled with heavy metals, and spikes sugar levels out of control.
2. MSG (Monosodium Glutamate)
Commonly disguised and used as a “flavor enhancer” in a wide variety of foods, it is commonly referred to or hidden in autolyzed yeast, yeast extract, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, hydrolyzed protein, smoke flavor, spices, and a number of other ingredients. It is a neurotoxin and should be avoided at all costs.
3. Aspartame (Artificial Sweeteners)
Made famous in diet sodas, this chemical sweetener is so deadly it should be considered poison. When broken down it has been said to turn into other “ingredients” such as formaldehyde and wood alcohol. Any sweetener that claims it is calorie free, aside from the natural herb stevia, should never touch the human tongue. Commonly found in fat free product ingredients. Other artificial sweeteners include sucralose, Splenda, Sweet N' Low, and AminoSweet.
4. Hydrogenated Oils (Trans Fats)
Found in a variety of snack foods and prepared foods, this ingredient comes to pass through extensive processing until it becomes 1 molecule removed from plastic (think margarine). It is extremely damaging to your cardiovascular system and needs to be cut out completely. Often found in cracker and cookie ingredients.
5. Soy Protein Isolate
Found in everything from protein bars to protein shakes, this highly undigestible, hormone disrupting, and GM (genetically modified) food is a nightmare and soy should only ever be considered in an organic, non-GMO, and fermented state.
6. Sodium Nitrite
Most often found in deli meats and hot dogs, this preservative and coloring agent is carcinogenic and a deadly toxin. Watch for it primarily in pork and deli meat ingredients.
7. White processed sugar
The one ingredient that plagues society. It is the best form of food for cancer, and wreaks havoc with blood sugar levels and candida sufferers, which leads to a wide variety of ailments.
8. Enriched flour
Ironically, enriched flour really means its been stripped of all nutrients and a couple have been added back in to “enrich” it. It has a similar effect to white processed sugar in the body, with the added complication of gluten. A mainstay in the ingredients of breads and cereals.
9. GM (Genetically Modified) Foods
GMO's are NOT listed in food ingredients (due to recent successful lobbying by those companies who use them and did not want them labelled for consumers), but if you see corn, soy, or canola that are NOT listed as organic and non-GMO in the ingredients or on the package, they are GMO. This results in more adverse health effects, many of which are not yet fully known.
Rates highest on the glycemic scale out of all the sugars at 150 (HFCS is 87 in comparison). It's often used as a “filler” ingredient in many products, and can be found in nearly everything from soups to seasoning ingredients.
There are many other ingredients that could have made this top 10, but these are some of the most common. Read your labels, avoid these at all costs, and start eating more whole foods to avoid these health compromising ingredients.