Food additives are generally those substances which are added to increase the flavoring of food. Various food additives are used as a component to preserve food for a longer time. But, studies have suggested that many of these added preservatives have adverse affect on the health.They can cause a series of problems ranging from skin diseases, asthma, cancer, digestive problem and many more. The best way to avoid their effects is by buying natural and fresh products instead of packed processed ones.
Some of the food additives to be kept away include:
Additional sweeteners like Acesulfame-K and Aspartame are used in products like dry beverages, diet soda, chewing gum, soft drinks and powder mix. These additives are around 200 times sweeter than the actual sugar. Studies suggest that year long consumption of these additives may cause severe problems. Additives like Saccharin and cyclamate can cause cancer of bladder, ovaries, skin etc.
2. Coloring additives
Additives like yellow 5 and 6 and caramel coloring are found in food products like cold drinks, liquor, gravy mix etc to add color to them. It does make them look attractive but they contain ammonia which may prove as hyper sensitive additive and may cause cancer. Additive used in pet food and candy materials are made from petroleum after refining it. Studies have suggested that it is prone to cause damage to brain if consumed in excess.
3. Trans fat
These are additives which are converted into solids from liquids by adding hydrogen. They are mostly found in packets, baked items, popcorn packets etc. These can be reasons for high BP. Studies have unfolded that many companies have moved to safer elements but it is wise to check content before buying products. Trans fat is commonly used in the food offered in restaurants and fast food, which we greedily gulp down. But, did you ever know that they are a major cause for heart diseases?
Additives like Monosodium glutamate, citric acid, vinegar, tartaric acid and lactic acid are used in many of the food products to give a sharp taste to them. In comparison to the natural taste, these extra additives are much more costly to make and are mixture of more than five components. Its basic purpose is to cater to the taste but in the process it destroys the natural taste.
5. Thickeners and gelling agents
These additives are used to give the food a heavy consistency and to thicken the soups and sauces, we enjoy. Common home products like Baking powder, Corn flour and Jelly particles contain elements which help us in baking, thickening and making cold dishes.
6. Anti-caking agents
Products like icing sugar, milk powders, drinking chocolate, instant mix contain anti-caking additives which help to keep their taste alive for a specific period. Common anti-caking agents are sodium aluminosilicate and silicon dioxide which are used to ensure easy flow of theirs. Without them, the packaged materials are prone to form lumps inside.
7. Potassium bromate
It is used in rolls, breads and other processed foods to increase volume and the taste. But, it totally destroys the nutritional components of the food and in turn increases the fat percentage in them.
8. Fruits additives
The ever fresh looking fruits; in malls and other super markets contain additives like paraffin wax and others to keep them healthy and fresh. Vegetables like celery, lettuce, cabbage and cucumber are also sprinkled with pesticide that reside in them. Hence, the best way to avoid their consumption is to buy fresh vegetables and fruit from local market or wash the ones brought from supermarket.
The best way to stay healthy and to avoid consumption of these additives is to try and opt for natural things like using fresh ingredients instead of the packed ones. Or in case of dire circumstances, make sure to check the components of additives on the packed bottles before buying and choose the safest one. If you have asthma, then avoid those products which carry additives known to cause asthma. Next time you shop, just check what you are actually paying for.