Learning to read food labels is a critical component to improving your health and eating habits. The simplest way to avoid undesirable ingredients and additives in our food is to eat real food that doesn’t require a label. Think broccoli, avocados, strawberries, chicken, eggs, salmon, and so on. These foods don’t consist of ingredients because they are the ingredients.
However, we all are bound to make some purchases of products that do have labeling, and for that reason, it is important to know what to look for. There are many ingredients on food labels that are best to avoid. By staying away from these ingredients, your body will thank you by running smoothly and performing all of its normal bodily functions with ease.
Here are the top ten ingredients you should steer clear of on any food label.
- Monosodium Glutamate (MSG): MSG is commonly found in all processed foods, everything from canned goods to potato chips. When you ingest MSG, it damages nerves by “overexciting” them, as well as harming brain cells and sparking your appetite, causing you to eat more.
- Artificial Flavors: Found in a majority of foods today, artificial flavors can have serious negative effects on your health. These effects include reproductive complications, neurotoxicity and cancer causing tendencies.
- High Fructose Corn Syrup: High fructose corn syrup can be found in just about any sweet processed food. Aside from it being made from genetically modified corn, high fructose corn syrup can cause accelerated weight gain, insulin resistance and even diabetes when consumed in large quantities over a long period of time.
- Table Salt: We are not talking about sea salt or Himalayan pink salt, we are talking about man-made table salt. Table salt contains over 30 chemicals and is bleached, causing spikes in blood pressure and is detrimental to the liver and kidneys.
- Low-Fat or Fat-Free Products: Low-fat or fat-free products are a sham. Because there is less fat in the product, manufacturers compensate by adding massive amounts of sugars and artificial sweeteners to give the taste of a full-fat food. Our cells need fat to function, and by stripping natural fat content from foods, we not only affect the flavor, but also the vitamin concentration and uptake as well.
- Hydrogenated or Partially-Hydrogenated Oils: These two types of oils are toxic. Hydrogenated oils, in effect, are used for preserving products. When you consume the hydrogenated oils however, it is like pouring “plastic sludge” into your bloodstream.
- Artificial Coloring: Artificial coloring has been linked to cancer, behavioral decline, allergies, and more. Red dyes are noted for having the worst impacts on behavior, rashes, and cognitive function. Different colorings, such as Blue 1 and 2, as well as Red 3 and Green 3, are connected to cancers ranging from the thyroid to the bladder.
- Soy: Often marketed as a healthy product to consume, soy can have serious effects on health, especially for women. It can disturb estrogen in women, cause early puberty in girls, and contribute to a reduced sex drive. The only soy that is okay to consume are fermented and organic soy products.
- Canola Oil: Aside from being an effective insect repellent, canola oil has no benefit whatsoever to the human body. It is extracted from plants that have been genetically modified and extensively bred, and is highly inflammatory.
- Potassium Sorbate: Potassium sorbate began a revolution in food preservation. While it will successfully keep food fresh, it is a carcinogen known to cause cell mutation in animals and have “toxic” effects on organs.
These top ten ingredients are ones you should become familiar with identifying and avoiding, if you are not already. If your typical grocery purchases include any of these ingredients, put them back on the shelf and opt for a cleaner alternative instead. If you are ready to take action and clean up your eating, the 10 Day Real Food Reset is the perfect place to start. Whether you are struggling with undesirable symptoms (like those discussed in this post), are looking to lose a few pounds or beat some bloat, or simply wish there were a reset button for all the less-than-stellar eating that may or may not have happened over the last few months (no judgement), I invite you to check out the 10 Day Real Food Reset. The early bird rate is available for a few more days before the price goes up, so check it out and snag your spot today.