Sometimes, looking at the ingredients on the back of a processed food packet can be like staring at a map of an unfamiliar land. You might not understand all the big words, but don't be intimidated or put off. In fact, some additives, despite their names, can actually be good for you:
Ascorbic Acid: It's actually a fancy name for vitamin C. Its whole purpose is to help food maintain its color but it also improves nutritional quality at the same time. You can generally find it in canned fruits and veggies.
Guar Gum: It's the clear resin that comes from the guar plant and is used in jellies, sauces, and soups to thicken texture and sometimes to replace fat. It actually slows the absorption of sugar and helps to prevent those blood-sugar spikes caused when you're hungry.
Lecithin: A fatty substance found in eggs. It makes oil and water adhere and helps keep stuff from going rancid. It can be found in breads, cheeses, and margarines - ad it is thought to be an effective cholesterol reducer.