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Top Ten Food Additives To Avoid

Posted Sep 26 2008 2:43pm

This was my gig in the early 90's.
I began to read labels and I decided that I wanted to do better for myself and my family.  I had a horrific diet, it showed up in my health and well being and I wanted to be around to see my grandchildren. The list below is from my informative three session workshop called Healthy Choices for Children. I created this class based on self exploration and discovery and as a way to spread the word.

The list below is an information sheet that was used as a basis for discussion. It is all referenced from a book that inspired me. 

18 years later much of these food additives still exist; saccharin is pervasive in toothpaste and gum, maraschino cherry supplies have yet to run out, aspartame is a horrific addiction issue for many. Blue foods had a recent resurgence. The fact is these additives are exactly that - These are certainly not necessary for us to eat.

Below was my original list of things I refused to eat or serve my family.  It took me two years to clean it up and switch my pantry and my habits

Sourced from: Diet for a Poisoned Planet - How to choose safe foods for you and your family. (1990) by David Steinman  - who is totally one of my heroes.

His recent campaigning is about unveiling the concerns of 1-4 Dioxane

Top Ten Food Additives to Avoid:


Also known as NutraSweet or Equal. Used as a sweetener. See methanol poisoning - page 190

Found in: Diet Pop, table top sweeteners, cereal, breathmints, pudding, jello, kool-aid, ice tea, chewable vitamins, gum, toothpaste and more….


Preservative- keeps foods from changing color, changing flavor or becoming rancid. Effects the neurological system of the brain, alters behavior and has potential to cause cancer

Found in: Potato chips, gum, cereal, frozen sausages, enriched rice, lard, shortening, candy, jello

3.Blue #1 and Blue #2

Often not listed on the label

Banned in Norway, Finland and France

May cause chromosomal damage

Found in: candy, cereal, soft drinks, sports drinks and pet foods

4.BVO ( Brominated Vegetable Oil)

Used as an emulsifier and as a clouding agent

Bromate the main ingredient is a poison

Traces can be found in human fat tissue

Found in: orange pop, sports drinks

5. Citrus Red #2

Used to color skins of Florida oranges

May cause cancer and chromosomal damage

FDA has recommended a ban

6. MSG ( monosodium glutamate )

A food flavor enhancer that effects the person ingesting that food. Common symptom is headaches other symptoms include: flushing of the skin, tightness of the chest, heart palpatations and nausea. Can trigger allergic or asthmatic reactions. Also found in two other commonly used additives hydrolyzed vegetable or plant protein and autolyzed yeast.

Found in: chinese food ( Chinese Restaurant Syndrome ) many snacks, chips, cookies, seasonings, most Campbell Soup products, frozen dinners , lunch meats and more

7. Red dye # 3 (also Red #40 - a more current dye)

Banned in 1990 after 8 years of debate from use in many foods and cosmetics. This dye continues to be on the market until supplies run out! Has been proven to cause thyroid cancer and chromosomal damage in laboratory animals, may also interfere with brain-nerve transmission

Found in: fruit cocktail, maraschino cherries, cherry pie mix, ice cream, candy, bakery products and more! Red #40 is suspected of being a carcinogen

8. Saccharin

Ten years after the FDA proposed banning, saccharin is still on the market. Studies in Canada confirmed what American studies have suggested: saccharin poses a significant risk of cancer for humans.

Found in: soft drinks, gum and toothpaste

9. Sodium Nitrate

Prevents spoilage that could lead to botulism and to retain color in meats. Nitrates can form cancer causing compounds in the gastrointestinal tract. Food with Nitrates should always be ingested with vitamin C rich foods. Often food companies will add vitamin C to nitrate cured foods.

Found in: cured meats such as bacon, ham and luncheon meat, hot dogs, anything smoked.

10. Yellow #6

Banned in Norway and Sweden

Increases the number of kidney and adrenal gland tumors in laboratory animals, may cause chromosomal damage.

Found in: American cheese, macaroni and cheese, candy and carbonated beverages, lemonade and more!

Foods to avoid: Red Light Foods or  pesticide saturated foods - Peanuts, raisins, hot dogs, salami, bacon, bologna, fast food burgers ( including buns etc. ) ground beef, liver, pork sausages, roast beef, sirloin, veal, venison.
Fish ( see book ) Milk products including cheese. Processed foods such as: French fries, frozen pizza, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate cake, coffee cake, milk chocolate, pumpkin pie, dill pickles, peanut butter, potato chips, hydrogenated oils, cottonseed, palm, coconut, "pure" olive oil, soybean oil

toxic flickr image

K a r e n     H a n r a h a n
Wellness Educator/Nutritional Consultant
Mentoring YOU to Health Success
Weight Loss

Member of BNI - West Suburban BNI: "Chapter Mentor"
Member of West Suburban Women Entrepreneurs
WSWE Board Member and Programming Chair

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