5 Toxic Food Ingredients That Have Been Linked To Health Problems – Eat This Not That
When you sit down for a delicious meal or want to treat yourself to a tasty snack, you can expect every food to contain a certain amount of calories, not to mention various nutrients. But you probably don’t expect your food to contain toxic ingredients, which it sometimes does.
Review the following list of ingredients that may be in your food and the various health issues they have been linked to or may cause.
For more, check out 12 of the most toxic fruits and vegetables you’ll find in your supermarket right now.
Palm oil is something that can be found “in practically everything”, according to Live Science. This vegetable oil, derived from the pulp of a type of palm fruit, is so widely used that if you buy packaged foods at the grocery store, chances are they contain it.
As common as it is, there are serious concerns about palm oil effect both on the environment and human health. “Tropical plant fats, such as palm oil, are classified by the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans as saturated fats because these vegetable oils have a higher percentage of saturated fats compared to other oils,” says an award-winning nutrition expert. Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, FAND. “It is recommended that you consume no more than 10% of your total calories from saturated fat, as it has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.”
Turning glucose into cornstarch which is then, in part, turned into fructose gives you high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), a sugary substance found in foods like sodas and juices as well than in packaged desserts and snacks, to name just a few.
Unfortunately, like any other sweet ingredient, it can cause tooth decay, obesity, and metabolic syndrome when a person consumes it in large amounts, according to Medical News Today. Beyond that, high fructose corn syrup can cause weight gain, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and high triglyceride levels. According to Mayo Cliniceach of these problems can increase your risk of heart disease.
When you opt for an artificial sweetener over sugar, you might think you’re making a healthier choice. However, sweeteners are not an ideal option. In fact, in a study which was published by the OLP Medicine journal in March 2022, researchers found that artificial sweeteners like aspartame and acesulfame-K, which are used in many food and drink products, are associated with an increased risk of cancer.
If you or someone in your family likes to cook, chances are you have shortening readily available in your kitchen – it’s a room temperature fat like lard or even margarine. And while shortening may be good for your crispy, flaky crust, it’s not so good for your health.
“It used to be that shortening contained trans fats which are linked to heart disease, but now you can find trans fat free shortening on the grocery store shelves,” says Amidor. “However, if you look at the label, most shortenings are still loaded with saturated fat, more than the recommended limit of 10% of total calories. As such, this is an ingredient I would recommend limiting, except for a special occasion.”
If your favorite packaged foods come in a deliciously bright color, they’ve probably been enhanced with food coloring. While there is no doubt that the color of food can make what we eat more appealing, the Cleveland Clinic‘s Julia Zumpano, RD, responded to concerns about food colorings noting that when it comes to whether or not they are harmful and how harmful they might be, the “results are mixed”.
“Some studies show a link between dyes and increased ADHD or hyperactivity in children. An Australian study found that 75% of parents noticed improved behavior and attention when the dyes were removed “, explained Zumpano.
Beyond that, Zumpano added that researchers have “also found tumor growth in animals that consumed high doses of food coloring, although it may be difficult to translate what this means for children. Some studies indicate that the small amount of benzene in dyes cannot pose a high risk.”