Food Additives That are Harmful to Your Health

Has it ever occurred to you that your headache was caused by the hotdog that you so voraciously eaten during your breakfast? Or that your increasing memory loss is due to the cheese that you so deliciously consumed everyday?

Indeed, many of us are unaware that various daily foods which we consider safe and healthy are actually the causes of some of our illnesses.

Here are five food additives that you should avoid:

1. NITRITES

Nitrites in the form of sodium nitrite, has a property of imparting a fresh red color to meat. It also prevents food from spoiling by its antibacterial action. Because of this, meat processors use it to preserve meat and meat products. Nitrites are added to several meat products like hotdogs, bacon, tocino, ham and many more, to preserve them and lengthen their freshness.

Nitrite however is found to be toxic to humans at increased concentrations and through a period of time. It is also carcinogenic because it causes cancer when it reacts with certain physiologic substances in vitro and in vivo. (inside and outside the body).

2. POTASSIUM SORBATE

This is an organic, polar compound which when combined with water will produce sorbic acid. The sorbic acid is added commonly to dairy products like cheese, margarine, mayonnaise, queso de bola, yogurt, bread, cakes, icings, alcoholic drinks, certain beverages, like citrus drinks and many more; to prevent the cultivation and growth of microorganisms that may cause spoilage. Although the side effects of potassium sorbate are not as dramatic as the rest, it is still a complication we would not want. It exacerbates asthma attacks and respiratory diseases. It is a skin irritant and has been proven to cause hyperactivity in children. The allowable concentration to be placed in food should be not more than 1,000 (PPM) parts per million.

3. ASPARTAME

This is a component of several dieting products. It acts as a substitute for sugar with out the calories. At first, this was great news for dieters as they can have their coffees sweeter without worrying about the added calories.

Aspartame however, has been discovered, to have very harmful side effects. The substance causes bouts of memory losses and with long term use will cause necrosis (death) of the neurons (brain cells) which may lead to cancer of the brain.

4. TARTRAZINE

This is a yellow food dye used commonly in children’s foods like some candies, some ice cream, artificially colored drinks, cakes, pasta,

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Photo by Gaetan Lee

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