There are some of us who eat to live but the majority live to eat and for them “What to eat and what not to eat” has always been an unanswered dilemma. But whatever you eat keep one thing in mind, “Healthy food, Healthy You”. The unlimited choices of foods and endless lines of edible products in the grocery stores have made it hard for us to choose the best option.
Beware of what you are eating. At least ensure that whatever you take is actually “food”. Have you ever wondered why the number of cancer and heart disease patients is growing at an alarming rate?
Please! Do not fall a victim of the marketing tactics of the food industry that will make you eat what’s not suitable for you. We might get lured by the attractive packaging and amazing aroma of the packaged foods but it’s time to open your eyes and read the ingredients given on the packaging.
In 1960s Nutrition Labeling and Education Act was passed by Congress which made the food companies put labels on more than 45,000 edible products. Even these labels can be deceiving, unfortunately. The FDA, Food and Drug Administration has allowed more than 3,000 food additives.
Today we will tell you about the reality of some of these additives that will become hard for you to digest.
So all you food lovers out there! You might lose your appetite after reading this.
Artificial flavoring or Castoreum
Have ever wondered why the raspberry flavor in beverages tastes so good and from where does that exotic flavor comes? The key ingredient in such drinks is castoreum. From where is it extracted? Any guesses? You won’t even have a clue that this component is obtained from anal glands of a semi-aquatic rodent called beaver. The yellow ooze called castoreum is excreted by the castor sacs of the beaver along with the urine. A beaver makes use of this secretion to mark its territory. This component is used in perfumes and for artificial flavoring of raspberry and vanilla products such as ice-creams, flavored milk, yogurts, candies and teas.
What does FDA has to say about this? They claim it to be safe as a food additive. It’s industrial consumption is more than 300 pounds, annually.
Milk Containing Estrogen
Who says milk is good for your health? At least not the one containing estrogen in it. Recent studies found that milk containing estrogen is the major cause of cancer all over the world. Thanx to the modern dairies which have made it commonly available. The modern dairies are milking cows for 300 days in a year, regardless of the fact that some of these cows are pregnant most of the times. Cows are believed to release a
hormone called estrogen in large quantities during the later stages of their pregnancy.
So how can this estrogen be so harmful for human consumption? Researchers believe that it is 100,000 times more harmful than the similar compounds found in the pesticides. Its consumption has proven to be the leading cause of breast cancer and testicular cancer in men between the ages of 20 to 39. Even other milk products such as cheese and butter from this milk can cause cancer.
How can 5 to 6 months old ice-creams remain fit for consumption? Parabens are the preservatives synthetically produced to inhibit the growth of yeast and mold in the ice-creams. The worst part about parabens is that they can cause hormonal imbalances in humans. According to a study published in Food and Chemical Toxicology, the daily ingestion of paraben by rats revealed a decrease in the production of sperm and testosterone. It has also been found to be associated with breast cancer. You will find paraben in your favorite Baskin-Robbins sundaes.
What’s the secret behind those yummy nuggets or popcorn shrimps? Maybe the artery clogging trans fats found under the label of partially hydrogenated oil could be the reason for their great taste. There are two terms used for labeling trans fat.
One is “0 gram trans fat”, while the other one is “trans fat-free”. It is suggested not to confuse the two terms. The FDA has allowed the companies offering products with half gram of trans fat per serving to label their products as 0 gram trans fats. 2 grams are the most you should consume in a day, but not more than that. So say a big NO to the products that are labeled as partially hydrogenated oil because such products can clog your arteries.
To prevent the rancidity of certain oil containing foods a preservative called BHA is used. Also known as Butylated Hydroxyanisole, BHA is linked with the cause of cancer in mice, rats and hamsters. This research has been published in the Japanese Journal of Cancer Research and the researchers claim that BHA was “reasonably anticipated to be a carcinogen”.
But why FDA hasn’t banned its use? FDA justifies this by claiming that as the study has been conducted on rodents and these rodents have an organ called forestomach which humans don’t have, therefore the study does not hold true for humans.
We suggest that you avoid taking products that contain BHA. You can find these in Cocoa pebbles and fruity pebbles.
Once upon a time the caramel color to the beverages was given by the help of heating sugar and water. But now that is not the case. Today for colorization the beverage industries treat sugar with ammonia. The chemical reaction between the two compounds produces some harmful carcinogens. Now you must be thinking how harmful these carcinogens are? A study by the Centre for Science in the Public Interest states that the caramel coloring of the soda accounts for more than 15,000 cancers in the U.S. every year.
Examples are Coke and Pepsi. They are also listed among the worst 20 drinks in America.
What’s hard to swallow is the fact that although most of these harmful additives are in the knowledge of FDA, but still they are permitted in the foods. What we can suggest you is that you think smart when you choose your favorite foods. The least you can do is look for the ingredients mentioned above on the labels.