3 harmful additives in many foods
As consumers, it is often difficult to know what ingredients are in our food and what effects they can have on our health. We often carelessly trust the big food manufacturers. With a lot of sales strategy, countless products are offered to us on store shelves as healthy and optimized for our well-being. Are we being deceived?
Have you ever had the opportunity to look at the ingredient lists on the packaging? You don't need a doctorate in nutritional science - I correct you - you need a doctorate in nutritional science to determine what kind of additives are actually contained in bread, protein powder or breakfast cereal.
“It can’t all be healthy!” That should be the first healthy exclamation that every normal person makes when reading the packaging labels.
It's important that you educate yourself about harmful additives in foods in order to make an informed decision about your daily food consumption
In this article we present you with a clear list of 3 well-known and harmful additives in foods and dietary supplements that you should avoid.
Additives to keep an eye on:
1. Artificial sweeteners - Above all: aspartame, sucralose and acesulfame-K
These sweeteners can cause negative health effects in some people. You often find these in caffeine-rich sugar drinks, but unfortunately also in many protein powders. Have you ever had a headache after a can of energy drinks or two protein shakes? This is rarely due to the caffeine or the protein itself. Did you experience digestive problems after drinking a lot of cola or protein shakes over several days? Artificial sweeteners in large quantities when consumed regularly are often the cause of these complaints.
Especially for the products that you consume regularly , I would keep an eye on the list of ingredients:
Should you avoid sweeteners completely now? No, that doesn't have to be the case. But try to limit your consumption significantly. If you definitely don't want to go without protein powder, look for a natural protein powder without artificial sweeteners. If you don't want to eliminate cola and energy drinks from your daily routine, drink a maximum of one glass per day.
The negative effects on the intestinal flora seem to be better and better studied. If digestion and well-being are important to you, you can potentially have a lot of positive influence by avoiding artificial sweeteners completely.
2. Synthetic antioxidants: butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)
These can be used in foods as preservatives. You can often find these in sweets, but also nuts and even milk-based protein powders (whey protein or casein protein). These additives counteract rancidity. But there are concerns about their possible carcinogenic effects. BHT has therefore been continuously monitored by the EU since 2015. This means that in practice one observes (on us humans) whether the carcinogenic potential detected in mice also transfers to humans. Possible allergies are also said to be triggered by increased intake. It's understandable that you're worried now. This is precisely why there are already maximum amounts of these additives in foods.
But what if you consume several of these additive-laden products every day - and in large quantities?
In themselves, antioxidants are a good thing. They are free radical scavengers and therefore have a cell-protecting effect throughout our entire organism. At least when we talk about natural antioxidants. When choosing nuts, pay particular attention to the word “natural”. When it comes to protein powders, you should definitely choose products that do not have BHA and BHT. The current situation does not promise anything positive for your health!
Tired of additives? Rely on natural products for your well-being and health!
Let's move on to the last of our 3 most common additives in food:
3. Phosphate additives
Phosphate additives are used in processed foods and protein powders to improve texture and shelf life. But you can also find these in products from the freezer shelf. Phosphates are often added to cheese, sausage products and lemonades. Phosphate additives are currently considered one of the most commonly used additives in industrially processed foods.
Since these can be found in numerous products, the consumption of the average German citizen is increasing every year. The study situation is depressing. High blood pressure, hyperactivity in children, as well as weakening of bone substance and kidney damage are proven side effects caused by increased artificial phosphate consumption.
Views on the use of phosphate additives in foods and dietary supplements are divided and worrying. While doctors refer to clear studies and denounce the many disadvantages of high phosphate consumption, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) says that consumption is not problematic. The paradox is that the EFSA at the same time admits that children in particular consume too many phosphates through their diet. A maximum permitted amount is currently being discussed for dietary supplements, as phosphate additives and their harmful effects in large quantities can no longer be denied.
Natural phosphate is found in natural foods (surprise) and is important for our bodies. However, you should pay attention to phosphate additives. Avoid these. The negative effects on your health are too significant - even if you are healthy and resilient. Shouldn’t it stay that way?
Read food labels and avoid products high in phosphates.
Well-known phosphate additives are: E338-E341, E442, E450-E452, E1410-E1414.
Didn't pay attention in chemistry? Jokes aside. Read more about healthy eating tips and how to navigate the store safely when buying food.
Conclusion on our list of harmful additives
Does the list seem too short? Correctly. The aim is to motivate you to take a close look at food packaging. That's not too much to ask for your health.
Get an overview now in the practical five-step self-test: panic attacks guaranteed.
- Now go to the fridge, pantry, or grab the candy drawer.
- Choose at least 10 products and write down a list of all additives.
- Search the Internet critically for possible side effects and the study situation (perhaps there are already a few of the additives mentioned in this article?).
- You are guaranteed to be amazed for five minutes at the amount and variety of possible negative effects for people with: sensitive digestion, intolerances, allergies - but also for apparently healthy people.
Once you realize how many additives there are, you will trust processed products less and less and gradually turn your back on them. Especially because new studies appear every year that classify “safe” additives as questionable. Oops – too late.
You can read more about additives in this blog article .
Final word on additives
It is important to note that not all additives in food are inherently harmful. Many serve to improve the quality and safety of products. Remember to read the ingredient list on food packaging carefully and look for healthier alternatives if you are concerned about certain additives.
Always remember – the shortest list of ingredients wins. Always!
The double look can be worthwhile for you and your daily well-being.
Your Lykaia team