It’s convenient to have your food pre-made for you by manufacturers, especially if you work long hours and have no energy to cook a healthy meal at the end of the day. Unfortunately, the price for this convenience is the knowledge of what exactly goes into your food. Food manufacturers add a lot of ingredients to preserve the food, and to give it a certain look, taste, and texture. If you’re trying to lose weight, these hidden ingredients can make it difficult for your to achieve your goals. Become aware of what you are putting in your body. Here is a list of the most common hidden ingredients in your food.
High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
High-fructose corn syrup is a sweetener made from corn starch that has been processed by glucose isomerase to convert some of its glucose into fructose. It is sweeter and cheaper than regular sugar, and it’s in every processed food and sugary drink. It is not good for you; in fact, some studies have linked HFCS to the increasing obesity rates in America. If you want to stay healthy, lose weight easily, get rid of chronic disease, and prevent your loved ones from developing weight problems the single most important thing you can do is eliminate high fructose corn syrup from your diet. Purge your house of foods like soda, candy, salad dressing, and frozen meals. It’s also a good idea to check bread labels for this insidious ingredient.
Although you probably have heard of HFCS, you might be wondering “what is carrageenan?” Carrageenan comes from an edible seaweed known as Irish Moss, and it is widely used in the food industry for its gelling, thickening, and stabilizing properties. The problem with carrageenan is that it’s not digestible and has no nutritional value. As a result, carrageenan causes a reaction in the body similar to when it’s invaded by pathogens such as salmonella. As the body fights the invasion, it causes inflammation in the digestive system, which can lead to ulcerations and bleeding. To make things slightly more complicated, there are two forms: degraded and undegraded carrageenan. Technically, undegraded is approved for use in food, while degraded is not. The best solution is try and avoid it altogether. Carrageenan is often found on organic food, coffee creamer, and dairy products such as sour cream and ricotta cheese.
Yellow #5 (Tartrazine/ E102)
Yellow 5 is a synthetic lemon yellow azo dye primarily used as a food coloring. It is widely used in the making of potato chips, jams, candy, drinks and even pet food. It is also added to shampoo and other cosmetic products. The Food Standards Agency in the UK issued a warning in 2008 that certain food colorings, including Yellow 5, caused behavioral changes in children that included loss of concentration and impulsive, hard-to-control activity.Yellow 5 has also been linked to asthma, migraines, thyroid cancer, anxiety, clinical depression, blurred vision, purple spots on your skin and unexplainable itchy skin.
The next time you do your weekly grocery shopping, make sure you read the labels carefully. Better yet, do your best to avoid highly processed foods and stick with whole grains, fresh proteins, fruits and vegetables.