Have you ever stopped to read the ingredient list on a packaged food product? Chances are, you've seen a laundry list of chemicals and additives that you've never heard of before. While these additives might be intended to improve the taste, texture, or appearance of our food, they can actually pose serious risks to our health. Here are some of the dangers of food additives on your health:
- Allergies and Sensitivities
Many food additives have been linked to allergic reactions and sensitivities. For example, sulfites, which are often added to wine, dried fruit, and other foods as a preservative, can trigger asthma attacks in some people. Other additives, like MSG and aspartame, have been linked to headaches, nausea, and other symptoms.
Some food additives have been classified as carcinogens, meaning they have the potential to cause cancer. For example, nitrites and nitrates, which are often added to cured meats like bacon and hot dogs, have been linked to an increased risk of colon cancer.
- Hormonal Disruption
Many food additives contain chemicals that can disrupt our hormonal systems. For example, phthalates, which are often found in plastic food packaging, have been linked to reproductive problems, while bisphenol A (BPA), which is used in many canned foods, has been linked to a range of health issues, including obesity and diabetes.
- Neurological Problems
Some food additives can affect our brain function and nervous system. For example, high levels of aluminum, which is often used as a food additive, have been linked to Alzheimer's disease and other neurological disorders.
So what can you do to protect yourself from the dangers of food additives? One of the best things you can do is to eat a diet that's rich in whole, unprocessed foods. When you do buy packaged foods, read the ingredient list carefully and look for products that are free of additives like artificial colours and flavours, preservatives, and sweeteners. By being mindful about what you're putting into your body, you can reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals and its side effects.