Artificial additives in food include dyes, flavorings, whiteners, thickeners, preservatives, emulsifiers and more. These are mostly present in processed foods, canned foods, packaged and convenience foods. Having a busy life, it can be hard to get access to whole foods regularly, and often it is more convenient to eat easy-to-consume meals. But are you aware of the dangers of artificial additives in your food? In this article, we are going to discuss the three hidden dangers of artificial additives.
They Mess with Your Hormones
The preservatives in foods can alter the regular flow of human hormones and may also cause obesity. Scientists pinpointed three hormone disruptors in food additives found specifically in dairy, non-organic produce, processed or packaged foods.
Phthalates interfere with the creation of the male sex hormone testosterone. This has been closely linked to birth defects of the male genitalia, infertility, and low sperm count and quality. Phalates can be found on food packaging itself, and they leach into the foods. Secondly is Propylparaben, which Prevention Starts Here describes as, “an endocrine disruptor which can be found on processed foods like tortillas, food dyes, cheese puffs and others.” It alters the expression of genes and it has also been linked to breast cancer and impaired fertility in women. The third is Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), which is possibly a human carcinogen and acts as an endocrine disruptor. It can affect testosterone and the thyroid hormone thyroxine. This can be found in chips and preserved meats; it is also used as a preservative for flavoring.
They Can Ruin Teeth
Preservatives in food can also ruin teeth. According to Lakeside Dental, “many foods contain dyes or chemicals that build up and stain your teeth. These stains cannot be removed through routine cleaning and brushing.”
The food dyes used on candies mixed with sugar are extremely harmful to the teeth. On sour candies, manufacturers use citric acid for flavoring, which lodges in the crevices of your gums and teeth. Combined with sugar, this will not be easy to remove. It will cause dental cavities and tooth decay. Unsweetened snacks like chips can also harm the teeth as they release acids that ruin the enamel. Because of this, you should make sure to eat foods that are beneficial to teeth.
They Can Cause Hyperactivity in ChildrenOther chemicals commonly found in sweets such as artificial coloring plus preservatives in food can increase hyperactivity in kids. In sweets and beverages, these additives are namely carmoisine (E122), tartrazine (E102) and ponceau 4R (E124). According to Stop Killing My Kids, “the preservative sodium benzoate is proven to cause hyperactivity on kids, and the link to ADHD is still being investigated. Sodium benzoate can be found in things like: McDonald’s BBQ sauce, salad dressings, jelly, jam and other spreads, fruit juices, syrup, sports & energy drinks, flavored water, mixed dried fruit, canned fish, sweet treats & cakes, and dessert toppings.”
If you are trying to eat healthily and avoid the harsh effects of food additives, your best defense is to limit eating processed and packaged foods, find healthy alternatives, and as much as possible, consume whole foods.