Ingredients to Avoid in Foods & Drinks


Here is my list of questionable, and not so questionable, Ingredients to Avoid in Foods & Drinks. Some of these ingredients may be added to your favorite “all natural” product, so be sure to check ingredient lists before you buy.

Ingredients to Avoid in Foods  & Drinks

Why I Avoid Them

Artificial and natural (unless you know what natural flavor is used) flavors Provides no essential nutritional value and linked to serious health problems including cancer
Artificial sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose, acesulfame-K/potassium and more) Linked to obesity, diabetes, cancer and other serious health problems and diseases
Bisphenol A (BPA) in plastic bottles/containers and canned goods Possible endocrine system disruptor and carcingen
Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), butylated hydrozyttoluene (BHT) & propyl gallate Preservatives and probable carcinogens
Carageenan Linked to colon cancer, inflammation and a depressed immune system
Corn (also modified cornstarch, dextrose, maltodextrin & corn oil) Linked to inflammation, heart disease and cancer
Diacetyl (microwave popcorn & dairy products) Linked to bronchiolitis obliterans (irreversible)
Grains, gluten grains & enriched refined grains Provides no essential nutritional value and gluten grains can raise cholesterol and blood sugar
Monosodium glutamate or MSG (also natural flavoring, yeast extract, autolyzed yeast extract, disodium guanylate, disodium inosinate, caseinate, textured protein, hydrolyzed vegetable protein and more) Flavor enhancer and linked to serious health problems and diseases
Phosphates Linked to heart disease
Phosphoric acid (soda) Destroys tooth enamel
Polysorbate 60, 65 & 80 Unnatural for human consumption
Potassium bromate Possible carcinogen
Potassium sorbate (ice cream) Preservative and probable carcinogen
Potassium/sodium benzoate Preservatives and linked to serious health problems and diseases
Processed sugar (white, brown, powder, high fructose corn syrup and more) Provides no essential nutritional value and linked to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer
Propyl Galate Linked to cancer
Propyl Paraben Endocrine system disruptor
Pyridoxine/thiamin hydrochloride Chemical forms of vitamin B that provide no essential nutritional value
Seed/vegetable oils (canola, corn, cottonseed, peanut, safflower, soybean & sunflower) Unnatural for human consumption and linked to inflammation, cardiovascular disease and cancer
Sodium chloride (table salt) Can increase risk of heart disease, kidney disease and stroke
Sodium nitrite/nitrate Carcinogen used to make processed meats look fresh
Soy Probable cause of serious health problems and diseases
Synthetic colors (FD&C Red #40, Blue #1, Yellow #5, etc.) Provides no essential nutritional value and linked to serious health problems including cancer
Trans fats (hydrogenated/partially hydrogenated) Used to increase shelf-life of products. Increases cholesterol levels, body fat and the chance for serious health problems and diseases

For more information on nutrition, ingredient and processing concerns visit Environmental Working Group’s Food Scores or Good Guide. Note: always check the product ingredient list before you buy.

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