A Note on Preservatives, Additives, Sweeteners, & Colorings That May Surprise You…

Preservatives are a type of additive used to help stop food from spoiling. Nitrates and nitrites are used to preserve meats such as ham and bacon, but are known to cause asthma, nausea, vomiting, and headaches in some people (and we wonder why so many children are showing up today with asthma/reactive airway disease when neither parent smoke…hmmm?). In addition to allergic reactions, the same is true for sulfites (sulfur dioxide, metabisulfites, and others), which are commonly used to prevent fungal spoilage, as well as the browning of peeled fruits and vegetables.

Sodium nitrite in some foods is capable of being converted to nitrous acid when ingested by humans. While animal testing showed that nitrous acid caused high rates of cancer, it is still in use.
Benzoic acid aka sodium benzoate is added to margarine, fruit juices, and carbonated beverages. It can produce severe allergic reaction and even death in some people.
Sulfur dioxide is a toxin used in dried fruits and molasses as well as to prevent brown spots on peeled fresh foods such as potatoes and apples. Sulfur dioxide bleaches out rot, hiding inferior fruits and vegetables. In the process, it destroys the vitamin B contained in produce.


Each year, the American food industry uses three thousand tons of food color. Many coloring agents are derived from coal tar, and nearly all coloring is synthetic. Norway has a total ban on all products containing coal tar.

Though some artificial food dyes have been banned because they are believed to cause cancer, most dyes used today are of the artificial variety. They are also linked to allergies, asthmas, and hyperactivity (think about what we feed our children?).

The long list of foods and beverages in which color is altered includes butter, margarine, the skins of oranges and potatoes, popcorn, maraschino cherries, hot dogs, jellies, jellybeans, carbonated beverages, and canned strawberries and peas.

Even the chicken feed on large-scale egg farms is colored so that chickens will lay golden-yolked eggs similar to those laid by free-range chickens. Talk about the goose that laid the golden egg!


Most processed foods contain sweeteners, many of which are artificial sugar substitutes containing no natural sugars, such as saccharine and aspartame.

Artificial sweeteners are linked to behavioral problems, hyperactivity, and allergies. Because saccharin was shown to increase the incidence of bladder cancer in animal testing, all foods containing this sugar substitute are required to carry a warning label.

**These are definitely things that make you go hhhmmm…?

Processed foods are addictive and can cause you to overeat.

Whole foods are made up of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fiber and water. When foods are processed the components of these foods are modified (for example, fiber, water and nutrients are removed) and in other cases, components are concentrated. In each case, processing changes the way they are digested and assimilated in your body.

Eating highly processed or highly concentrated foods can artificially stimulate dopamine (the pleasure neurotransmitter), which plays a role in addiction. In this way, you are eating foods that lack nutrients and fiber, but create a pleasurable feeling. A food addiction starts because you feel good when you are eating these foods and they make you think they taste better. You crave that pleasurable feeling again and again and viola…this is what starts a food addiction

A diet high in processed foods can lead to depression, memory issues and mood swings.

Ingredients in processed foods are often the lowest cost and sub-par, nutritionally. For example, the fats and oils used in processed foods are refined, which means they are stripped of the essential fatty acids necessary for healthy blood sugar levels, moods and memory. Your heart, hormones and brain suffer when you choose to eat these fats and oils. Instead choose the organic, unrefined or “virgin” fats and oils.

Eating too many processed foods can lead to infertility and malnutrition.

Processed foods, like cereal, are stripped of important vitamins and nutrients that your body truly needs. You could be eating a large amount of calories and still be malnourished if your diet is high in processed foods. Animal studies have shown that over three generations, a deficient diet causes reproduction to cease. Today, infertility is on the rise, affecting 7.3 million people in America.

Processed foods are made for long shelf-life, not long human life!

Chemicals, additives and preservatives are added to processed foods so that they will last for a long time without going rancid or affecting the taste of the food. Food manufacturers spend time, money and research on beautiful packaging and strategies to lengthen shelf-life, with little attention on how the foods will lengthen your life or create lasting health.

I don’t think, nor am I suggesting, to completely cut out “processed food” but moderation is crucial, and not even on a daily basis is it recommended. I put food into 2 categories…”real” food and “fake” food. Anything that is labeled “no-fat” or has an artificial sweetener in it is definitely on the “DO NOT EAT” list. In the end, they don’t really help you lose weight because they’re filled with so many other things. Check the carbohydrates on “non-fat” labels versus normal or even lo-fat things such as yogurts, sour cream, mayonnaise, etc. Buy and eat these things but limit them to smaller amounts. I have found that my weight is easier maintained when I do these things and eat non-processed food. Store bought salad dressings have a ton of preservatives and other additives in them, and they are super easy to make. I have quite a few recipes for home-made ones.

Choose a healthy style of eating for yourself & your family and you will see the difference. Weight, brain function, sex-drive, energy, memory, health…just to name a few, will improve!

“Embrace the odds…the choice is yours”.

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