Effects Of Food Additives On Your Health
Posted on March 05 2018
Ever wondered what gives your favourite food and beverages that appealing colour, flavour or texture? The answer is food additives. Whether derived from natural sources or made artificially, additives such as food colourings, flavour enhancers, and preservatives are used to add a distinct look to packaged foods, and also to keep them fresh for longer. While they may be common, their prolonged usage can lead to several health problems.
Broadly, The Purpose Of Food Additives Is To:
Maintain the nutritional value of the food.
Enhance the ability to retain its freshness and flavour.
Make it look attractive.
Aid in its processing, packaging, and storage.
In short, they’re added specifically to preserve, thicken, firm, bleach, colour, sweeten, emulsify, glaze, moisten, and deodorize your food.
Food additives are active ingredients that can affect your overall well-being. Knowing why these food additives are dangerous can help you make an informed decision about what you should buy. Here are three important reasons why you should avoid additives:
1. They Cause Damage To Your Heart
Research has suggested that excess consumption of phosphate-rich foods such as soda, processed cheese, baking powder, and other processed foods increase the production of the FGF23 hormone. This can lead to strain and damage to the heart. In addition to this study, the American Heart Association also suggests that men should reduce the intake of processed red meat as it can increase the risk of heart failure.
2. They Cause Hormonal Imbalance
A study on several American snack foods found the presence of propylparaben – an endocrine disruptor. Europe has banned it from its food, but it’s still used in some cosmetics and personal care items across the world. The FDA has regarded it as generally safe and the US continues to put it in various food items. But studies suggest otherwise and show that propylparaben acts as a weak synthetic estrogen which diminishes fertility.
3. They Cause Behavioural Problems In Kids
Certain additives, including the ones that are put in “healthy” snacks, can lead to mood swings and irritability in children. A research done in Australia found that cultured dextrose (also known as calcium propionate), an additive found in healthy bread and wraps, can cause “irritability, fatigue or insomnia.” Some evidence even suggests that hydrolyzed vegetable protein - used as a “natural” substitute for MSG – can cause problems. It is important that you read labels on every food item you buy and try making your own snacks at home, with organic ingredients.
Remember that food additives are only chemical substances and their main aim is to either become a part of the food or achieve a technical effect. So, while they’re making your food look oh-so-tempting on the outside, they’re doing much more damage on the inside.