The top 10 ingredients to avoid

1. Artificial Colors are chemical compounds made from coal-tar derivatives to enhance color. Linked to allergic reactions, fatigue, asthma, skin rashes, hyperactivity and headaches.

2. Artificial Flavorings are cheap chemical mixtures that mimic natural flavors and are linked to allergic reactions, dermatitis, eczema, hyperactivity and asthma. They can also affect enzymes, RNA and thyroid.

3. Artificial Sweeteners include Acesulfame-K, Aspartame, Equal®, NutraSweet®, Saccharin, Sweet’n Low®, Sucralose, Splenda® & Sorbitol. These are highly-processed, chemically-derived, zero-calorie sweeteners found in diet foods and diet products to reduce calories per serving that can negatively impact metabolism. Some have been linked to cancer, headaches, dizziness and hallucinations.

4. Benzoate is a preservative and can also be listed as BHT, BHA or TBHQ. These are compounds that preserve fats and prevent them from becoming rancid and may result in hyperactivity, angiodema, asthma, rhinitis, dermatitis, tumors and urticarial. They can also affect estrogen balance and levels.

5. Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO) is a chemical that boosts flavor in many citric-based fruit and soft drinks that increases triglycerides and cholesterol. BVO can damage liver, testicles, thyroid, heart and kidneys.

6. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is a cheap alternative to cane and beet sugar that is used to sustain freshness in baked goods. It mixes easily in beverages to keep them sweet. It can predispose the body to turn fructose into fat and it increases risk for type-2 diabetes, heart disease as well as stroke and cancer. Another problem with HFCS is that it isn’t easily metabolized by the liver.

7. MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) is a flavor enhancer used in lots of restaurant food, salad dressing, chips, frozen entrees, soups and many other processed foods. Eating food with MSG can actually stimulate appetite and cause headaches, nausea, weakness, wheezing, edema, change in heart rate, burning sensations and even difficulty breathing.

8. Olestra is an indigestible fat substitute used primarily in foods that are fried and baked which inhibits absorption of some nutrients. It has been linked to gastrointestinal disease, diarrhea, gas, cramps, bleeding and incontinence.

9. Shortening, Hydrogenated and Partially Hydrogenated Oils (palm, soybean and others). These are industrially created fats used in over 40,000 food products in the U.S. because they are cheaper than most other oils. They contain high levels of trans fats, which raise bad cholesterol and lower good cholesterol, contributing to higher risk of heart disease.

10. Sodium Nitrite and Nitrate is used to preserve, color and flavor cured meats and fish and is also used to prevent botulism. Nitrates can combine with chemicals in your stomach to form nitrosamine which is a carcinogen.