You’ve probably already heard the buzz about how eating cleaner and more organic foods is better for your health. But what you might not be aware of is how dangerous foods with preservatives can actually be to your well being. Foods which contain preservatives are actually harder for your body to break down into useful nutrients and can promote the growth of cancer cells. The following article will help you understand more about the most dangerous preservatives and how you can avoid them.
The Main Offenders
There are four major offenders when it comes to deadly preservatives in our foods. The first step to protecting your body from these is knowing how to identify them:
- 1. Sodium Benzoate*
Sodium Benzoate is a preservative which is used in acidic foods such as salad dressings, carbonated drinks, pickles, jams and fruit juices, some condiments and even in cough syrups and mouth washes. When it is mixed with Vitamin C, Sodium Benzoate can form something called Benzene which is a known carcinogen. It is also believed to have a negative effect on vital parts of DNA in the mitochondria of your cells. The danger of this is that neurodegenerative Illnesses such as Parkinson’s are believed to be tied to mitochondria damage. Sodium Benzoate can also cause serious problems with the thyroid gland and therefore have a negative impact on your metabolism.
*Sodium Benzoate is often referred found on food labels under the name “potassium salt.”
- 2. Monosodium Glutamate
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is a preservative which is found in things like canned soups, canned meats, boxed dinners and many other pre-prepared meals which do not require refrigeration. Simply put, MSG is like an edible version of formaldehyde (used in laboratories to preserve dead body parts). It has been known to cause diseases such as asthma and hardening of the arteries, and the jury is still out on other possible negative side effects. Thankfully, MSG is easy to spot since In the 1990s the FDA required it to be set apart from flavorings and spices on food labels.
- 3. BHA/BHT
Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) are added to foods to preserve fats and are found in butter, lard, cereals, sweets, beer, vegetable oils, potato chips, some nuts, instant potatoes, dry mixes, glazed fruits, chewing gum and some meat products such as poultry and sausage. When used in combination, BHA and BHT are a known carcinogen. Thankfully, these preservatives are also easy to spot of food labels as most often they are simply referred to as BHA or BHT.
In spite of the fact that BHA is assumed to be “reasonably safe,” it is being anticipated to become a known carcinogen. It also causes disruptions to your endocrine system (which controls metabolism), the thyroid and in some laboratory tests has caused problems with reproductive functions.
- 4. Calcium Chloride
Calcium Chloride is used to preserve canned vegetables and canned fruits in order to keep them firm. While there is not yet a large body of evidence about the negative effects of Calcium Chloride, it’s important to remember that anything which is made to preserve an organic substance is likely to have some kind of preserving or hardening effect on parts of your body. Even if a preservative is not yet labeled as being harmful, it’s still not something was naturally made to be ingested into your body.
Defending Your Body
By now you might be scared out of your mind to eat anything which is not 100% natural. You might even be overwhelmed by the need to check labels or to remember what to look for. However, there are a few simple things which you can do to defend yourself against these deadly preservatives starting today:
- 1. Keep a note card when you go food shopping
Most people bring a “things to buy” list with them when they go shopping. Why not bring an additional list as a reminder of what to look for on the food labels as well? While you will spend additional time looking for these preservatives, you will also learn very quickly what types of foods and brands have them. Not to mention the future time that you WON’T have to spend in the hospital or doctor’s office later in life.
- Eat Fresh or Organic Whenever Possible
It might not be possible to eat organic all of the time, it can make an enormous difference long term it you just begin to do it whenever possible. It’s also a good idea to eat fresh foods, since foods which are fresh have no need to have preservatives added. It’s also a good idea to get into the habit of purchasing foods fresh and storing them in a freezer to preserve them. Good stand alone freezers can be purchase for $80 to $150, a small price to pay in comparison to future medical bills.
- 3. Be Safe Instead of Sorry
Too often, people are willing to gamble on eating preservatives or artificial flavorings/colorings because there is not yet rock solid evidence of negative effects. However, it’s also important to remember that MANY preservatives which were once believed to be harmless have now been confirmed as carcinogens. Just because all of the evidence is not in yet is no reason to assume that preservatives are safe. If any assumptions are to be made, make them in favor of your own health instead of giving the preservatives the benefit of a doubt.
Always remember that even if they are confirmed to be “safe” (which is usually not the case with preservatives) that they are still not recognized by your body as food and therefore have no benefit to your body. They are instead created by food companies as an attempt to preserve shelf-life and thus preserve profits for the company producing them. Give value to your health instead and let the profits be the food industry’s concern.
Do you know what preservatives are in your foods?
John and Linda Ballis
For more helpful tips on balancing your life and further articles on building good relationships revisit this blog regularly, http://wheeloflifeblog.com or go to our website http://wheeloflifebook.com and purchase our book “The Wheel of Life’s 8 Keys to Success”
Friday, 15 June 2010
© 2010 – Wholistic Medical Centre