A blog for Phoenix area women

Food Ingredients to Avoid and Surprising Examples

If you’re shopping at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, chances are you’re in the clear with these nasty ingredients that are just plain bad for us. But sometimes our food doesn’t always come from these healthy havens. So if you can remember to check the label before you guzzle down that soda or devour that snack, be on the look out for these unhealthy additives. I’ve also included some surprising examples of foods we thought were “healthy.” Prepare to be shocked…

High Fructose Corn Syrup

A major “no no” additive to avoid is high fructose corn syrup. Studies have shown that this sugar substitute, found in processed foods and beverages, contributes to weight gain and may be a major cause of obesity in the US. Many soft drinks, yogurts, industrial breads, cookies, salad dressings and tomato soups contain what critics call “a toxic chemical concoction.” I’ve listed some popular foods that contain HFCS. You’ll be shocked at what you thought was “heart healthy.”

Some Items Containing HFCS:

  • Yoplait Yogurt
  • Special K
  • Nabisco Wheat Thins
  • Coca-Cola and Pepsi
  • Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice
  • Starbucks’ Frappuccino
  • Thomas English Muffins
  • Kellogg’s Raisin Bran and Corn Flakes
  • Heinz Ketchup
  • Miracle Whip
  • Wishbone Ranch Dressing and Classic Caesar
  • More

Partially Hydrogenated Oil (Trans Fat)

There’s no controversy over whether partially hydrogenated oils, which are, in short, trans fats, are unhealthy for us. In fact, they are so unhealthy that certain states have completely banned the sale of them.

Some Items Containing Trans Fat:

  • Bisquick Cake Mixes
  • Ramen Noodles
  • Girl Scout Cookies
  • Pop Secret Popcorn
  • French Fries
  • Quaker Oats Chewy Granola Bars
  • Saltine Crackers
  • Nabisco Fig Newtons
  • Ritz Crackers
  • Fortune Cookies
  • Margarine

Sodium Nitrate

Many processed foods contain the preservative Sodium Nitrite, NaNO2, especially canned meats. This additive, which is also found naturally, helps prevent certain bacteria from forming. In other words, it helps keep our meats looking deliciously pink. However, this convenient ingredient is also linked to a higher risk of cancer. Watch out!

Meats that Contain Sodium Nitrate:

  • Hot Dogs
  • Sausages
  • Bologna
  • Ham
  • Bacon

Aspartame and Saccharine

For all you coffee drinkers, this one may be hard to cut out. Aspartame and saccharine are popular artificial sweeteners that have been directly linked to cancer! Might as well use regular sugar than increase your risk of cancer.

Some Items Containing Aspartame and Saccharine:

  • NutraSweet
  • Sweet N Low
  • Equal

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