What enhances flavor, makes food last longer, and improves food appearance? Food additives.
By now, you probably already know that in order to get fit and stay fit, you have to eat healthily. However, a lot of the so-called healthy foods that you consume every day have some harmful substances that could be slowing you down.
If you really want to lose weight, build muscle, and achieve maximum fitness, then you must ensure that what you’re putting into your body is actually good for you. Otherwise, you could find yourself gaining weight or hitting a weight loss/muscle gain plateau.
Read on to learn the top five food additives you should be staying away from.
Consume Less Potassium Bromate
Typically added to white flour, rolls, and bread, potassium bromate is an additive that increases the risk of kidney and thyroid tumors in animals. This additive strengthens dough so that it rises when baking and gives finished bread its white color.
Potassium bromate is actually banned in a number of countries, including Europe and the United Kingdom. The cancer-causing additive can destroy your thyroid glands and cause your hormones to go out of whack. Plus, too much can make you feel sluggish and cause you to pack on more pounds.
Nothing Is Sweet About Aspartame
Aspartame is a food additive that many people on diets use regularly. You can find the product in your diet soda pop, sugarless candy, and even in toothpaste. It’s known for being much sweeter than sugar and having no calories, but there’s also a downside.
When consumed, aspartame is broken down into methanol, and too much methanol can be extremely harmful to the body. Why? Well, methanol is further broken down into formaldehyde, which is a well-known neurotoxin and cancer-causing agent.
Although aspartame has been approved by healthcare organizations like the FDA and the World Health Organization, it should still be consumed less frequently. Studies have linked the food additive to weight gain, Alzheimer’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.
Carrageenan: The Organic Food Additive
Found in red seaweed, carrageenan acts as a preservative, emulsifier, and thickener in various “healthy” food products. It’s most commonly found in ice cream, coffee, vegan cheese, and almond milk. The additive is actually not digestible, which may explain why it’s so hard on the digestive system. Studies show that frequent exposure to carrageenan is linked to intestinal ulcers and leaky gut syndrome.
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
Of all of the food additives mentioned on this list, monosodium glutamate has likely received the most attention in the last decade. MSG is known for enhancing food flavors in processed foods, but what makes it so bad? Well, it turns out that glutamate functions as a neurotransmitter in the brain and too much of it can cause damage to nerve cells.
Studies have also found that routine ingestion of MSG can lead to eye damage, fatigue, headaches, depression, confusion, and obesity.
Trans fat is used to extend the shelf life of food items and is considered one of the most dangerous additives to consume. Almost all cakes, fried foods, potato chips, and non-dairy creamers contain trans fat.
In the United States, food labels can state 0 grams of trans fat if the food item has less than 0.5 grams of trans fat. Unfortunately, this means that individuals are more likely to unknowingly overindulge and cause significant damage to their heart. Harvard University researchers were able to link trans fat with heart attacks and heart disease.