The best thing you can do for your body is to eat whole foods, ones that don’t require a label. We understand, even as nutritionists, that that is not possible all of the time, so being aware of the potential health risks that food additives may cause you is important.


Artificial Sweeteners


Nutrasweet, Equal, Splenda, etc (example: sugar-free food items)

  • Believed to be carcinogenic and neurotoxic
  • May lead to chronic fatigue, depression, headaches, nausea, and dizziness
  • Exacerbate the desire for sweetness


High Fructose Corn Syrup


(example: candies, dressings, cereals)

  • Terrible for the liver (children developing fatty liver disease)
  • Highly refined, rapidly absorbed in the body and causes big spikes in insulin
  • Risk of metabolic disturbances like increased appetite, weight gain, heart disease


Monosodium Glutamate


MSG (example: seasonings, canned soups, lunch meat)

  • Effects neurological pathways—may contribute to fatigue, headaches, obesity
  • Known to over excite our body’s cells to the point of damage or death
  • Does not affect everyone and does occur naturally in aged foods like salami


Trans Fatty Acids


Hydrogenated Fats (example: margarine, chips, fast foods)

  • Shown to increase risk of heart attacks, strokes, inflammation, diabetes, etc.
  • Increases cholesterol levels, insulin sensitivity, obesity


Food Dyes


Blue #1 and #2, Red #3, Yellow #6 (example: sodas, juices, dressings)

  • Banned in much of Europe due to high chemical level and links to cancer
  • Links to behavioral changes such as attention deficit disorder and inattentiveness


This list is not extensive, but is just to get you thinking about the food you are putting into your body. All in all, moderation is key. The problem comes from consuming these highly refined foods in excess. This is not to say you can never eat these foods again, but becoming aware of what is in your food is a step to improving your health.


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