What To Look For On Your Food Labels. In my podcast episode on 6 Super Easy Steps To Mindful Eating, Tip #1 was that you first needed to Learn to Read Nutrition Labels…or kicking labels entirely.
What To Look For On Your Food Labels
In this post, I’m breaking down the ins & outs of looking for toxic ingredients in your nutrition labels to help you manage your own personal health & wellness, as well as that of your family.
If you’re not already looking at packaging, this is a good place to trim down the ingredients of foods coming from a factory.
I will be the first to admit that there is a lot to learn about nutrition and what’s good or bad for you. But the ingredients that make their way into our crops, from the seed, its cultivation methods, as well as into the factories all play a role on what we purchase and put into our mouths.
When it comes to toxic ingredients, you can not assume our government will take care of us. We live in an industrial food model, where Trans-National Corporations get to dictate what’s sold in stores and what is/isn’t labelled.
But I have good news for you. YOU are the one that gets to decide if you’re going to consume that harmful products or not.
The main source of this article was from a website called Naturalnews.com. I felt they had all the right ingredients so I follow along in their footsteps.
Here is a list of 10 toxic food ingredients:
1. Sodium Nitrites – cancer-causing preservative found in most processed meats such as bacon, sausages, sandwich meat, hot dogs, and ham. Research has linked nitrites to a risk of colon cancer. To be sure sodium nitrite does not end up in your system, be sure to opt for nitrite-free, uncured meat products from organic, grass-fed sources.
2. Aspartame – Artificial sweetener with no nutritional value and even depletes your body from the nutrients of other foods and linked to brain cancer
3. Hydrogenated oils such as soybean oil, canola oil, and corn oil. These compounds are chemically extracted and modified to improve their taste, smell, and consistency. Also high in unhealthy omega-6 fatty acids and are known to cause heart diseases, cancer, and diabetes. These same hydrogenated oils are now coming from genetically modified plants.
4. High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) – a refined sugar that’s in almost all candy (halloween too!), and causes significant insulin spikes and feeds the growth of cancer cells.
HFCS is said to be one of the biggest cancer-causing food ingredients on the market and promotes diabetes and obesity, along with cancers. Keep it out of your body & your kids too!
5. Genetically modified Organisms – The topic of my graduate research, and great controversy with farmers all over the world. These GMOs have invaded our food supply and damaged the biodiversity that most of us are unaware of its extent. These foods have shown increased risk as well as cause to many life-threatening diseases, cancer included. GMOs come from soy, canola, sugarcane, cotton, as well as corn. The corn is modified with cancer-causing toxins INSIDE the corn kernel itself so that further chemicals don’t need to be sprayed on the corn. YUK!
6. Glyphosate-containing herbicides – these are sold and promoted by Monsanto for usage with its GM crops. However, glyphosate herbicides are also sprayed on non-GMO crops such as wheat, oats, and barley. FYI: Even if you’re reading your labels and see the GMO-Free Project label on the box, it could be a wheat or oat-based product that’s been sprayed with glyphosates.
7. Acesulfame K – Much like the artificial sweetener aspartame (seen in many low-calorie soda drinks), Acesulfame K is a modified sweetener known to wreak havoc on your nervous system, your digestive system, and also linked to cancer.
8. Artificial colorings – These food dies are often made from petroleum byproducts and hold no nutritional value, and they also contributed to allergies and hyperactivity in children & increased the risk for cancer. It’s a good idea to search for natural ways to colour foods like using dark vegetables with little taste.
9. Chemical preservatives – nitrates, nitrites, and benzoates are added to processed and fast foods to prolong shelf life. They’re known to be highly toxic chemicals and accumulate in the body, causing further damage to our cells and tissues. Once that process occurs, you’re at higher risk of several types of cancer.
10. Hexane-extracted soy protein – Non-organic soy protein is often extracted with hexane, which is a neurotoxic and explosive byproduct of gasoline refinement.
As you can see, these top 10 cancer-causing agents are found in many of our foods in the grocery ails; regardless of whether you’re buying a packaged product or not.
Although you might have great memories of eating a plate of corn on the cob as a young child, that same corn is no longer coming from the same clean kernel you once indulged in.
And sites like healthranger.com are doing great work at helping people stay informed on matters related to feeding our families. Health Supplements share a similar concern, as I reference in a recent podcast episode as well.
The public perception of cooking with these foods varies across many cultures. Sociologist Ulrich Beck speaks of the idea that new technologies will continue to be developed and subsequently introduced into society.
If you’re interested in finding out more about how to think about science as it relates to food, CBC Radio has a series called, How To Think About Science