The top 15 toxic chemicals lurking in your food

Is your food making you sick?

The number of food additives used in the U.S. has increased from 800 to over 10,000 since the ‘50s.

How healthy is your diet, really? About 80 percent of all packaged foods sold in the U.S. contain harmful chemicals. The toxins, bacteria, and parasites found in today’s products contribute to more than 200 diseases, from heart attacks and high blood pressure to cancer. Unless you grow your own food, you can never know what goes into your plate.

What’s wrong with today’s diet?

For the first time in history, children are expected to die earlier than their parents. This is due to the growing rates of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses. Bad eating plays a key role in the development of these conditions. Researchers are pointing their fingers at food chemicals and poor nutrition.

Over the past few years, autism and ADHD rates have skyrocketed. The number of people diagnosed with mental diseases has doubled since the ’80s. Childhood obesity rates have increased by over 200 percent. Food chemicals are a major contributing factor to these problems. Actually, certain types of cancer are directly linked to GMOs and toxic additives.

Nowadays, most foods are heavily processed. Even those considered healthy may contain dangerous chemicals. For instance, vitamin water is just as bad as soda. It’s not unusual to see cane sugar, fructose, sorbitol, modified corn starch, and artificial colorings listed on the label.

Breakfast cereals, which are marketed as healthy, have little or no fiber. They actually contain large amounts of sugar, synthetic flavors, high fructose corn syrup, and additives. Canned tuna is high in mercury. Soy milk is highly processed and contains flavor enhancers. Cheese products are made from less than 51 percent milk. The other 49 percent consist of additives and synthetic flavors.

Food manufacturers add chemicals to their products to make them more appealing or increase their shelf life. Some additives that are commonly used in the U.S. have been banned in other countries years ago. For example, azodicarbonamide can be found in most types of flour. The same compound is used in the production of rubber yoga mats and bleach.

Bread rolls and wraps contain potassium bromate, which has been linked to cancer and kidney disease. This ingredient has already been banned in China, Canada, and Europe. About 10 percent of all drinks found on the U.S. store shelves are made with brominated vegetable oil (BVO), which has been outlawed in about 100 countries. Its potential side effects include hearing loss and organ damage.

According to science, more than five percent of people are sensitive to at least one food additive. This increases their risk of allergic reactions, skin rashes, and anaphylaxis. Food colorings, preservatives, and artificial flavors are highly toxic too.

For instance, yellow #5, yellow #6, and red #40 contain benzene, a potential carcinogen. Upon ingestion, yellow #6 mimics estrogen in the body, causing hormonal imbalances, breast cancer, and infertility. Monosodium glutamate may cause tingling, numbness, and migraines. Sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite have been linked to cancer.

These toxins accumulate in your body and stay there for years. They pass from mother to the fetus, damage your internal organs, and release free radicals in the body. Over time, your natural detox mechanisms become less effective at removing waste. This causes a buildup of toxins in the bloodstream, which can lead to organ failure, brain damage, joint pain, muscle cramps, weight gain, premature aging, and impaired immune function. Additionally, processed foods are chock-full of sugar and trans fats.

The best thing you can do for your health is to eat whole foods. Organic fruits, vegetables, wild-caught fish, nuts, and seeds are a safe choice. The number of food additives used in the U.S. has increased from 800 to over 10,000 since the ’50s. These include high-fructose corn syrup, butter and cheese flavors, nitrites, propionic acid, aspartame, propylene glycol, and benzoates. Just because these compounds are approved by the FDA, it doesn’t mean they’re safe. Their side effects shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Feeling confused? Here are the 15 most toxic chemicals lurking in your food:

High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) — This common food additive is worse than sugar. It goes straight to your liver, causing organ damage and toxicity. HFCS also increases triglycerides and cholesterol levels, triggers weight gain, and promotes fat storage in your body. To stay safe, avoid this ingredient at all costs.

Sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite — These preservatives are found in deli meats and junk food. In the long run, they increase your risk of colon cancer and metabolic syndrome, which is a major risk factor for obesity and diabetes.

Propyl gallate — Frozen dinners, canned soups, popcorn, and processed meats contain propyl gallate — a potential carcinogen.

Artificial sweeteners — Despite their low calorie content, artificial sweeteners are not better than sugar. They may actually lead to several types of cancer, vision loss, headaches, swelling of liver and kidneys, heart disease, insulin resistance, and diabetes.

Red #40 — This popular food coloring has been shown to cause hyperactivity in children. It also increases the risk of cancer.

Red #3 — Ice cream, pastries, and pie fillings contain red #3, an artificial food dye that contributes to thyroid cancer and nerve damage.

Caramel coloring — Ammonia, one of the main ingredients in caramel coloring, has been found to cause cancer in rats.

Yellow #5 and Yellow #6 — These artificial flavors are made from coal tar and used in store-bought mac and cheese, ready-made meals, and frozen dinners. It may cause ADHD, food allergies, and cancer.

Olestra — When you’re on a diet, fat-free chips seem a good choice. Unfortunately, these snacks contain olestra, a fattening ingredient that promotes weight gain and cause digestive distress.

Brominated vegetable oil (BVO) — Soda and energy drinks are made with BVO, which is the same ingredient used in plastics, furniture, and flame retardants. This chemical affects reproductive health and causes fat buildup in the adipose tissues.

Arsenic — Poultry and processed meats may contain traces of arsenic, which has been linked to heart disease, cancer, and type II diabetes.

Acrylamides — Cooking high-carb foods at high temperatures leads to the release of acrymilades. These toxins may cause breast and ovarian cancer, brain damage, birth defects, and cardiovascular disease.

Bisphenol-A (BPA) — Canned foods contain BPA, an estrogen-like compound that messes up your hormones. This substance has been linked to insulin resistance, diabetes, obesity, reproductive problems, infertility, and behavioral changes.

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) — At high heat, the lining of microwave popcorn bags releases PFOA, a toxin that may cause cancer and thyroid disease. Make popcorn the old fashioned way to reduce your expose to chemicals.

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) — Processed foods, such as hot dogs and chips, taste so great because of MSG, a popular flavor enhancer. This chemical affects brain function by overexciting nerve cells to the point of damage or death. In the long run, it puts you at risk for Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, vision problems, and seizures.

These are just a few of the many chemicals found in today’s foods. The list can also include sulfur additives, synthetic trans fats, sulfites, rBGH, enriches flour, polysorbate 60, aluminum, and other toxins.

Now that you know the dangers, read food labels and make an informed decision. It’s in your power to eat clean and enjoy optimum health.