Food Additives & Preservatives Can Hurt You!

Food AdditivesMany food additives are some of the most dangerous chemicals known to cause disease yet approved by the government as generally accepted as Safe. It’s bad policy! Do you really know what food additives are in the foods you consume? Is there really any way to tell? It’s bad enough that pesticide residues contaminate the food supply, but to intentionally alter foods through the use of chemicals is criminal to the body! Natural foods need no additives. While food additives may increase shelf life, texture, or supposedly flavor what is the price our bodies pay for these conveniences?

What is a food additive, preservative?

A food additive is any substance that is added to a food product to preserve (improve self life), enhance (better texture or flavor) or stabilize (make it more presentable) or supposedly nutritious (Synthetic Vitamins). It is my belief that ALL food additives are BAD! Only in circumstances where it is absolutely necessary and FRESH unaltered natural organic foods are not available would I suggest eating anything with additives. I am frustrated with many of the so-called Organic Food Manufacturers that put “Additives” in their products. Things like Kombu Seaweed instead of MSG. And additive is an additive. Don’t be fooled just because they change it’s name to something else. Eat whole natural unprocessed (including minimally cooking) foods whenever possible.

So why use food additives?

Pretty simple: Flavor, texture and most important shelf life. And long shelf life means MORE MONEY! A bign manufacturing conglomerate like Kraft Foods needs to make products it can ship all over the country (or world) that are stable and won’t spoil and allow the grocer to display them long enough to sell them. They couldn’t possibly make money selling fresh foods without additives (Homer Simpson Grin – “or could they”). Keeping the product from decaying on the grocery store shelf as long as possible means more profits to the big commercial food companies. True, naturally grown organic products have a short shelf life and require a much quicker time to market.

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What does Generally Accepted as Safe mean?

This is a scary Government term to allow the use of additives that have not really been tested to be safe, but have not been tested to cause any harm either. Usually this means low parts per billion, with the assumption that our bodies can “tolerate” certain amounts of a substance without causing harm. This is a risky assumption.

Nutritional Labels are designed to “mask” or hide the real additives

A perfect example is “Textured Soy Protein”. It sounds innocent enough but it’s full of Mono Sodium Glutamate, and you’ll find it in canned chilli, and some soups. I will provide more examples at a later date.

Can Chronic Pain Come From Food Additives?

It is always amazing to me when I find a food substance that when taken in excess can cause pain the body. And sometimes these foods, and food additives that are regulated by the government, are supposed to be safe. When I test clients and their supplements, or ask about their dietary habits, or chemicals in their work environments, we often discover chemicals or foods that are causing their chronic pain symptoms. When these chemicals are removed, much of their pain subsides.

When I talk to clients, I often ask if they can decipher what foods tend make the pain worse or better, and if they crave certain foods in their diet. One of the foods I am always listening for are diet soft drinks with aspartame (Nutrasweet). From personal experience, I have been relieved of constant headaches when I was convinced to stop drinking Diet Pepsi. I was a regular user and once I stopped drinking it, the nagging headaches that I had for a long time totally cleared up. So if you are drinking diet soft drinks, STOP NOW, and see what difference it makes. I have had quite a number of clients feel much better just a couple weeks after abstaining from soft drinks.

Recently, we have been introduced to the new fake sugar called Splenda. Advertising for Splenda says that is made from sugar, so it tastes like sugar. But this doesn’t tell the whole story. Splenda is made by taking out 3 of the 6 molecules that make up sugar, and adding chlorine molecules. If you are avoiding chlorinated water because of chlorine toxicity, then you should be avoiding Splenda. You are getting chlorocarbons from Splenda that can cause immune system problems, such as thymus gland shrinkage, and other genetic and reproductive damage.

The FDA approved Splenda in 1988 as a sucralose sweetener that tastes just like sugar. But the sugar flavor is artificial, since Splenda is about 600 times sweeter than natural sugar, so the sugar flavor is forced out of the partial sugar molecule. And our body cannot use the sugar in Splenda as fuel for our brains. It does not turn into the glucose we need for brain function and energy production. Early studies show many of the same side effects, such as headaches and chronic pain, as found with aspartame.

Soft drinks have surpassed water as the number one choice of beverage in the United States. Aspartame is not the only problem. When you have fibromyalgia or any other autoimmune disease, you need good minerals in your diet to distress the immune system, and the phosphoric acid in the dark soft drinks will rob your body of calcium. The sugar version is not better for you either, since sugar stresses your adrenals, especially when it comes in concentrated doses, like it does in any sugar-laden soft drink.

Also all soft drinks are very acidic, with an average reading of 2 to 3 pH. Acid urine and saliva pH readings are related to immune system stress, and joint and muscle stress. So if you want to have your urine and saliva pH levels stay in balance (in the 6.4 pH range or higher) avoiding soft drinks is very important. Coffee is another acid drink, along with beer. Green tea is the only relatively popular alkalizing drink. Or you can add lemon or lime to your water (without sugar) for flavoring.

Other substances also can cause chronic pain. Fillers, preservatives, food additives and coloring agents in supplements can build up as toxins in the tissues. This often makes it harder to lose weight, and can create pain when these toxins are stored in your tissues disrupting your nervous system pain response. This is why it is important to use high quality nutritional supplements without a lot of fillers. Too many over the counter vitamins and minerals seem to have more fillers than nutrients on the label, and these are the ones to avoid.

When choosing foods for your daily diet, or supplements that support your daily diet, look for foods and supplements that do not have fake sugars, preservatives like propylene glycol, and any food colorings. By finding out what chemicals, processed foods, or supplements are causing your pain; you will also be able to see a remarkable difference in just a short period of time.

Jane Oelke, N.D., Ph.D. is a Traditional Naturopath and Doctor of Homeopathy in southwest Michigan. She is the author of “Natural Choices for Fibromyalgia” and “Natural Choices for Attention Deficit Disorder.” She is a professional speaker on natural health topics. She can be contacted at DoctorOelke@aol.com or through her website at http://www.NaturalChoicesForYou.com

Posted by on Jul 9th, 2008 and filed under Nutrition. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response by filling following comment form or trackback to this entry from your site

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