Learning grocery store lingo and minimizing processed foods in your diet is the first step towards a healthier version of you but reading food labels and identifying ingredients can be difficult. There are 61 different names used for sugar on food labels. Each name is a different version of what is created from processing. Sodium has over 20 different titles and any other ingredient that may not sound appealing is simply renamed. While this may sound crazy, it’s true. Here are some of the most common ingredients on food labels that could be affecting your health.
1. Artificial Flavors
These synthetic chemicals are artificially designed to mimic certain food flavors. In studies, some flavors were shown to be toxic to bone marrow while others unequivocally inhibited red blood cell production. Red blood cells are formed in the bone marrow and their job is to transport oxygen.
2. High Fructose Corn Syrup
Regardless of commercials touting its ‘safety,’ high fructose corn syrup has been directly linked to weight gain, diabetes, and inflammation. Some studies even show that entire countries who use more of this artificial sweetener have seen a sharp rise in Type 2 diabetes specifically.
3. Sodium Nitrate
This is an alkali metal salt compound used as a preservative in processed meat, like bacon and hot dogs. It’s also used as a coloring agent and preservative in fast food burgers. When exposed to heat in combination with amino acids, nitrates can morph into nitrosamine. Consumption of nitrates and nitrosamine have both been linked to multiple forms of cancer.
4. BHA & BHT
These are also food preservatives found in just about everything from chips and cereals to beer and butter. The state of California lists these agents as known carcinogens while the rest of the country lists them as probable carcinogens. Isn’t that enough?
5. Potassium Bromate & Bromic Acid
These oxidizing agents are mainly used as food preservatives to enrich bread products because they also increase volume. Potassium bromate and bromic acid are endocrine disrupters that have been linked to cancer and banned from the food supply in several countries.
Each of these items is Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) by the FDA. They do minimal damage in small amounts, but those build up over time. You get a little bit from this item and then that item, then another, and so on. Think of how this accumulates over the course of a week or even a month. America’s health and obesity crisis is not the result of a nutritiously irresponsible society; it’s in the commercially processed food supply.
As a rule of thumb, look for short ingredient lists with words you can pronounce like Bodhi Beyond protein. The products at Bodhi Beyond are sourced from high-quality organic ingredients you recognize. We believe you shouldn’t have to sacrifice flavor for quality. Pound for pound, our plant-based protein contains more bioavailable nutrients than our processed competitors’ and it tastes amazing.