Why should we avoid food chemicals, food additives and food preservatives?

Additives such as flavors, colors, sweeteners and hydrogenated oils, emulsifiers and other additives have been used for many years in the American food industry.

They are added to improve the appearance, flavor, packaging, processing and shipping of the food we eat on a daily basis.

The human body is a detoxing machine, but the current volume of food additives is creating a level of toxicity within the human body that results in inflammation, headaches, skin disorders, and many, many other symptoms.

Food for thought: How much of your current food budget are you spending on processed and packaged food, and more importantly, what does the ingredients list say for these products?

As the year comes to an end, many of us find ourselves looking forward to a healthier 2018.

All packaged food is not bad, but finding the ones with cleaner ingredients should be at the top of your list for the new year.

Top offenders to look out for on ingredients lists include:

1. High-fructose corn syrup

2. Hydrogenated oils or trans fats (modified vegetable oil, hydrogenated vegetable oil)

3. Artificial sweeteners (aspartame, saccharin, neotame, sucralose)

4. Food dyes (red 40, yellow 5, and yellow 6 are the most common used)

5. Soy protein isolate

One simple but powerful strategy to drastically reduce your chemical overload in 2018 is by buying most of your food from the perimeter of the grocery store. This is where you find the fresh produce, meat, fish and dairy.

When shopping in the inner aisles of the store, it’s important to read the ingredients list. A simple rule-of-thumb is that if you cannot pronounce the ingredients, put the product back on the shelf and find an alternative. Also, it’s generally true that the fewer ingredients listed, the cleaner the food.

A great example is peanut butter. Next time you are in the grocery store, look at the ingredients list of a natural peanut butter label. It will say peanuts and salt. If you roast and grind a peanut, you get the butter. Now compare that to a name brand shelf-stable peanut butter, and you’ll find the ingredient list is much longer and loaded with hydrogenated oil to extend its shelf-life and so you don’t have to stir it before use.

Save your arteries the unhealthy hydrogenated oils and stir your peanut butter.

It’s these types of simple decisions that come from reading ingredient lists that can set you up for a healthier, less toxic 2018 and beyond.