Do you know what's in your food? Your skin care products? Your hair care products?
Did you know the standards for FDA approval?
Sure, you'll hear about a lot of scare tactic articles about how every little ingredient causes cancer and then you'll read the opposite somewhere else. Really, it just depends who wrote the article and what they're trying to persuade you to buy. I'm sure not ALL man made and synthetic ingredients are bad for us, at least not in moderation which is why they get FDA approval. However, when I think about all the food that goes into my body, all the products I use on my skin and hair, I'm thinking it adds up and I'd rather be safe than sorry.
Not only could there by cancer causing chemicals in there but the further you get away from what nature created, the more likely it is that your body will not react normally. That's why, a few years ago, I stopped using all cosmetics and toiletries that contained chemicals and switched to natural ingredients. I found that my skin and hair looked better after using natural ingredients. I found a handmade, natural deodorant that works better than any other deodorant I've ever used. My hair doesn't get sticky build up from hairspray when I use natural hairspray. I could go on.
Now, I had to try several brands before I settled on my favorites but I have found products that work for me. If you're looking for recommendations, I've got them! Two products that I would, hands down, say are the best on the market for the price are Soapwalla Deodorant Cream and Giovanni L.A. Hold Hair Spritz. I also love Vitacost.com for discounted prices and free shipping if you spend over $50.
I also try to by organic, Non-GMO goods whenever possible. Why? Because who wants chemicals sprayed on their foods? And, who wants genetically modified food. What is that doing to our bodies? I also don't like to eat things I can't pronounce. That can't be real food.
I'm paraphrasing an article from 'Wake up World' about Eight Ingredients you never want to see on your Food Labels. Read the original article here.
This preservative is used as a preservative in foods that contain oils. It has been shown to cause cancer in rats, mice, and hamsters. The reason the FDA hasn’t banned it is largely technical—the cancers all occurred in the rodents’ forestomachs, an organ that humans don’t have. Nevertheless, the study, published in the Japanese Journal of Cancer Research, concluded that BHA was “reasonably anticipated to be a carcinogen,” and as far as I’m concerned, that’s reason enough to eliminate it from your diet.
These synthetic preservatives are used to inhibit mold and yeast in food. They are also frequently used in skin/hair care products. The problem is parabens may also disrupt your body’s hormonal balance. A study in Food Chemical Toxicology found that daily ingestion decreased sperm and testosterone production in rats, and parabens have been found present in breast cancer tissues.
3. Partially Hydrogenated Oil
Don’t confuse “0 g trans fat” with being trans fat-free. The FDA allows products to claim zero grams of trans fat as long as they have less than half a gram per serving. That means they can have 0.49 grams per serving and still be labeled a no-trans-fat food. Considering that two grams is the absolute most you ought to consume in a day, those fractions can quickly add up. Look for partially hydrogenated oil on the ingredient statement. If it’s anywhere on there, then you’re ingesting artery-clogging trans fat.
4. Sodium Nitrite
Nitrites and nitrates inhibit bacteria and maintain processed meats’ pink coloring which is why the FDA allows their use. Unfortunately, once ingested, nitrite can fuse with amino acids (of which meat is a prime source) to form nitrosamines, powerful carcinogenic compounds. Ascorbic and erythorbic acids—essentially vitamin C—have been shown to decrease the risk, and most manufacturers now add one or both to their products, which has helped. Still, the best way to reduce risk is to limit your intake.
5. Caramel Coloring
This additive wouldn’t be dangerous if you made it the old-fashioned way—with water and sugar, on top of a stove. But the food industry follows a different recipe: They treat sugar with ammonia, which can produce some nasty carcinogens. A Center for Science in the Public Interest report asserted that the high levels of caramel color found in soda account for roughly 15,000 cancers in the U.S. annually. That about that the next time you reach for that coke or even your favorite Starbucks latte.
Castoreum is one of many “natural ingredients” used to flavor food. Though it isn’t harmful, it is unsettling. Castoreum is a substance made from beavers’ castor sacs, or anal scent glands. These glands produce potent secretions that help the animals mark their territory in the wild.
7. Food Dyes
Plenty of fruit-flavored candies and sugary cereals don’t contain a single gram of produce, but instead rely on artificial dyes and flavorings to suggest a relationship with nature. Not only do these dyes allow manufacturers to mask the drab colors of heavily processed foods, but certain dyes have been linked to more serious ailments. A Journal of Pediatrics study linked Yellow 5 to hyperactivity in children, Canadian researchers found Yellow 6 and Red 40 to be contaminated with known carcinogens, and Red 3 is known to cause tumors. The bottom line? Avoid artificial dyes as much as possible. Did you know that Kraft recently removed artificial dyes from their macaroni and cheese? They didn't tell anyone and we didn't notice. Goes to show that we don't need them! We can "color" food with natural ingredients like spices and it's just as yummy (probably more so).
8. Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein
Hydrolyzed vegetable protein, used as a flavor enhancer, is plant protein that has been chemically broken down into amino acids. One of these acids, glutamic acid, can release free glutamate. When this glutamate joins with free sodium in your body, they form monosodium glutamate (MSG), an additive known to cause adverse reactions—headaches, nausea, and weakness, among others—in sensitive individuals. When MSG is added to products directly, the FDA requires manufacturers to disclose its inclusion on the ingredient statement. But when it occurs as a byproduct of hydrolyzed protein, the FDA allows it to go unrecognized. Also beware that MSG can be hidden in a lot of labels and listed as "natural flavors".
Be aware of what you're putting into your body and feeding your family. Slowly but surely food producers and restaurants are getting on board with cutting out some of these harmful ingredients but it's up to YOU to be in the know. If you're interested in finding out more about the various companies that are making strides on healthier options, you can visit www.foodbabe.com. Vani Hari has made it her life's mission to make us aware of what we're eating and getting our food providers to stop slowly poisoning us.
Here's to heathier habits!