Synthetic preservatives used to inhibit mold and yeast in food, and lengthens the shelf life.
Effects: may disrupt your body’s hormonal balance.
Found in: Cosmetics (moisturizer, lipstick, make-up) Hygienic products (soaps, shampoo, "anti-wrinkle" creams, toothpaste, deodorant, sunscreen, eye drops) Household/industrial products (textiles, glues) Food products (salad dressing, mayonnaise, processed vegetables, frozen dairy products, soft drinks, baked goods)
Chemically modified fats and may be the worst type of fat you can consume.
Effects: they have been shown to increase cholesterol levels, which can lead to a host of cardiovascular problems.
Found in: cake mixes, biscuit, pancake/cornbread mixes, frostings, frozen entrees.
Used to prevent foods that contain oils from going bad.
Effects: shown to cause cancer in rats, mice and hamsters
Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein Ingredient that helps provide flavor. A way companies use to hide the fact a food item is heavily processed.
Effects: a chemical balance that can lead to headaches, nausea, and weakness (monosodium glutamate)
Made from ammonia, petroleum and antifreeze.
Three of the most popular FDA-permitted ones- Yellow #5, Blue #1, Red #40. 17 of 24 synthetic dyes have been banned from use in American foods, but dye isn’t limited to just food. (vitamins, cough syrup, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, etc). Opt for foods that use natural dyes like beta-carotene or annatto, or those that are dye-free.
Effects: Red #3 causes thyroid cancer and is banned in cosmetics, but still allowed foods. Red #40 weakens the immune-system. Yellow #5 (tartrazine) and #6 cause thyroid and kidney tumors in animals.
Found in: candies, drinks, popsicles, puddings, yogurts, gums, boxed mac n’ cheeses, baking mixes, meats, fruits, sauces and chips
Sucralose (Splenda) advertised as "natural" because it's made from sugar, but scientists replace three hydrogen-oxygen molecules with chlorine atoms and change its chemical composition. Saccharin (Sweet'N Low) made from petroleum. Aspartame (Equal) combination of two amino acids—phenylalanine and aspartic acid—usually found in soft drinks.
Effects: may cause everything from brain tumors to Gulf War Syndrome, but the FDA has discounted all of these.
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Chemically similar to table sugar (sucrose), but a cheaper alternative that is a highly processed form of glucose converted into fructose—the type of sugar ordinarily found in fruit.
Effects: claims that it inhibits leptin -- the hormone responsible for telling your brain that you're full, damages tissue and can contain toxic levels of mercury.
Additives used as colorants and to preserve the shelf life of meats such as hot dogs, bacon and sausage.
Effects: keeps hemoglobin molecules in your blood from carrying oxygen to your tissues. When mixed with stomach acids, forms cancer-causing cells associated with: oral, stomach, brain, esophageal and bladder cancers. Side effects include dizziness, headaches, nausea and vomiting.
Found in: fertilizers and explosives and as a solvent in the dry cleaning industry.