14 Dangerous Food Ingredients You Should Avoid

These days, dangerous food ingredients are not the only ones that can lead to cancer. It’s not a surprise anymore considering how toxic are lives have become in order to have some convenience. However you’ll be surprised at how much we are depending on some of these ingredients in our daily lives!

Acrylamides – These are toxic cancer causing chemicals that come from commercial baking processes. Acrylamides are found in everything from breads to potato chips. Scientists are currently studying their dangerous effects and the National Cancer Institute recognizes that they are potentially dangerous[1].

Aspartame – A chemical sweetener that has the potential to cause neurological damage and alert behavior. Recent studies in rat populations determined that aspartame can alter brain function[2].

BPA (Bisphenol-A) – BPAs are the chemical compounds that plastic drinking manufacturers recently removed from their products. They are common in many packaging plastics. According to the National Institute of Environmental Health and Science, people should be concerned about BPAs. They potentially cause cancer and neurological side effects[3].

Corn Syrup – High-fructose corn syrup is one of the leading causes of obesity and metabolic disorders[4]. One recent analysis demonstrates that the food processing industry has gradually increased the amount of corn syrup in foods, linking the increase to increased cases of diabetes.

Food Colors – Some food colors can alter mood and behavior. The first studies performed in children in the 1990s, determined that behavioral changes, irritability, restlessness and sleep pattern disruptions were all the results of diets high in some food coloring agents[5].

Genetically Modified Ingredients (GMO) – GMOs are the topic of recent debate in the food production industry. Some scholars think GMOs are safe, others argue that there are many health risks associated with modifying the genes of plants to enhance crop yield[6]. Corn is one of the most genetically modified plants we eat.

Homogenized Milk – The homogenization process keeps milk from spoiling, but it might also lead to a number of health problems including heart disease[7].

Partially Hydrogenated Oils – These oils are modified to make them more stable at room temperature. They contain higher levels of trans fatty acids that increase cholesterol and block arteries. Studies show that partially hydrogenated oils alter the lipid profiles that are responsible for heart disease[8].

Sodium – Processed foods are loaded with sodium (salt) as a preservative. According to the American Heart Association, 90% of Americans consume too much sodium. A high sodium diet increases blood pressure, chances of stroke, heart failure, stomach cancer, kidney disease, and kidney stones[9]. Sodium is one of the worst things you can consume and processed foods are loaded with it.

Sodium Nitrite – A cancer-causing red coloring chemical added to bacon, hot dogs, sausage, beef jerky, ham, lunch meats, pepperoni and nearly all processed meats. Strongly linked to brain tumors, pancreatic cancers and colon cancers. The USDA once tried to ban it from the food supply but was out-maneuvered by the meat industry, which now dominates USDA regulations.

Sucralose – An artificial chemical sweetener sold as Splenda. The sucralose molecule contains a chlorine atom. Researchers have repeatedly found that artificial sweeteners make people fat by actually promoting weight gain.

Trans Fat – Fortunately, the food industry is getting away from trans fats. Many commercially baked foods, however, still contain high levels of trans fats which, according to the Mayo Clinic, are known to increase your cholesterol and risk for heart disease and stroke[10].

Yeast Extract – Hidden form of MSG that contains free glutamate and is used in many “natural” food products to claim “No MSG!” Yeast extract contains up to 14% free glutamate. You’ll find it in thousands of grocery store products, from soups to snack chips.

Although getting rid of every single one of these ingredients is near impossible, reducing its intake should give you a nice feeling that you’re taking better care of your body.


  • [1] http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/acrylamide-in-food
  • [2] http://agris.fao.org/agris-search/search.do?recordID=US8466072
  • [3] https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/sya-bpa/
  • [4] http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/79/4/537.short
  • [5] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022347606801642
  • [6] http://agris.fao.org/agris-search/search.do?recordID=US201300119208
  • [7] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0924224406000550
  • [8] http://www.jlr.org/content/36/6/1370.short
  • [9] https://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyDietGoals/The-Effects-of-Excess-Sodium-on-Your-Health-and-Appearance_UCM_454387_Article.jsp
  • [10] http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/trans-fat/art-20046114

Don’t forget to share these dangerous food ingredients with your close ones!

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