The Top 8 Worst Food Ingredients You Should Avoid

We all so wish that we could have food companies that always live up to what they promise which is to provide us with nutritious and high-quality foods ALL THE TIME. But unfortunately, the opposite is always what we get.

Ever since the food and food manufacturing industry discovered the science of pretension and substitution of foods with a lower quality one, there have been proliferating quite a number of ingredients that may compromise your family members’ health. These tacky ingredients might also be toxic, which makes you wonder how they got into the food in the first place!

As a friend said, “no way” are we going to let them get away with this, not when our loved ones are concerned!

Here is our list of the top 8 ingredients that we need to avoid or be mindful of when we buy that next appetizing bottle or package of food. Avoid them like the plague!

Refined Vegetable Oil

What You Need to Know:  There are many types of refined vegetable oils in the market now but the most common ones are canola oil, soybean oil, peanut oil, corn oil, and safflower oil.

The Bad News: The refining process of vegetable oils uses high temperatures and chemical solvents which bleaches and deodorizes the oil when extracted from its seeds. This process removes the important vitamins and minerals that we need, thus producing a product that easily becomes rancid and oxidizes easily, creating free radicals.

This kind of oils is high in Omega-6 fatty acids which are inflammatory and tend to neutralize the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids in our diet. Aside from stimulating inflammation in the body, it also instigates DNA damage, elevated blood triglycerides, and impaired insulin response. Moreover, many refined vegetable oils are hydrogenated – a process which creates trans fatty acids that have been linked to heart disease and some kinds of cancers.

Where Found: Most processed foods such as baked goods, crackers, granola bars, etc. Also in stand-alone foods like margarine and cooking oils.

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

What You Need to Know: It is an amino acid commonly used as a flavor enhancer in processed foods – one of the most popular food additives.

The Bad News: Called an “excitotoxin”, it is a chemical additive that actually is a toxin to nerve cells, overstimulating them sometimes to the point of death. Regularly eating MSG sometimes destroys large numbers of brain cells that can lead to serious health problems like neurological disorders. Plus, the product has been proven to stimulate appetite which may contribute to obesity or weight gain.

Alter Names: Vegetable Protein Extract, Soy Protein Isolates, Barley Malt, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Yeast Extract, Glutamate, Glutamic Acid, Sodium Caseinate, Textured Protein, Calcium Caseinate, Malt Extract, Hydrolyzed Plant Protein,

Where Found: Processed foods like canned meats, potato chips, canned soups (e.g. Campbell’s Condensed Chicken Noodle Soup), canned meats, pre-cooked frozen entrees, low-fat yogurt, salad dressings (commercially sold), and flavored crackers (Cheez-its, Sunflower Crackers, etc.)

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)

What You Need to Know: A highly-refined sweetener made out of cornstarch and converted into corn syrup through a process called acid hydrolysis.

The Bad News: Almost all of HFCS is made of genetically-modified corn. It is the number one source of calories in the U.S. diet and is known to contribute to weight gain and the development of diabetes. It is also predominantly responsible for developing arthritis, insulin resistance, cardiovascular diseases, elevated triglycerides and raised LDL cholesterol. Unfortunately, HFCS has been found with mercury in 9 of 20 samples of the commercial variety. It is used by 3 different manufacturers of popular brands such as Smuckers, Quaker, Hunts, Kraft, and Nutri-Grain.

Alter Names: Iso-glucose, high-fructose maize syrup insulin, corn sugar, glucose/fructose (syrup), fruit fructose

Where Found: Lunch meats, soda, bread, yogurt, cereals, pizza sauce, soups, salad dressings, and condiments. Americans are reported to consume 12 teaspoons of HFCS daily.

Sodium Nitrite and Sodium Nitrate

What You Need to Know: They are two closely-related chemicals used to preserve meat.

The Bad News: When added to meat, the nitrates are converted to nitrosamines which are associated with a heightened risk of certain kinds of cancers. In 2007, the World Cancer Research Fund declared that eating 1.8 ounces of processed meat every day increases your cancer risk by 20%.

Alter Names: Chile saltpeter, soda niter

Where Found: corned meat, cured meats, bacon, ham, salami, pate, pickled pig’s feet, canned meat (Deviled ham, Vienna sausage), smoked salmon, dried fish, etc.

Potassium Bromate

What You Need to Know: A kind of bromide, it is used to increase the volume of rolls, bread and other flour-based foods.

The Bad News: Known to cause cancer in animals, therefore it is banned in the EU, Canada, and several other countries. Since 1991, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has requested bakers to stop using it. An endocrine disruptor, bromide is rarely used in California because it is required to display a cancer warning on the label.

Alter Names: bromated flour, bromic acid, bromated flour, potassium salt, “enriched flour”

Where Found:  most common baked goods in the U.S., flour, toothpaste, and mouthwash brands as an antiseptic, wonder bread, sunbeam, Home Pride (Orowheat brands, Arnold, Pepperidge Farm, etc.)



What You Need to Know:  The most widely used artificial sweetener

The Bad News:  It is an excitotoxin like MSF. Believed to be carcinogenic, it produces neurotoxic effects such as dizziness, headaches, blurry vision, and gastrointestinal disturbances. Containing 10% methanol which is known to be broken by the body into the toxic by-products formic acid and formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is considered a potent carcinogen and nerve toxin which explains the many reports to the FDA of adverse reactions to Aspartame.

Alter Names: Equal, NutraSweet, Natrataste, Canderel, Spoonful, AminoSweet, etc.

Where Found: Over 6,000 products which include soda-free sodas and drinks, instant breakfasts, yogurt, chewing gum, juice beverages, frozen desserts, and gelatins.

Avoid similar products: Splenda, Sweet ‘n’ Low

Artificial Food Coloring

What You Need to Know:  Your food looks like the dyes that tint your clothes when you use artificial food colorings.

The Bad News:  Originally sourced from coal tar, artificial dyes now are sourced from petroleum. One of the most widely used additives in food now, many dyes have been banned because of their adverse effects on lab animals.

Currently, 9 dyes now are being used in food which raised specific health concerns. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s (CSPI) study on food dyes: The three most widely used dyes – Red 40, Yellow 6, and Yellow 5 – are contaminated with carcinogens. Another dye, Red 3, has been acknowledged for years by the FDA as a known carcinogen – yet it is still used in the food industry now.

These 9 good dyes are connected to health issues spanning from cancer to hyperactivity to allergy-like reactions.

Alter Names: FD&C Blue #1, Bright blue, Ingtotine, FD&C Green Number 3, FD&C Red No.40, Allura Red AC, Caramel Color, Yellow 5 and 6, Fast Green, Sea Green, Royal Blue, Blue # 2, Red Number 3, Brilliant Blue FCF, Erythrosine, among others.

Where Found:  Energy bars, beverages, bread, jam, baked goods, macaroni & cheese, cereal, candy, ice cream, frostings, sorbet, deli meat, puddings, and meat and fish (to make them look fresher)

Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH)

What You Need to Know:  Infamously produced by Monsanto, it is a genetically-engineered version of the natural growth hormone generated by cows. It is used to boost milk generation in dairy cows.

The Bad News:  It contains high levels of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1). Excess levels of this are linked to a major cause of colon, prostate and breast cancers. rBGH milk is not required by law to be labeled.

Giving cows rBGH is said to increase their incidence of mastitis, which is bad news because blood and pus are secreted into the milk. It also triggers antibiotic resistance which is tied to the spread of virulent staph infections such as MRSA. It is also linked to the occurrence of early puberty for girls.

It is occurring in big brands such as General Mills, Dannon, and supermarket chains like Starbucks, Wal-Mart, and Publix.

Alter Names: Recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST)

Where Found: All dairy products that aren’t labeled “No rBGH or rBST”

Do you agree with our list of the worst food additive ingredients that you can remove from your diet? Share your opinion in the comments section below!