Sneaky food additives to avoid


When you eat processed foods, you run the risk of encountering “sneaky stuff” — the unsuspecting additives that find their way into your foods. The marketing of the product may lead you to believe that you’re getting something wholesome when, in fact, you’re not.

Additives are designed to make a food look good, taste good, and last longer. Here’s the kicker: Now, more than 400 additives are perfectly legal to put in your food. If that stirs you, just wait; there’s more — many substances used for flavor enhancers don’t even have to be listed on the ingredient label. These additives put an unnecessary burden on your immune system to make additives immune suppressors.

Here are the many faces of sneaky food additives:

   Artificial coloring

   Artificial sweeteners


   Flavor enhancers

   Glazing agents



Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a common food additive with many different names. It’s also a neurotoxin, meaning it can have a toxic effect on your nervous system. Headaches, nausea, anxiety, or sleeplessness are all among the side effects of MSG. If you see any of these names on your food label, steer clear:

   Autolyzed yeast products


   Anything “hydrolyzed”

   Soy protein

   Yeast extract

Added corn or maize in a food is something you really have to watch out for. This food isn’t immune building, is often genetically modified, and is high on the allergen list. What makes this challenging is that corn and its processed derivatives “sneak” into just about anything packaged — which makes it one of the most overused foods. Look for corn or its derivatives under the following guises:

   Corn flour

   Corn starch (mazena)

   Corn syrup solids



   Food starch

   High-fructose corn syrup


   Modified gum starch


   Vegetable gum

   Vegetable protein

   Vegetable starch

Here’s a great way to avoid the sneaky stuff. If you choose to buy packaged or processed foods, look for ingredients that you recognize or know. Also, avoid any foods with too many ingredients. The problem with processed foods are they often have long ingredient lists.

When you start getting past five or so ingredients, they’re often preservatives, sugars, poor quality oils, and other additives, all of which are terrible for your health. Be careful of snacks, soft drinks, French fries, cured meats, candy, desserts, frozen foods, and fast foods — these foods are highly processed and where additives are frequently found.

Source:  Wendy Warner and Kellyann Petrucci from Boosting Your Immunity For Dummies

Susan Arruda