Food Additives To Avoid

Food additives are commonly used in processed food in order to preserve their flavor or improve their taste. Using food additives have become quite common that many people may have overlooked their bad effects. Common as these food additives may be, health conscious individuals should learn more about the risks as well as their effects on health. Here are some of the more common food additives to watch out for.

Sodium Nitrite

Sodium nitrite is a food additive compound common as a preservative for meat. It is commonly used to preserve the color and the flavor of many meat products. Sodium nitrite is a common ingredient in the processing of bacon, ham, hot dogs, corned beef in order to preserve its red color and add up some flavor as well as prevent the growth of bacteria in the meat.

But studies have shown that using sodium nitrite may be linked to various types of cancers. When going through certain high temperature cooking conditions, sodium nitrite can transform into a reactive compound known to promote the growth of certain cancer cells.


Aspartame is a now common artificial sweetener used in many food and beverage products as a low-calorie additive. It is more commonly known for its popular brand names Nutrasweet and Equal. Aspartame is a combination of two amino acids and methanol and has been a subject of various scientific studies over the years. Many organizations have indicated this food additive as considerably safe but it can also be quite risky for some people suffering from phenylketonuria, an enzyme disorder.

Monosodium Glutamate

Monosodium glutamate or MSG is a common food additive used as a flavor enhancer. It is an amino acid used quite common in many Asian foods. Some studies have shown that MSG may cause nausea and headaches in some people. Animal studies have also indicated that MSG may cause damage to nerve cells in the brains of infant mice.


Butylated hydroxyanisole or BHA and butylated hydrozyttoluene or BHT are common food additives used to prevent food from oxidizing. These additives help prevent fats and oils from going rancid. They can be found in cereals, vegetable oils, chewing gum and potato chips. Some studies show a link to BHA and BHT use to cancer.

These additives are not considered as inert ans stable compounds since they tend to undergo changes during the process of preserving food. These compounds might in turn react with the body which can be a probable cancer risk.



Leave a Reply