4. Spinach dust: In case you think you’re getting your daily serving of vegetables when you eat that green sheen on those veggie snacks, you might want to know that this is powdered spinach dust: spinach that has been dehydrated and sucked dry of any nutritional value.
Found in: So-called “healthy” vegetable-flavored snack foods.
5. TBHQ (butane): Tertiary Butylhydroquinone, or TBHQ as it is more commonly referred to as, is in fact a chemical preservative which is a form of butane. It is used in foodstuffs to delay the onset of rancidness and greatly extends the storage life of foods. So instead of your chicken nuggets being fresh, butane keeps them “fresh.”
Found in: Frozen, packaged or pre-made processed foods with long shelf lives such as frozen meals, crackers, chips, cereal bars and fast food.
6. Trans fat: Trans fat is used to enhance and extend the shelf life of food products and is among the most dangerous substances that you can consume. Found in deep-fried fast foods and certain processed foods made with margarine or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, trans fats are formed by a process called hydrogenation.
Found in: margarine, chips and crackers, baked goods, fast foods
7. Vanillin (wood pulp): Most vanilla flavoring is either made from petrochemicals or derived from a by-product of the paper industry. Ester of wood rosin, which comes from pine stumps, is in citrus-flavored sodas to keep the citrus flavor evenly distributed through the can.
Found in: Artificially flavored yogurt, baked goods, candy and sodas.
And in case you’re wondering about artificial flavors and natural flavors: both artificial and natural flavors are made by “flavorists” in a laboratory by blending either “natural” chemicals or “synthetic” chemicals to create flavorings.
Artificial flavors are human-made chemical concoctions. Unlike artificial flavors, natural flavors are created from natural products – fruits, beef, chicken, spices – and transformed into chemical additives. So though it might make you feel better to see “natural flavoring” on a label, it isn’t necessarily better for you. Indeed, it’s a signal that the real thing is not included in the product.
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