By Sara Novak, Planet Green
A diet with too many processed foods can cause a world of trouble for us on a number of fronts. Processed foods lack nutrient density, meaning that many of the vitamins and minerals have been lost in processing or they weren’t there in the first place. Second, we tend to overeat foods like chips, cookies, boxed meals, dips, etc. because we don’t feel satiated. We don’t feel as full as with whole foods loaded with fibrous fruits and vegetables, so we keep on eating. But the most scary aspect of processed foods can often be what we didn’t even realize was added in the first place.
Food additives serve a world of purposes, most of which we weren’t even aware of, but they can also do us harm. You may be seriously surprised at not only what you’ve been ingesting, but what it could be doing to you and the planet.
1. Food Dyes
If you have kids, this is a big one. NPR reported that the FDA is meeting this week to decide whether some foods with added dyes should either be banned or at least carry a warning label to let parents know ahead of time. Michael Jacobson, director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest is most concerned about Red No. 40, Yellow No. 5 and Yellow No. 6, which make up 90 percent of the food dyes on the market. Food dyes are known to cause child hyperactivity and even ADHD. Though we’ve been using food dyes for years, use has gone up fivefold in the past 50 years, according to the article. Food dyes are found in processed foods especially fruit snacks, candy, cookies, icing, sausage, and cereal. Read labels and stick to whole foods to avoid them.