10 Food Additives You Should Avoid
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There's a good chance you'll find a food additive if you read the ingredients label of nearly any item in your kitchen pantry. They are employed to lengthen a product's shelf life or to improve its flavour, appearance, or texture. While some of these chemicals have a history of having negative health consequences and should be avoided, others are risk-free and safe to use. 

Here are 10 of the most popular food additives, along with suggestions for which ones to avoid consuming.

Monosodium Glutamate

MSG, also known as monosodium glutamate, is a typical food additive used to enhance the flavour of savoury dishes. It can be present in many processed products, including canned soups, frozen entrees, and salty snacks. Additionally, it is frequently added to dishes at fast food restaurants. However, because this additive cannot cross the blood-brain barrier, it is most likely to have little to no impact on the health of the human brain. Although other studies have found no correlation, several observational studies have linked MSG consumption to weight gain and metabolic syndrome.

Artificial Food Colouring

Everything from candy to condiments can look brighter and better thanks to artificial food colouring. However, there have been a lot of worries regarding possible health implications in recent years. Some people have experienced allergic responses after consuming certain food colours such as Blue 1, Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6. A different study revealed that some kids may be more sensitive than others. Another review stated that artificial food colouring may encourage hyperactivity in kids. Additionally, questions have been raised regarding the potential cancer-causing effects of some food colours.

Sodium Nitrite

Sodium nitrite, which is frequently present in processed meats, prevents the growth of bacteria while simultaneously imparting a salty flavour and a reddish-pink hue. Nitrosamine is a substance that can have numerous harmful effects on health when nitrites are exposed to high heat and amino acids. According to one research, consuming more nitrites and nitrosamine was linked to an increased risk of stomach cancer. Additional research has also discovered a connection between processed meat consumption and increased colorectal, breast, and bladder cancer risk.

Guar Gum

A long-chain carbohydrate called guar gum is used to thicken and bind food. It is a common ingredient in ice cream, salad dressings, sauces, and soups in the food sector. Guar gum is still widely regarded as secure when consumed in moderation. However, excessive guar gum use may be harmful to your health. This is because it can expand 10 to 20 times its original size, potentially leading to problems including oesophagal or small intestine obstruction. In some people, guar gum may also result in minor symptoms like gas, bloating, or cramping.

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Corn is used to make the sweetener high-fructose corn syrup. It can often be discovered in soda, juice, candy, morning cereals, and snack items. It contains a lot of fructose, a form of simple sugar that, when ingested in large quantities, can have detrimental effects on one's health. High-fructose corn syrup, in particular, has been connected to diabetes and weight gain. In one study, 32 participants drank a beverage for 10 weeks that was either glucose or fructose-sweetened. Compared to the glucose-sweetened potable, the fructose-sweetened drink resulted in significant increases in belly fat, blood sugar levels, and impaired insulin sensitivity by the conclusion of the research.


Carrageenan, derived from red seaweed, thickens, emulsifies, and preserves various food items. Almond milk, cottage cheese, ice cream, coffee creamers, and dairy-free goods like vegan cheese are common sources of carrageenan. Concerns regarding the safety of this popular food ingredient and its possible adverse effects on health have existed for decades. Additionally, it is thought to have a detrimental impact on digestive health and may contribute to the development of intestinal growth and ulcers.

Sodium Benzoate

Acidic foods, including salad dressings, pickles, fruit juices, and condiments, are frequently preserved using sodium benzoate. Although the FDA has generally deemed it safe, various studies have revealed potential adverse effects that should be considered. Another study found that among 475 college students, consuming more drinks with sodium benzoate was linked to increased ADHD symptoms. Sodium benzoate can also be transformed into benzene, a substance that may be linked to cancer development when mixed with vitamins.

Trans Fats

Unsaturated fats that have undergone hydrogenation to lengthen their shelf lives and enhance product consistency are known as trans fats. It can be found in various processed foods, including biscuits, microwave popcorn, margarine, and baked goods. According to one study, eating trans-fat-rich foods raised several inflammation-related biomarkers, which is one of the main risk factors for heart disease. Further, studies suggest a link between trans fats and diabetes. Even a high trans fat diet was linked to a 40% increased risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a comprehensive study involving 84,941 women.

Xantham Gum

The ubiquitous culinary additive xanthan gum stabilises and thickens various foods, including salad dressings, soups, syrups, and sauces. It can also be included in gluten-free recipes to help with texture enhancement. Additionally, taking a lot of xanthan gum may cause digestive issues like increased stool production, gas, and soft stools.

Yeast Extract

Glutamate is a sort of naturally occurring amino acid that may be found in many foods and is present in yeast extract. To enhance the flavour of some savoury items like cheese, soy sauce, and salty snacks, yeast extract—also known as autolysed yeast extract or hydrolysed yeast extract—is added. Foods containing glutamate, like monosodium glutamate (MSG), induce moderate symptoms in susceptible individuals, such as headaches, numbness, and oedema.