seven days of nutrition hacks to shift your wellness: day 5

Let’s read food labels and reduce the number of synthetic food additives you buy and ingest. 

What are Food Additives?

Many food additives are synthetic chemical toxins. The main categories of food additive are artificial preservatives, colors, flavor enhancers and sweeteners, thickeners, emulsifiers and stabilizers, acidity regulators, and anti-caking agents. Toxic synthetic chemicals are also found in many of the containers we store food in.

Why Reduce Food Additives?

There is emerging evidence that exposure to environmental chemicals is associated with obesity as well as other health issues. Research shows that certain chemicals alter a person’s metabolic processes, predisposing, and contributing to continued weight gain.

Many synthetic toxic chemicals are highly fat-soluble. When the body is exposed to toxic substances in excess, the pace of incoming toxins may overtake the pace at which your body’s detoxification systems can eliminate them. This may lead the body to hold on to more fat tissue to store those fat-soluble toxins that cannot be processed and eliminated. Some toxins also disrupt thyroid gland function which affects body fat percentage because it slows down the metabolic rate. 

Synthetic food additives are known to cause nasty side effects such as fatigue, headaches, nausea, rashes, behavioral and mood problems (especially in children), and some are even known to be carcinogenic (cancer-causing).

How to Reduce Food Additives:

Go through your fridge and kitchen cupboards and read food labels. Chuck out anything that contains the flavor enhancer MSG, sweeteners aspartame, sucralose and acesulfame-k, the preservatives sulfites and nitrites, sodium benzoate, calcium benzoate and the color’s tartrazine (E102), Allura red (E129) and brilliant blue (E133).

Avoid eating and drinking out of plastic containers such as plastic bottles, avoid soda cans, and canned foods (which often contain the toxic chemical BPA) and don’t store food in plastic containers (instead choose glass, ceramic or stainless steel). Instead of using foil or cling film, to wrap food, use baking parchment.

Eat organic foods from farmers’ markets to minimize pesticide exposure. Filter your water to remove harmful chlorinators. 

As you reduce the number of preservatives and additives you consume you should notice a variety of positive effects such as increased energy, a more balanced mood, and body fat loss.

Interested in learning more?

Read the next blog – Day 6 – eliminate toxins by eating more bitter leafy greens.the and all the previous days of my 7-day nutrition guide:
Day 1: boost your energy levels through mindful eating
Day 2: sharpen your memory and boost your mood by balancing your essential fatty acid intake
Day 3: strengthen your immune system with fermented probiotic foods
Day 4: balance your hormones by upping your zinc intake