Extra artificial chemicals are added to many of our foods. These include flavourings, colorants and preservatives. Sometimes it is obvious to know when chemicals have been used. Brightly-colored candy for instance is almost always colored with chemicals. However, there could be other instances of chemicals that might be surprising.

Many of these additives can be harmful when consumed in high doses. Certain yellow colorants have been found to promote ADD in children, while the likes of caramel coloring and perfluorooctanoic acid are known to be carcinogenic. If you want to stay healthy and take up a more organic diet, here are some of the hidden sources of added chemicals that you may want to be wary of.

Salad dressing

When whipping up a healthy salad, you may want to be careful of dousing it in salad dressing. Many store-bought salad dressings contain lots of added sugar, making them surprisingly calorific. On top of this, many brands of salad dressing were found to contain colorants such as caramel coloring, as well as red and blue dyes. Fortunately, there are brands of healthy salad dressing on the market that don’t have any of these additives. To be totally safe, you can also opt to make your own salad dressing.  

Popcorn

Commercial popcorn is sometimes packed full of added chemicals. These include carcinogenic ingredients such as caramel coloring and perfluorooctanoic acid, as well as butane (commonly found in lighter fluid). Not all popcorn brands contain these chemicals – you can find a guide to several healthy brands here at https://www.womenshealthmag.com.

Greek yoghurt

Greek yoghurt is generally considered a healthy food, but some brands have been found to add colorants and artificial flavours including caramel coloring, blue #1 and red #40. Fortunately, there are a lot of brands on the market that just use fruit and natural colorings – it’s worth shopping for these brands when buying Greek yoghurt.

Maple syrup

Many big brand of syrup contain added flavourings and colorants. Some of these chemicals have been found to cause cancer or liver disease. If you stick to the real stuff (i.e. grade A maple syrup) there shouldn’t be any of these added chemicals. You can read this guide to maple syrups grades at https://newengland.com for more information.

Tap water

Your tap water may contain chemicals such as fluoride. While this is good for our teeth, consuming too much fluoride has been linked to crippling bone diseases. The best way to avoid this chemical is to filter your tap water by installing a filtration system. There are many companies as found at https://www.filtap.com.au/ that can install these filtration systems for you. This is certain to make your tap water chemical free.

Store-bought smoothies

So-called ‘health’ smoothies are sometimes incredibly unhealthy. Some are packed full of added sugar and others are packed full of chemicals such as colorants to make them look more ‘fruity’. If you want a truly healthy smoothie, the best option is often to make your own at home. You’ll know exactly what is going into it.

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