Ingredients to Avoid in Food

Today, a lot of foods contain a series of compounds that don't do anything for our health. Their sole purpose is to lower costs and maximize the shelf life. Stay alert and avoid these as much as possible.
Ingredients to Avoid in Food

Last update: 18 January, 2021

Years ago, manufacturers introduced a lot of artificial colors, sweeteners, and emulsifiers into food, all of which have had negative effects on our health. In this article, we present a list of ingredients that you should avoid in foods as much as possible.

Artificial sweeteners

Studies show that when we eat something sweet our hunger increases, regardless of how many calories are in it. Other studies have proved that consuming artificial sweeteners causes more weight gain than consuming sugar does.

Aspartame seems to have the most obvious effect, but the same applies to other artificial sweeteners, such as sucralose too; these can cause or aggravate intestinal inflammation as they interfere with gastrointestinal function.

Artificial sweeteners increase the risk of diabetes. A recent study published in Nature magazine demonstrates that they negatively alter our intestinal microbiota. For example, the most sold artificial sweetener, Splenda, or sucralose, can destroy up to 50 percent of the healthy flora in our intestines.

Trans fats and vegetable oils: ingredients to avoid

First of all, trans fats promote inflammation, which is a reference point in chronic illnesses. They also interfere in the basic function of the cellular membranes. This can lead to the beginnings of cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular illnesses.

Trans fats can radically increase the risk of strokes. A 2010 study involving postmenopausal women found a 30 percent higher incidence of ischemic strokes in those who consumed a higher amount of trans fats.

Hydrogenated vegetable oils are present in the majority of processed foods, such as biscuits, and fried foods. As of today, people in the United States eat more than 1,000,000 times more vegetable oils than they did at the beginning of the 20th century; they represent between seven and eight percent of all consumed calories.

We  continue to ignore the dangers of vegetable oils, despite the fact that they become byproducts of toxic oxidation when we heat them. Without a doubt, they are one of the main ingredients in food that we should avoid.

Artificial flavors: ingredients to avoid

Some artificial flavors can pose very serious risks to our health. For example, the butter flavoring added to microwave popcorn comes from the diacetyl component. This can cause several issues for our brain health and can contribute to beta-amyloid plaques, which are associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

Monosodium glutamate

Monosodium glutamate is an excitotoxin. This taste enhancer is often associated with Chinese food, but it’s actually added to a countless amount of processed food products, from frozen food and dressings for salads, to fries and meats.

This food component is directly related to obesity, eye damage, headaches, fatigue, disorientation, depression, palpitations, numbness, and pins and needles; enough reasons for it to be an ingredient you avoid!

Colorants: ingredients to avoid

Nine of the food colorants currently approved for use in the United States are related to health problems. Different studies that the chemical industry has carried out demonstrate that they can cause problems from hyperactivity and allergic reactions to cancer.

For example, Red 40 is the colorant we use the most, but it can speed up the development of tumors in the immune system of rats. The studies also highlight it causes hyperactivity in children. Another example is Blue 2, which has been linked to brain tumors.  Manufacturers use this in sweets, drinks, pet foods, and more.

High fructose corn syrup

High fructose corn syrup contains free form fructose and glucose monosaccharides. Fructose is mainly metabolized in the liver as it’s the only organ capable of doing so.

In the liver, fructose is metabolized in a similar way to alcohol, causing mitochondrial metabolic dysfunction in the same way as ethanol and other toxins. Fructose is also similar to alcohol in the sense that the body converts it directly to fat.


Preservatives prolong the shelf-life of foods, which increases the manufacture’s profit. However, the majority of these are related to health problems such as cancer, allergic reactions, and more. Some notable preservatives are sodium nitrate, sodium benzoate, and azodicarbonamide.

Transgenic ingredients

The most recent study on transgenic food involved pigs and was one of the most solid scientific studies specialists have conducted on the effects of a transgenic-heavy diet on our health.

The majority of pigs raised on American soil are usually fed by a mix of transgenic soy and corn. The investigators discovered that this diet caused a severe inflammation in the stomachs of these pigs.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.