The food additive intended to be used in a product must have a purpose. These are the main uses of food additives. One of the main uses of food additives and preservatives is to improve the existing flavor of different foods or products. Additives such as artificial sweeteners and sodium benzoate can be used to enhance the flavor of our favorite carbonated beverages or juices.
Mineral salts can enhance the texture and flavor of certain dishes, and foaming agents help ensure that every time you put the top of your favorite soft drink, it has that rich frothy consistency that you love. Here are 12 of the most common food additives, plus recommendations on which ones you should avoid in your diet. Monosodium glutamate has been the subject of heated controversy since a 1969 study on mice discovered that large quantities caused harmful neurological effects and affected growth and development (. The consumption of monosodium glutamate has also been associated with weight gain and metabolic syndrome in some observational studies, although other research has found no association (3, 4,.
In one study, 61 people who reported being sensitive to MSG received 5 grams of MSG or a placebo. Interestingly, 36% experienced an adverse reaction to monosodium glutamate, while only 25% reported having a reaction to the placebo, so MSG sensitivity may be a legitimate concern for some people (. Artificial food coloring is used to brighten up and improve the appearance of everything from candies to condiments. However, in recent years, there have been a lot of concerns about possible health effects.
Some specific food colorings, such as blue 1, red 40, yellow 5 and yellow 6, have been associated with allergic reactions in some people (. In addition, one review reported that artificial food colors may promote hyperactivity in children, although another study showed that some children may be more sensitive than others (8,. Some animal studies have shown that red 3, also known as erythrosine, increases the risk of thyroid tumors, causing it to be replaced by red 40 in most foods (10, 1). However, several animal studies have found that other food colorings are not associated with any carcinogenic effects (12, 1).
Still, more research is needed to assess the safety and possible health effects of artificial food coloring for humans. In any case, food colorings are mainly found in processed foods, which should be limited in a healthy diet. Always opt for whole foods, which are high in important nutrients and are naturally free of artificial food colors. Artificial food coloring may promote hyperactivity in sensitive children and cause allergic reactions.
Red 3 has also been shown to increase the risk of thyroid tumors in animal studies. Sodium nitrite, often found in processed meats, acts as a preservative to prevent the growth of bacteria and, at the same time, adds a salty flavor and a reddish pink color. A review showed that a higher intake of nitrites and nitrosamine was associated with a higher risk of stomach cancer (1). Many other studies found a similar association, and reported that a higher intake of processed meats could be related to a higher risk of colorectal, breast and bladder cancers) (15, 16, 1).
Other studies suggest that exposure to nitrosamine may also be related to a higher incidence of type 1 diabetes, although the results are inconsistent (1). Sodium nitrite). It is a common ingredient in processed meats that can be converted into a harmful compound called nitrosamine. Higher intake of nitrites and processed meats may be linked to a higher risk of several types of cancer.
Guar gum is high in fiber and has been associated with a multitude of health benefits. For example, one study showed that it reduced symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, such as bloating and constipation (1). A review of three studies also revealed that people who ate guar gum along with a meal had a greater sense of fullness and ate fewer calories when they ate snacks throughout the day (20). Other research suggests that guar gum may also help lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels (21, 2).
However, high amounts of guar gum can have adverse health effects. Guar gum can also cause mild symptoms, such as gas, bloating, or cramps in some people (2). However, guar gum is generally considered safe in moderation. In addition, the FDA has established strict guidelines on the amount of guar gum that can be added to foods to minimize the risk of negative side effects (2).
Guar gum is a long-chain carbohydrate used to thicken and bind foods.). It has been associated with better digestive health, lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, as well as a greater sense of fullness. In particular, high-fructose corn syrup has been linked to weight gain and diabetes. In one study, 32 people consumed a drink sweetened with glucose or fructose for 10 weeks.
At the end of the study, the fructose-sweetened drink caused a significant increase in abdominal fat and blood sugar levels, in addition to a decrease in insulin sensitivity compared to the drink sweetened with glucose (2). Laboratory and animal studies have also found that fructose can cause inflammation in cells (27, 2). Inflammation is believed to play a central role in many chronic conditions, such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes (2). In addition, high-fructose corn syrup provides empty calories and sugar is added to foods without any of the important vitamins and minerals your body needs.
One study found that people who consumed a supplement containing artificial sweeteners for 10 weeks had a lower calorie intake and gained less body fat and weight than those who consumed regular sugar (30). Another study showed that consuming sucralose for three months had no effect on blood sugar control in 128 people with diabetes (3). Keep in mind that certain types of artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, can cause headaches in some people), and studies show that certain people may be more sensitive to their effects (32, 3). However, artificial sweeteners are generally considered safe for most people when consumed in moderation (3).
An animal study showed that exposure to carrageenan increased fasting blood sugar levels). and glucose intolerance, especially when combined with a high-fat diet (3.Test-tube and animal studies have found that carrageenan also triggers inflammation (36, 3). Carrageenan is also believed to have a negative impact on digestive health and may be associated with the formation of ulcers and intestinal growths (3). A small study found that when people in remission for ulcerative colitis took a supplement containing carrageenan, they experienced an earlier relapse than those who took a placebo (3).
generally recognized as safe by the FDA, but several studies have discovered possible side effects that should be considered (40). For example, one study found that combining sodium benzoate with artificial food colors increased hyperactivity in 3-year-old children (4). Another study showed that a higher intake of beverages containing sodium benzoate was associated with more symptoms of ADHD in 475 university students (4). When combined with vitamin C, sodium benzoate can also be converted to benzene, a compound that may be associated with the development of cancer (43, 4).
Carbonated beverages contain the highest concentration of benzene). and diet or sugar-free beverages are even more prone to benzene formation (4). A number of potential health risks have been associated with trans fat intake, and even recently the FDA decided to revoke its GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status (4). In particular, several studies have linked a higher intake of trans fats to a higher risk of heart disease (47, 48, 4).
One study found that eating foods high in trans fat increased several markers of inflammation, which is one of the major risk factors for heart disease (50). A large study involving 84,941 women even showed that a high intake of trans fats was associated with a 40% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes (5). One study found that eating rice with added xanthan gum produced lower blood sugar levels than eating rice without it (5). Another study also found that eating xanthan gum for six weeks reduced blood sugar and cholesterol levels, as well as increasing feelings of fullness (5).
In addition, consume large amounts of xanthan). The gums may also be related to digestive problems, such as increased production of stools, gas and loose stools (5). Not only that), certain flavors such as chocolate, cookies and strawberry have also been found to have a toxic effect on bone marrow cells (5). Similarly, another animal study showed that synthetic grape, plum and orange flavors inhibited cell division and were toxic to bone marrow cells in mice (5).
Like monosodium glutamate (MSG), eating foods with glutamate can cause mild symptoms such as headaches, numbness, and swelling in people who are sensitive to its effects. In addition, yeast extract has a relatively high sodium content, with approximately 400 milligrams in each teaspoon (8 grams) (5). Reducing sodium intake has been shown to help lower blood pressure, especially in people who have high blood pressure (5). In the case of meat and poultry products, various additives or liquid preservatives are used to extend the shelf life of certain products, in addition to increasing food safety for consumers).
While certain food additives have been linked to some pretty scary side effects, there are plenty of others that can be safely consumed as part of a healthy diet. .