Natural Health

Healthy living, herbal remedies and DIY natural beauty.

Add to My MSN

4 Reasons to Avoid Food Preservatives

7/14/2014 6:00:00 PM

Tags: food preservatives, Natural Health Advisory, Washington, Kathleen Jade ND

Avoid Food PreservativesChemical preservatives are found in almost every type of processed food, and they are posing serious risks to our health. Here are the top five reasons to avoid food preservatives.

Stomach Cancer

A study that monitored more than 61,000 Swedish women over 18 years found that the consumption of processed meat is associated with a 50% to 100% increase in the risk of gastric cancer.[1] The most dangerous types of meat were found to be bacon, pork, salami, ham, and hotdogs. Additional studies suggest that the development of cancer is due to nitrosamine, a product of nitrite preservatives.[2,3]

Asthma

Sulfur dioxide is found in many soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, dried fruits, and dried vegetables. A study found that one in nine asthmatics experience worsening symptoms as a result of consuming soft drinks that contain sulfur dioxide.[5]

Lowered Blood Oxygen

A study found that sodium nitrite, a common preservative in processed meats, causes lower levels of red blood cells and hemoglobin.[7] These are the cells and molecules responsible for carrying oxygen to the body, a lack of which can lead to decreased energy production and cell death.

Diabetes and Heart Disease

Processed meats have been found to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease by 30%, coronary heart disease by 42%, and diabetes by 19% as a result of their high salt and preservative content.[8]

How to Avoid Preservatives

Processed Frozen Food The following foods are likely to contain the largest amounts of preservatives and should be avoided.

Processed meats such as salami, pastrami, bacon, and all deli lunch meats [1,4]
High-sugar beverages such as soft drinks and flavored coffee [5]
Restaurant food, especially fast food
Canned or dried food, including vegetables, fish, and fruits
Frozen food such as boxed meals.

In general, any food with a high sugar content, a low water content, and an acidic or low pH is likely to contain preservatives. The ones that are most commonly found on ingredient lists are:

Benzene: Sodium benzoate, potassium benzoate, benzoic acid
Acetate: Sodium acetate, acetic acid
Sorbate: Potassium sorbate, sorbic acid, propanoic acid [6]
Nitrate: Sodium nitrite or nitrate, potassium nitrite or nitrate, nitrosamine, nitric acid.
Fresh vegetables and fruits may also be coated with preservatives, but these are easily removed by washing.

Safe Foods and a Vegetable Wash

Researchers suggest eating nuts, legumes, fruits, and vegetables, and replacing processed meat with freshly butchered local meat or wild-caught fish.[8] Vegetables and fruits are safer than meats, but should be cleaned to remove pesticides and preservatives. Spraying and rinsing them with a vinegar or lemon solution will greatly reduce any surface preservatives. One common recipe includes:

1 cup filtered water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon baking soda.

By eating more organic, whole foods, and less processed and packaged food, in general, the better you will feel and the healthier you will be. You can find a variety of delicious, whole-food recipes here.

References

1. Int J Cancer. 2006 Aug 15;119(4):915-9.
2. Br J Cancer. Dec 1973; 28(6): 562–567.
3. Food Addit Contam. 1992 Sep-Oct;9(5):561-77.
4. Public Health Rep. 1984 Jul-Aug; 99(4): 360–364.
5. Br J Dis Chest. 1980 Apr;74(2):128-34.
6. Appl Environ Microbiol. Aug 2004; 70(8): 4449–4457.
7. J Egypt Public Health Assoc. 2001;76(3-4):281-95.
8. BMC Med. 2013 May 23;11:136. doi: 10.1186/1741-7015-11-136.



Related Content

Tuesday Video: How to Avoid Disposable Utensils and Paper Products

These money- and waste-saving alternatives to paper and plastic products eliminate the temptation to...

Chef Paul Fehribach To Revive Great Lakes Food Culture

Paul Fehribach sees history in food, cooking methods and recipes and he’s planning a Chicago restaur...

Five Ingredients to Avoid When Buying Summer Skin Care Products

Many beauty products contain harmful chemicals, but figuring out which are the worst can be difficul...

Content Tools




Post a comment below.

 










Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.