It’s all too common for people in the weight loss industry to focus only on how many calories or macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) one needs to lose weight. However, there are many more things to consider when you are trying to shed some kilos.
A highly processed diet contains many hidden chemicals and toxins that do not agree with the natural metabolic functioning of the body. There are the obvious ones that are found in packaged foods that most people recognize as unhealthy like chips, sodas, baked goods like cookies and cakes, and ready-made meals.
However, below I talk about some additives that are found in foods most people label as healthy:
This substance is used as a dough conditioner for breads in the United states and is used along with toxic oils like GMO soybean oils in breads. Also, when heated it becomes carcinogenic. (This gives a new meaning to toast if you ask me!) It has been banned in the UK and in Europe, but the FDA in the United States still allows it to be used in processed foods. When ingested, this toxic additive has been associated with allergies and asthma.(1)
This lovely little toxic substance has been found by research to cause anaphylactic shock (which can kill you) and has been linked to infertility. In fact, vaccines that are being developed (by the World Intellectual Property Organization of the United Nations) to cause infertility in people include polysorbate 80 in toxic mixes. This is a common ingredient in foods like ice cream, gelatin, and chewing gum. It is also commonly used in beauty products and cosmetics.(2)
This additive has been linked to cancer is short-term studies. If ingested over a long period of time, it can cause nutritional deficiencies which, let’s face it, are the root of all disease AND decrease your metabolism and therefore your fat burning potential. It is found in a wide range of foods like yogurts, cheese, wines, and pickles. It is generally used in processed foods in order to kill mold and increase shelf life. (3)
Carrageenan is an additive that is derived from algae and is used in commercial foods as a stabilizer. Research shows that it decreases immune functions, is carcinogenic, and causes digestive distress. It can be found in MANY foods like chocolate, coconut milk, cottage cheese, almond milk, and even baby formula! (4)(5)
Suffice it to say that all toxins get stored in our fat cells. Therefore, the more toxins (or in this case, additives) you are exposed to, the fatter you are to accommodate for all these unnecessary ingredients. The take home message here is, if you eat packaged foods, READ nutrition labels to recognize the above additives and in general, eat real, whole, organic foods to have as minimal exposure to these additives as possible. Your waistline will thank you for it.