12 Key Additives to Avoid & Their Related Health Risks



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Good Morning and Happy Wednesday everyone!

Finally another nutrition post, Yay! So sorry that I missed one from last week, but sometimes life get’s in the way of blogging! But I am back and today I want to discuss with you all the Top 12 Additives in Foods to Avoid plus their Related Health Risks.

Hydrogenated Fats

Found in: Margarine, most chips and many pre-packaged baked goods

What is a hydrogenated fat? Basically polyunsaturated fats are hydrogenated with hydrogen which changes their biochemical structure, essentially “saturating” them. Once thought of as a beneficial substance, it has now been linked to cardiovascular disease as well as obesity.

Artificial Food Colors

Found in: Colored drinks, color-coated candies, gummy candies, most cereals, cookies & cakes & other pre-packaged or frozen foods

Many food colours have carcinogenic properties, and have been linked to allergies, asthma and hyperactivity in children. Think about this: if you like to eat colorful foods, just consume all the fruits and veggies that you desire and leave the artificial foods alone.

Nitrites & Nitrates

Found in: found mostly in preserved meats such as hot dogs, bacon and salami

Nitrites and Nitrates are a preservative that can turn into nitrosamines in the body which have the ability to become carcinogenic ( caner causing ). Research has indicated that Vitamin C can protect against this harmful process.


Found in: grapes & wine, sulfur dioxide in some fruits & metabisulfites in other foods. Used in preservation of dried fruits and freshly cut potatoes, used in fruit juice concentrates & can be sprayed on grapes and used in the making of wine.

Sulfites are particularly irritating to people suffering with allergies as well as asthma and can actually trigger anaphylactic shock as well as headaches & nausea.

Sugars and Sweeteners

Naturally Found In: honey, maple syrup, date sugar, brown rice syrup, barley malt, fruit juice & fruit juice concentrates, fructose & molasses. 

Refined Sugar products are added to almost everything

Can cause dental cavities, obesity, diabetes, elevated blood sugar, hypoglycemia, behavioral changes & food cravings. Natural forms of sugar should be limited, but to be totally honest I love my Maple Syrup and I will not be taking that out of my diet, I just don’t eat it every day.

Artificial Sweeteners

Found in: soft drinks, gum, candies, beverages, instant tea/coffee,  desserts etc.

Also known as Aspartame, Saccharin & Acesulfame-K these artificial sweeteners have been linked to many health related problems such as allergies, changes in behavior and may also be carcinogenic.


Found in: soups, candies, crackers & other packaged foods

Can cause headaches, irritability, an increase in heart rate, tingling of the muscles or skin and a tight feeling in the chest.


Found in: cereals, crackers, and products containing oil as a preservation method


Can be very damaging to the liver as well as the nervous system. Linked to some cancers and may also cause allergic reactions. My thinking behind this is: if a chemical can preserve food for years and years to come, yet an apple rots in the fridge in a week…how can the preservative filled food it be good for us?

Artificial Flavors

Found in: almost all processed and refined foods

Generally these foods are not healthy to begin with as they have been highly processed and therefor lack the nutrition that the body needs. Leave foods containing artificial flavors for the occasional treat and not as an everyday occurrence.

Refined Flour

Found in: many baked goods, white bread, pastries etc.

These foods are what I like to call “empty calories”. They do nothing for your body as little to no nutrition is left after the refinement process and these products have been linked to obesity, however they feel oh-so-good for the soul. I suggest not cutting them out of your diet, just leaving them to the occasional treat.


Found in: various foods

I personally like to limit my salt intake as I find that it causes headaches. An excessive intake of salt can lead to fluid retention as well as an increase in blood pressure, & according to my textbook an excessive amount of salt can influence a women’s menstrual cycle.


Found in: various foods marketed to contain half the calories of original product ( low calorie cookies, chips etc ) 

Olestra is an artificial fat used in products that want to have lower calories but still have that rich taste, which may cause diarrhea (ew) and other digestive issues. My advice? Eat the full fat product, but just limit the quantity and occurrence of these treats.

 Please remember that we need to properly nourish our body with wholesome, natural foods and that these pre-packaged products are usually highly refined and not at all nutritious ( despite what a label might say ). Always do what works for you, I am simply here to give you guidance and advice, what you choose to take from this is up to you.

Thank you so much for reading this post, I hope you found a little inspiration in it!

Joy xx.

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2 thoughts on “12 Key Additives to Avoid & Their Related Health Risks

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post! :) I am glad that you liked it and that you were able to take something from it!

      Joy xx.

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