Food additives are substances like preservatives, flavor enhancers and coloring agents that are added to food. Their purpose normally falls into one of 4 various categories. They replenish, enhance or keep nutrients, help prepare or process the food, make the food look more attractive or retain the freshness or general quality of the product. But what are the pros and cons of food additives?
The 3 Pros of Food Additives
Here are the pros of food additives.
1. Food Additives Lengthen The Life Of Foods
These substances make it possible to deliver foods to far places, allowing you to try foods not available in your area. Food additives also lengthen the shelf life of food in stores, keeping costs down and reducing wastes.
2. Food Additives Can Enrich Foods
You have probably observed that store-bought applesauce has Vitamin C or ascorbic acid. When vitamins like E and C are used as food additives, they add nutritional value to the food.
3. Foods Become Safer To Eat
A number of food additives actually protect foods such as meat and prevent it from developing toxins which can result in food poisoning when eaten. Sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate are used to prevent meat from spoiling.
The 3 Cons of Food Additives
Here are the cons of food additives
1. A Lot Of Food Additives Cause Allergic Reactions
Sulfites, usually found in wine and dried fruits, can cause grave allergic reactions, particularly in those who suffer from asthma. Benzoic acid and sodium benzoate are usually used in fruit juices and carbonated drinks. These substances can cause hives and other allergic reactions. BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) and BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) that are utilized to preserve packaged goods such as cereal, gum and potato chips can also cause allergic reactions.
2. Food Additives Can Harmfully Affect Children
Kids are likely to be more sensitive to substances than grown-ups and food additives are no exception. Migraines and headaches in children are frequently associated with the consumption of additives.
3. Consumption Of Food Additives Is Associated With Cancer
CSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest) states that sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate that are utilized to preserve meat can form nitrosamines or cancer-causing chemicals in the body. Pregnant women are recommended to keep away from both nitrites and nitrates. Sodium benzoate is added to beverages and acidic foods as it can help prevent the growth of microorganisms. However, when used together with ascorbic acid or Vitamin C, the 2 preservatives form benzene, which is a chemical that causes leukemia and other kinds of cancers.
So, you now know the pros and cons of food additives. The best thing that you can do is to put a strict limit on the amount of food additives you consume. A conscious effort to minimize your exposure to harmful additives will guarantee a healthy future. You can start by improving your diet through fully examining food labels. There’s also the choice of eating fresh produce. You can start a garden to do this.