Food Label Secrets
We are what we eat and interpreting food labels is essential. Please enjoy my guest author, Elena Upton, Ph.D. Dr. Upton, homeopath, offers you current health information on her exciting new website.
Caroline Walrad, PhD, CN
And You Thought You Were Paying Attention To Food Labels?!
by Elena Upton, PhD
I know it's a topic that has been tossed around for years now and we think we've gotten pretty savvy about reading labels. Well I'm here to tell you that the manufacturers are pretty savvy also, which is why certain food ingredients that you may want to know about have name changes fairly regularly.
The easiest way to hide chemical compounds that act as taste additives is to change up the words from time to time. An example is MSG / monosodium glutamate, which was changed to yeast extract. Then it was changed to torula yeast. Now other hidden sources of MSG might be called autolyzed vegetable protein, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, calcium caseinate, sodium caseinate, or textured protein.
Are you running to the cupboard yet to check the ingredients on the package of crackers you love so much, or your favorite cereal?
Another interesting phenomenon is the stacking trick.
Food companies also use the ingredients stacking trick to leave you with the wrong impression about what's really in the food products, or how much of something is in it.
For example, one company makes a nutrition bar that's loaded with sugar, but the way they've arranged the ingredients prevents sugar from appearing as the #1 ingredient. Instead, the first ingredient is rice. But looking down the label, you'll find all the following forms of sugar, all in the same nutrition bar:
Add all these up, and the #1 component in the bar is sugar (or sugary substances). But the manufacturer has used ingredients stacking to make you think the top ingredient is actually rice.
This is why I tell clients who have a candida issue that we might be working on to stick to as much fresh food as possible, since it is difficult to determine what is in processed food, even with what looks like specific label ingredients.
Here are some other ingredients you want to leave out of your food choices if you are looking to improve your state of health.
Sodium nitrite - studies have shown it causes cancer, found in processed meats like hot dogs, bacon, sausage. Used to make meats appear red (a color fixer chemical).
Hydrogenated oils (better known as trans fat)-- cause heart disease, nutritional deficiencies, general deterioration of cellular health, and more. Found in cookies, crackers, margarine and many "manufactured" foods. Used to make oils stay in the food, extending shelf life, sometimes also called "plastic fat."
Excitotoxins - such as aspartame and monosodium glutamate are neuro-toxic chemical additives that can directly harm nerve cells, over-exciting them to the point of cell death, according to Dr. Russell Blaylock. They're found in diet soda, canned soup, salad dressing, breakfast sausage and even many manufactured vegetarian foods. They're used to add flavor to over-processed, boring foods that have had the life cooked out of them.
This is the reason I suggest to my clients to shop the perimeter of the market only. All the fresh food is located against the walls all around the store. If you stay out of the middle isles that are chock full of all the processed foods you can't go wrong. Your health will tell the story in no time.
Elena Upton, PhD is a homeopath, lecturer and author from Beverly Hills, California.
Visit her website at www.natureofyou.com , sign up for the newsletter and join in on the blog for more in-depth health information.