1. Manufactured MSG (Food additive)

Manufactured MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) is a food additive commonly used in Asian cooking. Although glutamate is a naturally occurring substance in some food, manufactured MSG has a different effect in the body. It may cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, sweating/flushing/wheezing, palpitations, weakness, numbness or tingling, and other neurological effects that vary from one person to another.

Examples of food with manufactured MSG: chips, seasoning mixes, “veggie meat”, bouillon cubes, bottled sauces, instant noodles

Swap with these instead: Choose to season your food with real herbs, sea salt, fresh pepper, etc. Stay clear of ingredients that are chemically-made like msg. When choosing your food products, don’t buy ones with MSG in the ingredients list.


2. Artificial sweeteners

There are many artificial sweeteners out there being sold in packets under various brand names. Here are just some of the generic names of artificial sweeteners: Acesulfame potassium, Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal), Neotame, Saccharin (Sweet’ N Low), and Sucralose (Splenda).

Artificial sweeteners have been found to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular diseases, and obesity.

Examples of food with Artificial Sweeteners: Diet Sodas, Zero Sodas, Sugar free pastries and cookies, almost everything that says “sugar-free” on the label. Keep in mind that “Sugar-free” doesn’t always mean healthy!

Swap with these instead: Instead of choosing sugar free, look for products that use pure honey, evaporated cane juice, muscovado sugar, or coco sugar.


3. Artificial Colors

All those vibrantly colored food, including candies, definitely catch the attention of kids and adults alike. But, did you know that even food that isn’t colored like the rainbow may contain artificial food coloring? The FDA approved one are as follows: FD&C Blue No. 1 Brilliant Blue, FD&C Blue No. 2 Indigotine, FD&C Green No. 3 Fast Green, FD&C Red No. 40 Allura Red, FD&C Red No. 3 Erythrosine, FD&C Yellow No. 5 Tartrazine, FD&C Yellow No. 6 Sunset Yellow. The most commonly used one, however, is Tartrazine or Yellow #5.

Tartrazine is a yellow Azo dye that is derived from coal tar. The purpose is to make the food or food ingredient more palatable-looking by adding the said color. This particular food color has had a number of proven side-effects such as anxiety, migraines, asthma attacks, blurred vision, eczema, other skin rashes, thyroid cancer, Eosinophilia (increase in specific forms of white blood cells), clinical depression, ADHD or hyperactivity, hives, permanent DNA damage, heart palpitations, rhinitis, sleep disturbances/insomnia, general all-over weakness, hot flushes and OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). You can find Tartrazine in supposedly “healthy” chips, in locally-made soy sauce, in your standard rainbow colored cereal. The main issue is, even though there may be small quantities of this in the food you eat, it builds up in the body throughout the day and will still affect your body adversely in the end.