High fructose corn syrup that can be found in frozen foods, sweets, breads, spaghetti sauce, ketchup and other processed foodstuffs increases your kids’ risk for diabetes.
It also encourages overeating (and consequent overweight): its chemical structure tricks the brain into thinking that the body is hungry, and it can raise triglyceride levels in the bloodstreams, which increases the risk of heart disease.
Sure, dried beans contain lectins that can cause bum tummies, vomiting, and diarrhea – that’s why…[pq]…beans are soaked in water for some five hours or boiled for at least 10 minutes to take out the lectins.[/pq]
Cassava packs deadly cyanide – 50 mg/kilo – while fresh bamboo shoots (labong) contain the same poison in lesser quantities – which is why these fresh food items require thorough boiling to take the toxins out.
But processed foods pack greater risks in their additives, look out for these in food labels and be wary:
- Potassium bromate. Dough conditioner and bleaching agent, it has been banned in many countries after the World Health Organization recommended its removal form all foods in 1993. Fast food chains still use it in their buns, though, as its use is still not declared illegal. It may cause cancer.
- Sodium Nitrate, Sodium Nitrite, or Potassium Nitrate. Breakfast sausage, hotdogs, bacon, luncheon meat, and even meats in canned soup products contain sodium nitrate, which breaks down in the body as sodium nitrite. It may cause oxygen starved red blood cells and turn up potentially cancer-causing chemicals called nitrosamines. Avoid food containing sodium nitrite; better yet, eat vitamin C rich foods – guavas, malunggay, oranges, broccoli, and green peppers to neutralize nitrosamines. A Cancer Reseasrch Center of Hawaii study followed a group of people for seven yeasrs and found that those who ate the most processed meats had a 67 percent greater risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
- Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT). This preservative, which prevents fasts from going bad, is in butter, meats, chewing gum, dehydrated potatoes, and beer. It may act as a precursor to cancer and is suspected to be a human carcinogen.
- Olestra. This is synthetic fat used in crackers and potato chips is not absorbed by the body and may bring abdominal cramps and diarrhea.
- Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) or “flavourings”. It is used as flavour enhancer in many packaged foods, including soups, salad dressings, sausages, hot dogs, canned tuna, potato chips, and most junk foods. MSG can cause headaches, numbness, and drowsiness. People with severe, poorly controlled asthma may be among those prone to the condition and may suffer temporary worsening of asthmatic symptoms after MSG intake.
- Aspartame. This artifical sweetener is used in diet drinks, “sugar free,” and low-calorie food products; it has been linked to the development of brain tumors and leukemia in alb rats in 2005 studies.
- Trans fat or partially hydrogenated oil. Found in baked goods like crackers and cookies, as well as in shortening and margarine. Trans fats can raise bad cholesterol (LDL) and lower good cholesterol (HDL).
- Tartrazine, yellow #5, yellow#6, blue #3, green#3, and red#3. Found in beverages, baked goods, sausages, candy, and gelatine, these may cause asthma attacks and allergic reactions.
- Sudan I, Sudan II, Sudan III, Sudan IV or scarlet red. Gives chilli and curry powders an intense red. Recognized by the World Health Organization as potentially cancer-causing.
- Blue 1, blue 2. Coloring used in candy, beverages, and baked goods, it may cause cancer.