We know that man-made food additives are not good for us, and while avoiding them entirely is not an option for most of us, we can limit our exposure to them.
Many food additives are deemed safe based on exposure levels per recommended serving. It is the accumulative levels of food additives that we need to be careful of. If you primarily rely on overly processed foods then your exposure is going to be greater.
Be prepared to get into the habit of reading food labels. It also helps to know what to look out for and where you might encounter them. The following is a list of 5 groups of food additives commonly found in foods today.
Benzoates: E 210, E211, E212, E213
- They are used to prevent food from moulding.
- Used in: Pickles, Salad dressings, Fruit Juices, Soft drinks, Jams and Jelly
- Connected to: Parkinson and ageing.
Nitrites: Sodium Nitrites (E250) (E251), Potassium Nitrites (E249) (E252)
- They preserve food colour in meats, prevent it from going rancid, and prevent bacterial growth
- Used in: sausages, cold cuts and other processed meats
- These have been linked with Leukaemia and cancer.
Sulfites: E220, E221, E222 E223, E224, E225, E226, E227, E228
- Used to prevent bacterial growth.
- In: Ready meals, Pizza and pastries, wine, beer, canned vegetables, oven chips, and dried fruits
- Dried fruit is probably the single biggest source of sulphur dioxide
- 1 in 10 people will have a reaction of some sort e.g.: itching, rashes, hives, difficulty breathing or cramps. Symptoms of intolerance can be mistaken for hay fever: runny nose, itchy eyes & a wheezing cough.
Sorbates: Potassium Sorbate E202, Calcium Sorbate E203
- Used as a preservative & anti-fungal.
- In: Dried meats, wine, cheese, yogurts, baked goods, dips and margarine
- Known to cause allergy-like symptoms and to trigger headaches.
- Used in diet drinks and food products, chewing gum, cooking sauces, energy drinks and in some supplements.
- Connected to: Headaches, blurred vision, eye pains, Diabetes, known to change the chemistry of the brain, linked to Epilepsy, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, cancers and Brain tumours.
Related post: Safe food additives
To read about EU food additives click here