Hidden chemical additives to watch out for in food

We are all partial to a bit of sugary sweetness in our lives, despite the fact that we are told time and time again that it’s not good for us. But its ok, you reason with yourself, because for the few chocolate bars or sweets you might occasionally consume, you ALWAYS have diet coke and use sweetener, so it all balances out, right?  Well at Ecohip, we recently came across some rather alarming facts about food products that would suggest otherwise. Whilst you think you might be abiding by your strict diet regime to cut down on calories and get in shape again after a (much deserved) Christmas binge, you may actually be subjecting your body to toxic chemicals. Results have shown that swapping your spoonful of sugar in that much needed cup of coffee, for artificial sweeteners may in fact have a negative effect on your nervous system. So to help you stick to you New Years resolutions, the HEALTHY way, we’ve compiled a list of top food nasties to avoid!

  • Artificial Sweeteners: aka aspartame, saccharin, sucralose to name but a few. Tests have shown that artificial additives can inhibit the rate of growth of nerve cells of mice, but when these sweeteners were applied in conjunction with the artificial colouring quinoline yellow, the effect on nerve cells was seven times greater than when the substances were applied individually.
  • Refined Sugar: Consuming large amounts of sugar leads to elevated levels of insulin. This in turn can lead to an increase in your waistline, lowered immune function, migraines and cardiovascular disease.
  • Monosodium Glutamate: Ever wondered why something that can look so plain and unappetising can leave you with that “mmm can’t ….. stop…..eating…..soooo tasty” feeling? MSG is most probably why! Used in many processed foods to reduce production costs and enhance flavour, it can lead to headaches, nausea and that lethargic feeling. The effects have shown to be up to 4 times worse in children than in adults! Some tests have even shown that MSG when fed in large proportions to infant mice, destroyed nerve cells in the brain!
  • Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil: When vegetable oil is combined with Hydrogen, the percentage of polyunsaturated fats (beneficial) are reduced and the amount of trans fats are increased. These trans fats are what can lead to heart disease, breast and colon cancer and higher cholesterol. They are commonly found in biscuits, some margarines and sweets.
  • BHA and BHT: these block the process of oil rancidity, which is a result of oils being exposed to oxygen and light, causing it to degrade. Results have shown that these additives can affect sleep and may play a role in liver and kidney damage, behavioural problems and cancer.
  • Caffeine: Yes, you read that correctly! Whilst we are all dependant on that kick caffeine gives us, in large doses it can be detrimental to our health. It causes calcium to be excreted from bones, leading to osteoporosis and possibly infertility. Whilst consumed in moderation, its effects can be beneficial, it is worth considering that it can cause birth defects, miscarriages and heart disease.
  • Sodium Nitrate & Nitrite: Ham, bacon, sausage and corned beef may all contain sodium nitrate or nitrite. They can give meat that enticing pink tone, since they prevent the growth of bacteria. Once in the stomach however they can transform into cancer causing agents. Other effects may include headaches, nausea and vomiting.
  • Artificial Colourings: It has long been known that you should avoid giving brightly coloured drinks or blue smarties to kids, since it can lead to hyperactivity. But artificial colourings can also harm adults. It can result in allergic reactions, visual disorders or nerve damage. For instance some blue colourings have shown to lead to uncontrolled cell mutations and divisions that can lead to cancer.

So when you next reach for the diet alternative fizzy drink, remember that it may actually be doing you more harm than good!! Instead of worrying over whether foods may contain any of these listed nasties, shop instead for organic and unprocessed foods. That way you can ensure that you are not consuming any unwanted chemicals and that your body will absorb all the nutrients it needs to keep you fit and healthy. And instead of reaching for sugary drinks, go for water, and plenty of it!! Not only is it essential for your body to function properly, but it can also keep your skin looking fresh and plumped up.

Author: Steven Chasen

Here at Eco Hip we have a simple philosophyTo offer you the best natural products around, so that you can maintain a chemical-free home, body and spirit.For 15 years we have been striving to give people the opportunity to enjoy and benefit from this lifestyle, using our knowledge and experience to guide you through the process from start to finish. We believe that there is a complete synergy between what is best for you and what is best for the environment.Do you ever stop and think about what goes into the products that we use on a daily basis?Did you know that everyday products such as toiletries and cosmetics are filled with harmful petro-chemicals, parabens, GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms), DEAs, MEAs, TEAs, artificial colours, fragrances and fillers. The list goes on…Why aren’t there stricter regulations concerning these products?Are the waste products of industry being dumped and sold in our personal care and cleaning products?Who is stopping this and telling it how it is?We feel that we have a responsibility to both our customers and to the world around us to ask ourselves these questions every day. That is why we only sell the most responsible and sustainable products.Responsibility to ourselves – All our products are free of toxic chemicals wherever possible and endorsed by Ecocert and the Soil Association.Responsibility to others – We promote Fairtrade produce to stop exploitation and benefit those communities.Responsibility to local communities – We use local suppliers and products wherever possible in order to support the local economy and reduce our carbon footprintResponsibility to the environment – All our products use minimal packaging and recyclable materials. Responsibility to the future – We use sustainable materials and ingredients wherever possible.Responsibility to animals – We do not use any products that have animal ingredients or are tested on animals. Our products are certified as cruelty-free and are endorsed by BUAV and PETA.There doesn’t have to be a trade off between affordability and healthy living either. The choices we make now will impact our future, and we want to ensure that the investments you make now will save you money in the long-term.Sustainability doesn’t just have to connote the environment, but your own household too.In the age of information overload that we live in, we know that shopping online can sometimes be overwhelming, so we carefully source our products, selecting only the highest quality ingredients and most innovative designs, so that you don’t have to.Ecohip is more than just another online shopping website. The Ecohip mindset is all about challenging conventional thinking and finding a new way of looking at the world, believing that smalls steps can gradually add up to make a big difference.

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