Food companies lace chemical additives into our food for a variety of reasons. Mostly it is done to enhance taste, texture, color, and shelf-life. The safety of these additives is one of the fundamental questions we broach at Naturopathic Earth. Indeed, most of our articles and podcast episodes deal with food dyes, phthalates, flavor enhancers, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, plastics, parabens, and alike.
Now while most foods in which additives are placed are made from an actual food source, some products are just chemical guck. In truth most of the time, food dyes, sweeteners, and preservatives are placed into a flour-based snack, such as cookies, pastries, crackers, cake, and alike, that albeit very unhealthy to us, at least have a modicum of nutrition due to the flour. But some food items exists that are just chemical garbage. Today we will cover a couple of franken-food nutrient-deprived garbage foods.
Food companies, like Nestle, created coffee creamers to enhance the taste of coffee. This enhancement is mostly done to sweeten the coffee. Whether it be Cinnamon, Vanilla Bean, Hazlenut, these creamers bring a unique taste. Akin to scented candles or MSGs for salty foods, these are just chemicals that mimic the flavor of the aforementioned. There is actually no hazelnut in the hazelnut flavor of those creams. It is chemical crap. Let’s look at the ingredients!
Sugar, Water, Coconut Oil, Sodium Caseinate, Propylene Glycol, Dipotassium Phosphate, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Polysorbate 80, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Color Added, Sucralose.
You know a food item is bad for you when 1. The 1st ingredient is sugar and 2. The 4th through 10th ingredients are chemicals of which you haven’t heard. Natural and Artificial Flavors are code words for whatever secret concoction Nestle doesn’t want consumers or competitors know about. Trusty Splenda is in there to give you a nice dose of toxic artificial sweeteners. Not sure what “Color Added” is. Why don’t they just mention the color? The rest are mostly chemicals to enhance shelf-life.
Not to mention the dearth of nutrition. A serving size of 1 teaspoons yields 25 calories and 3 grams of sugar. Its 1.5 grams of fat are all saturated fat. Now while we need 20-25 grams of saturated fat daily per the FDA, we ideally want these to come from animal sources or whole foods, not chemical-infused creamers.
Stay away from creamers clearly. But here is the thing. Many of the additives found in this Nestle creamer are found in Starbucks coffee! What do you think makes that Pumpkin Spice Latte taste so great? There is no pumpkin in that latte, plus it is oozing with flavor-mimicking chemicals.
So how do you flavor your coffee? Well, there is the tried and true cinnamon. (Check out our article on cinnamon!) Great for not spiking your blood sugar, great for heart health, great for diabetics, great antimicrobial agent. You could always flavor with natural sweeteners like honey. (Check out our Review of Sweeteners.) At least honey has actual vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and other phytonutrients that will benefit your health. You can also use authentic vanilla. Or you could employ the ultimate ketogenic weapon: Bulletproof Coffee!
Click Here to buy some Bulletproof Coffee on Amazon. Just throw in some MCT oil and butter and you are good to go!
These alternatives are not too hard to use when prepping your coffee at home. The issue is that many people use creamers when getting their coffee at convenience stores, gas stations, diners and alike where they are free to use. Some people don’t like black coffee. My advice to people on the go you would be to develop a taste for black coffee. If not, it is better to sweeten your coffee with sugar packets and honey (albeit conservatively) than use this chemical Frankenstein we call creamers.
Sodas are the crème-de-la-crème of food items with absolutely no nutrition, but loads of chemicals. Unfortunately, sodas is as ubiquitous as good ole’ American air thanks in large part to the billion dollar soft drink and fast food advertisement blitzes that we have had to endure for decades. Many Americans literally think you cannot have a meal with sodas as your beverage. As a result, obesity, diabetes, the metabolic conditions (hypertension, hyperlipidemia), and cancer are sky-rocketing. This may be partly attributed to soft drinks with their high-sugar content.
Sodas (or pop as some people call it) is essentially pure sugar with Franken-garbage. Perhaps the most pernicious, is that the large majority of soft drinks are sugared not with cane sugar, but with High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). (Get more information on HFCS but clicking Here or Here.) HFCS is an ultra-refined corn concoction that is sweeter and more toxic than regular sugar. It is directly linked to liver toxicity and obesity. Let’s look at the ingredients of a regular Coke.
Carbonated Water, HFCS, Caramel Color, Phosphoric Acid, Natural Flavors, Caffeine
Even if you purchase the more high-end sodas that contain cane sugar instead of HFCS, you are still forced to deal with the other Franken-ingredients. Phosphoric Acid has been directly linked to a higher rate of kidney stones and bone demineralization (weakening of bones). Caramel Color is a coded food dye. (Click Here to learn more about toxicity of food dyes.) Many multi-color sodas, like Fountain Dew and Fanta, along with some sports energy drinks, still contain Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO). BVO is linked to neurologic impairment, thyroid disruption, infertility, and much more.
Nutritionally-speaking, a regular 16 ounce Coke boasts a whopping 240 calories and 52 grams of sugar. That is more refined sugar than what the FDA wants us to ingest in ONE DAY!
The overall problem with sodas, just like creamers, is that they offer absolutely no nutritional value to your life. None! They are empty calories. Several studies have shown that just reducing your daily soda intake by one serving would result in a net loss of 6 lbs in a year (assuming your food intake remains the same). I don’t know about you but I would rather eat a small cheeseburger than drink a soda.
Fruit Drink Packets (Enhancers)
Crystal Light and other flavored drink packets are essentially chemical-nastiness in a pouch. They are so popular because they are convenient. “Are you tired of drinking bland water?” Well, toss this in there to flavor it up!” Well, let’s look at what is in Crystal Light.
Citric Acid, Maltodextrin, Aspartame (Phenylketonurics: Contains Phenylalanine.), Caffeine, Contains Less than 2% of Natural and Artificial Flavor, Niacinamide, Calcium Pantothenate and Biotin (B-Vitamins), Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Magnesium Oxide, Artificial Color, Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 1, Soy Lecithin, Tocopherol (to Protect Flavor).
Citric Acid may be found naturally in some natural foods, but is added to others to provide flavor. Maltodextrin is sugar, and as mentioned previously, aspartame is a toxic artificial sweetener, Natural and Artificial Flavors is the company’s secret recipe that can be anything they want it to be. And then of course it is chockful of dyes.
In terms of nutrients, it doesn’t have any at all. Most fruit packet drinks are either sugar-free, of which it will be completely full of aspartame, or sugar flavored. Both of which are horrible to use. You are essentially ingesting sugar, chemical additives that mimic a flavor, and loads of food dyes.
If you are wanting to flavor your water, do so naturally. Fruit-infused water is quite popular and very easy-to-do. Just chop up some fruit and throw it in your water. Check out our article on easy fruit-infused water recipes!
Kids love Jello. Heck, who doesn’t love Jello? It is colorful and tasty. Fun to look at and fun to gulp down. But what is in Jello? Surprisingly, it isn’t much different than Crystal Light.
SUGAR, GELATIN, ADIPIC ACID (FOR TARTNESS), CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, DISODIUM PHOSPHATE AND SODIUM CITRATE (CONTROL ACIDITY), FUMARIC ACID (FOR TARTNESS), RED 40
Jello feels pretty comfortable with its Franken-foods compatriots. Akin to others, it is essentially an amalgam of sugar, chemical enhancers, preservatives and food dyes. The Sugar-Free variety adds in the toxic goodness of aspartame. Great!…
Instant Pudding Mix
Not surprisingly, Kraft invented Jello and the equally famous Jello pudding. Pudding, like Jello, is great on a hot summer day with a dollop of whip cream. Nice and cold! Well, that tastiness may come at a cost. Let’s take a look!
SUGAR, MODIFIED CORNSTARCH, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, SALT, DISODIUM PHOSPHATE AND TETRASODIUM PYROPHOSPHATE (FOR THICKENING), MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES (PREVENT FOAMING), ARTIFICIAL COLOR, YELLOW 5, YELLOW 6, BHA (PRESERVATIVE).
Notice that many of the same chemical ingredients are in both, such as Disodium Phosphate and the ever ubiquitous food dyes. Like Jello what Franken-ingredient must be added to the food to make it solidify? The only somewhat redeeming merit of pudding mix is that it is added with milk which, especially in its full-fat Whole mode, offers nutrition. (This is not taking into account milk allergies, casein toxicity, and other issues inherent in dairy ingestion, but that is a separate matter.)
It is interesting to note that Whole Foods has vowed not to sell products that have certain additives that are questionable in nature. So all of the aforementioned items as is Whole Foods would not allow in their stores. Good for them since many of these additives are linked to neurological, hormonal, and neoplastic issues.
We need to make a concerted effort to eliminate these franken-food nutrient-deprived garbage foods from our diet. Why? Because everything we ingest should provide us some modicum of nutrition. If not, why are we eating it? These offer absolutely none and the boast the insidious, toxic effects of sugar or an artificial sweetener. “Muy malo!”
The other operative question is “What are these additives doing to us?” Daily, unless you are a raw vegan, or Paleo adherent, you are ingesting loads of foods that features additive after additive. What effect does this have on the body? This should worry all of us.
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