Artificial Flavors

Artificial Flavors

Artificial Flavors

artificial flavors detox If you’ve read an ingredients label before you have more than likely scanned the words “artificial flavorings” on a few food product stickers. While many people just ignore these words and consume the contents of the food package, some wonder, what exactly are artificial ingredients?

In the Code of Federal Regulations, artificial flavors are described as not being an “essential oil, oleoresin, essence or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, egg, dairy product, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.”

The reason artificial flavorings are used is because it is far cheaper to break down a flavor into chemical parts than to use the real thing, or in other words, using the flavor extract of strawberries is less expensive than using an actual strawberry. If you can believe it, the artificial strawberry flavor actually contains 49 ingredients!

One ingredient lurking under the “artificial flavoring” umbrella is monosodium glutamate (MSG). MSG is a flavor enhancer used most notably in Asian cuisines to achieve the umami taste sensation. While MSG has been used for more than 100 years and has been deemed safe by the USDA, numerous studies have indicated otherwise.

MSG has been shown to cause neurotransmitter damage and has also been linked to the rise in obesity. Along the same lines, MSG has been linked to irregular heartbeat, depression, dizziness, anxiety or panic attacks, migraines, mental confusing, stiffness, muscular swelling, lethargy, seizures, joint pain, flu-like body aches, chest pains, loss of balance, slurred speech, diarrhea, stomach cramps, sneezing, vomiting, skin rashes, hives, blurred vision and difficulty concentrating. Clearly MSG is not worth the risk.

Luckily, because of all of its risks, MSG is typically labeled on food products (although as mentioned before, it sometimes “hides” under the artificial flavoring label). MSG has multiple monikers though. If you read, glutamic acid, glutamate, autolyzed yeast, autolyzed yeast protein, yeast extract, textured protein, monopotassium glutamate, sodium caseinate, natrium glutamate, flavours, hydrolyzed corn and yeast food on any food package you pick up, know that the food you’re holding contains MSG.

MSG is not the only problem, there are 48 other hidden problems and unfortunately companies do not have to identify exactly what these chemicals are. When food labels tout claims such as “less sugar” or “low fat” just know that you’re more than likely ingesting even more chemicals that if you got the higher fat version. So next time you eat a “lite” version of your favorite treat, just know that while you may be eating less calories, you are in fact eating more chemicals.

Don’t think that going back to your high fat treats is the best approach though. Instead what you should do is avoid all processed foods and stick to eating whole, natural foods. Fruit is nature’s candy and does not contain any added chemicals (the discussion of organic versus conventional produce is to be touched upon in a different article), and grass-fed meats are one of the healthiest sources of protein to roam the earth. While you might find it hard to avoid artificial flavors, it really is not. You just need to avoid mainstream food products and experiment in your kitchen with wholesome foods that do not come out of a food manufacturing plant. The best approach is to purchase foods that do not have a label on them at all. That way you know, there is only one ingredient in the food, the food itself.

- , CEO, Wise Choice Health, Inc

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