Artificial Food Additives

Artificial food additives are things that are added to foods and drinks to change how they look, taste, and smell, their texture, and act as preservatives to keep food from spoiling.  There are additives that change the color, smell, and flavor of food.  Some are used to enhance the flavor, make it stronger.  Others thicken the food, change its texture, or sweeten it to get people to buy it for its improved taste and feel in our mouths.  No matter how you look at it, these food additives change our food and how we view it so that real, whole foods can become less appealing over time.

7 Most Common Artificial Food Additives

  • Aspartame – found in most diet foods and drinks, sugar free gum, and candies.
  • High-fructose corn syrup – this sugar replacement is mostly fructose, which our bodies are likely to turn into fat
  • MSG (aka hydrolyzed yeast extract) – a flavor enhancer with many side effects for those who are sensitive to it
  • Food dyes – these have been found through studies to cause problems for children
  • BHA/BHT – used to keep food from changing color or becoming rancid
  • Sulfur Dioxide – a toxic preservative that has been banned for use on raw fruits and vegetables
  • Potassium Bromate – used to increase volume in flours and baked goods

Artificial Food Additive Effects on Children’s Behavior

Studies have shown that children are much more likely to show side effects of food additives which has begun to make a difference in some countries, especially in Europe.  Many of the effects that are shown to be cause by these substances are like that of ADD or ADHD.  Children may show any of these signs: hyperactivity, tantrums, fiddling with things, inability to sleep or concentrate, headaches, rashes, mood swings, and even allergic reactions.  Some of the allergic reactions can be pretty severe.  The biggest culprit is food dyes.  Think about that the next time you are thinking about giving your child colorful candies, juice drinks, or soft-drinks.  Even those made at home, like Kool-aid, are among these offenders.

Risks of Artificial Food Additives

Food manufacturers lobby our governments for the ability to use these additives, and using many of them does provide us with food that lasts longer.   But, that is not natural.  Our bodies are not meant to handle all of this extra stuff floating around, and some of it can cause cancer or tumorous growths.  Some studies have found that additives cause a higher instance of birth defects.  Asthma has been on the rise, as well, and many people point to food additives as a possible reason as to why.  Studies have shown that some people, especially children, are more likely to show increased asthmatic problems when consuming foods with additives like coloring and sulfate preservatives.

MSG alone has many effects that have been known for years.  If affects some more than others depending on their sensitivity to it, but like any allergy a sensitivity to MSG can crop up at any time in your life.  In these sensitive people, headaches, nausea, weakness, rapid heartbeat, chest pain, difficulty breathing, drowsiness, and rash are common.


The best thing that you could do is to just avoid all artificial food additives, and certainly do not allow your children to have them.  Without enough research to conclusively say whether the rise in cancers, tumors, and birth defects can be attributed to them, some people think that they are okay since our governments allow their use, but we cannot just trust blindly that these things are not harming us.  It is better to eat whole foods, like grass-fed meats, wild caught fish, fruits, and vegetables, and start drinking plain water now if you do not already.  If you can make these changes in your life, and your family’s lives, then you can feel good about what you eat and drink, feel healthier overall, and even start losing weight.


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