Do you enjoy adding flavor to your food with condiments and sauces? They can make your food delicious, but many of them are full of unhealthy ingredients. Maybe you think it's okay, as long as you use them sparingly? Unfortunately even a small amount can be bad for you.
Some of the most popular brands have been investigated to see what's lurking inside them. Take a look at the list below and see which of these things you are putting into your body on a regular basis:
Most commercially produced mayonnaise ( even many of the brands claiming to be organic) contains the following ingredients: Soybean oil, or Canola oil; food starch-modified; sugar; phosphoric acid;
Calcium Disodium; EDTA.
They also admit to containing less than 2% egg yolk and lemon juice. So the healthiest ingredients make up less than 2% of the product!
The main ingredient in mayonnaise is oil. Take a look at the label on your mayonnaise. You will find that even the "olive oil" and "organic" varieties (like Spectrum organic Olive oil mayonnaise) are made with soybean oil and canola oil. These oils consist almost entirely of poly-unsaturated fats.
Mass produced mayonnaise is loaded with sugar and corn syrup. You might wonder why a savory food is full of sweeteners? The truth is mayonnaise is just one of many foods that has been pumped full of sugar to make you want to eat more.
Like mayonnaise, you may be surprised to find out how little of the "real" ingredients are in barbecue sauce. Most Barbecue sauces are primarily made up of sugar in the form of corn syrup. The average bottle of Barbecue sauce contains the following ingredients: High fructose corn syrup; tomato puree; salt; modified food starch; water, distilled vinegar; soybean oil; hydrolyzed corn and soy protein; spice; onion powder; dehydrated garlic; artificial tomato flavor (chemicals); natural and artificial flavor; Yellow No. 6 dye; Red No. 40; Blue No. 1; titanium dioxide; caramel color.
What stands out in the Barbecue sauce, besides the soybean oil, is the amount of food dyes that go into it. The CSPI (Center for Science in Public Interest) reports that many common food dyes are linked to cancer, hyperactivity in children and behavioral problems. So, if you're wondering why the kids misbehave at barbecues, you might want to take a look at what's inside the barbecue sauce.
In Europe the law dictates that foods that contain dyes need to carry a warning label. In Britain the government had demanded that most artificial colors be removed from foods. Unfortunately, the US still allows most of them to be added to your foods and condiments.
If you are hoping that ketchup is a safe bet in the condiment aisle then you are going to think again after reading this. Even Hunt's 100% natural tomato ketchup is a culprit. They claim to be preservative free and low in high fructose corn syryp. However, if you take a look at the ingredients, you will see that it is full of things that are bad for you:
Tomato concentrate; distilled vinegar; High Fructose Corn Syrup; Corn Syrup; Salt Spice; Onion Powder; Natural Flavoring.
Hunt's claims to be "low" in High Fructose Corn Syrup and Corn Syrup, yet Hunt's has both regular and High Fructose Corn Syrup in their ketchup. High Fructose Corn Syrup is an artificial sweetener that is in all kinds of foods. It is corn syrup which has been processed with enzymes. They convert some of the glucose in corn syrup into fructose. What that means is that your ketchup is not just full of sugar, it's full of all kinds of sugars.
Be wary of any ketchup labels that contain fructose, corn syrup, glucose, high fructose corn syrup, sugar and sweeteners. The average ketchup contains four grams of fructose sugar per tablespoon. That makes up about a fifth of the recommended daily dietary allowance for fructose sugars.
Ranch dressing is the most popular dressing in the US according to Mintel International Group. Long ago it was made with using buttermilk and a few other natural ingredients like garlic and spices. Take a look at what's in the average bottle of Dean's Ranch dressing today:
Soybean Pasteurized "blend" of skim milk; reduced minerals whey; partially hydrogenated soybean oil; salt; sour cream flavor (cream, nonfat milk, whey, whey protein concentrate); maltodextrin, cultured nonfat buttermilk (skim milk, cultures); maltodextrin; salt; autolyzed yeast extract; dehydrated onion; natural flavors; monosodium glutamate; sodium citrate; sour cream cultures; lactic acid; food starch-modified; gelatin; dextrose; dehydrated garlic; vinegar powder (corn starch modified; white distilled vinegar); monosodium glutamate; citric acid; sodium hexametaphosphate; locust bean gum; propylene glycol alginate; lecithin; spices; potassium sorbate; guar gum; whey; whey protein concentrate; carrageenan; acetic acid; artificial colors (FD & C Yellow No. 5 (Tartrazine) and FD & C Yellow No. 6).
Tartrazine is well known for hyperactivity and behavioral problems in children. It can trigger an allergic reaction in many people. This can cause shortness of breath and in severe cases trigger asthma attacks in those who are prone to them.
MSG in dressings and sauces is also a real problem. MSG can be linked to depression, headaches, migraines, asthma, brain damage and weight gain. The reason why MSG makes you gain weight is that it is actually addictive! MSG will make you feel compelled to keep eating more and more of the food it contains, even though you aren't hungry anymore.
Commercial Blue Cheese sauce/dressing contains almost exactly the same ingredients as Ranch Dressing, with the exception of a few different flavorings.
Sour Cream should be one of the most healthy and nutritious condiments you can eat-if it was only kept true to natural sour cream. Unfortunately the sour cream you buy commercially is so far from the original thing that they shouldn't even be allowed to call it sour cream.
Take a look at the ingredients on a popular, commercial sour cream label:
Cultured Pasteurized Cream and Milk, Whey, Modified Corn Starch, Sodium Phosphate, Guar Gum, Carrageenan, Calcium Sulfate, Cultured Dextrose, Locust Bean Gum, Potassium Sorbate (as a preservative).
The commercial sour cream you buy is made up almost half and half of fillers and preservatives. The real ingredients like milk and cream are often not much better.
For one thing, unless they specify organic, they aren't. Non-organic dairy ususally comes from cows given genetically engineered rBGH (Bovine Growth Hormone). RBGH is banned in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and 27 other countries because it is so dangerous to human health. Unfortunately it remains the biggest selling dairy animal drug in the U.S. It increases your chances of breast cancer by causing normal breast tissue cells to convert into cancerous ones.
When you are buying any dairy based product you should look for labels that say "rBGH-free".
Even supposedly healthy brands often hide behind clever naming conventions. The best you can do is buy products which are certified as organic and healthy, or make your own condiments from scratch! Many of the additives and processed ingredients in our foods harm our digestive system, causing inflammation.
Have you ever stared at the sticker on your beautiful fuji apple and wondered what the numbers meant? Turns out, they really do matter! There are many different meanings depending on the first one of those numbers...
Any number that starts with a "9" means that piece of produce is an organic good. You may be wondering what exactly it means for something to be organic. Organic basically means that the soil that the product is grown in has been untouched by pesticides, chemically contaminated fertilizers, pesticides and antibiotics. Organic food not only tastes better, but it has been scientifically proven to have healthier benefits inside the body. Remember, you actually are what you eat, so fuel up on good stuff!! Here are a few produce items to buy organic whenever possible:
* Bell Peppers
Anything starting with a "3" or "4" means that it is grown conventionally. Conventional farming is when chemicals and pesticides are used in different methods to allow for bigger, faster and longer lasting crops. If you are shopping on a budget, here are a few items that are ok to buy conventionally grown:
* Sweet Potatoes
Finally, that dreaded number starting with an "8" means your food has been genetically engineered. This means that the food you are buying has been created by a person or machine in order to maximize productivity. Try to stay away from this produce at all costs.
Remember to support your local farmers by visiting farmers markets and local food stores, and you can also join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) exchange to ensure that you know where your food is coming from. It is one thing to buy organic items at the grocery store, but it's another thing to get the opportunity to shake the hand of the farmer who just grew you dinner!
Knowledge is power, and now that you know what you are buying, you can feel comfortable and informed on your next grocery store stop. Eat, cook and be healthy!!!