Take a look at that bag of chips, or maybe that “healthy” granola bar. Turn it over and take a look at the label. Hmm…anything look suspicious?
Like it or not, there are lots of little sneaky imposter ingredients that pop up in our food everyday. Some might say they’re necessary for things like shelf life and an appealing color, but we think with a little ingenuity and the right ingredients, you don’t need them at all.
What are some of these imposter ingredients to keep your eye on?
Certain food preservatives are all-natural and totally safe, but others…not so much. BHA and BHT (or butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydroxytoluene — but who can pronounce that?) are preservatives you might see in potato chips, cereals and chewing gum. They keep food from turning color and taste as it ages, but they can also cause cancer. Uh-oh.
You’re likely used to seeing artificial colors on your food labels — Yellow #5, Red Dye #3, Blue #1. But what do these mysterious colors mean? Your food might be a little prettier, but that’s about it. Not only have artificial colors been linked to cancer and behavioral problems, but some countries have even gone so far as to ban artificial colors in food!
Artificial flavors are often used when a company wants to produce a food item at a lower cost, or when individuals are looking for flavors they love at a lower calorie count. For example, you likely know aspartame, a low-calorie artificial sweetener. While aspartame may make your sugary snacks more guilt-free, it can also increase anxiety and impact your glucose levels in a negative way.
Trans fat is created when a food producer adds hydrogen to oil, changing the texture of the ingredients but also extending a product’s shelf life. While a long shelf life can sometimes be good, trans fat also leads to cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and more. Trans fat is most likely to sneak up in chips, crackers and other baked goods.
So, before you swear off snacking for good, why not try some snacks that are a little more friendly and a lot less sneaky? Natch snacks are totally delicious and all natural, which means NO preservatives, NO artificial colors, NO artificial flavors and NO trans fat. It’s totally good-for-you snacking, from sweet and scrumptious dried mango slices to entirely addictive crunchy and salty popped chips.