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10 Food Ingredients to Avoid in the Supermarket - Cover

10 Food Ingredients to Avoid in The Supermarket

There is so much one needs to look for when you are shopping at the supermarket. Price and quality are two but did you know that you also need to be looking for those sneaky food additives that many processed food contain. While you may have never really thought about these ingredients, you may have a change of heart after you read about the possible health issue that can result from these ingredients.

But before you decide you cannot eat anything, remember there are some safe and natural alternatives to these additives.

1. Sodium nitrates and nitrites

10 Food Ingredients to Avoid in the Supermarket - Sodium Nitrates And NitritesMany have heard of the dangers of “nitrates” and “nitrites” in processed meats. These additives have been linked to cancer. To avoid this ingredient, first cook your own meat at home and freeze it for later use. If you have to have processed meat then read the label. What you are looking for is “nitrate and/or nitrite-free or preservative-free” meat.


2. Bisphenol A or BPA

10 Food Ingredients to Avoid in the Supermarket - Canning BPA

Have you ever taken a look at the underneath side of the lid from a glass jar? Well, if you have not you may want to now. Many glass jar lids, some plastics, and even aluminum cans have a liner that is made of epoxy resin. This substance is suspected to cause cancer, infertility, and some irregularity in the growth of children. But what is one to do?

One easy thing you can do is to make sure to only purchase cans and plastic that is labeled BPA-free and do not use plastic to heat or reheat your food. Another option is to preserve your own food such as canning, drying, and freezing.


3. Potassium or Sodium benzoate

Sodium benzoate and potassium benzoate are both used in soft drinks and juices to prevent the growth of mold. Now, these two preservatives are safe by themselves but when they combine with vitamin C and/or are exposed to light and heat they turn into benzene. What is the big deal about benzene? Well, it is a cancer-causing agent.

When comes to a natural approach to protecting the natural vitamin C in juices is to preserve your own by storing it in a dark container and freezing it. Another approach is to only buy drinks that have been pasteurized, which will eliminate the need for this preservative.


4. Carrageenan

10 Food Ingredients to Avoid in the Supermarket - CarrageenanThis is a food thickener that is made from red seaweed. It is normally found in low-fat dairy foods or non-dairy products but can also be found in surprising foods, which include canned soups, deli meats, and many prepared foods. Consuming products with this ingredient has been linked to gastrointestinal diseases, such as Crohn’s disease, colon cancer, and irritable bowel syndrome or IBS.

Before you get discouraged and think that without this food additive you will never again have creamed soup in a can, do not worry. There are safer ingredients such as locust bean gum and guar gum. Since carrageenan is also used to keep ingredients from separating you can simply stir the ingredients or in the case of milk, just give it a shake.

5. Hydrogenated oils (trans fats)

10 Food Ingredients to Avoid in the Supermarket - Hydrogenated oilsHydrogenated oil is a fancy way of describing vegetable oil that has been processed in a way so that it has a longer shelf life in processed foods. These types of oils are normally found in fried foods and bakery goods. Now you may wonder what the big deal about trans fats is since most fats have some negative aspects to them. Well, trans fat themselves have been shown to raise cholesterol, which then increases the chances for heart disease and diabetes. Now that we know what it is and where it can be found, what can one do about it? The first approach is to read labels and do not fall for the “0 grams trans fats per serving.” While this is true, if you really take a look at the label what you end up with is a product that has half a gram of trans fats, which is splitting hairs since the consumer simply believes that there are no trans fats in the product. Another approach is to cook your own food. Doing this simple task will allow you to truly say that your baked muffins have 0 trans fats.

6. Enriched wheat

10 Food Ingredients to Avoid in the Supermarket - Enriched wheatHave you ever wondered why so many supplements such as B vitamins, vitamin E, and fiber are added to the ingredients of products made with enriched wheat? Well, the enriched term tells the whole story. In products that contain enriched wheat, the wheat itself has been stripped of the bran and endosperm. This means there is no nutritional value to the wheat, which means it needs to be added.

Now that we have come full circle, what is a healthy alternative? The simplest alternative is to buy products that contain whole wheat. If wheat is not your thing, make sure to purchase products with whole grains only to avoid the stripping of the grain itself. This easy step will make sure that nutrients in the food come from the food and not added or enriched.

7. Oils (corn, vegetable, soybean)

10 Food Ingredients to Avoid in the Supermarket - OilsWhen it comes to oils, many people get way too much of this ingredient especially when their diet is high in processed food. The problem stems from the amount of omega-6 that these oils contain. Diets high in these oils cause inflammation and their symptom can lead to many different problems. The other issue that comes from these oils is the fact that if they oxidize, the level of inflammation increases.

Now, the question to answer is what to do. When cooking food, you will need some type of oil to keep it from sticking but no oil is free from causing health problems. To reduce the amount of omega-6 in your food, you can cook with butter, lard, and olive oil. Keep in mind though that these oils have issues themselves. Another approach is to not consume processed food and resort to cooking all your foods yourself so you can control the amount and type of oil.

8. Sugar in all forms

10 Food Ingredients to Avoid in the Supermarket - SugarSugar is such a generic term when there are so many terms to choose from. This includes honey, sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, agave syrup, and sugar alcohol. This latter collective term includes such things as mannitol, glycerol, xylitol, sorbitol, erythritol, and maltitol. These sugar alcohols are not sugar or alcohol but they are sweet in flavor and have fewer calories but they do cause health problems diarrhea, flatulence, and bloating. But, what is one to do? One choice is to use stevia as your “sugar” flavoring.   When using the leaves of this plant to flavor your food, keep in mind that it is 150 times sweeter than sugar. Another alternative is to go to your spice cabinet and pull out some cinnamon, sweet basil, sweet cicely, and tarragon.


9. Artificial flavors and colors

10 Food Ingredients to Avoid in the Supermarket - Artificial FlavorsAnytime the term “artificial” is used when one is talking about food, the result typically tends to be negative. Artificial simply means it was made in a lab and not by Mother Nature. While what these ingredients can do to the human body is not fully understood, it is always better to eat food naturally. As far as replacing artificial flavors, one only needs to visit the spice aisle in the supermarket. You will be amazed at the choices and flavors available in this isle. The same goes for color. Spices add unbelievable color to dishes in a natural way. Now do not limit yourself to dried herbs. Fresh herbs can also add flavor and color to any dish.

In a nutshell, you do not need artificial flavors and/or colors if you are cooking with natural ingredients and allowing the fresh food to flavor itself.

10. Artificial sweeteners

T10 Food Ingredients to Avoid in the Supermarket - Sugarshe key term when one is considering artificial sweeteners is the term “artificial.” Many times, anything that is not made my Mother Nature typically is not healthy for the human body. You may be wondering what I am talking about and while this list is short artificial sweeteners include saccharin, sucralose, and aspartame, just to name a few. The problems caused by these artificial sweeteners in small amounts is not really known, they are recognized to cause weight gain, migraines, and cancer in high amounts. They are also suspected to change the bacteria in the gut.

To avoid artificial sweeteners, one can go for products that contain sugar. This, in itself, can cause its own problems but do not throw your hands up in the air and go I give. There are healthy choices. The first is to learn to like the natural taste of food or drink, such as unsweetened tea. If this is not possible, consider adding herbs that are known for their sweetness to your dishes and drinks.  This includes sweet basil, cinnamon, real vanilla, and licorice.

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Sodium nitrates and nitrites are bad? Well celery powder when used for curing has more nitrites than curing salt

But difference between them is nitrates and nitrites are man made chemicals, where as celery salt and cherry powder are natural. Thats my understanding

Is that true??

One very important ingredient to avoid is silica dioxide everything silica this does not break down in your body

I heard the opposite. Our body needs it and it has been called a “surgeon” because it cleans out the body. They have cell salts made of it. There are outward signs that you need it, one being small vertical wrinkles in front of the ears and eyes that are sunken.

Swine, or pork, is bad, too… all its forms…….bacon, sausage, bbq, hot dogs, etc…………….why ?………because GOD SAID SO. And no, your body is not any different than a Jew’s body…….Just take Him at His Word and you’ll be ok.

Pork is old testament .. .new testament doesn’t limit what you can eat. To go even further back (in the garden of eden) we were all to be vegan… Just accept Jesus and eat whatever you want.

Right on Tracy!

HE came to fulfill not to change the laws, one iota. Our bodies haven’t changed. They work the same way.

The food rules are for our health and are still in effect. It is not against any law or covenant to eat pork, but it is still not good for you.

Jesus was of the Essenic sect of the Jews. He was raised as a vegan as was his cousin John the Baptist. They were both like Sampson and did not partake of anything that was not specified by the Nazarite Vow…Numbers 6:1-21.
And btw, Jesus never said that anyone should accept him as their personal Savior. That’s just social programming and has nothing to do with following the teachings of the Rabbi Yeshua/Jesus/Christ Annointing.
Vegan/Vegetarianism is The Way God established as Holy and there is no, “Shadow of Turning” with God. Jesus never changed anything, he established all things righteous…..and vegan is righteous.

The laws of the old testament were not done away with. Jesus said…..I came to fulfill the law, not abolish it. GOD didn’t send down an amendment to his commandments.

Dabarym 12:15 But whenever you want, you may slaughter and eat meat within any of your gates, according to the blessing Yahowah your God has given you. Both the clean and unclean may eat it as they would a gazelle or deer, 16 but you must not eat the blood; pour it on the ground like water.…

Pork was dangerous before refrigeration, and modern food handling, as were most shell fish.

Unclean believes people clean believes

1 Timothy 4:4 for every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. God created pork too. Old testament, before the cross, new testament, after the crucifixion, new covenant. We have been set free.

Hi, Paulina. Have to agree with you on pork. Not a big fan of pork myself. Especially bacon. One of the worst things for you. People that eat bacon are eating the fat belly of a hog. Does say in the bible that a pig is a diseased animal. Don’t know if they were just talking about Trichinosis or alluding to something else that we haven’t quite realized yet. A lot of the flus do seem to come from China when they raise hogs and fowl together. But let me ask you this. I’m not trying to be a smart ass. So even though you’re not a big fan of pork does that mean that if we end up in an extended grid down situation and you or your family haven’t had anything to eat for 14 days and you’re really starving. Beyond hungry. And you’re scavenging for food. You come across something like canned spam. In edible shape. Are you telling me that you’d rather starve than compromise your principles and live to fight another day?

People gotta start having more faith in God. If He tells us not to do something, don’t you think He has something better for us ? The spam might be a test like Eve had with the forbidden fruit……..If God takes care of the sparrows, don’t you think He will take care and provide for us, as well ?

There are a number of reasons that pork isn’t the best choice. One is NOT that God said so. It was true in the time Isreal was under the Mosaic law. They did not have the modern conveniences and the people could have gotten sick. Many food laws were given to show other nations the Isreal was healthier and safer following his laws. The mosaic law was cancelled during the time of Christianity when God opened his laws to all nations,but not it’s principles.

God said so at a time when pork was dangerous to eat because of worm infections. Now that we know how to handle livestock better and how to cook pork throughally, God hasn’t recently said not to eat pork. He was just protecting his people then. Really pork is wonderful meat.

Not true the worm will still hatch after being heated beyond a temp we have in our kitchens to attain
So the worm eats your kidney as an example, the cause of death states kidney failure, but the worm eat killed the kidney, and yes we did the research…

I Agree with you. Pork was dirty and still can be if not raised right. But it is not against God to eat it know. We now understand clean and dirty meat and parasites so we can eat clean pork.

ok here’s a thing: mom was a nurse, always said the pig was cleanest on the earth…….they roll in mud all the time….like taking a bath…..hmmm… I believe her? always said the mouth was the germiest part of body, do I believe her again? really dont know…

I wouldn’t want to put that to the test, Paulina, if myself and my family hadn’t had a bite to eat for at least two weeks and then we come upon a cache of food. I would figure that would be God’s way of saving us even though I might have an aversion to some of the food. You might be surprised how good even spam would taste if you hadn’t eaten for two weeks or more. If the food was still palatable I would rather eat it then condemn my family to a slow, lingering death. We’re not sparrows. In the end it’s up to each of us to save ourselves and our loved ones. I would rather take the responsibility for my own destiny than wait for some questionable entity to intervene and save me. Please don’t stand on your principles and die because of it. In a true crisis we need to be pragmatic above all else and not stand so much on our principles and suffer because of it. God doesn’t want us to suffer. The saying is that God will work with us but not for us. You can’t reasonably expect a multidimensional being to personally intervene in our situation. That’s just totally illogical. I harbour you no ill will. I wish you and yours the very best Stay safe. 🙂

Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

So very true. The Old Testament has not been done away with. The Renewed Covenant added us the Holy Spirit to help us obey Abba’s Commandments. Jehovah is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Isaiah 65 and 66 state very clearly that Jehovah is coming back in a future day in His Wrath and Fury to punish all who are still eating this detestable swine meat.

When Noah came off the ark God told him “Now you can eat everything”, that is why we can eat a hotdog, because it is everything!😄😄

The easiest ‘food laws’ to follow are GOD’s FOOD LAWs… The food ‘intended to be received’, so go by the Old Testament food laws and keep it simple. 😉

Leviticus 11 KJV is the location of the food laws.


Stevia is also natural

Lol. Why don’t you people save your religious views for your church!? This article made no reference to religion.. Pigs are as smart as they are tasty!

Yes, pigs are very intelligent. And yes, they taste good. But that wasn’t what was addressed. Did not intend to offend you. To me, knowledge is knowledge.

Although you are correct that enriched bread is supplied with nutrients because the natural ones have been stripped away, it is the bran and the embryo, not the endosperm that is removed. The endosperm, largely starch is about all that is left.

Perhaps it was listed as an “unclean” food historically/religously is because hogs are scavengers…. If a hog is penned/farm raised and fed (ie not allowed to scavenge), wouldn’t the meat be okay?

Definitely better IMO. I’ve had pork fed from an apple orchard that had extremely tasty meat. BUT, taste and healthy don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand. The ‘food laws’ are ‘suggestions’ for being healthy/healthier. It’s a choice for sure. At 67 I prefer to NOT let my taste buds dictate what’s ‘good for me’. THEY LIE to me! LOL. ‘Cured meats’ like bacon do taste good, but ‘healthy’? I LOVE BBQ ribs, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for me. After not eating pork for the past 30 years, I do get sick if something is cooked in pork grease. Anecdotal, but it’s my personal experience. I’m not trying to ‘push religion’ as someone else suggested. Only offering an educated opinion as a now retired Biblically literate RN (CCU/ICU). I’m actually more concerned with the ‘ocean filters’ we eat, considering how we’ve contaminated our oceans. I’m now an herbalist/naturopathic medicine consultant so my frame of reference may be different than many. Preparing food ourselves is HEALTHIER when done correctly. This site is great, as a user friendly guide.

This is a wonderful article. It is very helpful. I used to live in America. Now I live in Scotland. I have been here a year and half now. I have lost 40 pounds with in the first 5 months of being here. I’m also off alot of my medication too. I thought it was because I was cooking rather than going out to eat and I was eating way less too. I’m not as active due to all this took place when Covid hit. After reading this article I decided to look through my cabinet and refrigerator just to see if any of that stuff was present. I try my best to eat healthy and I have always read labels anyway. I could not find one of those things in any of my food. Not even in soup or any sauces I use. I don’t eat much of that stuff any way. Food over here spoiled alot faster as well. I knew they didn’t use preservatives as widely as America does but this explains alot more. America is pumping all those chemicals in to its people and telling them its safe. Yet diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, obesity and cancer diagnos are on the rise. You would think they could put 1 and 2 together. This is shameful and something should be done.

In my country Sweden we now can buy grassfeed cow – and pig meat.
So now and then I buy it, but thinking of the fact that eating a lot of MEAT of any kind; ANIMAL FOOD , gives your body inbalance in the PH levels, making you more ACID , which has negative health effects, like PAIN , more subtle to KIDNEYPROBLEMS, like kidney stones….

I enjoyed the article until I started reading the comments and found myself in the middle of religious arguments. It seems like those comments should be in a religious blog instead.

It’s the additives in processed foods that are the issues in which the author is explaining. Always read the ingredients before you buy and only buy organic non processed food and you should be able to avoid these man made artificial ingredients.

I came here to get knowledge on herbs not your Christianity – please stop telling me about the bible and god – I just want to learn about herbs – IF I wanted to learn about Christianity then I would go to a church

WHAT IS GOING ON HERE??!! The moderators of this site should seriously take control of this religious grand-standing and delete it from a forum that was created for herbal information. Your opinions of your “Gods” has no place here. You are not doing “Gods” work and bringing people to “Christ” by fighting over meat! You all look foolish and your representation of your beliefs is laughable and embarrassing. Repent!

Nitrates and Nitrites are not man made chemicals. They are naturally found in nature and are used in many other products besides foods. If you cook pork throughly you will kill the trichinosis worms. That’s why you never eat pink pork or partially cooked bacon.

for all the “holier than thou” soapboxers: you are not convincing anyone to be recruited to your beliefs by posting YOUR religious opinions on a blog about herbs and their uses, please take it to blogs about religion.

What you are doing with your “holier than thou” postings is convincing others to NOT subscribe to anything you are promoting – in plain language, you are driving away others from anything you say, is that your objective? seems counterproductive to me.

Over all, a very good and very informative article and comments are comments.

Sorry, I usually scroll past the religious. My beliefs are mine. Having said that, the herbal info is gold. Hard to get straight facts. She knows her stuff, and yes, I also research. Why I’m here.

I don’t have a problem with the comments above. I DO have a problem with bullies trying to limit people’s free speech. At least in the USA, at least for right now, we do still have the Constitutional right to Freedom of Speech. I realize some readers are from other countries. But, if you don’t like a comment, just scroll on by. No harm done. No need to bully anyone. Interesting articles can often spur interesting comments that may or may not be exactly the same as what the article stated. I’ve learned a lot of interesting things on the comments, I’ve set aside other things I’ve read and perhaps disagreed with, and I’ve enjoyed some very interesting food for thought that people have chosen to post. If it’s at all health related, go ahead and share. Don’t be intimidated by bullies if you feel you have something to say and don’t bully others if you don’t feel like you agree with what they have to say. It’s called free, intelligent discourse. You know, freedom of speech.

I decided to stop eating pork when I found about the chemical castration used in the factory barns. It can be given right up until the day of slaughter. It doesn’t have to be declared anymore because the industry has had it classified as a vaccination! It prevents male pigs from developing sexually, thereby preventing the odor common to their meat from developing.

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