Food Additives

Food additives in a layman’s tongue can be defined as the additional substances that are blended with the food to either preserve it or to enhance its color, aroma, appearance, texture etc. With modernization and commercialization, the usage of packaged food and ready to consume meals has gone up. For working parents, it is apparently the easier choice. More often than not, while buying such goods one usually skips these additives in the list of ingredients owing to the complexity of their names and the perplexity in the apprehension of the same but it should be duly noted that a child’s metabolism and immune system is very different from that of an adult and such ingredients take a worse toll on a child’s health than it would on an adult’s.  Even though such additives are relatively less brutal while there are others which can lead to fatal diseases such as autism and ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorders) and other problems like Mood swings, temper tantrums, fidgeting, whining, sleep problems. 

It is, therefore, very essential to pay attention to what your child eats and limit it in such a manner that they remain under the risk line. Such additives apart from the packaged food are usually present in soda, junk food, candy and the like products. Try to thwart excessive consumption of such food and induce in your child the habit of eating healthy from a young age itself.  Even though the above mentioned is the best solution, kids are usually impervious to convince to let go of these foods completely. In such a scenario the next best alternative is to become aware- become aware of the ingredients your child intakes and avoid the most jeopardous. Some of these are:

  • Artificial colors: This is one of the most commonly used additives and will be found in almost all products but even these can be ranked differently on a scale in an account to the damage they inflict. Be careful of anything that begins with FD&C (like FD&C Blue No. 1)
  • Chemical preservatives: While many foods might contain preservatives, it’s the chemical preservative you need to be cautious about like Sodium Nitrate, Sodium Benzoate( usually found in Soft drinks (fizzy drinks, squashes, and fruit juices), cakes, jellies, sweets, crisps and infant medicines.)
  • Artificial sweeteners like Aspartame, Acesulfame-K, Saccharin
  • MSG: This one was especially in news recently in relation to the Maggie controversy. It is usually found in Crisps and other savory snacks.
  • Other additives you need to look out for are:
  1. Propyl Gallate
  2. Sulfites (Sulfur Dioxide, Sodium Sulfite, Sodium And Potassium Bisulfite, Sodium and Potassium Metabisulfite)
  3. Potassium Bromate
  4. Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil
  5. Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil
  6. Potassium Bromate
  7. Olestra (Olean)
  8. Heptylparaben
  9. Sodium Nitrite

You should be extra conscious about the Sodium content, choose the foods with least amount of the same.



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