Have you ever stared at the ingredients on a food label and wondered what the heck it all means? What exactly are those "E" numbers? What does "MSG" stand for and is it safe? Even words that sound like food items such as high-fructose corn syrup and guar gum....are you confident these are "foods" that you should be putting into your body?
Now I am willing to bet that you have at least attempted to make head or tail of those food labels because you are HERE reading this blog post! That tells me you have an interest in learning how to eat right and nourish a healthy body. But unfortunately there is a mass of people in the world who don't even think to LOOK at a label! Now that is actually quite terrifying!
When you fill your car up with fuel, you at least look on the pump to make sure you are putting in either petrol or diesel right? Because if you put something toxic into your car's fuel tank that your car doesn't recognise, it's going to simply stop performing right? Well your body is no different! In fact, it should go without saying that what we put int our body should be WAY MORE important than what we put into our car. But the sad truth is most people tend to treat their cars better than they treat themselves :(
So let's go back to those food labels again. There are a ton of artificial, chemical, "junky" ingredients in foods these days. If you see an ingredient called "artificial flavour," what exactly is it?
For the most part, it’s a secret! Seriously! Big food companies don’t want their proprietary flavours to be known, so they’re allowed to say “artificial flavour” and leave the details out.
HOW WRONG IS THAT?
We don't NEED TO KNOW what artificial flavours actually represent when they're in our food? I think that is nothing short of SHOCKING! And here's why.....
Why use "artificial flavours' in a product?
When you make an apple muffin at home, what gives it the apple flavour?
Apples of course! Like real, whole, chopped or shredded apples or applesauce.
But, let’s say you’re a big food company and you’re making thousands of apple muffins every day. In a factory on an assembly line.
How would you process the huge amount of apples that are to be chopped, grated or made into applesauce? Would you have a separate "Apple Room" where all the apple processing happens? What if one batch is slightly riper, or tastes slightly different from the rest? Will your customers notice a different taste?
Apples are perishable - they go bad. So how would you guarantee the apples won't go bad? (Remember the saying "it only takes one bad apple to ruin the whole bunch?").
And what if you can have an apple flavour that tastes better than using real apples? Something that makes people want to keep buying them every week? It's true - some of the artificial flavours are engineered to give an even better taste than the real food itself!
Companies will often opt for the easier and more profitable option which unfortunatley means the use of artificial flavours.
Artificial flavours last longer and will be virtually identical batch after batch. In our apple muffin example, artificial flavours used to make an apple muffin are ready to go, so you don't need to peel, cut, or worry about apples going brown, or that they're not tasting "appley" enough.
Oh, and it’s way cheaper than using real, whole apples! (Don't forget it's all about the money for these companies!)
So here's a tip! If the package says "flavoured" in the description, then the flavour is artificial. For example, "apple muffin" contains at least some apple. But, "apple flavoured muffin" contains artificial flavour and no apple.
Safety of artificial flavours:
While there are some flavours banned for use in many countries, other countries allow them.
There is an approved list of flavours that are accepted to be safe in small to moderate quantities, and are used by the food industry. They are considered GRAS, or “generally recognized as safe.”
However even if they are 100% safe to ingest, the mere fact that an artificial flavour is in food makes it an artificial food. It's not a real, whole food. Having an artificial flavour as an ingredient almost defines that food to be a processed, "food-like product." Sometimes referred to as "junk."
Artificial flavours in food indicate that the food, regardless of the marketing, or health claims, is not a healthy choice.
So why are artificial flavours so bad for us?
For many reasons unfortunately! Here's just a few....
1. Artificial flavours are nothing more than chemicals! And chemicals are toxic to the human body. Don't forget, some chemicals are used to kill cancer cells that's how toxic they are. Artificial flavours may not be as harsh a chemotherapy but they are same in that all chemicals are simply something the body doesn't recognise as something that it needs to function! And when the body doesn't recognise something that enters, it treats it like any other foreign invader (ie; a cold or flu virus or a bacteria). The immune system begins to respond trying to rid the body of the foreign invader and in turn, the immune system is too exhausted to react when it is truly needed! This is one reason why people who eat primarily artificial diets are more prone to colds and the flu and struggle to battle them off!
2. Artificial ingredients mimic estrogen in the body of a woman. This is BAD NEWS when too many of us are already struggling with estrogen overload! Estrogen overload (also called estrogen dominance) can lead to serious complications such as fibroids, ovarian cysts and in the worst cases, can even contribute to the development of hormonal cancers such as breast, ovarian, cervical and endometrial cancer.
3. Artificial ingredients, like all toxins acidify the blood which promotes inflammation. So if you are struggling with any type of inflammatory condition; acute or chronic, or experience muscle aches and join pain, then artificial food is not doing you ANY favours!
4.Artificial ingredients wreak havoc on your weight loss goals! Not only are you not getting enough balanced nutrition to support the fat burning process but you are also likely PROMOTING fat storage! This is because artificial sweeteners and diet drinks, even though they are low in calories, still contribute to blood-sugar imbalances and carb cravings.
4. Artificial flavours have ZERO NUTRITION! Let's just look at this logically! If any of the above issues weren't bad enough to sway you towards considering eating a more healthy, whole-food-based diet, then consider the fact that you artificial food will NOT provide your body with any of the vitamins, minerals or other nutrients that you body NEEDS in abundance on a regular basis simply to perform it's basic symptoms. Your body will over time become tired, and will then start to malfunction. Each malfunction will have a domino effect on another area of your body until eventually your body is in one big toxic mess and doesn't want to do ANYTHING!
So what's the solution?
1. STOP EATING ARTIFICIAL FOOD!
It's really that simple. You need to start substituting the artificial foods you currently consume with a real, whole food in it's place. The best way to do this is simply to eat food that doesn't contain a label or come in a can, box or off a shelf. Focus on foods that are natural, perishable and ideally organic (although this is not essential in all cases.)
Eating organic (provided the foods are "certified organic") will help to reduce any further toxic burden by ensuring you are eating fruits and vegetables that hav not been sprayed, injected or grown using controlled practices. But that is another lesson for another blog post so stay tuned for that one!
2. DETOXIFY/CLEANSE YOUR BODY NATURALLY!
Years and years of eating artificial junk will have taken a toll on your body already so not only do we need to STOP eating this way going forward, but we need to do our best to heal the damage already caused. The best way to do this is to undertake a simple, NATURAL detoxification process.
Detoxification should not be done using magic pills or herbal remedies (although some herbs can help with the side effects of detoxification). The safest, healthiest most natural form of detoxification is simply done through the proper use of real, wholefoods!
When done correctly, natural detoxification takes a burden off the major organs and allows the body to start functioning optimally once again. The improvement in your energy levels, the reduction in your fatigue and the overall change in your sense of well-being, both physically and mentally, is actually quite astounding and occurs quite quickly.
I have been coaching clients through natural detoxification for over 12 years and have seen some pretty amazing transformations!
Are you ready to find out whether a detoxification plan would help you reach your health and weight loss goals? Let's brainstorm together! CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR FREE ONLINE STRATEGY SESSION TODAY.
Big food companies use artificial flavours to reduce costs, make the manufacturing process simpler, reduce waste and even enhance flavour way beyond what the natural ingredient would taste like.
They are not added to improve the “healthfulness” or nutrition of the food.
Artificial flavours in the ingredient list indicate that the food is not going to optimize your health. These processed foods are most certainly “junk.” So STOP BUYING THEM!