We all know that processed foods are unhealthy, but some of the additives in these foods are raising some health concerns. When you are grocery shopping next time, be sure to avoid the following additives.

1. Aspartame

food additives

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If you need another reason to stop drinking soda and start drinking the water, here it is: soda is laced with this carcinogen that is also said to cause brain tumors, short-term memory loss, and even Alzheimer’s. It can also be found in artificial sweeteners such as Equal and Splenda and really anything labeled “diet.”

2. Ammonium Sulfate

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You may want to sit down for this next one. This additive is found in white and whole wheat bread, but also in fireworks. When consumed too often, ammonium sulfate can cause a real ruckus in your stomach. This bad boy causes nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

3. Cellulose

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Cellulose, an additive found in several foods ranging from muffins to cheese, is actually wood pulp. The food industry uses this cheap additive to stabilize food. Too much cellulose can cause blockage in your intestines.

4. Sodium Nitrate

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This additive is most commonly found in bacon, deli meat, hot dogs, and any other processed meat. Its purpose is to make the color of your food bright and visually appealing. Sodium nitrate is another carcinogen that the FDA actually tried to ban because it is so harmful.

5. BHA

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Put those chips down. Most potato chips, chewing gum and vegetable oils contain BHA. Although this additive preserves food, it is also known to cause cancer and affect proper brain function. If you need something savory and crunchy without the BHA, try these veggie chips.


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PDMS or polydimethylsiloxane is an additive most commonly found in fast food, silly putty, and most skin care products. What’s it doing in food? It’s another cheap preservative that the food industry loves.

7. Food Dyes

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Food dyes are mainly found in candy, juice, and salad dressing. Blue #1 and Blue #2 have actually been banned in France, Norway, and Finland. Red #3 has been banned in the U.S but is still being used until supplies run out. This dye is known to cause thyroid cancer and chromosomal damage.

8. Caramel Coloring

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This ingredient can be found in soda, coffee creamer, beer, and mostly any other processed food that’s well you guessed it – caramel colored. This additive is known to raise blood pressure and weaken the immune system.

9. MSG

food additives

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Before you order Chinese take-out, you might want to reconsider. Most Chinese food, frozen entrees, and seasonings contain MSG, a toxin that kills off cells. MSG is directly linked with weight gain because it turns off the signal in your brain that tells you that you are full. It also can cause depression, fatigue, and headaches.

10. Olestra

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Olestra is an artificial fat found in most fat-free products. It is added to remove the fat in your food but it poses some health threats. Eating foods containing olestra can cause severe abdominal cramps and diarrhea.

Be sure to read the labels on the food that you buy and remember that if you can’t pronounce it, you should probably look it up.