But what's the big deal about food additives? If they are sold in supermarkets, they should be safe, right?
Mind the food additivesFood additives are chemicals inside the food that serve a particular function, such as to thicken, enhance flavour or preserve. To replicate the luscious, creamy texture of regular yogurt, thickening agents like guar gum or carrageenan are added. To make up for the flavour and richness, sweeteners, artificial colours and flavours are added. This is how yogurt, the innocent, healthy breakfast food, becomes a chemical concoction.
Are they really that bad for me?In small quantities, they are not harmful. Regulatory bodies limit the number of additives in each product, but who monitors how many and how much of each product you consume? The problem lies in the accumulating effect of additives when they reach unsafe levels. No alarm bell is going to sound when you've overshot the daily recommended intake.
Those are just some possible side effects of consuming food additives:
- A trigger for breathing problems like asthma and bronchitis
- Hyperactive behaviour in children
- Associations with pancreatic and colon cancer
- Disruption of gut microbiota, which can lead to inflammatory diseases of the gut
- Allergic reactions including diarrhoea and hives