The 12 Scariest Food Additives You’re Eating Right Now

The 12 Scariest Food Additives You’re Eating Right Now

The Dirty Dozen – The 12 Scariest Food Additives You’re Eating Right Now – Part 1


Do you know what you’re eating and drinking?

Many food products you see and some that you probably eat contain harmful food additives!

Why should you care? Well, one reason you should care is the fact that some of these food additives could be dangerous to your health. Just because it’s called a FOOD additive doesn’t mean that these additives are found only in foods. These additives can be found in DRINKS too. So, just be aware that we are talking about ingredients that could be found in BOTH foods and drinks! Even, scarier, right? Indeed, there could be some scary food additives that you are eating and DRINKING at this very moment. The World Health Organization has written technical reports on various food additives, some of which contain aluminum, silicon and modified starches [1]. This does not sound appetizing, right? No WAY! These are not items we should be consuming!

Let me tell you about 12 of the really scary (and TOXIC) food additives that you may be consuming. In Part 1 of this article, we’ll discuss 6 of these scary food additives that you should be aware of and in Part 2 of the article, we talk about 6 more food additives that you should also avoid. In the last 50 years, man-made preservatives have become the more common method for holding or preserving food items, taking the place of salts, herbs, boiling, vinegar and refrigeration [2]. There have been various people and groups who have raised awareness of the impact that nutrition and exercise (or the lack thereof) could have on the body, including the absence or occurrence of certain chronic diseases. A thought-provoking quote on the topic is presented below:

“Today, more than 95% of all chronic disease is caused by food choice, toxic food ingredients, nutritional deficiencies and lack of physical exercise.” – Mike Adams

The dirty dozen food additives, including artificial coloring and artificial sweeteners, can be found everywhere, and there is a relatively high probability that you have come into contact with at least one of these scary food additives TODAY, whether you were grabbing a drink or food item from your fridge or buying a meal outside your home. These scary additives can be ANYWHERE! It’s time to be more careful with what you eat or drink. The first 6 scariest food additives in the dirty dozen are:

1. Azodicarbonamide. This name by itself, is long and scary, and words ending with “mide” may also make people quite weary as well. There are concerns regarding the use of azodicarbonamide because there have been some situations where it was linked or closely associated with the occurrence of asthma [3]. Where do you find this food additive? Often it is found in certain brands of bread, buns, and other baked items like bagels.

2. Propylene glycol. If you have seen glycol, it typically does not look like something you’d want to eat. It may look thick and slimy and certainly not something you want settling in your tummy. So, why do food producers include this item in our foods? Well, a property that propylene glycol has is its ability to THICKEN something. You name it and propylene glycol would probably be able to thicken it. You may find this food additive in some of your salad dressings or creams that are used for cooking, or to make a sauce. Dairy products may also contain this additive, which may result in the seemingly rich texture and appearance that such products may have.


3. Saccharin. Apart from additives that are added to foods and drinks, there are also artificial colors and artificial sweeteners. One of these artificial sweeteners you should be aware of is saccharin. When tested on rats, this artificial sweetener was seen to cause cancer. Not a good sign at all, especially for humans. Yes, rats are different from humans, however many tests for drugs and other substances are usually conducted on rats. The effects that these substances have on rats should NOT be ignored. Actually, a connection to the likely carcinogenesis of saccharin in human beings has also been mentioned [4]. So, pay attention to the potential consumption of this artificial sweetener.

4. Red #40. Red #40 is an artificial food color that you need to avoid. This food coloring can be sourced from petroleum, which automatically makes it a bad idea. If we can find petroleum and extract it, this in NO WAY means that we need to eat or consume it. Unfortunately, people include these products in foods and because the side-effects may not be immediately obvious or readily apparent, so we all assume its fine. NOT SO! Down the road, these artificial food colorings could be linked to cancer. It is best to AVOID artificial colorings, despite the attractive appearance such items may provide.


5. Sodium Nitrate. The way that processed meats remain fresh and also seemingly healthy to eat is that these foods are packed with sodium nitrate. This food additive can stop the growth and persistence of bacteria. Great, RIGHT? No, NOT GREAT! While you may avoid getting sick from bacteria by eating meats that have been processed, the additive that is keeping the bacteria away is not good for the human body. When things are diverted from their natural state, this can lead to trouble! In this case, the use of this additive could be linked to cancer. SO, it’s best to STAY AWAY from it.

6. Potassium Bromate. Unfortunately, another food additive that has been linked to the occurrence of cancer is potassium bromate. This is found in food items like bread or other foods that are usually made to expand during processing. Potassium bromate is used to cause this expansion. Bakeries could use this food additive to multiply their product, and at whose expense? Unfortunately, food producers are generally not thinking about your best interests. Of course, why should they? It’s usually all about the money and profits to be made, so you need to ADVOCATE for yourself by knowing more about what you are eating. Watch for labels that list potassium bromate as one of the ingredients.


There are toxic additives, artificial colors, and artificial sweeteners. Some of these artificial sweeteners were discovered by accident [5]. Can you imagine eating something that was concocted by mere chance and now marketed in a form different from that for which it was originally intended? I don’t know about you, but it certainly does not leave a HAPPY THOUGHT in my mind. All three categories of these additives need to be AVOIDED. We have only mentioned the first 6 of these food additives in this part of the article. For the remainder of the list, check out another article here.


DON’T BE DISMAYED. You can avoid toxic and scary food ingredients and additives. FIRST, you need to know what these toxic and scary food additives are. Some may be somewhat obvious, while others may come as a bit of a surprise. Either way, MAKE SURE that you get rid of these products. Another sure way to stay away from dangerous food additives, artificial colors and artificial sweeteners is to focus on more wholesome, natural foods and less on PROCESSED foods. If you consume natural foods that contain one ingredient LIKE as grains, fruits and vegetables, or ingredients that are EASY to PRONOUNCE such as coconut oil or cane sugar, your body will love you for it! Know what you’re putting into your mouth! There are ways to increase your knowledge even further, such as learning about 101 toxic food ingredients that you may also not know about [6]. Now, it’s time to learn about 6 other scary food additives that you need to avoid. Let’s take a look at the next section of this discussionThe Dirty Dozen – The 12 Scariest Food Additives You’re Eating Right Now – Part 2.

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Rick Kaselj, MS