Know the hidden ingredients in your food.


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1)    Artificial colours

Take some time to scan the ingredients on the back of the box with a careful eye. Opt for store-bought products that have no artificial colours, no dairy derived from synthetic hormones and no genetically modified ingredients. Artificial colouring products are prevalent in a large part of the commercial food industry, and they are almost always harmful to the body. (https://www.confectionerynews.com/Article/2013/04/05/Food-colors-in-India-Most-foods-have-illegal-limits) Confectionery News reported that most food in India has colour amounts exceeding legal limits.

2)    Synthetic growth hormones.

If you’re a frequent consumer of milk, yoghurt and dairy, you are also consuming recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH). The rBGH or the rBST are synthetic hormones injected into dairy producing cattle to unnaturally stimulate growth and boost milk production. As a side effect, they regulate the secretion of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), which is linked with many breast and prostate cancer cases.

recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone laden dairy

3)    Harmful Chemicals In extensive practices, chemicals are injected into poultry feed to foster growth and aesthetics of the meat produced thereby. Pinker and plumper chicken comes with traces of a carcinogen called Arsenic. Preservatives like benzoic acid is found in milk and meat products leading to stomach aches, asthma attacks and hyperactivity in children.

Growth Hormones in Poultry

4) Air-Borne Pollutants

Dioxins and PCBs are persistent environmental pollutants released from factories and production plants. They accumulate in the food chain and have adverse effects on human health. A World Health Organisation (WHO) factsheet states that dioxins are omnipresent in a lot of food, and more than 90% of human exposure is through food. This mostly includes meat and dairy products.

Daioxins presence in polluted air

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published a report on levels of dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) in food and feed. Meat from eels, fish liver contained the highest average contamination levels for both dioxins and PCBs. Milk and dairy products for toddlers were a major exposure to these toxins.

6) Sealing Agents

Bisphenol-A (BPA) in canned food

The convenience of canned food comes with a risk of disease. Most cans are lined with a product called bisphenol-A (BPA). Franziska Spritzler (RD), a well-known dietician and author, published a research article that stated that Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a chemical used in plastic containers, canned food like meat beans and vegetables along with packaging of many beverages. Foods are the biggest source of BPA levels in the body. Excessive levels of BPA lead to problems with reproduction and puts one at risk for cancer. You can reduce your BPA exposure by looking for BPA-free bottles and containers and mostly by consuming whole, unprocessed foods.

7) Pseudo Vegetarian foods

Adulteration and mass production leads to a lot of vegetarian food to acquire animal-based products. For instance, some vanilla ice creams get their natural flavours from a beaver’s rear end also known as Castoreum. Refined white sugar is bleached in a process that entails running the sugar through natural carbon which basically is charred cattle bones. Your best bet would be vegan-approved ice creams or real flavours.

8) Metals

Heavy metals found in fishes

PubMed published a study that was designed to estimate the dietary intake of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg), and lead (Pb) by the general population of Catalonia, Spain. The results revealed that fish and shellfish was the group out of the eleven groups, showing the highest contribution to the intake by the population.

Organically grown foods have been shown to be effective in preventing chronic ailments. Valter Longo, director of the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California, states, “People need to switch to a diet where only around nine or ten percent of their calories come from protein, and the ideal sources are plant-based,”Whether scrunching on a delicious cheeseburger or just a healthy salad, we live in a world that blinds us from fully knowing what we put in our mouths. Vegetarian, Vegan or a full-blown meat lover, you are subject to consumption of toxic elements due to harmful adulteration of food and inorganic farming practices. 

If you don’t dedicate a generous amount of time for grocery shopping chances are, you’re consuming at least six out of these eight hidden ingredients present in the foods that we consume.


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