Why are some foods banned in other countries, but still allowed in the U.S.? I’m not new to label reading. In fact, as early as junior high, I wrote a paper on additives in food and remember receiving a packet of materials from the state capital. I think our assignment was to choose a topic, then write to some state office and ask for any materials they might have on the subject.
I think I’ve gotten a little lazy in my label reading though. It’s easy to get complacent in some areas if you are feeling taxed in others. But I ran across this article today in SHAPE magazine, (excerpts below) and while I don’t want to be an alarmist, it is sensible, I think, to pay attention to what you put in your body on a regular basis. Look at the side effects of Olestra (aka Olean.) Why on earth would anyone eat “fat-free” potato chips with an ingredient that could give you involuntary seepage from…well… I’m trying to be delicate here, but that’s gross. Crying out loud, if you are that desperate for potato chips, get regular ones and look at the calories per serving, count out a serving and add it into your calories for the day. Olestra. Gross, gross, gross. “Fat-Free” on a label does not necessarily mean “good for you.”
~excerpt from SHAPE
Ingredient: Olestra (aka Olean)
Found In: Fat-free potato chips
Why the U.S. Allows It: Procter & Gamble Co. took a quarter century and spent a half a billion dollars to create “light” chips that are supposedly better for you, Calton says. They may need another half a billion bucks to figure out how to deal with the embarrassing bathroom side effects (including oily anal leakage) that comes with consuming these products.
Health Hazards: “This fat substitute appears to cause a dramatic depletion of fat-soluble vitamins and carotenoids, robbing us of the vital micro-nutrients,” Calton says, adding that many countries, including the U.K. and Canada, have banned it.
Now, I’m not claiming to eat 100% clean. I shoot for 80% overall. But I’ll tell you now, Olestra is one ingredient that will never make it in my home. If you want to see the side effects and some other possible allergens and junk that the US FDA allows manufacturers to put in our food, even though many have been banned in other countries, you can read the article at SHAPE. Educate yourself. Be wise. Read labels.My standard rule of thumb is, the longer the ingredient list, the less likely it is going to make it in my basket.
Read another one.
Ingredient:Brominated vegetable oil (aka BVO)
Found In: Sports drinks and citrus-flavored sodas
Why the U.S. Allows It: BVO acts as an emulsifier, preventing the flavoring from separating and floating to the surface of beverages, Calton says.
Health Hazards: “Because it competes with iodine for receptor sites in the body, elevated levels of the stuff may lead to thyroid issues, such as hypothyroidism, autoimmune disease, and cancer,” Calton says. That’s not all. BVO’s main ingredient, bromine, is a poisonous chemical that is considered both corrosive and toxic. It’s been linked to major organ system damage, birth defects, growth problems, schizophrenia, and hearing loss, which explains why it’s been nixed in more than 100 countries.
Makes you think, doesn’t it? Or at least I hope it does.
All of these additives and ingredients are harmful to you and your family. Avoid them at all costs. Read the ARTICLE now and learn to identify these on labels. And not to get all political on my dear reader, but do you see why we as a nation have to quit thinking in the backs of our heads that the government is going to help us get healthy? It’s not up to our government. It’s up to us to quit sticking our heads in the sand and start paying attention to what we put in our mouths! Period!
In this together,
Elite Team Beachbody Coach
Mom, wife, business owner, mentor and friend.