Monday, January 2, 2012

THE ABC's of FOOD DYES

How many of us list eating healthier as a new years resolution?  Undoubtedly it is one of the most common new year resolutions!   But, what about eating a healthier and non-toxic diet?  In a world full of processed foods, easy pre-prepared meals, ingredient lists that only a PhD can decipher and tight budgets it can seem really difficult to make healthy choices but, in fact, it is not as complicated as it may seem.  The first step is to understand HOW your food might be harming you and your family’s health and WHY it is important to eat organically as part of a non-toxic life.



In honor of the New Year I will be dedicating this month to tips on eating healthier.... first up:  how to avoid Food Dyes.

FOOD DYES
WHERE ARE THEY AND WHY ARE THEY BAD?
Packaged food as diverse as macaroni and cheese, cereal, juices, coca cola, yogurt and M&M’s (and all candies, for that matter) all have one thing in common:  the presence of dyes.   Read the ingredient list and you will se “yellow #6   , red # 40  , caramel color etc.   These dyes, so common in food marketed to children, have recently been linked to  hyperactivity in kids (ADHD), cancer and serious food allergies.

 A study  conducted at the University of Southhampton, in the United Kingdom, set out to test whether intake of artificial food color and additives affected childhood behavior.  They tested 3 year olds and 8/9 year olds and found that, indeed, “artificial colors or a sodium benzoate preservative (or both) in the diet result in increased hyperactivity.”

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, in the US,  conducted tests and found that the following dyes all caused possible tumors in lab rats:
- Green 3, or Fast Green,  (not as common but still found in candies, beverages, dessert powders, ice cream, sorbet, and other foods, as well as ingested drugs, lipsticks, and externally applied cosmetics)
- Red 40 (by far the most used dye,  It is approved for use in beverages, bakery goods, dessert powders, candies, cereals, foods, drugs, and cosmetics)
- Yellow 6, or Sunset Yellow, ( FDA- approved and used to color bakery goods, cereals, beverages, dessert powders, candies, gelatin desserts, sausage, and numerous other foods, as well as cosmetics and drugs)

Additionally, Yellow 5  (the second most used dye also known as Tartrazine,  found in numerous bakery goods, beverages, dessert powders, candies, cereals, gelatin desserts, pet food, and many other foods, as well as pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics) showed genotoxicity and hyperactivity in children, while Blue 1 (or Brilliant Blue) was found to possibly cause kidney tumors in mice.

“Caramel Color” found in Colas, baked goods, pre-cooked meats, soy and Worcestershire sauces, chocolate-flavored products and beer is often produced using ammonia.  The ammonia containing caramel color contain 2 contaminants (2- and 4-methylimidazole) that were labeled as “possibly carcinogenic to humans" by the World Health Organization.  

Click here for Non-Toxic Munchkins 123's : Easy steps TO AVOID DYES IN YOUR DIET

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