Dangerous Food Ingredients To Watch Out For On Nutrition Labels

The nutrition label can predict the future size of your pants and health care bills. The Food and Drug Administration has approved more than 3,000 additives, but you don’t have to know them all. You just need to be able to parse out the bad stuff. Here are 5 ingredients you never want to see on the nutrition label.

Parabens

These synthetic preservatives are used to inhibit mold and yeast in food. But a study in Food Chemical Toxicology found that daily ingestion decreased sperm and testosterone production in rats, and parabens have been found present in breast cancer tissues.

Partially Hydrogenated Oil

Don’t confuse “0 g trans fat” with being trans fat-free. The FDA allows products to claim zero grams of trans fat as long as they have less than half a gram per serving. Considering that two grams is the absolute most you ought to consume in a day, those fractions can quickly add up. If it’s anywhere on there, then you’re ingesting artery-clogging trans fat.

Sodium Nitrite

Nitrites and nitrates are used to inhibit botulism-causing bacteria and to maintain processed meats’ pink hues, which is why the FDA allows their use. Unfortunately, once ingested, nitrite can fuse with amino acids (of which meat is a prime source) to form nitrosamines, powerful carcinogenic compounds.


Caramel Coloring

This additive wouldn’t be dangerous if you made it the old-fashioned way—with water and sugar, on top of a stove. But the food industry follows a different recipe: They treat sugar with ammonia, which can produce some nasty carcinogens. A Center for Science in the Public Interest asserted that the high levels of caramel color found in soda account for roughly 15,000 cancers in the U.S. annually.

Food Dyes

Not only do these dyes allow manufacturers to mask the drab colors of heavily processed foods, but certain hues have been linked to more serious ailments. A Journal of Pediatrics study linked Yellow 5 to hyperactivity in children, Canadian researchers found Yellow 6 and Red 40 to be contaminated with known carcinogens, and Red 3 is known to cause tumors.

Have you been checking out the nutrition labels of your groceries lately? How often do you consume foods containing these dangerous ingredients?

Source: Yahoo News

Image: Life Extension

5 Cooking Mistakes We Always Commit

Every cook, being human, errs, bungles, botches, and screws up in the kitchen once in a while but the smart cook aims to prevent such creativity from being necessary. Here are some common cooking mistakes:

1. You don’t taste as you go.

Result: The flavors or textures of an otherwise excellent dish are out of balance or unappealing. For most cooks, tasting is automatic, but when it’s not, the price can be high. Recipes don’t always call for the “right” amount of seasoning. Your palate is the control factor.

2. You don’t read the entire recipe before you start cooking.

Result: Flavors are dull, entire steps or ingredients get left out. A wise cook approaches each recipe with a critical eye and reads the recipe well before it’s time to cook. Follow the pros’ habit of gathering your mise en place―that is, having all the ingredients gathered, prepped, and ready to go before you turn on the heat.


3. You make unwise substitutions in baking.

Result: You wreck the underlying chemistry of the dish. Substitutions are a particular temptation, and challenge, with healthy cooking. When it comes to baking, this is as much science as art.

4. You boil when you should simmer.

Result: A hurried-up dish that’s cloudy, tough, or dry. A bubble breaks the surface of the liquid every second or two. More vigorous bubbling than that means you’ve got a boil going. And the difference between the two can ruin a dish.

5. You overheat chocolate.

Result: Instead of having a smooth, creamy, luxurious consistency, your chocolate is grainy, separated, or scorched. The best way to melt chocolate is to go slowly, heat gently, remove from the heat before it’s fully melted, and stir until smooth. It’s very easy to ruin chocolate, and there is no road back.

Source: Cooking Light

Image: How to Do Things