Yep: reading labels on food isn’t always so simple. And what does it all mean? Flavor enhancers, sweeterners, E-numbers, preservatives, colorings,… All have an impact on our health AND they cause weight problems. That’s what I’m discussing today in this blog.
The reason why I’m touching on this subject is that all the junk in our food not only makes us unhealthy but can also be one of the possible reasons why you just can’t lose weight or gain unwanted pounds. As a golden rule I always tell my clients that the less it says on the label, the better it is. Everything that does not come straight from nature is very often something you do not need. The golden rule is: cook/prepare it yourself, take the cutting board in hand and choose pure ingredients.
If you do choose something from the store shelves, be sure to pay attention to this:
The flavor enhancer E621 or monosodium glutamate
Also called es “Vetsin” or “MSG.” You can find it in:
- Prepared foods
- Spice mixes (!)
- Stock cubes
- Solution soups (sorry for the minute soups… “break works” but take a right break)
- Seasoned meat (yes, also often from the butcher around the corner because they very often work with spice mixes that have it added to them)
- Chips and especially those with all those crazy flavors: barbecue, paprika, Mexican,… and almost always in the so-called healthy light chips
- Light products
This type of flavor enhancer is a chemical and even called toxic additive by some researchers because it has a huge impact on how our brains interact with food. It is also linked to one of the causes of obesity in our modern world.
One of the signs of eating food with MSG is often that you become excessively thirsty and therefore reach for fizzy drinks. Another consequence is often the “Chinese restaurant syndrome”, because in Chinese cuisine this product is used very often and in large quantities, in which the following symptoms may occur:
- Allergic reaction with skin rash, swollen skin/eyes/lips
- Palpitations, tightness in the chest
- Numbness in the mouth
- Pulling of the jaw
- Heat flushing (vapeur)
Aspartame (E951) – Sucralose (E955)- Saccharin (E954)
We have known about these artificial sweetener genes for decades and they are used as artificial sweeteners in light foods and beverages. They are between 100 and 200 times sweeter than regular sugar so you don’t need much of it and therefore you get virtually no calories. Fantastic right? Unfortunately, it’s a neurotoxic substance that has a lot of effects in your body.
- Unhealthy addiction to all things sweet and you crave more and more sweetness
- No sense of what natural tastes are
- It can, just like regular sugar, induce insulin which brings your body into a state of fat storage.
- If it is in cola, it does not quench your thirst at all and leaves you unsaturated which makes you crave for more.
- Headaches – triggering migraines
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Weight gain (yes! Even that)
- Neurological and brain disorders
- Mood disorders
- Phybromyalgia and chronic pains
- Early menstruation
- Higher risk of kidney disease
- Increased risk of cancer
- Poorly functioning bowels
Preservatives are substances that people add to foods to extend their shelf life. It serves to prevent the growth of bacteria, fungi and yeasts. Here are a few to keep an eye on and avoid or at least limit.
Sodium Nitrites and Nitrates
Nitrates and nitrites may be naturally present in foods or they may be added as additives to inhibit the growth of harmful and even deadly bacteria. (e.g. Clostridium botulinum which causes botulism.) They are mainly added to preserve flavor and color in prepared foods: especially meat and meat products. (dry sausages and bacon)
In case of hypersensitivity, it can also cause symptoms in persons sensitive to nitrate and nitrite especially when consumed in excessive quantities.
- E 249 Potassium nitrite
- E 250 Sodium nitrite
- E 251 Sodium nitrate
- E 252 Potassium nitrate
Nitrate can be converted to nitrite by processing, poor storage, and intestinal bacteria.
In sensitive individuals, low amounts of nitrite produce mild symptoms such as anemia, difficult breathing, facial pallor (lividity), dizziness, and headache.
Treatment of allergies to nitrites/nitrates.
Avoid nitrate-rich foods and processed foods that have added nitrate or nitrite. This is the only way to prevent symptoms.
A food intolerance can become milder or just more severe over the years. That is why regular follow-up with an allergist is important. If necessary, the tailor-made dietary advice is revised and a new tolerance limit can be determined.
Foods to avoid in case of allergy to nitrates/nitrites:
Avoid the following foods:
- Leafy vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, endive …
- Beets, beet green
- Processed meat
Blue dye E133
A nice color for your new dress but not in your food. It causes allergies, hyperactivity, is carcinogenic,…
E104 choline yellow
According to my sources still allowed in Belgium. Causes: allergies, asthma, sleep problems,…
The combination E621 (MSG) + E951 (aspartame).
So literally: that bag of chips with artificial flavors and that can of light/diet drink/soda with it.
A life-threatening combination that toxicopathologists say is even more dangerous due to the combination of both chemicals.
Tips for avoiding these additives and junk:
- As I mentioned above: cut, cook your food yourself
- Prepare larger quantities of your favorite dishes: stews, lasagna, vegetable dishes, spaghetti sauce
- Make your own fresh soup. It’s that simple (don’t use stock cubes with sugar or MSG, you can also make nice soup with onion, garlic and herbs)
- Read the labels
- Choose simple: if you eat chips, choose ordinary salt chips or roast them yourself with nuts seasoned with herbs and unrefined sea salt
Want more of this? Then follow this blog and subscribe to the newsletter and follow me on facebook and instagram. In my fb group @walkingfornaturalweightfreedom I give a free live session every week and regular free workshops on various topics from my method “Walk your slim and happy”. Would you like to know more about how I help people on their way to their natural weight and better health? Then contact me through the contact page.0