Ingredients to avoid


Zoe White, Staff Writer

To a lot of people, food has become something to enjoy and to ward off feeling of hunger.  It is easy to forget that food is fuel for the body and the mind. Most people don’t check the ingredients or know how dangerous some ingredients really are. The truth is, many of the popular foods that people enjoy eating have dangerous ingredients that can have negative effects on the human body. 

Foods like cookies, cakes, pizza, and fried foods are made with trans fat. Trans fat is extremely unhealthy.  It is known as one of the worst fats you can consume. Trans fat can cause serious problems such as bad cholesterol and heart diseases. According to Elaine Magee from WebMD, “It’s a good idea to check the label. First, look at the Nutrition Facts panel. Even if it says the product has 0 grams of trans fats per serving, there may still be up to half a gram of trans fats per serving.”

Foods like cereal, candy, and  yogurt have high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup is dangerous because it’s just sugar. Sugar has the same addictive effect as drugs or alcohol. The more foods people consume with high fructose corn syrup, the more the sugar messes with their health. The addictive substance can cause things like diabetes, obesity, and other health conditions.

According to, “Fructose can also create imbalances in leptin, a hormone that tells your brain to stop eating. With a condition called leptin resistance, your brain no longer “hears” leptin’s message to stop eating, so you overeat.”  

It is no coincidence that the United States and Mexico, the two countries with the highest consumption of corn-based products, also have the two highest obesity rates, writes author Michael Pollan.

Items like jam, soft drinks, and canned foods often have artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners are usually substitutes for sugar such as Stevia or Splenda. There are benefits to these sweeteners such as no sugar which gets you the sweetness without the calories but believe it or not, artificial sweeteners have major health risks.

Artificial sweeteners increase appetite, which causes weight gain, and it has been proven that even brain tumors and bladder cancer can occur with artificial sweeteners. According to Rocio Salas-Whalen, MD, “When you consume artificial sweeteners some data suggests that artificial sweeteners cross the blood-brain barrier and disrupt hippocampal function. This impairs sensitivity to interceptive signals, dysregulate appetitive behavior, and thereby promote food intake.”

Due to the ingredients in food, some can actually be addicting. The most addictive food is Doritos according to Doritos are an example of food with MSG. Monosodium glutamate is an ingredient known to increase appetite and make foods taste better. MSG gives a “umami” flavor, which makes people want to continue consuming it. Too much MSG consumption can cause obesity, metabolic disorders, and even reproductive issues. Consuming MSG can also cause what is known as Chinese Restaurant Syndrome; According to Today, “a doctor reported in a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine that he had experienced palpitations and numbness in his neck, back and arms after eating Chinese food.” 

In conclusion, there are foods to avoid or limit: trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, and MSG.  Check the labels on your favorite packaged foods to see if they contain these toxic ingredients; or better yet, opt for unpackaged whole foods found in the perimeter of the grocery store.