5 Ingredients to Avoid

Reading ingredient labels doesn’t have to be difficult. It is pretty simple in fact. Basically, if you don’t know what the ingredient is, or if you have never heard of it, there is a good chance that it is a chemical or processed ingredient that you don’t want to ingest. In general, each ingredient should be a whole food that isn’t processed. That said it can still be a bit daunting.

Below, I’ve listed five typical ingredients that you should avoid at all costs. And if they are listed first, second or third on the ingredient list of a packaged product, you definitely want to take a pass and opt for something else.

  1. Sugar: Refined sugars should be avoided for several reasons:
    • They raise your insulin levels and as a result, can depress the immune system, weakening your ability to fight disease.
    • Further, they cause weight gain and promote storage of fat.
    • Lastly, refined sugars provide you with no vitamins or minerals, so in order for them to be metabolized, they draw on the body’s reserves of vitamins and minerals, depleting your body’s nutrients. 
  2. Solution: Look for foods that are naturally sweetened (fruit or honey). If you must have sugar, opt for pure cane sugar that has not been refined.

  3. Bleached White Flour: Unbleached flour is a perfectly fine ingredient. However, if the product has bleached flour, stay away. The bleaching process takes a lot of the nutrients and fiber out of the flour. As a result, the product ends up having mostly empty calories, providing little to no nutritional value to your diet.
  4. Solution: If choosing a wheat or grain based product, consume those that have whole grains or unbleached flour.

  5. Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil / Hydrogenated Soybean Oil: Hydrogenated soybean oils are created because they have a higher melting point, which makes them attractive for baking and extends their shelf-life. Unfortunately, they aren’t attractive to you or your waistline. These fats can cause coronary disease and may be linked to cancer.
  6. Solution: Don’t consume products with these ingredients. Opt for those that have monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats instead.

  7. High Fructose Corn Syrup: In short, high-fructose corn syrup is an unnatural product that is a very, very sweet, highly processed and refined cornstarch. This manufactured substance is sweeter than and digested differently than sugar.
    • The body processes it directly through the liver and is then stored as fat.
    • Further, there is once again, no nutritional value, giving you only empty calories to digest.
    • Lastly, this sweetener may be linked to several diseases including type 2 Diabetes.
  8. Solution: Opt for only natural sweeteners, foods that are naturally sweet (fruit or honey) or natural herbs, such as stevia.

  9. Aspartame/Saccharin/Sucralose/Phenylalkaline: Any artificial sweetener is bad for you. They are unnatural and are processed derivatives of food and/or chemicals that aren’t natural for us to digest. They can cause havoc on your metabolism and your energy levels. Further, there is strong evidence that these are toxic and may cause cancer, as well as other diseases.
  10. Solution: Opt for only natural sweeteners or stevia, a natural sweet herb.


Notice, these five ingredients are all either fat or sugar related. In general, the more you can avoid bad fats and refines sugars, the better off you are. When possible, always look for natural and whole foods. If a food is packaged, there is a good chance that there might be unwanted added preservatives or ingredients that you want to avoid.

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  • sonia cornwalltomach

    wow! some people get really angry, but i do appreciate knowing about the toxins in our food.

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  • Sam Dodge

    WOW!! Very well said Roy

  • Roy Harlow

    The side effects from all the toxins in our food supply, is the reason we go to the doctor to get the drugs, with 30 or more side effects that doctors give us to help destroy our bodys, Its all a money thing, thats why, the individual will have to delete the poisons from the food and the prescription drugs the good doctors give us. The foods are killing us and so are the medical doctors who get their orders from big pharmacy. YOU WILL LIVE AND BE HEALTHY BY WHAT YOU PUT INTO YOUR MOUTH, OR DIE, BECAUSE YOU LEFT IT UP TO THE CONTAMINATED FOODS AND KILLER DRUGS. It,s really very simple!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jen

    They didn’t have organ transplants in the 1800′s maybe we should go back to that aswell Kay. I think people hop on the down with this food or down with that food wagon way to fast. Using such things as blogs and wikipidea to get answere just fuels the thoughts that people on the natural food kick are less than smart.

  • rosc 2

    Refined wheat flour is just as bad and should be avoided – whole wheat is much more preferable. Same with other “white” foods such as steamed rolled oats, pearled barley, white sugar, white pasta, etc.

    Minerals are lost with every step of refining, foods should be as close to the way God (if you believe in one) created them – they contain the right amount of minerals & fiber in their natural state.

    Be careful when buying bread, as its a common trick to label it “whole wheat” when its major ingredient is unbleached flour (which has been sifted to remove the fiber & minerals! – It’s not whole wheat!)

    Read “This Famishing World” on the Journey to Forever website – it’s a bit dated but even back in the early 20th century it was becoming obvious the destruction to health that refined deprived foods were causing to humans.

  • michele

    SODIUM CASEINATE should be added to the top of this list***It almost cost me my life, and it is causing ANAPHALAXIS in numerous people. I think it is cumulative, and so we don’t recognize it as dangerous right away. I am Epi-Pen dependent for the rest of my life now.

  • Kay

    I have fed my kids no artificial color, sweetener, or flavor since 1976. I now try to feed the younger ones organic as much as possible. I’ve eliminated everything they didn’t have in 1800 from their diet. My adult ‘children’ tell me they can tell a difference if they eat ‘regular’ food because they don’t feel as well, are jumpy, etc. But I was grown and I ate what was fed to me growing up, sugar, artificial everything, and lots of bleached bread. I now have fibromyalgia and was almost bedfast. I first eliminated caffeine and that helped the pain level but it was still horrendous. Then artificial sweeteners. It made a difference but it took YEARS to get out of my system. After 13 years, it’s still there but still getting better. I no longer do margarine, bleached flour, or those other things mentioned above. It makes a tremendous difference in my body. My pain level is still bad but some days it’s actually not too bad. After reading this I can tell it’s probably because of hidden things I didn’t realize yet. I’ve also gone green with cleaning supplies. No more bleach. All natural clothes material. REAL materials for the floors. Our bodies have leached all these horrible chemicals into them. And my kids no longer eat wheat because of the chemicals where it been re-engineered.

  • http://brettsblog elise

    Does anyone know about HVP – hydrolyzed vegetable protein – it seems to be the latest toxic additive. I read it caused samanella in Albertsons Culinery Circle foods and they quietly removed them from shelves and then the media stopped talking about it. What’s up?

  • judy

    You know I wonder if people would stop and think about what they ate back in Bible times, if they would eat the same today. You know that it was butter whole milk, eggs. and beef. And look how long people lived back than.

    • Brett

      Judy…you make a good point. However, our cows weren’t fed corn back then. Corn fed beef is the reason beef is so high in saturated fat. If cows ate what they were supposed to…which is grass, the beef would have very low saturated fat. Our food supply is causing the problems we have because humans have manipulated food to be engineered versus natural. This is causing diabetes, cancer and many other diseases.

  • Marian Bromen

    Citric Acid – That food preservative – It causes acid refleck. Then you have to take anti-acid pills.
    I quit eating and drink anything that had it in it, so now I don’t have to take any pills and I feel great.

  • Kevin

    More people should know WHY High Fructose Corn Syrup is “unnatural”. The reason is because they use bacteria and viruses and genetically engineer the corn used to make this HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP.

    Monsanto Chemical and Seed company in St. Louis, MO can be thanked for causing numerous chronic diseases, diabetes Type 2, Cancer, and death.

    Read or find a lecture from Jeffery Smith PROVING scientifically that Monsanto and all genetically modified or GMO foods do make us ill.

    70% of the food in our grocery stores are Genetically Modified.

    Watch the movie “FOOD, Inc” or “King Corn”

  • Diane

    I never figured carrageenan to be bad; after all, it’s just seaweed and has been used for 2 millennia. However, since James was so certain it was a bad thing, I looked it up on Wikipedia. I now believe what makes it bad for you is its processing: “After treatment with hot alkali solution (e.g. 5-8% potassium hydroxide),” Doesn’t sound good to me, but I’m not a chemist.

  • http://n/a David Wamsley

    What about sulfites?

  • Ana

    STEVIA IS A NATURAL PLANT: Believe me, I grew it last summer. My husband ate it since he was born since it grew in his country. It is very sweet if too much is consumed, than you crave more sweet. That is why it states on the package to start with only 1/2 if a packet, Try a leaf in your fruit salad from a fresh plant if possible. Anything consumed in abundence is not good. Some people just have strange taste buds. I find it the closest to the taste of Cane Sugar but better.If too much is taken of Stevea it tends to have an acidity taste.

  • Carol

    The other problem with bleached flour these days is that it will also have the ingredient “azodicarbamide”. This night be an allergen for anyone who is allergic to food colorings and dyes. I am very sensitive to this ingredient. It is used to replace potassium bromate blowing agent. Countries like Australia and New Zealand have banned this ingredient in food. The USA should do the same.

  • James

    Looks like seizures is not as important as fat to some people. Not that I should be compared to a rat but, When will the FDA care to look at the real problems people have with these foods when you can not detect these toxins that are in the foods ? May I say follow the money trail starting with the news media $$$$$$$$ drug companies,$$$$$$$$$ food companies, $$$$$$$$$ retailers $$$$$$$$$$$$ networks $$$$$$$$$$$ advertisers $$$$$$$$$$$ congress $$$$$$$$$$ doctors $$$$$$$$$$$$$ and pharmacist $$$$$$ as they all lie about MSG, NITRATES, CARRAGEENAN and all the rest of the toxins that are used. Tell your represenative in congress about it if you want to get ignored. I tried that for the 9 months and you would not believe all the departments that got the buck passed on to for dealing with the MSG matter in foods. Neurologist will never be out of work as long as these toxins stay in our foods. If people will not have seizures from these toxins, fibromyalgia, and other painful attacks can be caused by these toxins as well as Grand Mal seizures. Anyone who believes these toxins are safe to be in any persons blood stream can not value life too much. I urge any person who believes these toxins are safe to eat or drink to buy it all so people like us can not touch any of it. All of us have our days numbered before we come into this world. I would like to die by a natural cause, not from a Grand Mal attack that was caused by MSG/MonoSodiumGlutamate, CARRAGEENAN, Soy Protein Concentrate, Nitrates, Aspartame or any other toxins that I’m not aware of. Who knows, maybe it is chemicals from the Lamictal I take that triggers with these toxins that causes my Grand Mals to happen. If that is the case being lamictal is a popular drug for seizures, it would make sence to try another drug and eat more MSG & all the other toxic foods. No way will I want to do that only to be wrong. MSG and all the rest of these toxins are not safe. They need to be 100% iliminated out of our foods asap.