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Read Your Labels: 7 Food Ingredients to Avoid.

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Knowledge is Power.

As many as you know, I have embarked on a journey to getting healthy and in the process, re-establish my clean eating habits.

I realize what eating Frankenfoods has done to me in a matter of 5 months, the holidays, the parties and dinners, conferences and just girls days out.

They’ve caused me to gain a lot of weight, bloat, feel sluggish and just a general feeling of unwellness.

I’ve been too lax with myself and I know that there are other so many others out there that are stricter.

I’m a baker, what can I say.


One thing though, I am informed and I research because of my children and I am absolutely adamant about their diets. I want to teach them values from a young age, maybe a lot of things my parents didn’t know when I was a kid. And the best way is by example like I’ve been doing for all these years.

Since I’ve started to firmly re-establish clean eating, I’ve had bursts of energy. I feel so much better and I’m slowly and surely getting back to normal.

Which leads me to the topic that I want to discuss with you guys.

Do You Know What Is In Your Food?

Do you ever stop and read the label?

I am a huge advocate for this and I recommend everyone do it, even if your goal isn’t to lose weight but–for peace of mind and to avoid a lot of potentially dangerous ingredients we consume unknowingly.

Even when I may not be making the healthiest choice for myself, I still avoid these ingredients like the plague. Just like I won’t eat anythng canned!

Things to Avoid:

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup (HCFS)
  • Palm Kernel or Soybean Oil (Vegetable Shortening, Hydrogenated, Partially Hydrogenated, Trans Fats)
  • Artificial Colors and Flavors
  • Benzoate Preservatives (BHA, BHT, TBHQ)
  • MSG (Monosodium Glusomate)
  • Sodium Nitrate (Common in lunch meats, hot dogs, bacon.)
  • Bromide


High Fructose Corn Syrup promotes heart disease, obesity, increases risk for Type-2 Diabetes and isn’t metabolized by the liver.

Palm Kernel Oil, on top of not being produced sustainably, is one of the largest contributors to deforestation in Indonesia. It is high in trans fats and along with Soybean Oil and others, is an an industrially made oil that will in turn lower your good cholesterol and heighten your bad cholesterol. Thus putting you in risk for heart disease.

MSG can cause headaches, edema, increased appetite, nausea and at times difficulty breathing.

Benzoate Preservatives is a compound that preserves fats from going bad and this can cause asthma, tumors, hyper activity and much more.

Artificial colorings and artificial flavors have been linked to a lot of skin conditions and allergic reactions. They can also cause asthma and affect your thyroid.

When Sodium Nitrates are added to meat, they become nitrosamines–a carcinogenic and increase the risk of cancers. Also found as Soda Niter and Chile Saltpeter. You can find this in hot dogs, lunch meats etc.

Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone also known as rBGH. They use this to increase milk production in cows.  Made by Monsanto, if you know them. It contains high amounts of insulin-like growth hormones that many believe is the cause of breast, colon and prostate cancers. The hormones have also been linked to early puberty in girls.

Potassium Bromide increases the volume in breads, its caused cancer in animals and so far is banned in Canada and Europe. It is an endocrine disruptor, you can find it as enriched flour and bromic acid.

We Do Have Control.

If we show the big shots in charge of producing and distributing our food that we care about what we are ingesting and show them through the power of purchase, there can be change.

Buy local, buy organic.

I am not a medical expert and my purpose is not to give medical advice. If you have any questions, please ask your physician. I’m sure I’ve only just barely touched upon the negative things in our food but, if you are going to make a change to your diet, please consult a doctor.

So, do you already check or will you start to check your labels?

Let me know!

Til then cheers m’deres!

I’ve had a deliciously amazing clean week, hope you all did too!

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Nancy Polanco is a freelance journalist and editor of lifestyle blog Whispered Inspirations. A social media junkie, travel-lover with insatiable wanderlust and an aficionado for fun gadgets, good eats and entertainment. You can find her on Twitter and everywhere else under @WhispersInspire.


  1. Life is a lot easier living in Canada sometimes! :) Thanks for the great information!

    • Hmm, Canada? As far as I know, these ingredients exist here! At least in a lot of labels I scan and avoid. You even have to watch their wording even when advertised as natural. They can be very deceptive with wording.

  2. Fabulous post, lovey!!! Great info to pass on to everyone. The saying is true: "You are what you eat!" I feel that way. If I eat anything greasy or fatty, I feel really gross. If I eat whole foods or lots of raw veg, I feel energized.

    I check all the labels on food…I'm totally obsessed about knowing what I'm putting into my body as well as what I'm feeding my little one and hubby.

    • You really are and I firmly believe the more you know the better. I grew up eating everything, our parents didn't have the knowledge we have today. While I don't deprive my kids, I make them healthier alternatives. I about freaked when I saw what store bought cupcakes contain. Pretty much everything on the lists if ingredients to avoid. You can make your own organic version and skip the sprinkles. Only time I'm lax with the girls is at other kids' parties and I make their bday cakes. Anyway, this is always important to consider! Thanks for passing it along!

    • PS ShesConnected and Blissdom did a number on me! I cheated bad and had tummy aches. Haha, had a fab time with Serena and Aeryn though! And Kat and Patty too! ShesConnected had lots of fruits & veggies!

  3. Is it wrong that once I saw the donut, I lost track of what I was doing??? I'm so weak :(

  4. Great post! It is important to know what we put in or bodies as well as what to look for these days.

  5. oh i know all too well! I get brutal reactions to msg and nitrates! only msg has many MANY other names..so even if something says MSG-FREE or NO-MSG, it generally STILL has another variation of it in it. SOOO FRUSTRATING!!!

  6. I always read my labels. I have a daughter who has life-threatening dairy allergies… as a result, I became a compulsive label reader. Since I was already doing it, I became more aware of all of the ingredients in our food. Her allergy, in essence, has made my entire family healthier!

  7. Thank you for this information. These are invaluable with learning to eat healthy.

  8. Victoria Ess says:

    Thanks for the easily digestible information. MSG has terrible side effects for me, so I am conscious to avoid that ingredient, but could improve on the rest :)

  9. Julia Frank says:

    Thank you for the tips !!

  10. I would love to start to eat healthy, but I find the healthy food that we are to eat is so expensive and I struggle now, it's sad to know, that is why there is so many over weight people because the junk and garbage foods are a lot more cheaper

  11. skeetersden says:

    The laws need to get tougher on labeling! I watch marketplace and it'smisleading & dare I say criminal what they can get away with

  12. kathy downey says:

    Thank you so much for this information

  13. kathy downey says:

    I shared on FB for my friends,sure they will be as shocked as I was

  14. kathy downey says:

    After reading this post and reading my labels I am shocked at what I am seeing.I should have been doing this long ago,thanks for posting this.

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