Category Archives: fat

The early demise of Burger King’s Satisfries

iStock_000016208114SmallSeems like we only just blogged about the introduction of Burger King’s lower-calorie Satisfries. Less than a year later, we’re blogging about the end of the chain’s healthier option for french fry lovers.

This is a blow to the fast-food chain, which has struggled to keep up with its direct rivals McDonald’s and Wendy’s while also dealing with customers fleeing for brands like Chipotle and Panera, which are marketed as healthier options. Satisfries were supposed to make burger fans feel better about their fast-food meal.

Satisfries are made with a special batter that absorbs less oil, causing them to have 20% fewer calories than regular Burger King fries. A small serving of Satisfries contains 270 calories and 11 grams of fat, while the conventional version has 340 calories and 15 grams of fat.

Price may have been one factor in why customers largely rejected the lower-calorie option. A small order of the lower-calorie fries typically costs about $1.89, compared to $1.59 for a bag of its regular fries.

Earlier this week, Burger King’s 7,500 North American eateries were given the option of continuing to offer Satisfries. Owners of only 2,500 restaurants decided to do so.

“The remaining restaurants will treat the product as a limited-time menu offering and have begun phasing it out after this unprecedented run,” Burger King North America President Alex Macedo said in a statement.

The company maintains that it always planned to allow customer demand to decide the fate of the product.

Essentially, Satisfries are dead at 5,000 Burger Kings and on life support at 2,500 others. The product was launched to cater to what seemed like a specific consumer demand — healthier products — but ultimately it seems people who eat fries are not going to change their habits to save a few calories.

FoodFacts.com has to wonder whether it’s possible for any fast food chain to successfully introduce a menu item that can be perceived as a healthier option. An honest look at Satisfries tells us that while there is a savings in fat and calories, the difference may not be big enough to convince educated consumers that these fries could actually be deemed healthier.

Burger King did make an effort, though. And for that, they should be commended.

We’d love to see those efforts continue. Maybe they could begin with offering a burger with a lower fat content. That might make a real difference to consumers. Just a thought.

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/08/15/why-did-customers-reject-burger-kings-satisfries.aspx

Under the Bun: Burger King’s A.1 Ultimate Bacon Cheeseburger

Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 11.23.08 AMThe world of fast food is an incredibly competitive arena and every manufacturer attempts to stay ahead of the pack with new product introductions. Unfortunately, most of those introductions don’t make the cut here at FoodFacts.com. Burger King certainly hasn’t been an exception in this regard. And they’ve been pretty busy this summer introducing a number of new menu items to their already crowded selection.

Let’s go under the bun tonight with the latest from Burger King and take a closer look at the new A.1 Ultimate Bacon Cheeseburger.

According to the Burger King website, this new creation features two 1⁄4 lb. savory fire-grilled beef patties, topped with thick-cut smoked bacon, melted American cheese, and featuring savory A.1 Thick & Hearty sauce, all on a warm, toasted, Artisan bun. They do manage to make the new cheeseburger sound especially appealing. But how appealing is it really, beyond the mouth-watering description?

We’ve got the nutrition facts for the A.1 Ultimate Bacon Cheeseburger for you here — and our immediate answer to that last question is “not very appealing at all.” We’ll admit it, we aren’t really surprised. Take a look:

Calories:                     850
Fat:                             51 g
Trans Fat:                    3 g
Saturated Fat:           22 g
Cholesterol:              140 mg
Sodium: 1                 480 mg

Wow. This new cheeseburger is junk food overload. There’s only one burger on the Burger King menu that can actually claim worse nutrition facts than the A.1 Ultimate Bacon Cheeseburger and that’s the Triple Whopper. To be honest, we can’t really imagine anyone consuming either.

Consider that the RDI for fat based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet is 65 grams, saturated fat is 20 grams, cholesterol 200 mg and sodium 2400 mg. If you eat the new A.1 Ultimate Bacon Cheeseburger for lunch, you really don’t have much room left for anything else in your diet that day. And we didn’t even get to the french fries yet!

Not touching this one. Sorry, Burger King.

http://www.bk.com/en/us/menu-nutrition/lunch-and-dinner-menu-202/fire-grilled-burgers-and-sandwiches-220/a-1-and-reg-ultimate-bacon-cheeseburger-m2740/index.html

A more detailed look at proposed nutrition label changes

nutrition.jpgBack in January, the FDA announced that it would be considering changes to the current nutrition labels that have been making a mandatory appearance on food products here in the U.S. for the last 20 years. We were excited by the idea and have been waiting to see what those changes would entail.

There’s news to report and we think you’ll be happy with the information that’s becoming available regarding the proposed changes.

First, here are some interesting facts on the background of our current nutrition labeling system. It wasn’t until the late 1960s that most food labels listed any nutrition information. At the time, labels with calorie or sodium counts were mainly used on products the FDA considered to have “special dietary uses,” for people with high blood pressure who were watching sodium, for instance. Most people were making meals at home then, so there wasn’t a huge demand for this information. That changed as more people started eating processed foods.

Noticing the trend, the White House pulled together a conference of nutritionists and food manufacturers in 1969. Nutrition labeling was voluntary at first. It wasn’t until 1990 that the FDA required nutrition labels for most prepared and packaged foods. We take it for granted, twenty-plus years later, that whatever packaged food we pick up in the grocery store will carry that familiar, easy-to-identify label that gives us necessary facts about that particular food item.

Plenty has changed in the last 20 years and the FDA is proposing several modifications to those labels to bring them current with today’s nutritional concerns. If approved, the new labels would place a bigger emphasis on total calories, added sugars and certain nutrients, such as Vitamin D and potassium.

The FDA is also proposing changes to serving size requirements in an effort to more accurately reflect what people usually eat or drink. For example, if you buy a 20-ounce soda, you’re probably not going to stop drinking at the 8-ounce mark. The new rules would require that entire soda bottle to be one serving size — making calorie counting simpler.

“You as a parent and a consumer should be able to walk into your local grocery store, pick up an item off the shelf, and be able to tell whether it’s good for your family,” first lady Michelle Obama said in a press release. “So this is a big deal, and it’s going to make a big difference for families all across this country.”

The proposed labels would remove the “calories from fat” line you currently see on labels, focusing instead on total calories found in each serving. Nutritionists have come to understand that the type of fat you’re eating matters more than the calories from fat. As such, the breakdown of total fat vs. saturated and trans fat would remain.

The proposed labels would also note how much added sugar is in a product. Right now, it’s hard to know what is naturally occurring sugar and what has been added by the manufacturer.

“Now when Americans pull a product from the supermarket shelf, they will have a clear idea of how much sugar that product really contains,” American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown said.

The FDA also plans to update the daily values for certain nutrients such as sodium, dietary fiber and Vitamin D. For instance, the daily limit for sodium was 2,400 milligrams. If the new rules take effect, the daily value will be 2,300 milligrams, administration officials said.

Food and beverage companies would also be required to declare the amount of Vitamin D and potassium in a product, as well as calcium and iron. Research shows Americans tend not to consume enough Vitamin D for good bone health. And potassium is essential in keeping your blood pressure in check.

Administration officials said about 17% of current serving size requirements will be changing, and the FDA is adding 25 categories for products that weren’t commonly around 20 years ago (think pot stickers, sesame oil and sun-dried tomatoes).

Most of the required serving sizes will be going up; no one eats just half a cup of ice cream, for instance. Others, like yogurt, will be going down.

“This will help people better understand how many calories they actually consume, especially if they plan to eat all the food in a container or package,” Brown said.

While the American Heart Association and advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest commended the FDA’s changes, they noted that there was more to do.

Both organizations said the FDA’s sodium recommendation was still too high. Brown said the association will continue to recommend sodium intake be limited to 1,500 milligrams a day.

CSPI said it will also request that the FDA include a daily value of 25 grams for added sugars. “Thus, the Nutrition Facts label for a 16.9-ounce bottle of soda would indicate that its 58 grams of added sugars represents 230 percent of the DV,” the group said in an e-mail.

With this announcement, the FDA has opened a 90-day comment period, during which experts and members of the public can provide input on the proposed rules. The FDA will then issue a final rule. Officials said they hope to complete the process this year. Manufacturing companies will then have two years to implement the changes.

FoodFacts.com is very excited by the changes outlined by the FDA for so many reasons. The changes in serving sizes are especially important because the currently, they don’t really reflect how most people consume foods. When people take a can of soup to the office for lunch they’re likely consuming the whole can — not half of it. The label that details two servings isn’t a realistic portrayal of consumption and can easily be misinterpreted. Do most people double the facts on the label to figure out what they’re eating? Do you count 15 potato chips out of a bag or a bowl to make sure that what the nutrition label details is what you’re actually eating? There are multiple examples of this scenario you can find looking at the nutrition labels detailed for products in the FoodFacts.com database. The truth is that right now, it’s far too easy to be fooled into thinking you’re consuming less of the things you’re supposed to be paying attention to than you in fact are.

These improvements to nutrition labels are welcome and long overdue. The fat, sugar and salt content of foods is a big issue for consumers and every change that can help us genuinely determine what we’re really eating is a welcome change for our health.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/27/health/nutrition-labels-changes/index.html

Mid-day slump may be due to diet

FoodFacts.com knows that feeling! Suddenly at about 3 p.m., you find your eyes beginning to close while you’re trying to focus on your computer screen. You begin to yawn – more than once and can’t seem to stop. You probably find yourself going to grab a coffee or taking a walk around the office. If you can get out into the fresh air, you know that will help out a little. Sooner or later after any combination of those things, you begin to feel a little more awake and you’re ready to deal with the rest of the work day. Sound familiar?

Today we found a new study that links that mid-day slump to the foods we eat. Coming out of the Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, Pennsylvania, researchers followed 31 healthy, non-obese normal sleeping (no sleep apnea) adults ranging in age from 18 to 65 years old. Participants spent four consecutive nights in a sleep lab. On the fourth day, objective sleepiness was assessed and participants were given five meals in order to assess diet.

Results show that higher fat consumption was associated with increased daytime sleepiness, while higher carbohydrate intake was associated with increased alertness. There was no relationship between protein consumption and sleepiness or alertness. These findings held true regardless of the subjects’ gender, age, and body mass index as well as the total amount of sleep they were getting and their total caloric intake. So even if one participant got less sleep the night before than another, but consumed more fat during the day, that participant felt the effects of mid-day slump.

Fat consumption had a noticeable and significant affect on alertness. The authors noted that previous studies had found a link between diet and subjective sleepiness. This new study adds to those prior findings linking fat consumption to objective sleepiness. They also noted that excessive daytime fatigue is on the rise worldwide and that fatigue can have a negative effect on the level at which an individual is capable of functioning as well as presenting concerns for public safety.

So the next time you’re sitting at your desk in the afternoon sensing the drooping of your eyelids and looking longingly towards the office coffee machine, FoodFacts.com suggests that you take silent inventory of your daily diet. There are many good reasons to be aware of our fat consumption. Maybe mid-day slump is trying to help us take care of our health by telling us to cut down on the fat. It’s good for our weight, it’s good for our heart and it will help us stay more alert for more hours during what we all hope will be a productive day!

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130507164632.htm

A must read for the food-conscious consumer … Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss

FoodFacts.com wanted to let our community know about a powerful new book titled Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss. We’re sure that the food-conscious consumers in our own network will find it a fascinating read.

The author is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The New York Times. In this important new book, Michael Moss explores how food and beverage companies are using salt, sugar and fat to addict consumers to their products so that we keep right on purchasing and eating them. His book links the rise of the processed food industry to the obesity epidemic plaguing our nation.

The average American is currently eating triple the amount of cheese that was consumed in 1970. We’re eating 70 pounds of sugar every day. And we’re consuming 8500 mg of salt daily (that’s double the recommended amount). That salt is coming directly from processed food products – not the salt we’re adding to our meals at the table. Currently one of every three adults and one of every five children is clinically obese. 26 million Americans have diabetes.

Michael Moss believes he understands how we arrived at this critical point in our nation’s health and in Salt Sugar Fat, he’s explaining it all. You’ll find examples from some of the most profitable food companies in existence like Kraft, Coca-Cola, Kellogg and Cargill. And he’s included the research to back it up.

The author takes the reader to the food labs where scientists calculate the “bliss point” for sugary beverages and enhance the “mouthfeel” of fats. He unearths the marketing techniques used to redirect consumers from the health risks of products, specifically focusing on the use of specific phrases and words to mislead the consumer into believing that there are actually health benefits connected to products that contain ingredients that are unhealthy. And he even speaks with company executives who confess that companies could never produce truly healthy alternatives to products that are currently available for purchase. Michael Moss brings to light the idea that the processed food industry could not exist without salt, sugar and fat.

FoodFacts.com understands the concerns of our community when it comes to the foods they purchase for themselves and their families. We know you seek to provide the healthiest choices in the products you purchase. This is an important read.

Find out more about the book here: http://www.stonehearthnewsletters.com/how-companies-use-salt-sugar-and-fat-to-addict-us/fat/?goback=.gde_2739521_member_208498208

An unhealthy recipe revealed: the immediate effects of junk food on arterial health

There are some subjects that FoodFacts.com has always been aware of … and the subject matter here is one of them. We’ve been strong advocates of the “no junk food diet” – understanding that the controversial ingredients contained in junk food combined with their saturated fat content creates a recipe for poor health. New research coming from the EPIC Center for the Montreal Heart Institute makes a clear point regarding the effects of consuming just one meal of junk food.

The study focused on a comparison between the effects of junk food and a typical Mediterranean meal on the inner lining of blood vessels. This is called endothelial function and measuring it actually determines how the arteries dilate after eating. The dilation of arteries is linked to the risk of the development of coronary artery disease.
28 non-smoking men participated in the study. Prior to beginning, each participant had an ultrasound of a specific artery at the elbow crease after fasting for 12 hours. This reading was used to assess a baseline for endothelial function.

The first week, each of the men consumed a Mediterranean-style meal. This meal included salmon, almonds and vegetables cooked in olive oil. 51% of the total calories of the meal came from fat that was either monounsaturated or polyunsaturated. At two hours and four hours after meal consumption, the mean received an ultrasound to determine the effect of the meal on their endothelial function.

The following week, the men consumed a different meal. This time it was a breakfast sandwich with an egg, sausage, a slice of cheese and three hash browns. This meal contained a total of 58% of calories from fat and was high in saturated fats. Again, they each underwent ultrasounds at two and four hours after meal consumption.

It was discovered that after consuming the meal high in saturated fats, the arteries of the study participants dilated 24% less than they did when fasting. After consuming the Mediterranean meal that was high in mono- and polyunsaturated fats, the participants arteries dilated normally.

The study clearly indicates that junk food containing high levels of saturated fats is bad for your health no matter how infrequently you’re eating it. The effect is immediate and noticeable by your body. FoodFacts.com understands the importance of this detailed research that can plainly communicate the dangers of junk food consumption to our health and mark the differences that take place in our bodies immediately after eating different types of fats.

Read more: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121030062007.htm

The best reason we’ve ever seen to avoid fast food completely

FoodFacts.com was just reading up on a study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation regarding fast food. We’ve all known for awhile that there’s absolutely nothing redeeming in the ingredient lists of fast food products. They’re just bad for you. They have too much fat, too much salt, and tons of controversial ingredients. But now on top of that, it’s been found that there’s a very real possibility they cause brain damage.

In this new study, fatty foods were found to damage the hypothalamus region of rodent brains. The hypothalamus produces the hormones that control hunger, thirst, sleep and moods. It’s thought to be the “self-regulation” center of the human brain, helping us to determine how many hours of sleep we need, when we’ve eaten enough, etc.

During this study, rats and mice were fed a high-fat diet, similar to a fast-food heavy American diet. After 24 hours, their hypothalamuses were inflamed. In about a week, the rodents’ brains activated cells to repair the damage. But after several seeks, the inflammation returned and stayed for the remaining eight months of the study. The findings show that a diet can actually re-program the structure of the brain. It’s felt that this could explain why it can be so hard to lose weight and keep it off permanently. The rodents on the high-fat diet had a 25% decline in a special kind of cell that’s devoted to regulating appetite and fat control. The findings point to the idea that when we’re consuming an unhealthy, high-fat diet, we aren’t able to control our habits because the diet has actually affected the brain.

It’s important to remember that while this is compelling, researchers have yet to determine if the damage observed in rodent brains is analogous to what happens in the human brain. However, this is the first time that a study has found actual changes in brain structure based on fat consumption.

FoodFacts.com feels that this is important information for everyone in our community to note and share with others in their lives. Getting this new word out about fast food will give people another reason to stay away and recommit to preparing fresh foods at home.

Sweet treats, processed and fatty foods may be actual addictions

FoodFacts.com has been fascinated by a story making its way around the news today. It appears that studies are actually showing that fatty and sugary foods are as addictive as drugs. We’ve known for quite a long time that fatty foods, snacks and sugar or high fructose-sweetened drinks aren’t healthy options for your diet. But what we really didn’t know is that if you’re eating enough of them, switching your eating habits to eliminate these foods isn’t as easy as setting your mind to it.

Recent studies are pointing out that processed foods and sweet drinks evoke brain responses that are similar to addictive drugs and cigarettes. The conclusion is that kicking the bad food habit is going to be just as difficult as quitting smoking or giving up drugs. In fact the National Institute on Drug Abuse has stated that the data is so overwhelming, that it has to be accepted. It truly appears that drugs in the brain and food in the brain go hand in hand.

Research studies have found that sweet drinks and fatty foods are producing addictive behaviors in lab animals. University researchers gave rats access to foods such as proceeded bacon, cheesecakes and creamy cake frosting, for one hour a day. They discovered that when the treats were presented to the rats, they began binging on them, even though they had an unlimited supply of nutritional food that was easily accessible.

After binging, the rats’ brain activity was measured. The study found that processed foods produced the same brain pattern that occurs with escalating intake of cocaine.

During their investigation, university researchers also found that obese and compulsive eaters were drawn to images of junk food in the same way cocaine addicts were when shown a bag of cocaine. In the junk food eaters, the decision-making area of the brain released a surge of dopamine just from looking at the fatty, sugary foods. That dopamine release is the same reaction addicts have to the visual image of cocaine.

The evidence is pretty compelling and it leads to some basic questions. If these processed foods and beverages are proven to be addictive, how might it change the food industry? Does it open up a new area for legal disputes? Is there an answer waiting in the wings from the pharmaceutical industry? Do these offending products become regulated much like cigarettes, alcohol and drugs?

We’ve all thrown around the term “sugar addict” at one point or another, but it appears that it may not be an exaggeration. FoodFacts.com would love to hear your opinions on these new studies. What do you think the ramifications might be? And what changes might those ramifications infer for our food supply and our culture?

Are you Happier with the “New” Happy Meal?

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Foodfacts.com would like to report that McDonald’s president, Jan Fields, announced today that the major fast-food franchise will now be serving healthier happy meals for their younger customers.

Regardless of criticism, this is quite a big deal for many of the advocates of child nutrition. McDonald’s has been seen as a major antagonist against the fight to end childhood obesity for many years now. McDonald’s previous happy meal combinations ranged anywhere from 500-700 calories per serving, with sodium numbers going through the roof. The new happy meal will be approximately 470 calories, compared to the previous 570 calorie option. Also, saturated fat will now be reduced from 20 to 14 grams, which is still pretty high, but a good start. However, we assume these happy meals will still contain a decent amount of sugar. We’re not quite sure of the exact number yet, but the previous happy meal contained about 89 grams of sugar (or 22 teaspoons).

So what exactly are they changing? The soda is gone. Instead of kids getting a Coke or Sprite, they’ll be receiving low-fat milk. Also, apple dippers (slices) will be served, IN ADDITION to a smaller serving of french fries. The caramel dipping sauce normally associated with their apple slices will not be included. Also, parents may choose to scrap the fries all together and get 2 bags of apple dippers instead, which we’re sure some are likely to do.

We have not come across any information pertaining to a change in the chicken nuggets, or burgers. We assume these famous staples will remain untouched during this happy meal makeover.

We’re excited to hear the reactions and feedback from our followers on this announcement as to whether or not you feel this is just a ploy for press, or a step in the right direction for fast-food.

Top 10 Scariest Food Additives

Here at foodfacts.com, we like to keep our readers informed of all current and up-to-date information regarding health and food. Here is a recent news article discussing the 10 scariest food additives in some of the most popular food products most can find in their pantry.

There was a time when “fruit flavored” and “cheese flavored” meant “made with real fruit” and “made with real cheese.” Today? It’s artificial everything. Most of the food at your local supermarket is no more authentic than Snooki’s tan. Our fruit comes packaged in Loops, our cheese delivered via Whiz. Sure, it’s edible, but there’s no way your great grandparents would recognize this junk as food.

The problem with additives runs deep. The FDA currently maintains a list of ingredients called Everything Added to Food in the United States (EAFUS), which features more than 3,000 items and counting. Thankfully, most EAFUS ingredients are benign, but a few of them do have potentially harmful effects. Why they’re legal is a mystery to us. Some of them might be backed by powerful lobby groups, while others probably survive simply because some guy at the FDA has too much paperwork on his desk and hasn’t made time to adequately review the data.

Below are 10 of the most dubious ingredients hiding in your food, compliments of Eat This, Not That! 2011. Even if you’re not convinced of their danger, you have to admit this: The more filler ingredients you cut from your diet, the more space you have for wholesome, nutritious foods.

Scary Ingredient #1: Olestrapringles
A fat substitute synthesized by Procter & Gamble. Because human digestive enzymes can’t break down the big molecules, Olestra contributes 0 calories to your diet.

Why it’s scary: In the late ’90s, Frito-Lay released Olestra-enhanced WOW chips and Procter & Gamble introduced Fat Free Pringles. Both products were required to carry warning labels to notify customers about the risk of “loose stools.” Within 4 years, some 15,000 people had dialed in to a hotline set up specifically to handle adverse-reaction complaints. Apparently the complaints didn’t move the FDA, because in 2003, the administration revoked the warning-label mandate. If you want to take your chances with diarrhea, go ahead, but first consider this: Olestra also appears to interfere with the body’s ability to absorb some crucial nutrients like beta-carotene and lycopene. To counteract the effect, processers add some nutrients back, but it’s unlikely that all the blocked nutrients are adequetly replaced.

Furthermore, just last week I tweeted that an animal study at Purdue University found that fake fats like Olestra may cause more weight gain than real fat.

Where you’ll find it: Lay’s Light chips, Pringles Light chips

Scary Ingredient #2: Caramel Coloring
An artificial pigment created by heating sugars. Frequently, this process includes ammonia.stove-top

Why it’s scary: Caramel coloring shows up in everything from soft drinks and sauces to breads and pastries. When made from straight sugar, it’s relatively benign. But when produced with ammonia it puts off 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole, chemicals that have been linked to cancer in mice. The risk is strong enough that the California government, a bellwether for better food regulation, categorized 4-methylimidazole as “known to cause cancer” earlier this year. Unfortunately, companies aren’t required to disclose whether their coloring is made with ammonia, so you’d be wise to avoid it as much as you can.

Where you’ll find it: Colas and other soft drinks, La Choy soy sauce, Stove Top stuffing mix

Scary Ingredient #3: Saccharin
An artificial sweetener discovered by accident in the 1870s.sweet-n-low

Why it’s scary: Studies have linked saccharin to bladder tumors in rats, and in 1977, the FDA required warning labels on all saccharin-containing foods. In 2000, the agency changed its stance and allowed saccharin to be sold without warning labels. But that doesn’t make it entirely safe. A 2008 Purdue study found that replacing sugar with saccharin in rats’ diets made them gain more weight, proving once again that you should be aware of these faux fat foes.

Where you’ll find it: Sweet ‘N Low, TaB cola

Scary Ingredient #4: Potassium Bromate
A compound that conditions flour and helps bread puff up during baking.

Why it’s scary: Potassium bromate causes thyroid and kidney tumors in rats, and it’s banned from food use in many countries. In California, products containing potassium bromate are required to carry a cancer warning. Fortunately, negative publicity has made the additive relatively rare, but until the FDA banishes it, you should remain on the lookout.

Where you’ll find it: Johnny Rockets Hoagie Roll

Scary Ingredient #5: Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)
Petroleum-derived antioxidants and preservatives.
.orbit

Why they’re scary: The Department of Health and Human Services says BHA is “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen,” yet the FDA allows it to be used anyway. BHT is considered less dangerous, but in animal research, it too has resulted in cancer. Oddly, the chemicals aren’t even always necessary; in most cases they can be replaced with vitamin E.

Where you’ll find it: Goya lard, Golden Grahams, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Orbit gum

Scary Ingredient #6: Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil
A semi-solid fat created when food processors force hydrogen into unsaturated fatty acids.sandwich

Why it’s scary: Partially hydrogenated fats are the principle sources of trans fat in the American diet, and a Harvard study estimated that trans fat causes 70,000 heart attacks every year. The good news: Partially hydrogenated oils are beginning to slowly retreat from our food. Progressive jurisdictions like New York City are starting to restrict the allowable amounts in restaurants, and many chains are switching to healthier frying oil. Still, the battle isn’t over. At Long John Silver’s, for example, there are still 17 menu items with more than 2 grams of the stuff. According to the American Heart Association, that’s about the maximum you should consume in a single day.

Where you’ll find it: McDonald’s McChicken, Long John Silver’s Broccoli Cheese Soup

Scary Ingredient #7: Sulfites
Preservatives that maintain the color of food, and by releasing sulfur dioxide, prevent bacterial growth. fig-enwton

Why it’s scary: Humans have used sulfites to keep food fresh for thousands of years, but some people—especially asthma sufferers—experience breathing difficulties when exposed. In the 1980s, unregulated use resulted in at least a dozen deaths, prompting the FDA to slap warning labels on wine bottles and develop new guidelines for proper use. Now restaurants can no longer soak fresh ingredients in sulfites. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, there have been no known deaths since the new legislation took hold. The bottom line: If you’re among the majority of people not sensitive to sulfites, consumption won’t hurt you. If you’re not sure, ask your doctor for a test.

Where you’ll find it: Wine, Sun-Maid Mixed Fruit, Jolly Ranchers, Fig Newtons

Scary Ingredient #8: Azodicarbonamide
A synthetic yellow-orange dough conditioner bagel

Why it’s scary: This chemical is used most frequently in the production of industrial foam plastic, and although the FDA has approved its use for food in the States, the United Kingdom has labeled it a potential cause of asthma. In a review of 47 studies on azodicarbonamide, the World Health Organization concluded that it probably does trigger asthmatic symptoms. The WHO concluded, “exposure levels should be reduced as much as possible.” I’ll put it more concisely: Avoid it.

Where you’ll find it: Dunkin’ Donuts bagels, McDonald’s burger buns

Scary Ingredient #9: Carrageenan
A thickener and emulsifier extracted from seaweed.popsicle

Why it’s scary: Seaweed is actually good for you, but carrageenan is a mere seaweed byproduct. Through animal studies, it has been linked to cancer, colon trouble, and ulcers. It isn’t certain that carrageenan harms humans, but avoiding it is clearly the safer option. Most studies examined degraded forms of the additive, and research from the University of Iowa found that carrageenan could be degraded through the normal digestive process.

Where you’ll find it: Weight Watchers Giant Chocolate Fudge Ice Cream Bars, Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwiches, Creamsicles

Scary Ingredient #10: Ammonium Sulfate
An inorganic salt that occurs naturally near active volcanoes and is used commercially to nourish yeast and help bread rise.4036996_orig

Why it’s scary: This nitrogen-rich compound is most often used as fertilizer, and also appears commonly in flame retardants. Thankfully, the ingredient only sounds scary—a 2006 Japanese rat study found the additive to be non-carcinogenic. Both the Center for Science in the Public Interest and the FDA deem it safe.

Retrieved from: Yahoo.com