In a recent Dr. Oz episode, viewers were warned of the surprising additives that are in many processed foods. While most of us don’t need to be told to avoid processed foods in favor of whole, organic choices, the show reinforced that such healthy decisions are worth incorporating in daily eating habits.
Bruce Bradley, a former food marketer-turned-food-industry-insider who advocates consumption of real food, shared with Dr. Oz some rather eye-opening additives that are in common foods.(1)
Here’s a closer look at foods that probably have ingredients you weren’t aware of.
Shocking Additives in Common Foods
Enjoy adding spices to foods? Well, you may be shaking some sand on your meals.
Sand is added to processed foods to help them flow out of their packaging or bottle easier, preventing caking from occurring. (1) However, the label will not directly state that it is sand. Instead, look for the term, “silicon dioxide” or just “silicon” in the ingredients list.(1) Bradley explains that it is ground up so fine that it becomes powdery and is unable to be detected by taste.
Ready for more?
If you’ve ever wondered why some breads look so well-formed and plump, duck feathers and human hair are responsible.(1) The human hairs are often obtained directly from the floors of barber shops in China.(2) Stomach-churning, isn’t it?
Such items are used because they contain an amino acid that aids in the dough manufacturing process, speeding it up and helping the baked goods have a more appealing appearance on the shelf.(1,2) Look for “L-Cysteine” or the words, “dough conditioner” on the ingredients label; translation: feathers and hair.
Of course, many are familiar with the recent debacle concerning Subway breads and their “eat fresh” claim which was challenged due to findings that their bread contained azodicarbonamide, a chemical that exists in rubber soled shoes and yoga mats.(3)
Finally, in order to make dairy products have a creamier “mouth feel,” as Bradley states, products like ice cream may contain sawdust.(1)
While he says that these are all safe in that none of them are going “…to kill you,” both he and Dr. Oz are quick to urge people to think twice about what they are eating and to always have an awareness of the many shocking food ingredients that exist in the marketplace.(1)
Healthy eating habits that remove junk food from the picture and include more of an emphasis on fresh, organic fruits and vegetables is essential in order to achieve optimal health and remove oneself from the questionable ingredients that lurk in many processed foods.
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