Food Additives Make Children Behave Badly
Irritability, temper outbursts, oppositional defiance, restlessness and difficulty falling asleep are the main behavioral effects of food additives. But parents rarely realize that food chemicals can be associated with many other effects including arguing with siblings, making silly noises, speech delay, anxiety, depression or difficulty concentrating. Additive-free children are generally calmer, happier and more cooperative.
Additives used in hundreds of children’s foods and drinks can cause temper tantrums and disruptive behavior , researchers have found. Researchers found that children as young as three were more likely to lack concentration, lose their temper, interrupt others and struggle to get to sleep when they drank fruit juice dosed with colorings and preservatives. Food additives like these need to be removed from all foods, but especially the everyday foods and drinks which appeal to, and are marketed to, children. Even youngsters with no history of hyperactivity can be affected.
Contrary to what many parents think, additives – more importantly than just sugar – are to blame for behavior problems. Reactions are related to dose, so the more additives children eat, the more likely they are to be affected.
Here are some of the food additives that you should be concerned with:
(in sweets, drinks, takeaways, cereals and many processed foods)
102 tartrazine, 104 quinoline yellow, 107 yellow 2G, 110 sunset yellow, 122 azorubine, 123 amaranth, 124 ponceau red, 127 erythrosine, 128 red 2G, 129 allura red, 132 indigotine, 133 brilliant blue, 142 green S, 151 brilliant black, 155 chocolate brown Natural colour, 160b annatto (in yogurts, icecreams, popcorn etc, 160a is a safe alternative)
200-203 sorbates (in margarine, dips, cakes, fruit products)
210-213 benzoates (in juices, soft drinks, cordials, syrups, medications)
220-228 sulphites (in dried fruit, fruit drinks, sausages, and many others)
280-283 propionates (in bread, crumpets, bakery products)
249-252 nitrates, nitrites (in processed meats like ham)
Synthetic antioxidants – in margarines, vegetable oils, fried foods, snacks, biscuits etc
319-320 TBHQ, BHA, BHT (306-309 are safe alternatives)
Flavor enhancers – in flavored crackers, snacks, takeaways, instant noodles, soups 621 MSG 627, 631, 635 disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, ribonucleotides
Some food additives are worse than others. Here’s a list of the top food additives to avoid:
Food Additive #1 – MSG
While this concentrated salt is a form of glutamic acid (a naturally occurring amino acid), the version used in foods to enhance flavor is highly processed and evidence suggests it stimulates appetite, contributing to weight gain. Where will you find it? Potato chips, canned soups, canned meats, pepperoni, and flavored crackers, to name a few.
Food Additive #2 – Aspartame
A non-saccharide (non-carbohydrate) sweetener,the issue with aspartame is that contains methanol. Although it makes up just 10% of aspartame’s ingredients, it’s a chemical whose by-products are formic acid (an acid that naturally occurs in the venom of bee & ant stings) and formaldehyde, which is thought to be a carcinogen. You’ll see aspartame in a variety of diet products: diet sodas, sugar-free drinks, sugar-free chewing gum, mints, yogurts, gelatins.
Food Additive #3 – High Fructose Corn Syrup
This is a refined syrup-sweetener where the corn starch is separated from the corn kernel and then converted to syrup through enzymatic processing. Because it is found in so many foods, it’s one of the highest sources of calories in the US diet, contributing to weight gain, and potentially diabetes.You may see HFCS in soda, bread, cereal, yogurt, salad dressing, & condiments.
Food Additive #4 – Palm Oil
One of few highly saturated vegetable fats, this is used to keep packaged foods “fresh.” The problem with this ingredient is that its blasted with hydrogen, rather than used in its natural state, becoming a trans fat. Since trans fats can raise LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and increase risk of heart attacks, they’re best avoided.
Food Additive #5 – Sodium Nitrate & Sodium Nitrite
Both salt-based chemical compounds, sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite are used as a preservatives and color fixatives in cured meats, poultry, and many deli meats. It’s thought that both compounds may increase risk of heart disease.
Food Additive #6 – Olestra
A fat substitute used primarily in foods that are fried and baked, Olestra is semi-indigestible; it is linked to gastrointestinal disease, diarrhea, gas, cramps, bleeding, incontinence, and preventing the absorption of some vitamins.
Food Additive #7 – Phosphoric Acid
This acid is used in sodas to dissolve the carbon dioxide and increase the fizz. In addition to this use, it’s also used to remove rust.Phosphoric acid in soda has been linked to lowering bone density, as well as stripping tooth enamel.
Food Additive #8 – BHA & BHT
Preservatives found in cereals, chewing gum, potato chips, and vegetable oils, butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) keep foods from changing color, changing flavor, or becoming rancid. However, they can also effect the neurological system of the brain, which controls behavior.They are oxidants, which are linked to cancer-causing compounds in the body. You can find these preservatives in things edible: meat patties, beer, butter, sausage, hot dogs, …and non: packaging materials, cosmetics, and animal feed.
Food Additive #9 – Brominated Vegetable Oil
A vegetable oil bonded with the element bromine, this is used to stabilize citrus-flavored sodas. Bromine, though, is a halogen (a group of elements that are all toxic) and displaces iodine, which can depress thyroid function and cause unpleasant side effects.
Food Additive #10 – Artificial Coloring
After decades of debate over the safety of artificial coloring, only 7 remain approved by the FDA. Every decade, more issues surface, with their opponents claiming that they are toxic, carcinogens, and contributors to ADHD.More testing continues on the dyes currently deemed safe for consumers, so it may be wise to avoid them until the “safe” label is 100% sure. Artificial coloring is found in some things you’d expect: drinks, candies, baked goods, cereals, energy bars, puddings & jams, frostings, condiments, fast food, ice cream, sherbet & sorbet…and some that are surprising: bread, mac & cheese, deli meat, meat, and fish.
Hope this list helps clear up exactly what these additives are – and their possible side effects if you’re consuming them in processed food. While it may not be easy, it’s ideal to aim for unprocessed, whole foods to maintain a healthy, nutritious diet.
But What Can We Eat Now?
Prefer local grown food. Most of the local farms are small family owned ones and they sell their products directly to the public. When you are shopping watch out for what you buy. Read the labels carefully and then chose.