- MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) is an amino acid used as a flavor enhancer in soups, salad dressings, chips, frozen entrees, and many restaurant foods, especially Asian cuisine. MSG has been shown to cause neurological symptoms such as nervousness, headaches, depression, and fatigue, in sensitive individuals.
- How can I know if there is MSG in my food?
FDA requires that foods containing added MSG list it in the ingredient panel on the packaging as monosodium glutamate. However, MSG occurs naturally in ingredients such as hydrolyzed vegetable protein, autolyzed yeast, hydrolyzed yeast, yeast extract, soy extracts, and protein isolate, as well as in tomatoes and cheeses. While FDA requires that these products be listed on the ingredient panel, the agency does not require the label to also specify that they naturally contain MSG. However, foods with any ingredient that naturally contains MSG cannot claim “No MSG” or “No added MSG” on their packaging. MSG also cannot be listed as “spices and flavoring.”
- Aspartame (Brand Name NutraSweet and Equal)
- Can also cause neurological symptoms, including migraines
- Click the following link for more specific information on Aspartame:
- Common Food Dyes associated with hyperactivity, especially in children with ADHD and Autism, include
- Blue No. 2 is also called “indigo blue” or “indigotine,” a synthetic petroleum product, that is made from the natural indigo, a dye that comes from plants. It is used in baked goods, cereals, ice cream, snacks, candies and cherries.
- In September 2007, a study reported by D. McCann and colleagues in the journal “The Lancet” linked artificial colorings, including Blue No. 2, to hyperactivity. Nearly 300 children in the study were given a beverage with artificial colors and a preservative. Drinking the beverage resulted in increased hyperactivity in the children, which the researchers attributed to the artificial coloring or the preservative or both. As a result, one candy company, Nestlé-Rowntree, stopped selling one of its candies with a blue shell until it replaced the artificial color with a new blue color made from spirulina, a blue-green algae. https://www.livestrong.com/article/402118-the-health-dangers-of-food-coloring-blue-no-2/
- Yellow No. 5, found in potato chips, jams, candy (think candy corn), and pet food, is associated with allergies, including asthma, cancer, as well as hyperactivity. In 2013, the Code of Federal Regulations began requiring that foods containing yellow No. 5 have a warning label on the package. https://www.livestrong.com/article/370945-health-effects-of-yellow-5-food-coloring/
- Red Dye No. 3 has been banned in any product that goes on the skin, but is still legal as a food additive. It has been associated with Thyroid cancer, DNA damage to human liver cells in vitro (developing embryo/fetus), in addition to hyperactivity in kids. https://nutritionfacts.org/2015/04/30/coloring-to-dye-for-dangers-of-red-no-3/
- Red No. 40 is made from petroleum distillates or coal tars. Red 40 contains p-Cresidine, which the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says is “reasonably anticipated” to be a human carcinogen. FDA regulations mean that Red 40 must be listed on labels as “FD&C Red No. 40” or “Red 40.” https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/is-red-dye-40-toxic#hazards
- For a complete list of potentially harmful food dyes, see the following link: https://cspinet.org/resource/food-dyes-rainbow-risks
- BHA/BHT (Butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydroxytoluene) are preservatives found in cereals, chewing gum, potato chips, and vegetable oils. BHA/BHT are artificial preservatives used to increase the shelf life of foods on grocery shelf.
- Sodium Nitrites/Nitrates used as a preservative, coloring, and flavoring in bacon, ham, hot dogs, lunch meats, corned beef, smoked fish and other processed meats. This is what gives ham its reddish color, for example.