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Sunday, September 2, 2018

Additives in Food - A Prudent Approach

Even though the benefits of most food additives outweigh any potential risks, prudence and moderation should prevail in their use; some can be avoided entirely. Some additives pose problems for people with certain medical conditions. Anyone with high blood pressure or any condition that mandates a low-salt diet should check the labels on all processed foods for various forms of sodium. People trying to reduce sugar intake should look for lactose and other ingredients ending in "ose"; these are forms of sugar.

Those with an inherited tendency to store excessive iron, a condition called hemochromatosis, should avoid iron-enriched breads, cereals and other products. Sulfites used to preserve the color of the dried fruits, frozen french fries and sauerkraut can trigger an asthma attack in susceptible people. Some people may experience headaches after eating foods preserved with nitrites, and in rare cases children with attention deficit disorder may respond adversely to certain food colorants. Some additives amount to overkill; this is especially true of highly fortified breakfast cereals.


Watch out for yellow colorant# 5, or tartrazine. It has been linked with adverse reactions in sensitive people who are typically aspirin intolerant, allergic or asthmatic. Symptoms may include hives, itching, runny nose and asthma. This dye is the only dye that must be identified by name on food labels.

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