Research Reveals That “Natural Flavors” Aren’t Actually All-Natural…
Natural flavors aren’t as natural and healthy as the word “natural” would lead you to believe.
If you’re like me, you find the words “natural flavors” reassuring when reading a food label. Unfortunately, so-called “natural flavors” aren’t actually all-natural.
Natural flavors are derived from plants or animals. This means they can come from herbs, roots, fruits, vegetables, eggs, and meat.
However… “natural flavors” can also include ingredients that enhance flavor like preservatives and stabilizers. These AREN’T taken from natural sources.
Preservatives don’t sound healthy, but stabilizers sound even worse—eww!
Lemon flavor is an example of natural versus artificial flavoring. Natural lemon flavor comes from citral. This is a chemical in lemon peel.
Artificial lemon flavor also comes from citral… but it is processed from petrochemicals. Who wants to eat something with petro and chemical in it?!TRENDING: This Massive “Mistake” Melted 48lbs Off Her Body (Click Here to See How)…
The taste is pretty much identical because the flavor source is citral in both cases. However, the actual ingredients are NOT the same!
Natural flavors is the fourth most common ingredient on food labels. That should give you an idea of how prevalent these mystery ingredients are in our food system.
The FDA doesn’t mandate companies to mention these substances in ingredients lists. That’s a big danger for people with food allergies.
Also, vegetarians and vegans may not be aware when they are consuming animal-derived products.
The two hidden ingredients that are most harmful to your health are MSG and GMOs.
This is a controversial topic because the food industry insists that MSG and GMOs pose no health dangers. However, some doctors, nutritionists, and organic food proponents believe that these flavor enhancers can cause serious health problems.
The Flavor Enhancer: MSG
Flavor enhancers date back to 1908, when Japanese biochemist Kikunae Ikeda created monosodium glutamate (MSG). In an effort to make inexpensive food more flavorful, he combined pure glutamate from sea kelp with salt and invented MSG.
A basic rule of economics is to keep production costs down. To do this, many food companies utilize MSG. This makes less expensive ingredients taste more savory and flavorful.
You’ve probably heard of people having negative reactions to MSG. There are 40 ingredients containing MSG that are not labeled as such!
If you suffer from headaches, weakness, flushing, tight muscles, tingling, or numbing after ingesting MSG… you need to be vigilant about where it’s hiding and its code names on labels.BRAND NEW: These Delicious Desserts Can Help You Burn Fat & Lose Weight
The really scary part is that some flavor enhancer chemicals are excitotoxins. These trick your brain into thinking that you’ve consumed actual nutrients. Your overstimulated brain cells die, so they can’t shut down your appetite!
That is how you become addicted to certain foods, have intense cravings, and end up binging. If only those hidden flavor enhancers were mentioned on ingredient labels!
Take a moment to absolve yourself from any binge guilt you’ve experienced throughout your lifetime. Much of your food was chemically enhanced to be addictive. Willpower is often no match for a physical addiction.
Aspartame is a common excitotoxin that actually is labeled. Diet soda, sugar-free ice cream, low-calorie fruit juice, sugar-free gum, yogurt, some artificial sweeteners, and sugarless candy are foods that commonly contain aspartame. Be on the lookout for those!
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
You’ve probably heard of GMOs, but here’s a quick refresher. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are living organisms that have been genetically altered to make them resistant to herbicide and/or to produce an insecticide.
Biotechnology firms produce GMO seeds, which are then planted by farmers. The result is genetically altered fruits, vegetables, and crops that farm animals eat.
That means meat is full of pesticides… unless otherwise labeled.
Scientists continue to investigate how harmful GMOs are. There are 64 countries that label products containing GMOs. That’s a lot of nations that believe GMOs are unhealthy and protect their citizens from unknowingly ingesting them!TRENDING: Science Reveals Easy, No-Workout Ways to Lose Weight… While You Snooze!
The United States is scheduled to begin labeling GMOs in products in 2020. Until then, look for the Living Non-GMO butterfly symbol to determine that no GMOs are in a product.
GMOs are typically found in:
- Amino acids
- Ascorbic acid
- Sodium ascorbate
- Citric acid
- Sodium citrate
- Flavorings (“natural” and “artificial”)
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
- Lactic acid
- Textured vegetable protein (TVP)
- Xanthan gum
How You Can Avoid Harmful “Natural Flavors” & Flavor Enhancers
So, you want to avoid consuming anonymous ingredients that may be harmful to your health, right? Then you’ll want to flavor foods yourself.
It’s difficult to determine exactly what’s in processed food, so do yourself a favor and avoid them altogether as much as possible.
You can also make some simple food swaps to avoid eating “natural flavors”:
- Buy foods in their most natural or whole form when possible.
- Add fruit to yogurt, seltzer, or anything you want to be fruity instead of buying products that are pre-flavored.
- Make your own salad dressings and marinades. (This is also a good way to reduce calories and avoid unnecessary added sugars.)
- Create your own cereal with natural granola, fruit, flax, pumpkin seeds, nuts, and whatever else you enjoy.
- Eat fresh or dried fruit and nuts for snacks.
- Make your own baked goods and snacks. Or find healthy versions of your favorites at the supermarket that contain as few ingredients as possible.
- Read food labels like your life depends on them… because your health does!
- Contact food companies and ask them to provide information about their natural flavors.
You can also purchase food at stores that specialize in healthy and organic products. Foods labeled organic are inspected by the government and are not permitted to be grown with synthetic chemicals or irradiated. You can patronize organic restaurants as well.
It can be a bit challenging to avoid “natural flavors” because they are so widely used. However, a little detective work will help you identify and avoid harmful hidden ingredients.
“Natural Flavors” Aren’t The Only Ingredient The FDA Is Trying To Hide From You…
Have you ever glanced at a food label in the grocery store… and wondered, “Is this even in ENGLISH?”
I mean, it’s hard enough to make a grocery list, get to the grocery store, and do your shopping… but when you’re expected to make “healthy choices” too?
It can feel like torture.
Because so many “healthy” or “low-fat” products are LOADED with sugar… and yet somehow, the FDA still lets these companies call these sugar-sweetened products a “health food,” fooling even the most well-meaning of us.
(For years, I thought I was being “good” for buying low-fat yogurt… though when I discovered each serving had a TWINKIE’S worth of sugar in it… I was livid. I could’ve been eating Twinkies for breakfast all this time!)
Not to mention, recent research reveals the average food label underreports calories per serving by up to 20%!
Fortunately, there is an easy solution:
Only buy packaged foods that say “unsweetened,” “plain,” or contain 0 grams of sugar… and then sweeten it to YOUR taste at home.
That way, not only do you get to choose how much sugar is in your food… but you get to choose which type of sugar you use, too!
Which is especially crucial if you want to lose a few pounds… because as you probably already know, plain “white sugar” is every dieter’s enemy.
So instead of using high-calorie, high-glycemic white sugar… (or brown sugar, which is simply white sugar that’s been processed further in a facility *ick*)… try using any one of these 3 “safe” sugar substitutes.
They taste delightfully sweet, without any of the weird “aftertaste” some other sugar substitutes have… they won’t pack on the pounds like white sugar will…
And the best part is, they’re widely available, inexpensive, and can help you reach your weight loss goals WAY faster… (How’s that for “sweet victory”?) ;-):