Infographic: The Truth About Food Additives

The chemical additives and other substances that are routinely added to junk, fast, processed and convenience foods is yet another very compelling reason to adopt a whole food plant-based diet.

Extensive scientific research has shown that various food additives pose serious health risks to humans.  Yet, most people consume these additives in high amounts without even realizing it.   This is because of their widespread use in virtually every food that constitutes the standard American diet (SAD).

Not surprisingly, the most popular chemical additives used by the food industry are found in foods that vegans and most vegetarians who eat a healthy, whole food, plant-based diet avoid, such as meat and other animal products.

This infographic entitled "The Truth About Food Additives" exposes some of the most common and dangerous substances that are found in today's food supply.  Among them are:


Aspartame is a sweetener found in snacks, sodas, alcohol and other beverages, candies, chewing gum, desserts and other sweets, and in "sugar-free", "low-calorie" and "diet" foods.  It has been linked with causing headaches, blindness and seizures.

Benzoic Acid

Benzoic Acid is a preservative found in many foods including meat products, cereals, beverages and low sugar products.  It is thought to temporarily inhibit the function of digestive enzymes and deplete glycine levels.

Monosodium Glutamate (aka MSG)

MSG is a flavor enhancer that is found in many of the foods on the menus of fast food establishments as well as in a variety of other foods found at the supermarket, such as cold cuts, hot dogs, "self-basting" poultry, canned and instant soups, flavored potato chips and other snacks, salad dressings, processed cheese spread, sauces, extracts and flavorings, and many salty, powdered dry food mixes.  MSG is known to cause seizures, headaches, nausea, chest pains, burning sensations and a tightness in the face.  It is also thought to cause brain damage in children and impair the development of children's nervous systems.

Sulfur Dioxide

Sulfur Dioxide is a preservative often found in dried and preserved fruits and vegetables, soft drinks, alcoholic beverages and other foods.  Note that it is also found in bleach, disinfectants and fumigants used to control pests.  It has been linked to hypotension (low blood pressure), bronchial problems such as asthma, flushing tingling sensations or anaphylactic shock.

Nitrites / Nitrates

Sodium nitrite (or sodium nitrate) is a preservative that is used to stabilize the color and enhance the flavor of primarily meat (and some fish) products.   It is considered one of the most dangerous additives and is found in smoked fish and most processed meats, like sausage, bacon, hot dogs, pepperoni, lunch meats (cold cuts) and canned meats.

Infographic Source:  Weight Loss

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Food Labeling and What You Should Know
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Top 10 Ways to Reduce Exposure to Cancer Causing Agents

Further Reading:
The Dangerous Chemical in Your Diet Soda and Food

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