When you’re shopping for food in the grocery store, “shopping on the outside” is the best way of avoiding flavoring agents, added sugar and artificial coloring. The meat, dairy, frozen food and produce sections are all outside the walls of the store, while the packaged and processed goods are inside the aisles.
Here’s a guideline on what to avoid in each section:
Avoid buying pre-seasoned or marinated meats – the “seasoning” is just the process of adding salt water to the meat juicer.
Make sure to always read the labels of the dairy products you’re buying as many yogurt brands contain added sugar and food coloring.
Avoid processed snacks and desserts and look for gluten-free alternatives.
Find organic frozen veggies and avoid the TV dinners.
When looking at the labels, not many people know what’s good or bad, but there are two ingredients you must avoid – MSG and HCFS (high-fructose corn syrup).
What is MSG?
Monosodium glutamate is a salt form of the glutamate amino acid that occurs naturally in mushrooms, cheese and tomatoes. However, the compound is dangerous in high amounts and may cause numerous symptoms. Here are the main symptoms of MSG poisoning:
- Chest pain;
- Numbness, tingling and burning in the face and neck;
- Facial swelling and tightness;
- Irregular heartbeat.
Although the exact cause of the symptoms is unknown, the Mayo Clinic suggest that they indicate MSG allergy. However, some scientific studies show that there’s a link between MSG and brain development problems in infants, and more studies are currently investigating links between the compound and other health problems.
Identifying MSG in food
Although difficult to read, you should learn how to recognize potentially dangerous ingredients on food labels. Here’s how to identify MSG in food:
Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)
Textured vegetable protein (TVP)
Rice syrup or brown rice syrup
Monosodium glutamate monohydrate
Monosodium L-glutamate monohydrate
Sodium glutamate monohydrate
The dangers of high-fructose corn syrup
According to a study from 2015, HFCS is related to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. A follow up study found that consuming sugar-sweetened drinks for a longer period can increase the risk of NAFLD and leads to the creation of free radicals in the body which may cause cancer. High-fructose corn syrup is the most consumed sugar of today, which is dangerous as it increases the risk of diabetes and supports insulin resistance.
Identifying high-fructose corn syrup on food labels
Most HFCS producers have recently tried to get the FDA to change the name of the ingredient to “corn sugar”, which is a marketing move as more and more consumers are becoming aware about the dangers of HCFS. Here’s how to identify it on food labels:
Corn syrup solids
Fruit juice concentrate
Both ingredients make the food taste better and are highly addictive, making you buy more and more food which makes the producers huge profits. However, this also brings numerous health dangers which is why we suggesting avoiding foods that contain MSG or HFCS.