(NaturalNews) Food marketers are vying harder than ever for your shopping dollar. They use any of 14,000 additives to make their products last longer, taste fresher or seem more appealing. The health effects of these compounds, especially in combination, are only gradually becoming apparent.
Read all the details in our four part series highlighting the worst compounds typically added to our food supply.
TRANS FAT Trans fats are the result of an industrial process that transforms liquid vegetable oils into a more solid product. The process also eliminates any healthful properties of natural oils.
Trans fats are much cheaper for food producers to use than butter or other expensive fats. They are found in fried foods, fast foods, baked goods, margarines, shortening, snacks and prepared entrees. Trans fats are now listed on food labels, but according to the FDA, products claiming "zero trans fats" can still have up to half a gram per serving. Check the ingredient list for such trans fats as "vegetable shortening" and anything "partially hydrogenated."
The consumption of trans fats is linked to many health problems. It raises LDL cholesterol and increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. It is associated with an increased incidence of type 2 diabetes. It is linked with obesity. But there's more.
Researchers at Rush-Presbyterian/St Luke's Medical Center compared the diets of 815 elderly residents in the community with their later onset of Alzheimer's disease. They found the intakes of saturated fat and trans-unsaturated fat positively associated with risk of Alzheimer disease.
And still more. A study of 18,555 women, none who had a history of infertility, found a correlation between diet and infertility over an eight year period. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that each two percent increase in calories from trans unsaturated fats (rather than carbohydrates) was associated with a seventy-three percent higher risk of infertility after adjustment for other risk factors.
POTASSIUM BROMATE This substance is used to increase volume in white flour. It also strengthens dough and promotes higher rising in baked goods. Potassium bromate is particularly useful to food manufacturers because it helps them speed products and makes poor quality flour more useable. Under ideal conditions potassium bromate breaks down during baking. But residual amounts can remain if the heat is insufficient or if too much has been added.
Typically potassium bromate is not listed separately on ingredient lists. It is found in fast foods, baked goods and flours. It can best be avoided by purchasing organic products.
Potassium bromate is banned for use in foods in the EU, China and many other countries. It is known to cause cancer in animals. The International Agency for Research on Cancer considers it a possible human carcinogen.
The use of potassium bromate was sanctioned by the FDA before the Delaney clause banning carcinogenic substances went into effect back in 1958, so its use is still permitted in the U.S.