Chemicals in Foods

By: Sierra Clayton


Including anything from cheese to bacon to breakfast cereals, processed foods are very relevant in today’s society. All the time, we eat quick and easy foods but do not realize that we’re slowly killing ourselves by eating them. The chemicals in these processed foods are harmful to the point of causing cancer, hyperactivity, and even heart disease.

For instance, many items marketed as sugar-free have an even worse substance than sugar: artificial sweeteners. Items that contain artificial sweeteners include yogurt, ice cream, or even fruit juice. According to a Harvard Study done in 2013, artificial sugar causes more weight gain than regular sugar. Could this be why two thirds of the adults in America who are 20 years and older are obese? The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases believe that these eating habits are a cause of this. Artificial sugars can also cause inflammatory bowel disease and can attack many cells including brain cells. But artificial sweeteners aren’t the only offenders.

    French fries, ice cream, pancakes, and waffles; most of us can agree these foods are delicious and lifesaving. However, these foods can also lead to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, problems in reproduction, and a decreased immune function. What is the one thing these foods have in common? Synthetic trans fat. This is created when regular vegetable oil is hardened by hydrogen at high temperatures and pressure. This creates a semi-solid or solid substance called trans-fat, a death machine. Dr. Kummerow, who studied heart disease for 60 years, signed a petition in 2009 that stated heart disease was a cause from eating too much synthetic trans fat.

    Then of course, there’s artificial flavoring. The manufacture of aspartame (an artificial flavor) discovered that some artificial flavors may trigger Alzheimer’s and other brain damaging conditions. Cookies, chocolate, and gum contain the artificial flavors that lead to the diseases. Artificial flavors are used in many delicious substances but perhaps it’s time for a switch to natural.

    Surely though, grains and healthy snacks like trail-mix are totally innocent,right? Not so much. Bread, trail-mix, and canned food have a way of sneaking into your life and slowly bringing your health down. Preservatives are meant to (big surprise) preserve food and keep it edible in case of an apocalypse (or a hike). However these foods are meant to be in case of an emergency not a midnight snack. The preservatives in these foods can cause allergic reactions, hyperactivity, and over time even cancer.

Next time you want to grab a quick snack, think of the effects it has on your body. Do you really want to put yourself into that situation because it was convenient.     



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