You should absolutely avoid these ingredients in food

You should absolutely avoid these ingredients in food

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You should absolutely avoid these ingredients in food

In order to produce our food as cheaply as possible, rainforests are being cut down or burned down, people have to work under appalling conditions and chemical and unhealthy additives are used in many products. Additives have been used in food for centuries to improve appearance, taste and extend shelf life. However, these substances add more value for the producer than for the consumer. Fortunately, we are becoming increasingly aware of our diet and we are now more likely to choose natural ingredients without artificial and unhealthy additives.

In this article, we'll take a closer look at this and find out what you should pay attention to. So read the labels of the products you buy carefully and pay attention to the following points because you should absolutely avoid these ingredients in food!

Palm oil

It is grown in South-East Asia (mainly Indonesia) and nowadays also in South America. Every day, entire rainforests are burned down to make room for palm oil plantations. As a result, the lungs of our world and the habitat of endangered species such as the Orangutan are lost. Palm oil is the cheapest oil for the food industry and is used by almost all major brands in products that we use on a daily basis without realizing it.

There are various quality marks such as RSPO (Sustainable Palm Oil) that pretend to stand for production with respect for nature. However, the palm oil market is so opaque because of the many different plantations and traders that the origin of the palm oil is almost impossible to trace. Our advice, do not consume products that contain palm oil at all, then you know for sure that you are in the right place.

trans fats

Trans fats are without a doubt the most unhealthy fats in our diet. They are not only one of the main causes of obesity but also common and even life-threatening conditions. Nowadays, fats are increasingly discussed. Trans fats are found in both saturated fats and animal fats. They therefore have little or no positive influence on our health.

Products high in trans fats include:

  • candy, cookies, pastries,
  • fried food, crisps, many frozen products (croquettes, curry sausages, hamburgers, frikadellen),
  • processed meats, spreads,
  • ready meals
  • instant sauces and industrial sauces.


A 1990 study published in Physiology & Behavior found that aspartame increased appetite. This is because our feelings of hunger and satiety are disturbed by it. In addition, aspartame can also ensure that your body stores more fat and that you have more appetite for sugars and simple carbohydrates.

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener that is about 200 times sweeter than sugar and contains hardly any calories. Aspartame is also known as E951 and is found in more than 6000 foods and over 500 medicines. Because aspartame is 200 times sweeter than sugar and contains few calories, it is mainly used in sweet light products. 

Products for which aspartame is widely used:

  • Light products
  • Soft drink
  • sweet
  • Sugar poor candy


Acrylamide is a carcinogen. It increases the risk of developing cancer. This makes it very controversial. In America it must be stated on the packaging. For the time being, this is not necessary in the Netherlands. Chips and fries contain the highest concentrations of acrylamide. Starch-rich products, frying, roasting, barbecuing, baking, roasting and grilling all contribute to the formation.

This chemical compound is created when starch-rich products such as grains and potatoes are heated above 100°C.

Acrylamide is in:

  • chips, pretzels, fries
  • brood
  • Peppernuts
  • gingerbread
  • breakfast cereal

azo dyes

Azo dyes are synthetic dyes. They are brightly colored, especially red, orange and yellow. Azo dyes are synthetic dyes that can cause hyperactivity and difficulty concentrating in children. Scientists are still very divided about the extent to which Azo dyes are harmful. The European Parliament decided that manufacturers of products containing Azo dyes must indicate this on the label as a precaution. Bio+ products are free of Azo dyes and can therefore be eaten with confidence.

They are found in brightly colored candies, soft drinks and some alcoholic beverages. In other words, products that you do not need for a healthy diet.

flavor enhancers

Flavor enhancers are identified by the numbers E620 through E650.

They are added to foods because they  enhance the natural taste of a product or  add extra flavor. The best-known flavor enhancer is glutamate. Glutamate is not a dangerous e-number, says the Nutrition Center. Products with glutamate can be eaten daily.

There is a chance that you will eat more because of glutamate. But why? Chips is a good example of this. You often eat more of this than you intend to and before you know it the bag is empty. What does glutamate do? Glutamate causes your blood sugar level to drop (normally it rises when you eat). As a result, you get more appetite. In addition, the effect of glutamate is that you do not receive a signal when you are satiated. That's why you keep eating  and that can have negative consequences for your weight.


HFCS is the abbreviation of High Fructose Corn Syrup, a syrup that is often called glucose-fructose syrup, glucose syrup, fructose syrup or corn syrup in the Netherlands. Because it is made from corn, many people think it is healthy. But it is a fattener that is anything but healthy. Unfortunately, the syrup is used in everything, including in, for example, spelled cruesli, delicious artisan breads and organic soups.


Organic food and superfoods are grown in a different way than the average supermarket food. Organic farming is a form of agriculture in which environmental effects and animal welfare are explicitly taken into account. Think of more living space for the animals, no artificial additives, less use of pesticides and fertilizers. Stricter regulations apply to organic farming than to conventional farming.

Other choices are also made in the production of organic food. For example, farmers who produce organic food do not use preventive antibiotics and only use natural pesticides. The use of fertilizers is also reduced as much as possible. Proponents of organic food and superfoods find this important, because the antibiotics, pesticides and fertilizers release all kinds of toxins into our bodies.

Read more about organic food and its benefits here.

Always read the Product Labels 

It is important to stay alert and to eat as pure and healthy as possible. Because unfortunately there are many more unhealthy ingredients that we ingest unnoticed. By eating as much unprocessed food as possible and (therefore) choosing foods with as few ingredients as possible, you limit the intake of unhealthy ingredients. When you cook for yourself, you know exactly what's in it.

When you buy processed food products, always read the labels and consider whether you want to consume the ingredients used.

Also read our blog about biological agriculture en 5 Foods You Should Always Buy Organic.

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