BEWARE: Top 5 Potentially Cancer-Causing Children’s Snacks Made From Petroleum-Based Products
Every company has its own means of marketing, whether it is through TV or radio commercials, the internet, clothing, magazines, toys, and even through placement of products in the movies and video games. All of these companies spend nearly 10 billion dollars on a yearly basis on marketing food to children in order to actively influence their food choices. This means that ten billion dollars are being spent on making sure that the kids choose the extra-sugary cereal with the movie character on the box, or the fruit snacks full of artificial preservatives that are shaped like animals from the zoo. It has been proven that this marketing to kids does work and the overwhelming majority of marketing directed at children is for foods with low nutritional value that are potentially dangerous to their health. As we all know, these products belong to the ‘junk food’ category, but how exactly are the ingredients in these snacks affecting the health of the consumers?
Most of the snacks popular among children contain artificial food coloring to make the food look more appealing to kids. This way, kids feel like they ‘taste the rainbow’ and have fun with their food. Two of the most commonly used food dyes are Yellow 5 (tartrazine) and Red 40. These dyes are made of petroleum, an ingredient used to enhance products such as Fruit Loops, popsicles, fruit roll-ups, Jell-O, Kool-Aid, macaroni and cheese, and Nutri-Gain cereal bars, among others. These dyes are known to be connected to some serious health problems, such as hyperactivity, cancer, and allergic reactions.
The two abovementioned food colorings belong to the group of six food colorings banned in the UK, and yet, the companies in the US still use them freely in the manufacturing of their products. Moreover, it has been estimated that the manufacturers in the US put around 15 million pounds of eight different synthetic dyes into our foods every year. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration acknowledges that food dyes can damage the behavior of some children, and still, it has done nothing to remove them from the food supply. These dyes are present in a long list of products, but we are going to mention a few you need to watch for.
Here are the top 5 popular children’s snacks made with petroleum-based ingredients:
Frosted Strawberry is one of the most popular flavors of Pop Tarts and it contains ingredients including corn syrup, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and dextrose, all of which have been linked to sugar addiction, liver problems, and diabetes in children. These toaster pastries also contain TBHQ, a petroleum-based product that leads to cellular dysfunction. In studies on laboratory animals, this ingredient has been related to tumors, liver enlargement, vision loss, convulsions, and paralysis.
These snacks with “fruit” flavor contain Red 3 or erythrosine as food color. This ingredient is a petroleum product that has been banned for use in cosmetics because it is connected to thyroid tumors. It has been proven to be unsafe for the skin, but no one says anything about its eating? This is why we recommend that you stay away from the gummy section!
The M&M’s are very popular candies everyone loves, but not everyone knows that they contain a lot more than chocolate. One of the extra ingredients they contain is Blue 1, a substance that can trigger the development of malignant tumors. Next on the list is Blue 2. A substance that can increase hyperactivity and that has been linked to brain tumors. Next in this group of substances is Red 40, a substance that can damage the DNA. We will finish this list of examples with Yellow 5 and 6, substances that have been linked to cancer.
This snack contains artificial coloring made from Yellow 6, a substance derived from petroleum, as is the ‘cheese’ flavoring, which contains methyl benzoate and ethyl methylphenidate.
The small bears we are talking about are laced with TBHQ, a substance that has been shown to cause stomach cancer in laboratory studies on rats. It has also been shown to fragment DNA and to cause damage to the human lung and umbilical cells. This substance in kids causes restlessness, anxiety, and it intensifies the symptoms of ADHD.
When used continually, these artificial dyes pose unnecessary and dangerous health risks, especially when used in children’s snacks. These risks can be avoided only if you are highly conscious when it comes to health and if you keep an eye out for artificial coloring in the food you consume. This does not mean that your kids won’t ‘taste the rainbow’, because they surely can achieve that by eating naturally colorful organic fruits and vegetables.
Integrative Nutrition is a program that will help you learn the numerous dietary theories for healthy living and snacking. There, you can get acquainted with the many quick, easy and healthy snacks you can incorporate into your diet, without the negative health effects.
The Health Coach Training Program at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition can also help you improve your eating and living habits, especially if you are interested in health and wellness. You can also launch an exciting new career as a Health Coach and have the best teachers, all nutrition experts.
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