In my programs, I recommend buying organic foods when possible, but also focus on foods that are as little processed as possible. These foods are healthier for you, and they also contain fewer additives than processed foods. Additives are found in many of the foods that we find on the shelves of our supermarkets. Food additives are chemicals that are added to food for different purposes, to change the colour, the flavour, the texture, or to keep the food fresh. When you read the ingredients label of the food these additives are shown as a code number or as their full name. Some foods contain only one or a couple, whereas other foods contain several. However, the big question is, are they really safe?
How safe are they?
All the additives that are currently found in our foods have been tested and are considered ‘safe’. However, some people are sensitive to food additives and experience reactions, such as
- Stomach pain
- Runny or blocked nose
- Skin rash
- Itchy skin
When they test food additives they test them on animals and individually. They do not test the additives in combination with other additives and the long-term effect of consuming a lot of different additives is not known.
Yes, the risks of eating additives might be less than the health risks of salmonella, other lifestyle factors etc., and despite individual food additives being regarded as ‘safe’, there are still a lot of unanswered questions regarding the safety of consuming a combination of additives and the long-term effect on your health from the exposure to all of the different ones. Eating too much of additives will also put an extra strain on you liver.
So, do your body a favour and reduce your intake of additives. Follow my top 5 tips below.
How to reduce your intake of additives
1. Buy organic
Organic food does not contain as many additives as conventional foods and only contain a few or no additives at all. The only time additives are added is to ensure the safety of the food or if it is required by law.
2. Buy fresh produce
Buy fresh produce to ensure you avoid additives. Just make sure you reduce your toxic load by peeling and washing your vegetables and fruit. If you do buy packaged or canned foods make sure the products do not contain added sugar or other additives.
3. Look at the labels
Take a look at the label and nutrition information. Choose products that are ‘preservative free’, but be mindful of ‘no added preservatives’ as these foods may contain ingredients that have already been ‘preserved’. The ingredient list
4. Avoid processed foods
Processed foods normally contain more additives than organic and non-processed foods. That is why I recommend for you to focus on organic and minimally processed foods when you follow my programs.
5. Cook yourself
A lot of the processed foods available can easily be made at home, like healthier versions of burgers, fries, fried chicken, pizza, but also hummus and other condiments.
Try this healthier version of fried chicken…
F.I.T. Oven Fried Chicken
- 125g (4.4 oz.) of chicken breast, cut to your liking
- 1/2 cup of brown rice flour
- 1/2 cup of gluten free oat flour
- Pink Himalayan salt, to taste
- Smoked paprika, to taste
- Cayenne pepper, to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 200°C (390°F).
2. Meanwhile, place the flour and spices in a ziplock bag and shake until the spices and flour are well combined.
3. Add the chicken breast pieces to the bag. Seal and then shake to ensure the chicken is coated.
4. Place the chicken on a baking tray that has been brushed with oil.
5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, then flip the chicken pieces over and bake for another 10-12 minutes. (Note: Cooking time depends on the thickness of the chicken pieces so ensure you check. You want the chicken to be done, but not dry).
6. Remove and place the chicken on a paper towel to soak up any excess oil.
NOTE: The flour mix will be enough for more serves, if you would like to cook for more than I person.
Eating healthy and avoiding additives does not need to be hard; you just need to know how to do it.
How do you ensure that you reduce your intake of additives? Please let me know in the comments below.