A Dangerous Disguise: Watch Out for These 4 Toxic Ingredients!


Anything that you consume, even water which we all need to survive, can be toxic in excess amounts. However, as you’re surely aware, some foods are much healthier than others. In most cases, natural ingredients are safer than synthetic ones, but many times foods that may appear to be healthy contain toxic ingredients that could contribute, not just to weight gain, but life-threatening health conditions. Make sure you check the food label on any processed foods and find out where everything else is sourced from to avoid these four toxic ingredients!

Trans Fats

Several years ago, trans fats were linked to heart disease, so manufacturers rushed to remove trans fats from their products and display on their food labels that there were zero trans fats. However, there’s a catch: food manufacturers are required by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to list the amounts of trans fats their foods contain per serving, but if the product contains less than 0.5 grams per serving, the manufacturer can list it as containing zero trans fats. So you could be consuming trans fats without even realizing it! Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils are the main culprits of trans fats, and they are found in processed foods such as peanut butter- giving it its rich, creamy taste but increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease at the same time. It’s important to carefully read food labels and look for all-natural products that don’t contain partially hydrogenated oils.

Heavy Metals

No, I’m not referring to Metallica or Iron Maiden here, but metals such as lead, mercury, arsenic, and cadmium which can be found in trace amounts in your found and are detrimental to your health. Lead, which can make its way into water supplies, is toxic even in the lowest concentrations. To safeguard against lead poisoning, it would be smart to invest in a water filter/filtration system. Mercury also poses a serious health risk and it is most commonly found in seafood such as tuna. In a high enough dose, it can cause brain and nervous system damage, and it is also toxic to the kidneys, liver, and heart. Pregnant women should be especially cautious about their seafood intake because mercury can pass from the mother to the fetus. Arsenic, which can be found in rice, is linked to a variety of health issues such as vascular disease, cancer, cardiovascular and central nervous system disturbances, and bone marrow depression. Cadmium, which is associated with bronchial and pulmonary irritation, kidney stones, and liver damage, can be found in a variety of foods including vegetable oils, potatoes, shellfish, baked goods, and chocolate.

Artificial Sweeteners

I’ve discussed before how bad artificial sweeteners are for your health! Some may claim to be a healthier alternative to sugar, but avoid these anything containing sucralose, saccharin, aspartame, and acesulfame-K like the plague because they contribute to gut dysbiosis, poor carbohydrate tolerance, weight gain, increased hunger, stress, accelerated aging, cognitive decline, and headaches.

Herbicides and Pesticides

Lastly, be careful about the produce you consume and avoid processed foods. It’s best to eat organic whenever possible, because genetically modified (GM) foods or genetically modified organisms (GMOs) raise a variety of safety concerns. Of all the GMOs grown worldwide, 80% are engineered to tolerate the toxic herbicide glyphosate, or “Roundup,” which is classified as a probable human carcinogen linked to Alzheimer’s disease, depression, autism, and Parkinson’s.

The point of this article is not to scare you away from all food, but rather to steer you away from processed foods. Consumed in moderation, none of these toxins will contribute to immediate health issues. What’s important is avoid your exposure to them as much as possible. It’s easy to reduce your exposure by eating natural, minimally-processed foods.