Our food is laden with additives, many times in order to preserve it. But some of the disadvantages of these substances outweigh the benefits. Here are the top 5 that made our list — we’ll let you decide if they’re worth it.
Summer is peak season for grilling up hot dogs, but their bright-red color is compliments of nitrites, which have been linked to cancer. You can also find this additive in bacon, cured meats, sausage, ham and smoked fish.
Read more about nitrites »
Although this fat substitute found in chips tastes like the real deal, you’ll feel the unpleasant results after eating a few too many.
Learn all about olestra »
Why fill your body with chemicals when there are so many other natural ways to sweeten your food? The artificial sweetener debate is a controversial one — where do you stand?
Weigh in on the sweet debate »
Sulfites are best known for their ability to preserve wine as it ages. Although considered “mostly” safe, sensitivities to this additive can develop at any age, and can vary from itchy skin to not being able to breathe.
Learn all about sulfites »
Artificial Food Coloring
The colors that make junk foods visually appealing have been linked to cancer, allergic reactions and hyperactivity in children. Many of these artificial colors are found in high-calorie processed foods that contain few nutrients. Is this really what you want to be putting in your body?
Learn more about the risks of artificial food coloring »
TELL US:: What food additives do you avoid?
Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby’s full bio »