Healthy Lifestyle Change for SEPTEMBER – Do not buy products containing preservatives or artificial coloring

1 Sep

With the craziness and fad of counting calories and having everything be “fat-free”, counting carbs, etc.  The food industry has modified foods in such a way to make them comply with the latest fad out there.  To do this they do not mind filling those foods with chemical additives, preservatives, or colorings to make us believe we’re eating the original…  at the end of the day, these modified products are not even a shadow of their original counterparts. 

I have adopted a philosophy, now for over 10 years, that I would like to pass on to you – I read the labels and I try not to buy anything that contains ingredients I can’t understand or even pronounce.  Basically, I only buy products that have the least ingredients possible.

I was even once told – why even buy products that have labels you can read?  For example, lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli, apples, pears, etc. usually do not have a label we can read to see what they contain, right?  Without going into the details of branding or organic vs. conventional, there’s some food for thought…

By choosing products with the least ingredients, I also avoid:

  • Any chemical ingredient I can’t pronounce
  • All artificial colorants such as FD Red #5, Yellow #10, etc.
  • Any ingredient containing SULFITES or NITRITES –  preservatives added to food to preserve their vibrant color and known carcinogens.

As a general rule:

I do not Buy: I Buy:
Cheeses or anything labeled Fat Free Regular cheeses or those made with 2% milk

  • Light cream cheese – neufchatel
  • Swiss cheese
Nothing that contains Nutrasweet, Splenda or artificial sweeteners – read the labels – my sister, the diabetic in my family, tells me that many regular chocolates/candies have less carbs than chocolates labeled sugar-free. I look for products that do not contain added sugars or that are made with Brown sugar.I sweeten things with honey or agave nectar
Bottled Dressings I make my own…  here are a few ideas.
Bottled Sun-dried tomatoes or dried fruit – like dried pineapple, mangoes or apricots Brands that specifically state they do not contain sulfites.


I know it’s a challenge, but you just get used to reading the labels and be more conscious of the ingredients that go into the food you eat.  And even though you might get familiar with the brands you prefer, you need to periodically read the labels because sometime companies change formulas and a product that was perfectly fine, now might have some added something it didn’t have before.

 Now, you’ll be more aware of the brands that have the healthiest options… and little by little you’ll see how your health and palate gravitates to more natural flavors and ingredients.

5 Responses to “Healthy Lifestyle Change for SEPTEMBER – Do not buy products containing preservatives or artificial coloring”

  1. hassan k. September 2, 2010 at 5:53 am #

    wow , great post thanks for sharing !

  2. Jess September 2, 2010 at 8:04 pm #

    Can you link to the research showing that sulfites are carcinogenic? I’d like to read more. I’ve seen the research that shows asthmatics are sensitive to sulfites and are best off avoiding them where possible (which is a worry since sulfites occur naturally in lots of products, particularly wine), but I had no idea about the carcinogenic effects.

    • KarmaFree Cooking October 2, 2010 at 11:36 am #

      Jess – I was referring more to NITRATES… I included them now in my article. Since I became a vegetarian, I have been taught to shun all sorts of chemical preservatives and among them are sulfites and nitrates/nitrites.

      You’ll always find evidence from the current food industry that will support their use and consumption, but we can’t measure the amounts of these presevratives that go into our bodies amongst all the food we consume, so we’re better off just leaving them out of our diet if we can avoid it. No??

      Here are a few links that might be helpful…

  3. Adriana September 11, 2010 at 3:19 pm #

    Oh God, the worst thing that happened to us was the day I watched a Dr. Oz show and started reading the damn labels (although I already avoided some things in particular). It is a CHALLENGE to buy most of the stuff, and I’m leaning towards making my own bread.

    • Organic vs Conventional February 22, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

      Ok, It’s now 2012 and it’s still a challenge to buying most of the stuff. Also I think I’m going to adopt trying not to buy anything that contains ingredients I can’t understand or pronounce.

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