Fresh herbs and seasonings arranged around mortar and pestle

Today, more people than ever are concerned about additives and healthier alternatives to dangerous, unnatural, and artificial additives in food sources. With the millions that brands spend on clever, if not possibly deceitful, marketing tactics to make their food appear healthy, it becomes incredibly difficult to know what to look for on labeling and packaging. This guide will help you navigate the aisles to a healthier life for you and your loved ones without giving up some of your go-to and easy prepackaged frozen meals or bottled salad dressing.

Packaged Food

The good news is that you do not have to eliminate all of your favorite foods just yet. Despite the fact that numerous additives and preservatives can be harmful to your health, many socially conscious companies are switching to healthier and natural additives and preservatives. The first step to eliminating unhealthy additives is to become savvy to labeling and packaging. Supermarkets are also becoming more socially responsible by stocking shelves with brands that use natural additives and natural preservation methodologies.

As you are shopping, look for natural additives such as carrageenan, beetroot juice, lemon juice, and rosemary extract. Such natural ingredients can be used to stabilize food, provide antimicrobial solutions to make food last longer, act as an animal-free gelatin, and color food naturally. You can also pickle food and add spice to food with hot sauce and cayenne to make your food last longer.

What to Look for in the Store

Food additives are used to extend the shelf life of a perishable food product from the point of origin to your dinner table. They are also used in soft drinks, as well as candies and other delectable sweets. Additives and preservatives are essential in many instances, particularly when food must travel a great distance. They can also help to prevent, if not eliminate, food waste. While additives can be used for good, many artificial additives are directly linked to health issues and behavioral concerns. Some of such additives include high sodium content, high fructose corn syrup, BHA, BHT, citric acid, MSG, potassium bromate, sulfur dioxide, nitrates, and nitrites.

Amongst children, some of the direct links made between unnatural food additives and behavioral and health issues include asthma, allergic reactions, food intolerances, gastrointestinal issues, hyperactivity, hypersensitivity, poor concentration, rashes, and temper tantrums. In addition to these health concerns, artificial additives do not add any nutritional value to food. The main purpose of these components is to make food last longer, however you do not have to choose foods with manufactured chemical compounds any longer.

Cook At Home

Another way to ensure you can keep eating all of your favorites is to cook at home. The idea of cooking after a long day at work or taking care of the kids might seem daunting, however it does not have to be. With a bit of organization and preparation, you can significantly improve your health and the health of your loved ones by making your own bread, pizza, lasagna, and more.

Try to set one day or night on the weekend to dedicate to making meals for the week. You can freeze dishes that you will use at the end of the week. Simply remove it from the freezer and heat it up for a fast, all-natural dinner any weeknight without the hassle of cooking or mess to clean up.

If you cannot spare dedicated cooking time, be sure to change your grocery shopping habits to minimize waste. If you are buying more fresh foods to minimize the dangerous additives in your food, you might have to shop a few times a week rather than once or twice a month. Your health and wallet will thank you.

Do not give up the foods you love because of sketchy additives and preservatives. Read the labels and choose brands with natural additives or cook at home to stay as healthy as possible year round.

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About The Author

Kari Oakley's picture

Kari Oakley gained a love for health and fitness as a young child in Wisconsin. She spent each summer on some type of adventure, either a day at the lake with her family or just hiking with her friends. She took her love for fitness with her through college to get her degree in Kinesiology (Exercise Science). She has been working as a personal trainer/life coach in the Chicago area for the past 3 years. She has recently decided to share her passions with lower income schools in Chicago to help children develop a knowledge and love for fitness. When Kari started working with the kids in Chicago, she decided she wanted to share her knowledge and passion with as many people as possible. She has been freelance writing alongside ever since.

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