However, not all artificial dyes are safe. Several studies show that artificial coloring can increase the tendency of children to have allergies³. They might also trigger hyperactivity in children with ADHD⁴.
Several artificial food colorings are also strongly suspected of causing cancer, such as diamond blue (Blue 1), allura red aka Red 40, and caramel coloring.
Red 3, otherwise known as erythrocin, might also increase the risk of thyroid tumors. Although only limited to animal studies, researchers believe that the effects are likely the same in humans⁵.
It’s a good idea to choose foods without artificial coloring or those that use natural dyes (such as suji leaves for a green color) to avoid the risk of disease.
3. Sodium Nitrite
Sodium nitrite is a preservative in processed meat that prevents bacterial growth. Also, this ingredient adds a salty taste and makes canned meat look reddish pink like fresh meat.
Unfortunately, if exposed to high enough heat, this substance can change into nitrosamines. Nitrosamines are known as substances that cause colon, breast, bladder, and stomach cancers⁶. This is why sodium nitrite is on the list of potentially harmful ingredients in fast food.
4. High Fructose Corn Syrup
Fructose corn syrup is an artificial sweetener commonly found in sodas, juices, candies, cereals, and various snacks. A study proves this ingredient can increase the risk of obesity and diabetes when consumed in excess⁷.
In addition, this substance can trigger inflammation in cells that can lead to serious conditions, such as heart disease and cancer⁸. Research also proves this sweetener does not contain the vitamins and minerals that the body needs.
For this reason, it’s best to choose food and drink without added artificial sugar. You can add pure honey as a healthier sugar substitute.