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3 Horrible Ingredients (Banned in Other Countries) in “Health" Foods

“Health” foods can be found just about everywhere—even at convenience stores (Seen kombucha or almond milk pop up in the beverage section of your gas station yet?) And in grocery stores, it seems like you can’t turn a corner without seeing some type of food advertised as superfood. But did you know that beyond all of the health food hype there are some very unhealthy ingredients lurking?

It’s true!

If you are eating pre-packaged items claiming to be “health foods,” there is something you need to know – right now!

With so many people jumping on the superfood bandwagon, more companies than ever are creating “Franken-foods” with man-made ingredients that are known toxins. It might shock you to know that these three ingredients are found in some of today’s most popular so-called “health” foods.

Here are three ingredients to avoid (at all costs!):

1. Recombinant Growth Hormone

Also known as rBGH, this ingredient is a health NO-NO. If you see rBGH on an ingredient list or anywhere on a packaged food label, put it back where you found it. Pronto. RBGH is a hormone injected into food-producing dairy animals in order to fatten manufacturers’ bottom line. However, while it does increase milk production in cows, it also lingers in dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt. Ultimately, rBGH builds up inside the human body, negatively affecting hormone production, and making it the #1 banned food ingredient in Europe and other countries including Canada, Australia, and Japan.1

Studies have shown that this man-made hormone may be linked to serious health concerns, including an increased risk of diabetes and some types of cancer.2-4

Skip any ready-to-drink shake, protein powder or other “health” food that contains this known toxic ingredient.

2. GMOs

GMO stands for “Genetically Modified Organism.” These can be foods alone, or ingredients in some of your favorite so-called “health” foods like applesauce or raw food bars. You may have already heard about GMOs but what you may not know is that these 12 foods are known to contain the highest amount of genetically-infused pesticides: strawberries, apples, nectarines, peaches, celery, grapes, cherries, spinach, tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, hot peppers, and kale/collard greens. Known as the dirty dozen, these foods should be on your Organic shopping list.

GMOs are openly banned in an estimated 26 different countries. Health problems associated with the consumption of GMO foods include gluten intolerance, adverse changes in brain chemical production, respiratory problems, and kidney failure.5-8

GMOs have been clinically shown to pass pesticide residue into fetal tissue and DNA. Health risks are higher in young children and newborns.9,10

GMOs do not wash off of produce. You will know a non-GMO fruit or vegetable by their 5-digit code, starting with a 9 on the barcode sticker. This means the food is Organic and non-GMO. Fruits with a 4-digit code starting with the number 4 are conventionally grown with the use of pesticides.

3. Bromide

This ingredient is also known as potassium bromate. You can find it lurking in your favorite foods including bread, pastries, and other baked goods. It is used in baking to create a doughy consistency and firm texture, but it has also been linked to some serious health concerns. This may be why bromide is currently a banned food additive in China, Europe, and Canada.

Bromide consumption has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular events, thyroid dysfunction, and also has potential carcinogenic effects.11-13

Look for anything with bromate on the ingredient label, including bromated flour, potassium bromate, and brominated vegetable oil – and avoid it!

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for keeping the food supply safe. But do they really care about your health and wellbeing? The sad reality is that the FDA’s commitment to food safety isn’t as devoted as you may think. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration is notorious for allowing small amounts of known toxins into the food supply – and right under our noses!

How do they get away with it? The FDA operates under a rule that all ingredients must be Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS). What nobody tells consumers is that small amounts of poisons are generally “safe” for consumption. However, small amounts of a variety of toxic ingredients are found in almost everything on grocery store shelves today. That is what takes those small amounts approved by the FDA from generally safe, to downright deadly. So watch your own back and don’t trust government watchdogs, because they are not watching out for you.

1 Food Safety – From the Farm to the Fork. Report on Public Health Aspects of the Use of Bovine Somatotropin – 15-16 March 199. (2014-01-02).
2 Geraci MJ, Cole M, Davis P. New onset diabetes associated with bovine growth hormone and testosterone abuse in a young body builder. Hum Exp Toxicol. 2011 Dec;30(12):2007-12.
3 Hawsawi Y, El-Gendy R, Twelves C, Speirs V, Beattie J. Insulin-like growth factor – Oestradiol crosstalk and mammary gland tumourigenesis. Biochim Biophys Acta.
2013 Nov 2. pii: S0304-419X(13)00047-4. doi: 10.1016/j.bbcan.2013.10.005.

4 Savvani A, Petraki C, Msaouel P, Diamanti E, Xoxakos I, Koutsilieris M. IGF-IEc expression is associated with advanced clinical and pathological stage of prostate cancer. Anticancer Res. 2013 Jun;33(6):2441-5.
5 GMOs linked to gluten disorders plaguing 18 million Americans – report. RT International. 2013.Accessed December 13, 2016.
6 Anthony Samsel, Stephanie Seneff. Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases. Entropy 2013, 15(4), 1416-1463.
7 Channa Jayasumana, Sarath Gunatilake. Simultaneous exposure to multiple heavy metals and glyphosate may contribute to Sri Lankan agricultural nephropathy.
8 Jane A. Hoppin, David M. Umbach. Pesticides Are Associated with Allergic and Non-Allergic Wheeze among Male Farmers. Environmental Health Perspectives.
9 Aziz Arisa, Samuel Leblancc. Maternal and fetal exposure to pesticides associated to genetically modified foods in Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. Reproductive Toxicology.
10 Sándor Spisák, Norbert Solymosi. Complete Genes May Pass from Food to Human Blood. Plos One. July 30, 2013.
11 Evaluate the Effect of Aclidinium Bromide on Long-term Cardiovascular Safety and Exacerbations in Moderate to Very Severe COPD Patients. (ASCENT COPD)
12 P Allain, S Berre. Bromine and thyroid hormone activity. J Clin Pathol. 1993 May; 46(5): 456–458.
13 Lygia, T Budnik, Stefan Kloth. Prostate cancer and toxicity from critical use exemptions of methyl bromide: Environmental protection helps protect against human health risks. Environmental Health. 22 September 2011.