Although some statistics may say otherwise, many people are now taking an interest in their health and trying to rid themselves of their obesity. Even more are trying to adopt a healthier diet to go along with their fitness goals. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, sometime the food we eat isn’t conducive to a nutritious diet. In fact, due to some questionable ingredients used by food manufacturers, the food we eat may be causing more harm than good. Always read the labels when you go shopping, and watch out for the following ingredients.

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High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)

High-fructose corn syrup is a sweetener made from corn starch that has been processed by glucose isomerase to convert some of its glucose into fructose. It is sweeter and cheaper than regular sugar, and therefore it has become a staple ingredient in most processed food. In fact, some studies have linked HFCS to the increasing obesity rates in America. Although households trying to eat well may have purged their cabinets of foods like soda, candy, salad dressing, and frozen junk food, HFCS can also be found in juice, bread, breakfast cereals, and even cough syrup.

Carrageenan

Carrageenan comes from an edible seaweed known as Irish Moss, and it is widely used in the food industry for its gelling, thickening, and stabilizing properties. The problem with carrageenan is that it’s not digestible and has no nutritional value. Carrageenan is particularly destructive to the digestive system, and it causes inflammation, leading to ulceration and bleeding. Other side effects include leaky gut syndrome, carrageenan cancer, and it has been linked to diabetes. Unfortunately, health enthusiasts are likely to have a lot of carrageenans in their kitchen, as it’s commonly found in almond milk, coconut milk, most organic foods, and some Starbucks drinks with soy milk.

Ammonium Sulfate

This ingredient has a fancy name, but you might know it better as fertilizer. Ammonium sulfate is a salt compound, and it was one of the first and most widely used nitrogen fertilizers for crop production. Now it’s most commonly found in bread and other flour products. In excess amounts, ammonium sulfate can cause gastrointestinal and respiratory tract irritation, and may contribute to pre-existing pulmonary diseases. Check your bread labels before you buy it, but it might be a good idea to buy a bread machine.

Yellow #5 (Tartrazine/ E102)

Yellow 5 is a synthetic lemon yellow dye widely used in the making of potato chips, jams, candy, drinks and even pet food. It is also added to shampoo and other cosmetic products. The Food Standards Agency in the UK issued a warning in 2008 that certain food colorings, including Yellow 5, caused behavioral changes in children that included loss of concentration and impulsive, hard-to-control activity.Yellow 5 has also been linked to asthma, migraines, thyroid cancer, anxiety, clinical depression, blurred vision, purple spots on your skin and unexplainable itchy skin.

Check the labels in your house and see which other harmful ingredients are hidden in your food.