Thursday, January 24, 2013

FDA: Friend or Foe?

Did you know that the FDA currently allows several chemicals to be used in food manufacturing that are outlawed in many other countries despite knowing the potential for dangerous side effects? I recently read an article by Cristina Goyanes that confirmed what I had been hearing (see here).

For example, we all love a low-fat potato chip because it means we can eat more (or is that just me?:), but the fat substitute used is called Olestra. Here are some facts on this ingredient:
Ingredient: Olestra (aka Olean)
Found In: Fat-free potato chips
Why the U.S. Allows It: Procter & Gamble Co. took a quarter century and spent a half a billion dollars to create “light” chips that are supposedly better for you, Calton says. They may need another half a billion bucks to figure out how to deal with the embarrassing bathroom side effects (including oily anal leakage) that comes with consuming these products.
Health Hazards: “This fat substitute appears to cause a dramatic depletion of fat-soluble vitamins and carotenoids, robbing us of the vital micro-nutrients," Calton says, adding that many countries, including the U.K. and Canada, have banned it.
Can you so EW!?
And for those of us who love to eat those tortialla wraps, be warned. Potassium Bromate is a common ingredient in several commonly consumed items including wraps.
Ingredient: Potassium bromate (aka brominated flour)
Found In: Rolls, wraps, flatbread, bread crumbs, and bagel chips
Why the U.S. Allows It: This flour-bulking agent helps strengthen dough, reducing the amount of time needed for baking, which results in lowered costs, Calton explains.
Health Hazards: Made with the same toxic chemical found in BVO (bromine), this additive has been associated with kidney and nervous system disorders as well as gastrointestinal discomfort. “While the FDA has not banned the use of bromated flour, they do urge bakers to voluntarily leave it out,” Calton says.

Now, I don't think the FDA is all bad.  This is just a reminder that you need to be proactive as you come to understand what you put in your body and the affects it may have.
See this article for more information and more chemicals in our food facts. Hope you found this helpful. 

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