It seems on every food packet you look at there is an endless list of complicated names and numbers of ingredients that help make the food look better, taste better and last longer. Is any of this really good for your health? Well some of these are naturally occurring substances but even then they can have been changed at a chemical level so much that they are not even the same thing any more. These chemicals are banned in some countries around the world and it is a widely held opinion that some others that should be banned as well.
Artificial colours and flavours are best avoided for children. The easiest way to avoid them is to only purchase food labeled no artificial colours or flavours.
The worst offenders are colours 102, 104, 107, 110, 122, 123, 124, 127, 129, 132, 133, 142, 143, 151, 153, 155, 160b, 173, 174, 175.
Artificial flavours don’t have numbers so you need to read packages for no artificial flavours. Artificial preservatives come in different forms for different foods, sorbates are put into cheese and cheese products like dips. The ones to avoid are 200 -203. Bezoates are put in soft drinks cordials and medicines the ones to avoid are 210, 211, 212, 213, 216 and 218.
Sulfites are placed in dried fruits, cordials juices and processed meats. Also for adults they are in certain wines. Ones to avoid are numbers 220 – 228
Nitrates are put into cured and processed meats ( hot dogs, hams) , they are prohibited for use in foods made for children under 12 months old. Worst offenders are 249 -252.
Proprionates are added to bread and bakery products the ones to look out for range from 280- 283.
Flavour enhancers are put into a lot of foods, chips, biscuits, noodles, popcorn vegetable spreads and the ones to be on the look out for are
Glutames including msg 620-625
Disodium Guanylate 627
Disodium inosinate 631
Hydrolised vegetable protein
Aspartame is an artificial sweetener you should avoid and appears as number 951. You should avoid any hydrogenated and trans fats also.
Added antioxidants are also artificial sometimes, number to watch for are 310, 311, 312, 319, 320, 321, 385.
Thickeners 407, and 466 are found in cakes, slices and muffins.
Anti caking agents 431, 433, 435, 436, 530, 553, 900, 914.
There are other additives that fall into a miscellaneous category and these are 943a, 950, 952, 954, 1201, 1520 and 1521.
This is the end of a very long list but there is only one way to avoid all of these foods and that is a move back to a more natural way of eating. More cooking and less buying of packaged foods. If you know what is going into the sweets you give your children then this always makes them the safest option.