12 Worst Toxins in Processed Foods

Since we can't avoid the consumption of certain food, it never hurts to know the effect that they can have on your body to counterbalance it with other foods.
processed foods

Be careful with what you eat. You could be adding substances that are very dangerous for your health with every mouthful. Currently, the food that is found in supermarket chains and restaurants is a long way off from being natural. Businesses in charge of “feeding us” use a large amount of conservatives, chemicals, and other additives that, in the long term, are bad for your body. In the following article, find out what the worst toxins in processed foods are.

A List of Toxins that Are in Foods

Pay a lot of attention the next time you go shopping. Look at the containers and labels. You will realize that most of the foods you tend to buy and eat have at least one of the following toxic ingredients.

High Fructose Corn Syrup

It is found in sweets things, like “coke” drinks and various desserts. It is also used a lot in fast food. The potential effects of corn syrup are obesity, resistance to insulin, increase of abdominal fat, and heart diseases.

Trans Fats

It is called hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fat. It is found in processed foods like cookies, bread crumbs, frozen foods, etc. The potential effects of trans fat are cardiac diseases, diabetes, and cancer.

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Artificial Flavoring

They are present in all sweets, carbonated beverages, cookies, and prepared foods. The flavorings are truly harmful for your health. There are more than 100 additives and different chemicals within this group that have the goal of “giving more real flavor” to food. The potential effects of artificial flavoring are allergies and behavioral reactions, like hyperactivity.

Monosodium Glutamate

Also known as MSG, this is found in many salty foods, like french fries or breads, because it is what is used instead of common salt (sodium chloride). The potential effects of monosodium glutamate are:

  • Chest pain
  • Heart palpitations
  • Headache
  • Overstimulation of taste (which causes a sensation of wanting to eat more)
  • Not tasting other flavors or also adding more and more salt to food

Artificial Dyes

Along with flavoring, there are dyes, which are found in almost all processed foodsAlthough they tend to say “some dyes” on sweets labels, candies, cookies, or desserts, don’t be okay with this specification. The potential effects of artificial dyes are allergies, nasal congestion, hyperactivity (especially in children) and serious mental illnesses in infants which can be attention deficit disorder or no hyperactivity (ADHD).

Artificial Sweeteners

Different kinds can be found in this group:

  • Aspartame (which affects the nervous system and can cause headaches, memory loss, and convulsions).
  • Sucralose (which reduces good bacteria in the intestine)
  • Acesulfame potassium (which can cause cancer, according to some studies)
  • Neotame (which has still not been proven if it is safe to eat)
  • Saccharine (which causes cancer)

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They say that the added sweetness “burns” the taste buds, or in other words, inhibits them, therefore we don’t realize if something already has too much sugar. For that reason, be careful every time you add more sweetener or sugar to infusions or desserts.


Preservatives are another star in the processed foods that we buy in the market. There are different types of preservatives with serious consequences. Some of them are TBHQ or antioxidant E-319 (causes nausea, tinnitus, and vomiting), polysorbates 60, 65, and 80 (causes infertility, anaphylaxis, and are immunosuppressants, in other words, weaken the immune system), BHT or E-321 and BHA or E-320 (they have kidney and liver problems as a consequence, besides being a possible carcinogen), sodium benzoate or E-211 (causes allergic reactions and is a carcinogen) or sulphates (cause allergic reactions, especially asthma).

Canola Oil

Many people believe that canola oil is good for your health, which is why it has become very popular lately, although it’s true that it has very harmful effects. This oil, which is found in 30% of the products you eat get “stored” in cells, which prevents them from functioning properly, can cause lung emphysema and difficulty breathing, which leads to cancer.

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Sodium Nitrate

It is used as a preservative for foods and to keep colors in meat derivates (which has a very low percentage of real meat). Cured meat is combined with other salts: sodium nitrate and potassium nitrate. It prevents bacterial poisoning. However, it could cause cancer.

Anti-Foaming Agents

This industrial chemical product is used in chicken nuggets, for example. It is related to stomach tumors and has certain damages on DNA.

Anti-Caking Agents

They are used to absorb moisture in foods and tend to be added to powdered or dehydrated products. They are made up of phosphate, carbonate, silicate, and aluminum. The last one is linked to Alzheimer’s. It is worth the effort of noting that aluminum silicate (found in anti-caking agents) is used in the flu vaccine.


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There are three main ones: brominated vegetable oil, polysorbate 80, and carrageenan. It can be found in chocolate milk, ice cream, cottage cheese, jelly, and in dairy products. They stay in your body for years.