Do you know that some food additives actually make you gain weight?

You may think that you don’t consume much packaged food, or you’re not using artificial sweeteners. I wish it was that simple! We all use food additives, even without realizing it.

Artificial sweetener, of course, is one of the obvious ones. They’re often advertised as having no calories, although even if they don’t have calories that does not mean that they are not affecting our body, especially our hormones. They may increase our blood sugar levels and trigger the hunger hormone ghrelin, which can then cause you to eat more and make it a lot harder to stop eating.

Here’s an article where you can read more about artificial sweeteners: https://healthangelwarrior.com/sugar-vs-artificial-sweeteners.

Also, what may be not so commonly known is propionate, or propionic acid, which is a food preservative. It is added to foods to increase their shelf life and to work as a mold inhibitor. It is generally considered to be safe. Actually, it is a short chain fatty acid that is converted by metals into sugar. It is commonly found in cheese, jam, meat products and baked goods. The problem is that it can alter our metabolism and increase blood glucose levels, thus increasing the risk of diabetes and promoting obesity. On food labels you may see it with the name “calcium propionate”.

Another example is sodium benzoate, which is a preservative. You can find this in salt dressing, fruit juices, jams, soda and much more. It can decrease leptin, which is a hormone that makes us feel full and satisfied. So you will eat, but you won’t feel full so you will keep eating… Again, it’s considered to be “safe” but that it can cause hormonal imbalances.

This is all one more reason to cook at home and, as much as possible, to not to buy packaged foods. Below is a link to the EWG (Environment Working Group) research study where they analyzed many different food additives and ingredients.

So next time when you go to shopping, make sure that you read the label very very carefully. And don’t forget, just because it says “natural” on the label does not mean that it is safe and good for you.

EWG’S GUIDE TO FOOD ADDITIVES: https://static.ewg.org/pdf/EWG_TipSheet-FoodAdditives_C02.pdf.

Resources:

(1) “This common food additive may fuel weight gain, diabetes”; Medical News Today; available at https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325034

(2) “Propionate, A Common Food Preservative, Alters Our Metabolism. Does That Make It A Disruptor?”; American Council on Science and Health; available at https://www.acsh.org/news/2019/04/24/propionate-common-food-preservative-alters-our-metabolism-does-make-it-disruptor-13977

3 — “What Are We Putting in Our Food That Is Making Us Fat? Food Additives, Contaminants, and Other Putative Contributors to Obesity”; US National Library of Medicine; available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4101898/