A Closer Look at Food Additives in Common Bottled Salad Dressings
You’ve created a fabulous salad or fixed some wonderful jar salads loaded with veggies, protein, and healthy fats. Keep your focus while choosing how you’ll top that salad. A careless choice can wreak havoc on your wonderful salad.
The following list of non-food ingredients are commonly found in bottled salad dressings. Sensitive people can feel the effects of these ingredients right away, with symptoms such as low energy, brain fog, trouble concentrating, skin flushing/redness, among other neurological effects. People less sensitive to food additives may not feel the effects right after the meal, but are not out of the woods. Consuming these ingredients on a regular basis sets everyone up for health problems down the road.
Here are the most common offenders found in bottled salad dressings today:
A study published in March 2015 reported that, “in mice, relatively low concentrations of two commonly used emulsifiers, namely carboxymethylcellulose and Polysorbate-80, induced low-grade inflammation and obesity/metabolic syndrome in wild-type hosts and promoted robust colitis in mice predisposed to this disorder.
There is a lot of debate about this compound because of its wide range of use such as rust removal, leather treatment, skin care products, and as a food additive it’s commonly found in sodas and in other foods when the manufacturer wants to achieve an acidic flavor. Whether you are a part of the debate or not, the simple fact is that you can achieve an acidic flavor (and real nutrients) simply by adding apple cider vinegar or liquid aminos, which are both naturally fermented to support gut health. Other options are balsamic vinegar, coconut vinegar, and red wine vinegar.
This is a food preservative that has been studied with results showing hyperactivity in kids.
From wikipedia: “In combination with ascorbic acid (vitamin C, E300), sodium benzoate and potassium benzoate may form benzene, a known carcinogen. When tested by the FDA, most beverages that contained both ascorbic acid and benzoate had benzene levels that were below those considered dangerous for consumption by the World Health Organization (5 ppb). Most of the beverages that tested higher have been reformulated and subsequently tested below the safety limit. Heat, light and shelf life can increase the rate at which benzene is formed.” Keep in mind, though, that if you consume more than one processed food a day, your level of consumed benzene is likely over the levels considered safe.
Personally, anything that’s not a real food ingredient, I don’t mess around with.
You may be familiar with this as the MSG associated with Chinese restaurant food. However, this flavor enhancer is found in many processed foods, especially dressings and flavored chips. It’s known by many other names, including:
- Monosodium glutamate or sodium glutamate
- Sodium 2-aminopentanedioate
- Glutamic acid, monosodium salt, monohydrate
- L-Glutamic acid, monosodium salt, monohydrate
- L-Monosodium glutamate monohydrate
- Monosodium L-glutamate monohydrate
- MSG monohydrate
- Sodium glutamate monohydrate
So what is MSG? It’s actually a naturally occurring amino acid found naturally in foods like tomatoes, aged cheeses, and potatoes. If it’s naturally derived, then what’s the problem? The problem is when it’s taken out of it’s natural context, intensified, and added to foods in higher amounts than any single food would contain in nature.
This super flavoring not only messes with our neurological system, but also throws our true sense of taste out of whack to the point where a person may lose interest in real foods because of the comparatively less intense flavor.