It’s one thing to say that you’re going to eliminate all additives from your diet. It may be quite another to actually do it. If your idea of good eating is to pop a frozen dinner in the microwave, you’re going to have to make some significant adjustments. Going completely additive free is going mean eliminating a lot of the foods you enjoy, and finding alternatives.
That said, there are many good reasons to adopt an additive free diet. You’re going to be eliminating lot of foods that really don’t have a lot of nutritional value, and you’ll probably feel better once you start eating in a healthier fashion.
Food additives include artificial flavorings and colourings, and chemical preservatives. Many food dyes have been connected to health problems both major and minor – some have even been linked to cancer. Preservatives can cause allergic reactions in some people. Artificial sweeteners have been linked to various health conditions, and are suspected of being connected with some types of cancer.
To avoid consuming undesirable additives, read food labels carefully. A good rule of thumb is that if you see anything on the label that you have trouble pronouncing, you shouldn’t buy the product. You’ll find additives in most commercial bakery products, and also in baking mixes. Other offenders are frozen waffles and pancakes, and also dry mixes. If it’s in a can or a jar at the grocery store, it contains additives. Virtually any kind of soda or drink mix will be loaded with additives. Condiments like ketchup Worcestershire sauce, steak sauce, tartar sauce, and mayonnaise are offenders. Any processed meat (hot dogs, bologna, lunch-meats, etc.) will be absolutely loaded with additives.
What fast foods should you avoid? All of them.
Even your beloved dairy products, like cottage cheese, cream cheese, sour cream and yogurt contain several additives.
If you want something to drink other than plain old water, you can have one hundred percent fruit juices, herbal tea, and plain tomato or V8 juice.
As to what you can eat on an additive free diet, you can have all the fresh fruits and vegetables you want. Pure grain cereals are excellent, but not the instant, flavored type. Brown rice is good, most granolas are fine, and pasta of any sort is permissible. Any flour-based product, provided it’s made with unbleached flour. Eggs and nuts are good for you.
Actually, almost any pure food is permissible on an additive free diet. If you make meals at home from pure foods, you’ll be consuming little or nothing in the way of additives.