The Dangers of Food Dyes

I wanted to share this article published on Wednesday by CBS about the dangers of food dyes. I was allergic to anything artificial growing up so fortunately I stayed away from them as much as possible. But I will admit that I do indulge in the occasional bag of Twizzlers and Sour Patch Kid candies (they are one of my many sugar weaknesses), but I never can indulge in them without wondering what all the chemicals in these sweet treats are doing to my body.

Besides causing allergic reactions, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a prominent watchdog group, claims that the three most widely used food dyes – Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6 – are contaminated with cancer-causing substances. Another dye, Red 3, has also been identified as a carcinogen by the FDA but is still in commercial use.  Studies have also shown that dyes can cause hyperactivity in children.

Food dyes are mostly used to make food look more appealing and are mostly found on the nutrition labels of products pitched to children like brightly colored cereals, candy, ice cream, popsicles, sodas and fruit drinks.

According to the CSPI, manufacturers dump about 15 million pounds of eight synthetic dyes into our foods each year. Yuck! I am pretty sure you wouldn’t pour food coloring onto your food before eating it, so why should we let someone else do it? People need to go back to the basics when it comes to food and their health. Stay away from products loaded with chemicals and artificial ingredients that were created in a lab. Hopefully you will be more cautious and look more closely at nutrition labels after reading this article.

Click here to read some insightful commentary on the use of food dyes by Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC.

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Filed under Breakfast, Snacks, Wellness

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