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How To Identify Toxic Ingredients In Your Food



How To Identify Toxic Ingredients In Your Food


Despite the fact that they’ve been linked to everything from cancer in lab rats to behavioral problems in children, many additives still remain in many food items available on your supermarket shelf; which means it’s up to you to figure out the jumble of unfamiliar words on the back of an ingredients list.

But you don’t need a Ph.D. in chemistry to make sense of it all, you only need to remember this:

If you can’t pronounce an ingredient, or don’t know that you would recognize it on its own, your body surely won’t recognise it either.

For reference, here are the worst artificial offenders:


  • Blue no. 1 and 2
  • Citrus red no. 2
  • Green no. 3
  • Red no. 1, 3, and 40
  • Violet no. 1
  • Yellow no. 5 and 6


  • Aspartame (Nutra Sweet)
  • Acesulfame K
  • Neotame
  • Sucralose (Splenda)
  • Saccharine
  • Sugar alcohols (sorbitol, xylitol, mannitol)
  • Tagatose

Flavor Enhancers

  • “Artificial flavors” (made up of some of the more than 1,500 synthetic flavors)
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)


  • Calcium propionate
  • Disodium EDTA
  • Nitrates and nitrites
  • Potassium benzoate
  • Potassium sorbate
  • Sulfur dioxide
  • Sodium propinate

Of course, your best defence is to avoid packaged food altogether. Always opt for fresh, local and as much as possible, organic fruits and vegetables and grass-fed chicken and beef.

In Cairo, you can get these at Go Green Markets, Tabi3y, Sara’s Organics

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Dana Dinnawi

Dana Dinnawi is an Integrative Nutrition health coach specializing in empowering women to improve their health and family life. She received her training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where she studied more than one hundred dietary theories and a variety of practical lifestyle coaching methods. She can be reached through her website and Facebook page.

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