Q: My new year’s resolution is to start eating healthier. Do you have any recommendations for how to get started?

A: Start the New Year off by committing to eliminate food additives from your menu. Food additives are synthetic chemicals added to food to boost taste, sweeten “diet” food, and extend shelf life. At least 100 new synthetic additives are added to the food supply each year, so it’s important to read labels. Some food additives and colorings cause allergy-like symptoms or are suspected carcinogens. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the additives that are in the following list are unsafe in the amounts consumed or are very poorly tested and should be avoided. Not only are they among the most questionable additives, but they are used primarily in foods of low nutritional value. Remember, read your food labels carefully…bring a magnifying glass with you to the store if necessary!

My tips: Avoid these 6 food additives:

Acesulfame K: Artificial sweetener found in baked goods, chewing gum, gelatin desserts, diet soda.
Artificial colorings: Blue 1 and 2, Green 3, Red 3, and Yellow 6 found in beverages, candy, baked goods.
Aspartame: Artificial sweetener found in frozen desserts, diet soda, tabletop sweetener (Equal and NutraSweet).
BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole): Antioxidant found in cereals, chewing gum, vegetable oil, potato chips.
MSG (monosodium glutamate): Flavor enhancer found in many processed foods and fast food restaurants.
Trans fats (partially hydrogenated vegetable oil): Fat, oil, shortening found in stick margarine, crackers, fried restaurant foods, baked goods, icing, microwave popcorn.

Read More:
Eating Healthy QA: What’s The Best Way To Keep Produce Fresh?
Stir-Fry Recipes: Sauteed Chard with Chile and Garlic
Spinach and Tomato Pasta

Beth Greer, aka Super Natural Mom®, is an award-winning journalist, green holistic health educator, healthy home expert and impassioned champion of toxin-free living. She’s also a radio talk show host, and trusted consumer advocate, who is leading a movement of awareness and responsibility about healthy homes, schools and work environments. Connect with Beth on Facebook and Twitter.