You’re consciously trying to eat healthy so you choose leafy green salad—full of nutrition, vitamins and…paint chemicals. What are paint chemicals doing in my salad, you ask? Well, if you’re using store-bought salad dressing, there’s a high likelihood it contains titanium dioxide.

The Details:
Titanium dioxide, a component of the metallic element titanium, is a mined substance that is sometimes contaminated with toxic lead. Although it is usually found in paints and sunscreens, the food industry tends to add it to lots of edibles as well, such as processed salad dressing, coffee creamers, and icing, to make them appear whiter.

The Risks:
Classified as ‘possibly carcinogenic to humans’ by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), titanium dioxide is considered a low to moderate hazard ingredient, depending on use, and has raised concerns regarding cancer, allergic reactions, biochemical and cellular changes, organ system toxicity and irritation. Animal studies showed that very low doses were able to cause respiratory and cardiovascular harm.

The Alternatives:
Avoid buying bottled salad dressing at the supermarket, and switch to organic versions made at your local delis and specialty stores. If you have the inclination, making your own is easy and fast, not to mention, cheaper too. You will be sure of what’s going into your body, and your salad will truly be healthy again. Here are some dressings you can prepare from scratch:

Read More:
Learn All About Natural Sunscreens & Its Amazing Skin Benefits
Your Sunscreen Could Be Toxic

Simona is a journalist who has worked with several leading publications in India over the last 17 years, writing on lifestyle topics and the arts, besides interviewing celebrities. She made the switch to public relations and headed the division as PR Manager at ITC Hotels’ flagship property, the ITC Grand Chola, but has since returned to her first love, journalism. Now she writes on food, which she is sincerely passionate about and wellness, which she finds fascinating and full of surprises. When she isn’t writing, she is busy playing the role of co-founder and communications director of The Bicycle Project, a six-year-old charity initiative that empowers tribal children in rural areas, while addressing the issue of urban waste.