The 4 Most Common Food Preservatives And Why They Should Be Avoided

common food preservatives

Preservatives are one of the most common food preservatives in use today. They are in place to preserve foods and keep them from spoiling. While some foods such as fruits and vegetables do not have chemicals added to their nutritional content in order to preserve them, other foods do. The following are common food preservatives used in the home.

Sodium Benzoate

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Sodium benzoate is a preservative used for the reduction of color. It is often added to pickles, ketchup, mayonnaise, and salad dressings. While sodium benzoate is generally recognized as safe for human consumption, studies have shown it to be potentially harmful if consumed in large amounts over time. Foods that contain high levels of sodium benzoate can turn color when exposed to light, which is why they are typically used to preserve foods such as pickles, eggs, and cheese.


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Another of the common food preservatives is nitrates. Nitrates are commonly found in processed meats such as bacon and salami. In addition, foods that are going rancid can contain nitrates, which can also increase the shelf life of fruits and vegetables. In addition, nitrates are known to slow down the spoilage process in fish and meat. While most people do not find serious health threats from nitrates, they are important to know because eating foods that have been preserved with nitrates increases your risk of food borne illness.

Ascorbic Acid

One of the common food preservatives found in canned items is ascorbic acid. This ingredient is often used to give foods a sharp, lemon flavor. While a lot of people enjoy the taste, there are many potential health risks associated with consuming high levels of ascorbic acid.

One of the most popular food preservatives is artificial sweeteners, or artificial flavoring. As an individual who consumes large amounts of artificial sweeteners, you need to be very cautious about the amount you consume. Many health experts believe that excessive intake of artificial sweeteners may actually contribute to health problems including diabetes, cancer, heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure. To avoid these serious health problems, it’s important to avoid artificial sweeteners.

Sodium Benzoate

Sodium benzoate and nitrosamines both come from preservatives. While nitrosamines are considered a carcinogen, sodium benzoate is not. This is probably because there is no evidence linking the preservative to cancer. However, sodium benzoate can cause problems if consumed in large amounts, which is one reason why most table salt is already treated with sodium benzoate to prevent contamination by yeast and other bacteria.

Bottom Lines

Sodium Chloride. Sodium chloride is often used as a salt substitute, and for good reason: it works! However, as an artificial preservative, sodium chlorate can potentially interact with multiple vitamins and minerals, particularly those in vitamin C: when this interaction occurs, the body will not absorb the nutrients in question. In addition, as the body breaks down salt, sodium becomes an increasingly unavailable mineral. This can lead to a wide range of health issues ranging from diminished immunity to neurological problems.

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