Artificial Food Additives

8 November 2022

Artificial Food Additives

In recent decades, our westernised lifestyle has led to the increasing consumption of processed foods. Processed foods often contain a mixture of non-nutritive ingredients, such as artificial food additives, flavourings and sweeteners used to improve or maintain the, freshness, taste, texture, or appearance of “food” products (debatable description).

Most recent evidence shows that the overconsumption of these artificial food additives deleteriously impacts our microbiota, diminishing its diversity, damaging the delicate gut barrier and causing inflammation.

The marketing of vegan & plant based diets can easily fool us to think we are not consuming processed foods but taking a closer look at labels of a lot of these products like oat milk for example, I’m afraid (don’t shoot the messenger), are some of the biggest offenders. Oatly consists of only 10% oats! Water, rapeseed Oil, Dipotassium Phosphate, calcium carbonate, Potassium Iodide, Salt and tiny amounts of Vitamins D2, Riboflavin and B12.

Dipotassium Phosphate is added as an emulsifier to help the oat milk interact with coffee and also allow it to steam better! Oh and is used in antifreeze! 

This wonderful infographic from the study shows how these non-nutritive ingredients affect gut microbiota composition, the gut barrier, and inflammatory system.
If you are interested in learning more, how to navigate food labels and understand what food to actually choose, check out my Gut To Know self-paced online programme.

In one of the sessions I spend an hour guiding you through this maze and cook up a storm in the process!