Your Food Is Slowly Killing You


Your Food Is Slowly Killing YouDid you know that 80% of the food and drinks you consume have chemicals added to make them addictive and/or to mask off, sour or tinny flavors? Yeah, it’s true. And they cause brain damage. Seriously. From sushi to soda, butter to burgers, you’re eating a lot of this stuff daily. Don’t you think it’s time you know what you’re eating?

Ironically, artificial sweeteners cause an increased appetite. That seems a bit contradictory for weight loss products.

Food additives are anything that is put in or on something, for whatever reason, that was not there when the food or drink was in its natural state. Countless different types of colors, taste enhancers, stabilizers, preservatives, and other chemicals are used in and on the food and drinks that you buy in grocery stores and in restaurants. The two most commonly used food additives are artificial sweeteners, especially aspartame, and monosodium glutamate or MSG. These two also seem to cause the most disturbing physical symptoms or reactions. Read on…

Major Toxin #1: Artificial Sweeteners (Aspartame)

Your Food Is Slowly Killing YouThousands of food and drinks, especially diet products, contain artificial sweeteners.

They are identified by many different names such as NutraSweet, Equal, Sweet and Low, Sunette, and others. This disguises their real names such as Aspartame, Saccharin, Cyclamate, Acessulfame-K, and others.

After being introduced, with much fanfare, Saccharin lost favor when, in 1970, it was found to cause cancer in laboratory animals. Interestingly, it remains on the market to this day, and the FDA loosened regulations in the year 2000 and no longer requires labeling for Saccharin.

Aspartame accounts for over 75% of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the US Food and Drug Administration.

Today, Aspartame seems to be the primary artificial sweetener. It is used in most diet soda and flavored drinks. In addition, it is the sweetener of choice in many packaged food products, medications, supplements, and other items for human consumption. It is the NutraSweet, Equal, and Spoonful you find in most restaurant and grocery stores.

Your Food Is Slowly Killing You

One 12-ounce can of an aspartame-sweetened soft drink contains about 30 milligrams (mg) of methanol. With this artificial sweetener found in over 80,000 products today, an individual can quite easily exceed 100 mg daily, thirteen times the maximum limit recommended by the EPA.

Your body isn’t able to detoxify the methanol in Aspartame. What your body does with it, is it converts it to formaldehyde and then into formic acid. These are both toxic metabolites. The result is metabolic acidosis. Also, the aspartic acid, as well as the phenylalanine, cause other problems specific to themselves.

Methanol is a deadly metabolic poison. One of the reasons methanol is so toxic is because the body lacks the necessary enzymes to detoxify it.

Aspartame has also been repeatedly connected to, and may trigger or mimic the following conditions:

  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Multiple SclerosisYour Food Is Slowly Killing You
  • Epstein-Barr Syndrome
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Post-Polio Syndrome
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Lyme Disease
  • Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Grave’s Disease
  • Mercury sensitivity from amalgam fillings
  • Epilepsy
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
  • Systemic Lupus
  • Erythematosis (SLE)

Major Toxin #2: Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

Almost everyone has heard of MSG. Many know of it as related to Chinese Food Syndrome. It is not known for sure if the problems associated with MSG are caused or aggravated by eating things with MSG in them. Reactions to MSG are dose-related. In other words, some people react to even very small amounts. Reactions can occur immediately or even up to two days later.

MSG is not an allergen. It is a neuro-toxin or nerve poison. Your body reacts to it as it would to a drug. It is harmful to everyone.

Your Food Is Slowly Killing YouMSG is a flavor enhancer that food companies learned could mask bitterness, off-flavors, sourness, fishy tastes (it’s in your sushi!) and the tinny taste of canned foods.

This is why it is concealed under as many as 50 different names on the labels of so many food and drinks, as well as in other products such as medications and food supplements.

On top of all these, both Aspartame and MSG are proven to increase appetite and it has also been shown that people consuming a lot of these chemicals gain weight faster than those not consuming these chemicals.

In the wild, rats and mice don’t get fat. When they are full they stop It is a given in research that if you need a fat-rat then you give it MSG.

If you choose to try to avoid MSG, you may find it exceptionally difficult to do so. It is said to be added to over 80% of commercially processed foods, including an extremely wide variety of commercial products.

The problem with trying to avoid MSG is that labels frequently do not specify MSG exactly, nor do they say how much MSG is in a particular product. Even more frustrating is not knowing how much MSG is being produced in a product during processing and/or during manufacture.

The following ingredients and/or products ALWAYS contain MSG:

  • Your Food Is Slowly Killing YouHydrolyzed protein (any protein that is hydrolyzed)
  • Textured protein
  • Glutamate
  • Monopotassium glutamate
  • Glutamic acid
  • Calcium and Sodium caseinate
  • Yeast extract and Yeast food
  • Autolyzed yeast
  • Yeast nutrient
  • Gelatin
  • Accent and Zest
  • Glutavene
  • Glutacyl
  • RL-50

Also, these products and/or additives OFTEN contain MSG or it is created during processing or manufacture:

  • Your Food Is Slowly Killing YouMalt extract and flavoring
  • Barley malt
  • Tamari
  • Natural flavor(s) and natural flavoring(s) such as pork, beef, chicken, etc.
  • Bouillon
  • Soy sauce and extract
  • Soy protein isolate and concentrate
  • Seasonings (the word seasoning)
  • Broth and Stock
  • Whey protein isolate, and concentrate
  • Milk solids in low fat milk products
  • Spices (sometimes)
  • Your Food Is Slowly Killing YouProtease enzymes and enzymes (depending upon the source)
  • Mei-Jing ans Wei-Jing
  • Ajinomoto
  • Anything protein fortified, enzyme fortified, ultra-pasteurized, or fermented
  • Carrageenan
  • Maltodextrin
  • Kombu extract
  • Subu
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Pectin

Your Food Is Slowly Killing YouIn addition, two food additives that are used to enhance the effects of MSG are disodium guanylate and disodium inosinate. If these are present, so is MSG.

Once you stop ingesting chemicals that have been causing you problems, you become much more aware of, and sensitive to, what you can eat, drink, and put on or into your body. Pay attention to your body and eliminate anything that causes you symptoms, whether it is mentioned here or not.

Remember, the more of your food that you make from scratch, with fresh ingredients, the less likely it will be to contain MSG.

How To Identify MSG in Your Food, Drinks and Other Products:

Even products that say no MSG added are not necessarily free of MSG. Most meals served in restaurants across America contain MSG. Delicatessen and smoked meat products as well as sausages and luncheon meats usually contain MSG. Canned gravies, chili, stews, and sauces contain large amounts of MSG. Processed or dried foods with “flavor packets” usually contain MSG. These are often found in boxed rice, pasta, powdered salad dressing mixes, and dried soups.

Your Food Is Slowly Killing YouMost commercial salad dressings, soups, meat stocks, dairy products, sauces, seasoning mixtures, frozen foods, teas, and convenience foods contain some form of MSG. It is also found in mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, and in most packaged and canned foods, including diet foods, desserts, ice cream, and cakes.

When you see “Natural Flavors” on an ingredient list, keep in mind that it’s a way of hiding MSG, and will actually contain about 40% MSG.

Reactions to MSG can occur with soaps, shampoos, hair conditioners, and cosmetics. Check for “hydrolyzed” and “amino acids” ingredients. Strangely, MSG-type reactions can occur to the aspartic acid found in Aspartame. Some medications (including children’s medicines), drinks, candy, and chewing gum are potential sources of hidden MSG and Aspartame. Other sources of hidden MSG are the binders and fillers used in medications, nutrients and supplements (prescription and non-prescription).

If it says sugar-free, do not even consider it! It almost certainly contains artificial sweeteners.

Things You Can Do to Minimize Your Exposure to Harmful Additives:

  1. Read labels! Read labels! Read labels! Get into the habit of thoroughly reading the labels of anything and everything that you, or someone you love, intend to eat, drink, take, or put on their skin, hair, or nails. Always ask your pharmacist about the ingredients that are in the products you or a loved one are going to take.
  2. Your Food Is Slowly Killing YouFor MSG, minimize and/or avoid manufactured, processed, and fermented food. Replace them with natural, unprocessed, unfermented food whenever possible.
  3. As for artificial sweeteners, you should avoid artificially sweetened food, drinks, medications, supplements, or anything made with them. Even something sweetened with white sugar is better for you than something artificially sweetened. Better yet, you should use natural sweeteners, if sweetening is necessary (like Agave).
  4. Only eat food products that are labeled 100% Organic. Go vegan.
  5. Make your own skin care products – it’s easy, and we’ve published our favorite natural skin care recipes here.

And above all, don’t give up. You and your health are worth the effort!

A writer, artist and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary spends most of her time in France, but still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. Hilary spent the past decade living in NYC and has traveled extensively around the world, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and brands to bring to Urbanette readers.


  1. Melani Kalev

    And another link – 36 foods that help detox and cleanse your entire body – to get rid off those nasty toxins

  2. Melani Kalev

    I just stumbled upon this article about hidden sugars in our food. Worth checking out 😉

  3. Melani Kalev

    The more I learn, the more I see why in some cases ignorance must really feel like bliss. If you don’t know anything about anything then you don’t have to think nor worry about it, you just live your jolly life, and think that when sickness strikes, it’s because.. well, because it’s winter and it’s cold, for example. In reality, there are so many things to consider when making your everyday choices. I guess the best option is to make knowledgeable choices, thinking not only what’s good for you, and ‘healthy’, but also what it means to make this choice. E.g., not everyone are ready to give up meat, fish, or dairy. We should take care of ourselves and our loved ones and think about other living beings as well, but it should be done in a way that you’re still able to enjoy your life, not making it too complicated.

  4. Indeed, everyday, we are cheated by packaging.

  5. I think it's very hard to live healthily in a world where we (the consumers) are deceived by "fake" advertisements. Well, I know for a fact that some companies tend to put "No MSG" or "no artificial additives" in package, BUT the truth is, their products are "full" of these harmful ingredients. ***Sigh…

    For me, intake of UNPROCESSED foods is the safest.

  6. Scary 🙁 So much to think about!

  7. Courtney Watson

    I think the keyword here is “self-control.” Fast food restaurants “widely use” MSG and aspartame, however, it’s very tempting to dine in these places… Urgh! Self control… self control and more self control…..

  8. Hannah Mayers

    First, I would like to commend how the article was written and entitled, it’s really fantastic.

    This is really an informative article that gives warning to everyone. It seems that MSG and aspartame is part of our lives, not to mention, daily lives. I would like to live a longer life and will try very hard to avoid “processed foods.”

  9. Courtney Watson

    Sad but true it’s really hard to get away with MSG and aspartame 🙁 It’s everywhere–fastfoods, restaurants and even our own homes. But I don’t want to put myself to more danger. I’ll really lessen MSG and aspartame intake from now on…

  10. It's scary to think how many substances known to be harmful are allowed into our food…Thank you for some great tips on what to look out for.

  11. Jen Spillane

    Thank you for a comprehensible summary of what to look out for. Sometimes the research feels so scattered. It's hard to get a grip on what you actually need to avoid. This is very helpful!

  12. Sara E Liz

    It seems nearly impossible to eat safely without just consuming raw, natural foods. Another artificial sweetener, Xylitol, is a sugar alcohol that actually has a laxative effect when consumed! It's found in sugar-free twizzlers and gummy bears.

  13. stay away from all processed food.

  14. Jennah43

    With all these food safety issues going on, it’s best to go organic. Going back to nature like how it was originally designed for the human race consumption is the only way to go if we are concerned with our health. I’m definitely sold on organically grown food!

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