The Dangers of Processed Food

Know what not to eat

By Dr. Roni DeLuz ND, RN, PhD

Processed food is easily accessible and readily available. But if you care about your health, you should start to eliminate toxic foods.

People ask me all the time, what are the toxins in our processed food? There are over a thousand common ingredients in processed food that could be hurting your body and result in chronic illness and obesity.

10 Toxic Chemicals in Processed Food

1. Acrylamides – Toxic, cancer-causing chemicals formed in foods when carbohydrates are exposed to high heat (baking, frying, grilling). Acrylamides are present in everything from bread crusts to snack chips.

2. Aspartame – Chemical sweetener that causes neurological disorders, seizures, blurred vision and migraine headaches.

3. Autolyzed Proteins – Highly processed form of protein containing free glutamate and used to mimic the taste-enhancer chemical MSG.

4. BPA (Bisphenol-A) – A hormone mimicking chemical found in nearly all food packaging plastics. BPA promotes cancer, infertility and hormone disorders. It also “feminizes” males, promoting male breast growth and hormone disruption.

5. Food Colors – FD&C Red #40, for example, is linked to behavioral disorders in children. Nearly all artificial food colors are derived from petroleum, and many are contaminated with aluminum.

6. Genetically Modified Ingredients – Not currently listed on the label because the GMO industry (Monsanto and DuPont) absolutely does not want people to know which foods contain GMOs. Nearly all conventionally grown corn, soy and cotton are GMOs. They’re linked to severe infertility problems and may even cause the bacteria in your body to produce and release a pesticide in your own gut.

7. High Fructose Corn Syrup – A highly processed liquid sugar extracted with the chemical solvent glutaraldehyde and frequently contaminated with mercury. It’s also linked to diabetes, obesity and mood disorders. Used in thousands of grocery items, including things you wouldn’t suspect like pizza sauce and salad dressings.

8. Sodium Nitrite – A cancer-causing red coloring chemical added to bacon, hot dogs, sausage, beef jerky, ham, lunch meats, pepperoni and nearly all processed meats. Strongly linked to brain tumors, pancreatic cancers and tumors. The USDA once tried to ban it from the food supply but was out-maneuvered by the meat industry, which now dominates USDA regulations. Sodium nitrite is used to make meats look fresh.

9. Partially Hydrogenated Oils – Oils that are modified using a chemical catalyst to make them stable at room temperature. This creates trans fatty acids and greatly increases the risk of blocked arteries. It also promotes what I call “sludge blood,” which is thick, viscous blood that’s hard to pump. This is usually diagnosed by doctors as “high blood pressure” and clogged blood.

10. Phosphoric Acid – The acid used in sodas to dissolve the carbon dioxide and add to the overall fizzy-ness of the soda. Phosphoric acid will eat steel nails. It’s also used by stone masons to etch rocks. The military uses it to clean the rust off battleships. It destroys tooth enamel.

The Straight Line to Obesity

Now, more than ever, obesity has become an even bigger problem in society. Researchers began to delve deeply into the cause of the rise in obesity over the last 7 decades. Generations ago, obesity was rare, because people cooked at home, were active daily from farming or other labor, walked due to limited transportation and sourced food locally from their own farm or a farm nearby, eating what was in season. Just a few generations ago, people got more sleep and did not have technology or processed foods to choose from as an option. Because of the evolution of technology and society, obesity has become an epidemic. Researchers have determined that at the root cause of this problem are the consumption of ultra-processed foods such as sweeteners, flavors and coloring substances.

Easy Steps to Avoid Processed Toxic Food

The steps below will guide you to making a transition from processed toxic meals to better, healthier food options:

Eliminate foods slowly: Make a list of toxic foods you want to eliminate by food groups. Each week eliminate one. For example, get rid of all the toxic sugary foods the first week, remove the toxic salty foods the next week, eliminate processed meats the third week.

Bring in some fresh vegetables: Half of your plate should be made up of 2 to 3 different colored vegetables. Eat organic vegetables as much as possible.

Cut out the sugar: Avoid sugar. It’s a good time to add Stevia to your diet.

Put the salt away: Salt is one of the contributing factors to obesity. To get extra flavor in your meals, consider garlic, onion powder and no salt vegetable seasoning.

Processed meat: Avoid or eliminate bacon, hot dogs, ham and sausage. Processed meat has been associated with varying degrees of cancer because of toxic chemicals including sodium nitrate. Deli meats should be consumed with caution. They contain a lot of sodium and nitrates, which is linked to cancer, to preserve the meat. Go straight to the butcher for your sandwich meats, if you can, or look for the nitrate and sodium free brands in the refrigerated aisle.

Cook: Eat home-cooked food. Cooking can ensure you are cutting out food coloring, preservatives, salt and sugar from the food, if nothing else.

For a list of more than 50 common toxic chemicals that are in our processed foods visit

2 Comment

Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

  1. OMG! I’ve been living in Milan for the past 20 years and I realize that why I’m Alive! I ate bacon and process foods everyday. Now I eat lots of onions and garlic….and haven’t had a soda in centuries. Thanks for the great food advice Steve. You really showed me. You are what you eat!!

  2. Hello Crystal,
    Thank you for your comment! You are so right, you are what you eat. I believe onion and garlic are very powerful healing tools, they are great for the health and the mind. Keep checking back for more articles on health and body, have a great night!

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