Food Additives to Avoid - E-numbers you should stay away from

Article about Food Additives

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Food Additives to Avoid - E-numbers you should stay away from

Food additives are substances added to food to preserve flavor or improve its taste and appearance. Some additives have been used for centuries; for example, preserving food by pickling (with vinegar), salting, as with bacon, preserving sweets or using sulfur dioxide as in some wines. With the advent of processed foods in the second half of the 20th century, many more additives have been introduced, of both natural and artificial origin.

The additives that you are most likely to come across on food labels are antioxidants, colours, emulsifiers, stabilisers, gelling agents and thickeners, flavour enhancers, preservatives and sweeteners. In Europe food additives are labelled on food packaging by an E number or by their chemical name.

Under European legislation, additives must be explicitly authorised at European level before they can be used in foods.

For years now scientists have been publishing studies which warn us that many food additives (marked with E-numbers) can cause a syndrome of hyperactivity, allergies responses, headaches or metabolic disfunctions. Reactions of resposable institutions are either too slow or insufficient and food industry usually ignores those kind of studies.

Yet, public has right on every information and every warning. Informinjg the world a democratic principle 'right-to-know' is
achieved, and with warning the public European principle of watchfulness 'better-safe-than-sorry' is supported.

Here is the list of some Food Additives with possible side-effects.


E #


Facts you need to know


Red AC


Food coloring in snacks, sauces, preserves, soups, wine, cider, etc.

Avoid if you suffer from asthma, rhinitis (including hayfever), or urticaria (hives).



Food coloring in wine, spirits, fish roe.

Banned in the U.S. Avoid if you suffer from asthma, rhinitis, urticaria or other allergies.



Sweetener in snacks, sweets, alcohol, desserts, ~diet" foods

May affect people with PKU (phenylketonuria). Recent reports show possibility of headaches, blindness, and seizures with long-term high doses of aspartame.

Benzoic acid


Preservative in many foods, including drinks, low sugar products, cereals, meat products.

Can temporarily inhibit the function of digestive enzymes. May deplete glycine levels. Avoid ifyou suffer from asthma, rhinitis, urticaria or other allergies.


Black BN


In drinks, sauces, snacks, wines, cheese, etc.

Avoid if you suffer from asthma, rhinitis, urticaria, or other allergies.

Butylated Hydroxy-anisole


Preservative, particularly in fat-containing foods, confectionery, meats.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer says BHA is possibly carcinogenic to humans. BHA also interacts with nitrites to form chemicals known to cause changes in the DNA of cells.

Calcium benzoate


Preservative in many foods, including drinks, low-sugar products, cereals, meat products.

Can temporarily inhibit function of digestive enzymes and may deplete levels ofthe amino acid glycine. Should be avoided by those with hay fever, hives, and asthma.

Calcium sulphite


Preservative in a vast array of foods-from burgers to biscuits, from frozen mushrooms to horseradish. Used to make old produce look fresh.

In the U.S., sulphites are banned from many foods, including meat. They can cause bronchial problems, flushing, low blood pressure, tingling, and anaphylactic shock. The International Labour Organization says avoid them ifyou suffer from bronchial asthma, cardiovascular or respiratory problems and emphysema.

Monosodium glutamate (MSG)


Flavor enhancer.

Has been known to cause pressure on the head, seizures, chest pains, headache, nausea, burning sensations, and tightness of face. Many baby food producers have stopped adding MSG to their products.

Ponceau 4R, Conchineal

Red A


Food coloring.

People who suffer from asthma, rhinitis or urticaria may find their symptoms become worse following consumption of foods containing this coloring.

Potassium benozoate


See calcium benzoate.

See calcium benzoate.

Potassium nitrate


Preservative in cured meats and canned meat products.

It can lower the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood; it may combine with other substances to form nitrosamines, which are carcinogenic; and it may have an atrophying effect on the adrenal gland.

Propyl p-hydroxybenozoate, propylparaben, and paraben


Preservative in cereals, snacks, pate, meat products, confectionery.

Parabens have been identified as the cause of chronic dermatitis in numerous instances.

Saccharin & its

Na, K and Ca salts


Sweetener in diet, and no-sugar products.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer has concluded that saccharin is possibly carcinogenic to humans.

Sodium metabisulphite

Preservative and antioxidant.

May provoke life-threatening asthma.

Sodium sulphite


Preservative used in wine-making and other processed foods.

Sulphites have been associated with triggering asthma attacks. Most asthmatics are sensitive to sulphites in food.

Stannous chloride (tin)


Antioxidant and color-retention agent in canned and bottled foods, fruit juices.

Acute poisoning has been reported from ingestion of fruit juices containing concentrations of tin greater than 250 mg per liter.

Sulphur dioxide



Sulphur dioxide reacts with a wide range of substances found in food, including various essential vitamins, minerals, enzymes and essential fatty acids. Adverse reactions: bronchial problems particularly in those prone to asthma, hypotension (low blood pressure), flushing tingling sensations or anaphylactic shock. International Labour Organization says to avoid E220 if you suffer from conjunctivitis, bronchitis, emphysema, bronchial asthma, or cardiovascular disease.

Sunset Yellow

FCF, Orange

Yellow S


Food coloring.

Some animal studies have indicated growth retardation and severe weight loss. People with asthma, rhinitis, or urticaria should avoid this product.



Yellow food coloring.

May cause allergic reactions and asthmatic attacks and has been implicated in bouts of hyperactivity disorder in children. Those who suffer from asthma, rhinitis and urticaria may find symptoms worsen after consumption.

So chemicals are purposely added to food to change its color, preserve it, prevent rancidity, keep fats emulsified, and foods stable. Most of the chemicals are synthetic compounds, some with known negative health effects. But more importantly, we don't really know what the long-term consequences of consuming such large amounts of additives are. It is therefore best to avoid all additives, with a few notable exceptions.

Since foods without preservatives are more likely to spoil, it's important to buy fresh produce and consume it relatively quickly. However, there are some additives you don't need to avoid:




vitamin B2

carotene, vitamin A


E300-304 E306-309

vitamin C,

tocopherols like vitamin E





E375 E440



Tables borrowed from:

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Mediterranean diet and olive oil – Back to the basics

As you've maybe already heard, people form Mediterranean suffer less cardiovascular problems from people in any other country in the world where the consumption of animal fat is high. Also medical studies indicate the same.
One possible reason could be that in Mediterranean olive oil consumption is pretty high.

About olive oil
Olive oil is a rich source of monounsaturated fat which is protective against heart disease because it displaces saturated fat from the diet. It is a source of antioxidants including vitamin E, it is the healthiest type of oil with 0% cholesterol and it is also rich in vitamins against aging. Olive oil dissolves useful substances coming from food that cannot be absorbed by the human body, lowers cholesterol levels in the blood and it is known to lower blood sugar levels and blood pressure.

It can be used in cooking in al kind of ways: in salads, as a base for sauce or to fry vegetables and fish (frying with olive oil reduces its quality because of heat). I also heard that Romans used to drink it (but that was oil from the green olives, while slaves were alowed to drink oil from mellow (black) olives), and old people say it is useful to drink a small amount in the morning on empty stomach to improve digestion system preformance.

Extra-virgin olive oil
Firstly, let's see the difference between the extra-virgin and virgin olive oil.
Extra-virgin olive oil is alowed to be called so if the olives are brought to production 24-72 hours after harvesting and if its acidity is less than 1%.
But usually olives rarely get to the oil factory in that time so that's how we get a virgin olive oil with acidity usually less than 2-3%. Both of those types are very good and very healthy.
One anoter thing about it is that oil bought in stores is rarely as dense as it is the one that can be bought from the people who are producing it for themselves (if you wan't to taste the perfection, visit the Mediterranean and buy some from the local people).
In stores can be found a few other types of olive oil, but those are usually partly (with heat and/or chemically) refined ones so it is best to search for virgin types.

Mediterranean diet or?
In my opinion Mediterranean diet should be called a Mediterranean cousine as it is not really a diet. It is only way of living. In the ancient times people didn't have the possibility to buy all kinds of processed foods in the stores. They could only rely on what the earth gave them, so it is naturally that they were eating a lot of fruits and vegetables like figs, grapes, almonds or wild potatoes. It is possible that they have been eating fish more than twice a week, but today is recommended once or twice a week. Meat is consumed in moderation, mostly poultry.
Wine should be consumed in moderation too usually with a meal. That means not more than two glasses for men and one glass for women a day.

Times changed
We live in a different world now when people have more money and more choices. I'm looking to my grandmother who is not so thin anymore mostly because of the fact that she likes to eat a lot of cakes. So choice is yours, get back to the basics, choose health!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Day Out of Time

25th of July every year, according to Mayan astrology is The Day Out of Time. That is the day to look back to bad things that happened in the past year, write it down on a piece of paper and burn it. And the next day is the beginning of a New Year. Acctually I just got back from a celebration (this was the first one in my life for this purpose) and one other strange thing happened: after the burning process we had to draw a butterfly and then to write down (to its back side) all the good things that we want for ourselves in the next year. Butterfly symbolizes a transformation and I couldn't get better confirmation for my blog's purpose :)
Mayan calender consists of a 13 months (Lunas), each having exactly 28 days (which is the number of days Moon needs to travel arround the Earth (and also the number of days of female menstruation cycle)) so it symbolizes a human connection with the Nature.
So how we ended up with 12 months? It happened during the Roman times. Here are some details (you will notice that certain names of the months do not correspond with their ordinal):

Named after the Roman god of beginnings and endings Janus (the month Januarius)

The name comes either from the old-Italian god Februus or else from februa, signifying the festivals of purification celebrated in Rome during this month.

This is the first month of the Roman year. It is named after the Roman god of war - Mars

Called Aprilis, from aperire, 'to open'. Possible because it is the month in which the buds begin to open

The third month of the Roman calendar. The name probably comes from Maiesta, the Roman goddess of honor and reverence

The fourth month was named in honor of Juno. However, the name might also come from iuniores (young men; juniors) as opposed to maiores (grown men; majors) for May, the two months being dedicated to young and old men

It was the month in which Julius Caesar was born, and named Julius in his honor in 44 BCE, the year of his assassination. Also called Quintilis (fifth month)

Originally this month was called Sextilis (from sextus, 'six'), but the name was later changed in honor of the first of the Roman emperors, Augustus (because several fortunate events of his life occurred during this month)

The name comes from septem, 'seven'

The name comes from octo, 'eight'

The name comes from novem, 'nine'

The name comes from decem, 'ten'
I almost forgot: Happy New Year!!! :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Lose weight - easy and healthy way

I'm thin. I have been thin almost always. BUT..six years ago I become thinier than ever before. And it was completely unintetionally.
Everything started when I met girl from Perth who was studying naturopathy there. She made a very close look to my eyes and said: 'you are eating to much cheese, and that is not helping your immune system at all'. And that was so TRUE.
Before that I was just an ordinary vegeterian who just didn't eat meat and eating a lot of cheese instead..broadening my knowledge about food, a logical step was to avoid all the food with E-numbers (food with additives). Well it is very hard to avoid all the food with additives, because there are in almost everything, so I stopped to eat things like chips, sparkling drinks, chewing gums, food in cans..I still eat chocolate, but not much (well that is my drug) ;) The result was stunning: I regain a LOTS of energy, I felt easyier and I LOST WEIGHT.

The last thing I didn't want to happen, but (as I heard) it happens to everyone who decide to do the same thing (this pure food consuming is acctually part of macrobiotics). And what acctually happens during that cleansing period (approx. 3 weeks) is: body is getting rid of poisons accumulated in organism so there is a possibility of 'stinking sweat' (depending of how much toxins there are accumulated), but you can do some walking and get rid of the toxins by breathing (researches show that is a better way to getting rid of the toxins than perspiration).
Losing weight is also possible through colon cleansing that is practiced in ayurveda medicine, but that is subject for another topic :)

Monday, July 16, 2007

Food combining

This is a funny story acctually..but firstly some facts..I'm a macrobiotics fan who cannot resist to eat chocolate (who knows what they put in it) ;) but I've noticed that fruit makes me produce gas if I eat it after a meal. When a person produces gases organism usually tries to point out that there is something undesired in organism, like a little explosion that has to go out somewhere.
Maybe you have already heard that fruit should be eaten at least one hour before a meal (in one hour stomach usually manages to pass it further) or even better on a empty stomach so all the vitamins can be properly utilized.
So I've made a little test on my father. I asked him did he notice to produce gases after eating an apple after lunch. He said 'no'. And than he went downstairs (while I was at the first floor and could hear everything that was happening in front of the house). And then he made a sound :)
I've mentioned macrobiotics because they think that there is a way of preparing food not to produce gases. There is a certain cake I've tried in their restaurant (apple and bisquit) and it really works!

Sunday, July 15, 2007


Well, out there might be someone in need for information, so ...I was at the funerral the other day..the guy was arround 30 and I think the reason that he died was that his organism was destructed with trying out various (just published) medicine for multiple sclerosis. I can understand that when people are desperate they want to try anything, but I strongly recommend to try something natural first.
Seven years ago I discovered that I have a sinus problem..homeopathist I went to is also a MD and a reiki teacher, but also a great psychotherapist. No matter what homeopathy definition states, but homeopathy is really getting to the problem cause and dealing with it. Pills are made from natural materials so the is no way that they can harm your organism. You can also find them in drugstores, but those are rather generic. A good homeopathist will give you pills made especially for yourself. I'm specially proud because I recommended my homeopathist to my friend and she cured her mother's cancer. She also helped a few animals with really serious diseases :) Diagnosis must be made anyway, but after that try with something natural first :) and be optimistic!

What is one's life purpose?

In my case I always knew the answer. No matter was it temporary solution or some that pointed that I'm on the right way (life path), I always knew what should I do.
And as the time goes by, I know that all the things that I did before was a preparation for my big future :)
Sometimes it happens that you cannot make a decision between two things..well, than the following technique shoul'd be applied: you shoul'd think firstly on the first possible solution and try to sense how do you feel arround your heart and stomach..then apply same technique on other solution.
You will SURELY feel some dis-ease while thinking on wrong solution.
And that is IT, that is your soul telling you what to do!
This can be implemented on various life areas from those refering to choosing right job to those refering to should you travell or not, or even on deciding weather or not you should take your child to doctor or try some home natural medicine healing first.
Good luck!