Food Dyes – A red light to your health

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After having kids, I have become increasingly aware of what exactly is in the ingredient listing on food products that I buy.  I try not to believe everything that is our there and do my research before I believe “ingredient A” will cause cancer, Alzheimer’s and so on.  With the stress of kids, parents have enough to worry about so I take caution and go with motto “in moderation.”  But lately after reading more studies on the subject, regarding food dyes, I am trying to make food dyes and additives very minute in my child’s diet.  Again, offering a diet full of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, low-fat dairy and more.  The simple concept of shopping the perimeter of the store is the perfect foundation for healthy diet, for anyone!


But let’s take a look at one of the most recent research on food dyes from the Center for Science in the Public Interest: Food Dyes Pose Rainbow of Health Risks


Some interesting highlights in the article:

  • Food dyes present unnecessary risks to the public
  • Dye pose risks of cancer, hyperactivity in children and allergies
  • Dyes should be banned, according to a new report by the Center for Science in the Public Interest
  • Even though they have bee approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for years, most common food dyes are contaminated with carcinogens– Red 40, Yellow 5 and Yellow
  • Other countries have already started to ban food dyes in their food industry. British version of Fanta orange soda gets its bright color from pumpkin and carrot extract, but in the United States the color comes from Red 40 and Yellow 6
  • Dyes can be replaced by using natural colorings such as beet juice, beta-carotene, blueberry juice concentrate, carrot juice, grape skin extract, paprika, purple sweet potato or corn, red cabbage, and turmeric are some of the substances that provide a vivid spectrum of colors. However, CSPI warns that “natural” does not always mean safe.

Very interesting to read more about this topic.  The “natural” or organic way is becoming more and more popular.  But doesn’t it make sense to eat foods that our bodies can naturally metabolize.  There are more streamline products taking out the food dyes and additives and going back to the basics. 

I like the example of kid-friendly yogurts that was previously posted.  A major line such as yoplait has come out with Yoplait Simply GoGurts that contain no dyes.  Stonyfield Farms YoKids Squeezers use natural dyes such as beet juice and others.

Just intriguing to know what is exactly in our foods that we eat. 

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