I was in the grocery store last week looking for hot cocoa to buy for the fam. I was baffled by the list of ingredients in a box of Swiss Miss. It included Sugar, Corn Syrup, Processed Cocoa, Carrageenan, Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose, and Artificial Flavor. I picked up two more brands with a similar list of ingredients, which to be honest, ticked me off. This is why I like to make my own food as much as possible and try to eat mostly whole foods. It makes me so sad that I can’t trust the food industry and the convenient packaged foods which are supposed to make my life easier.
Here’s why I put the box of hot cocoa back on the shelf:
Acesulfame Potassium: Research done on this calorie-free sugar substitute indicated that it could be carcinogenic, or cancer-causing, in rats.
Carrageenan: A common food additive and emulsifier to improve the texture of dairy products, salad dressing, and other processed foods. In one published study by Dr. Joanne Tobacman on the biological effects of carrageenan, it was found that exposure to it, in the amounts contained in processed foods, causes inflammation in the body. That’s concerning, since chronic inflammation is a root cause of many serious diseases, including cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, among others.
Sucralose: More familiar in the form of “Splenda”, may cause diabetes, increased risk of IBS, linked to a leaky gut, and has been proven to cause changes in the liver of treated rats, suggesting toxic effects. According to the researchers, sucralose should be used with caution to avoid liver damage. YIKES!
Personally, I don’t want these additives in my body or the body of my children!
A lot of people will argue, “it’s not going to kill you” and yes, I can agree with this statement if you’re eating packaged or processed foods once in a blue moon, but let’s be honest. Some of our children are eating 90% packaged foods versus whole food daily and the effects certainly wont be instant, but will add up over time.
I am a firm believer that the food we eat is impacting our health today, with higher cancer rates, autism in children and infertility! (This is a whole other topic I will save for another day).
It just makes me so sad. I can’t go to the grocery store any more without reading labels and leaving disappointed in the food industry in our country!
What I don’t want to do is shame you (or myself) for choosing convenience and trying to save time, because I know the chaotic schedules and demands we have as parents, and I know we are ALL doing the best we can. I too purchase some packaged foods and allow my 12-year-old to eat Oreos or drink Soda on occasion. But what I do make sure is that he consumes a variety of nutrients from whole, organic foods most of the time.
It’s impossible to DO IT ALL, but even small changes can really add up and have big rewards.
Like making your own hot cocoa at home using steamed almond milk, unsweetened cocoa powder, and honey (my new fav night time treat).
Knowledge is power and the more educated you are on the common food additives and ingredients on the labels of some of the foods in your grocery cart, the better able you’ll be to make the best choice for yourself and your family.
With a new decade upon us, I would love for you to join me in my upcoming 2020 Whole Food, Body & Mind Challenge! This is a 4-week challenge which will help you lay a great foundation for your health by choosing whole foods providing the best nutrients for your body, leaving you more energized, nourished and confident in your choices.
Are YOU up for the challenge? See program page for more details!