Health

Red Flag Ingredients and Common Terms You Should be Avoiding

Let’s Get a Good Scrubbing Chances are good that you have triclosan in your home right now. Don’t believe me? Let me explain. Triclosan is a… Trista - November 6, 2022
Veterinary Surgery Online

Let’s Get a Good Scrubbing

Chances are good that you have triclosan in your home right now. Don’t believe me? Let me explain. Triclosan is a common ingredient in a wide range of personal care and household products, from soap and toothpaste to furniture and clothing. But what exactly is this substance, and why is it so ubiquitous? 

Triclosan is a synthetic antimicrobial agent which people first developed in the 1960s for use as a surgical scrub. It wasn’t long before the first consumer product containing triclosan hit store shelves. Since then, a variety of consumer products have used this surgical scrub due to its ability to kill bacteria and other microbes. 

Waterkeeper

Triclosan Is Still Everywhere Today 

Today, there is an estimation that triclosan is in more than 2,000 consumer products. And while manufacturers claim that triclosan provides extra protection against bacteria, there is little evidence to support these claims in the scientific community. In fact, some studies have shown that triclosan may actually do more harm than good.

Studies have shown that triclosan can disrupt hormone function, potentially leading to developmental and reproductive problems. Additionally, research links triclosan to a higher cancer risk and increases the risk of antibiotic resistance with increased concern that it may cause antibiotic-resistant superbugs! As a result, many countries are now banning or restricting the use of triclosan in consumer products. In spite of these concerns, triclosan remains a popular ingredient in many everyday household items. And we already know those manufacturers to be sneaky, so do me a favor, and when looking at the label, if you don’t see triclosan, then look for its cousin, triclocarban. Keep reading to learn more about red flag ingredients and common terms you should be avoiding.

Epicurious

It’s So Fluffy!

A dough conditioner is a type of food additive companies use to improve the texture and quality of dough. It does this by adding moisture and fat, which help to make the dough more pliable and easier to work with. Dough conditioners also often contain enzymes, which help to break down the gluten molecules in flour, making the dough more tender. 

In addition, they may also include emulsifiers, which help to keep the fat and water molecules evenly distributed throughout the dough. As a result, dough conditioners can profoundly impact the consistency and quality of baked goods, and that’s where you will find them the most prevalent. The most controversial dough conditioner out there is bromide. People first used it in the 1960s to replace potassium iodate, and companies use it widely in commercial baking due to the claims that it provides more dependable baking results.

Subdude

The Issue With Dough Conditioners 

On the other side of its glory, because there are at least two sides to any story, dough conditioners can cause problems for people with gluten sensitivities, as they may contain gluten or other allergens. But that’s not the worst of it. Dough conditioners actually mess with your thyroid’s ability to produce and use iodine — the most important regulator of your metabolism. Research also links this dangerous ingredient to different cancers, particularly of the kidneys and the thyroid. And last but not least important, they can cause DNA damage!

So, the next time you’re looking for light and fluffy biscuits or perfect pie crusts, be sure to steer clear of dough conditioners. For that, making your baked goods may take a bit more effort since commercial products are saturated with the ingredient. But in the long term, your body and health will actually thank you for it. Keep reading to learn more about red flag ingredients and common terms you should be avoiding.

Parkland Animal Clinic

Ethoxyquin – Your Pet’s Silent Enemy

Ethoxyquin is a synthetic chemical that companies use as a preservative in foods and as a pesticide. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies it as a hazardous substance, which is why many countries ban it. Research links ethoxyquin to cancer, liver damage, and reproductive problems. Doctors also consider it an endocrine disruptor, which can interfere with the body’s hormone system. Despite these risks, ethoxyquin is still present in the United States as a preservative widely used in pet food

Ethoxyquin, as a chemical preservative, is a common ingredient in pet. It dates back to the 1950s. But many pet food companies have started to phase out its use due to the increasing number of pet owners complaining of more consistent health problems linked to this preservative. As for humans, there are a good number of manufacturers of dog food-producing food that is free from ethoxyquin and are fantastic alternatives for your fur babies. Although, just for general information, unless you are eating (and that goes for the pets as well) completely organic, there is a chance that this ingredient is making it inside the body. 

Taste of Home

Vegetable Oil and Its Fall From Glory

There’s no denying that vegetable oil is delicious. It makes food taste better, and you can use it in a variety of recipes. It was the best of times, and it was the worst of times. Or, at least, that’s how it felt for vegetable oil. Once prized for its health benefits and hailed as a miracle ingredient, vegetable oil has fallen out of favor. Its decline began in the 1990s when studies began to link vegetable oil to an increased risk of heart disease. Then, in the early 2000s, the low-carb craze dealt a further blow to its reputation. However, it is not just fluff when it comes to this innocuous ingredient. Studies have shown that vegetable oil is actually harmful to our health.

It’s important to point out that any oil derived from plants, whether from seeds, grains, nuts, or fruits, is considered vegetable oil. Vegetable oil is high in unhealthy fats, including saturated and trans fats. These fats can increase our risk of heart disease and stroke. In addition, vegetable oil is often highly processed, containing harmful chemicals that can damage our cells. Finally, vegetable oil is one of the primary sources of omega-6 fatty acids. These fatty acids are pro-inflammatory, contributing to a wide range of chronic diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, and cancer.

The GAIA Health Blog

What Can You Do About It?

When trying to figure out how to cut back or eliminate these ingredients from your kitchen, you can use several alternative oils, all of which have different benefits. For example, olive oil is a popular choice for heart-healthy cooking as it is high in unsaturated fats. Canola oil is another option, and it has a neutral flavor that makes it ideal for baking. 

Finally, avocado oil is a good choice for high-heat cooking, as it has a higher smoke point than other oils. With so many options available, there’s no need to use vegetable oil in your cooking; just make sure to look at the food labels for all the processed foods you purchase. Keep reading to learn more about red flag ingredients and common terms you should be avoiding.

Consumerist

Country Crock Is a Crock

Someone close to me explained the story about how they couldn’t begin to describe to you the first time they heard of this and the disappointment they felt when they found out that Country Crock was not real butter. It all started when they went on a personal search to find the culprit of their constant stomach upsets. After much trial and error, they hit the nail on the head and finally discovered that they were lactose intolerant. But to their surprise and huge disappointment, they also realized then that their beloved Country Crock “butter” was not real butter after all. It was officially called margarine, and although not the culprit of their bathroom runs, it was just as bad!

This spreadable food comes from vegetable oils. Someone first invented it in the 1800s as a cheaper alternative to real butter made from dairy. People originally made them with beef fat, which gave them a distinctly unhealthy reputation. It wasn’t until the 1970s that margarine began to be made with vegetable oils, making it a much “healthier” option – or so everyone thought. Today, margarine comes in many forms, including solid and liquid. It can be found in most grocery stores and is often used as a spread on toast or as a cooking ingredient. But don’t let the name fool you; as much as the different varieties come in, you have the equivalent in diseases, as I mentioned above, with vegetable oils. 

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