Those that know me well, know that when it comes to food, I check out all the ingredients before I buy any packaged product; once satisfied with a particular brand, I tend to stick with it. The same type of product can vary with its ingredients dramatically and since I try to avoid foods high in saturated fats or refined sugars, I guess I can be somewhat of a pain to many, especially when eating out.
I am a stickler in avoiding processed food as much as possible – packets and sauces that I am unable to check the packaging simply because someone else has cooked it, be it at someone’s house or restaurant, leaves me wandering and therefore I decline that particular food item or prepared dish.
It all started when I began weight training in my early teens and decided to make some serious changes for muscle growth and stamina. All this meant cutting down on those refined sugars that gave the initial quick blood sugar high and was then followed by a rapid drop soon after. I needed strength and stamina for the dancing and kickboxing hobbies I enjoyed, so food played an important part and I started to eat like a bodybuilder, how else was I going to achieve endurance and muscle strength?!
I ate well but tried to keep it as pure and natural as possible. I cut out all that sweet indulgence unless I made it myself with pure, wholesome ingredients. Everything was checked and all those artificial additives were eliminated as much as possible. Within a short space of time, I noticed a natural bodyweight was maintained; I would eat what I fancied, when I was actually hungry and that was the key, listening to when I was genuinely hungry and not when I thought I was. My body had developed its own pattern and timetable of when it needed a top up of food and I followed it. No diet, just healthy eating.
Food additives are substances added to food to maintain its quality (preservatives), its nutritional value, flavouring agents for taste and colouring agents for appearance.
Many food additives can be natural such as the red colour from beetroot or purple colour from grape skins (anthocyanins).
Synthetic manufacture of products not found in nature are like that such of aspartame, which is used as an alternative to sugar.
Some people can react to synthetic additives from mild to severe, depending on one’s own tolerance levels. Symptoms may include rhinorrhoea, cough, nausea, vomiting, reflux, heartburn, stomach cramp, constipation or diarrhoea.
Foods that are sold throughout the EU have had full ingredient labelling since the 1980s. These include standard codes of E numbers, the E is for Europe.
E100 = generally food colours.
E200 = preservatives and acids.
E300 = antioxidants and acid regulators.
E400 = emulsifiers, stabilisers and thickening agents.
E600 = flavour enhancers.
E900 = sweeteners, glazing agents and gases.
E1000 other additives.
There are many and once you have an idea of what they are, you may very well decide you no longer want to have them in your eating.
E284 = Boric acid. Used as a preservative and acidity regulator, sometimes used in meat, fish or dairy products. Other uses include antiseptic and insecticide. Often used as caviar preservative. It is banned in some countries including the United states.
E285 = sodium tetraborate; borax used as a preservative (sodium salt of boric acid). Borax has the toxicity to humans, including reproductive and development toxicity, along with neurotoxicity.
E320 = Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) a waxy solid, an antioxidant manufactured synthetically for use solely or with E280, E310, or E330 often used in chewing gum, fats, margarine, nuts, chips, potatoes snacks, pastry, biscuits, fried foods and sauces, salad dressings. Known to cause metabolic changes and accumulates in body fat. Banned in japan since 1958. Not permitted in foods for infants and young children.
E621= monosodium glutamate (MSG) it is naturally present in seaweed but generally prepare chemically from sugar beet. Used as a flavour enhancer of protein rich foods. Often used in meat, Chinese foods, packet meals and snacks, dried products, crisps and potatoes snacks.
E951= aspartame, an artificial sweetener containing phenylalanine. Often used in low calorie deserts and soft drinks.
E920 = L-cysteine an amino acid, commonly synthesised from human hair and duck feathers, used as a dough softener in baking. Used as bread enhancer to extend shelf life of commercial bread. Found in some bakery products such as bread, bagels, croissants, pita bread, cake, donuts.
Check out those E numbers, some may be natural and that is fine, but some are most definitely not. Please read the label.

Love and Sparkles
Samsara x
Facebook: Samsara Kyriakou

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