Artificial food coloring is present in the majority of packaged foods, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical drugs being marketed to consumers today. While a lot of us blame the sugar in the confectionary when children become hyperactive, it is actually the food dyes that are to be suspected for the same.
Artificial or chemical based colors have better physiochemical properties. They make foods such as candies, snacks, drinks, confectionaries, marshmallows, cakes, lollipops, icecreams look bright and attractive. However, the end customer, especially children pay a huge price with their physical and mental health for this eye-catching food.
Food coloring is essentially foreign particles that our body organs cannot assimilate. They deposit as toxins and interrupt the normal functioning of our body and mind. Children become susceptible to various diseases such as skin and breathing allergies, attention deficiency, leaky gut, and suppressed immunity.
Why and where Food Coloring is used?
Synthetic food colors are cheaper and last longer, hence preferred by food producers, leading to their increased use by more than 500% over the past few decades.
Food coloring is extensively used in packaged foods and beverages to mask or brighten the natural colors, which are affected by storage conditions. It increases the appeal of the food items, hence getting the customer excited for a purchase.
Often it is used in fun items, party foodstuff, and fresh foods for social gatherings.
Foodstuff that has a high percentage of synthetic coloring is not just limited to packaged food items only! Here is a list of some of the unexpected items:
- Freshly prepared foods such as cakes, pastries, and bread from bakeries, juices or other drinks, pharmaceutical products such as tablets and syrups, and foods prepared in hotel/restaurant kitchens extensively use matching food coloring for aesthetic purposes.
- Frozen food such as waffles and cake mixes, cookie doughs, and curries.
- Ready to eat foods such as macaroni and cheese, packaged curries and gravies, microwave popcorns, soups, and soup mixes.
- Confectionary items such as candies, lollies, pops, chocolates, and sweets.
- Hotel kitchen food, specifically such as chicken/paneer tikka to give it a bright red color, gravies, and curries.
- Dried foods such as lentils specifically yellow and orange colored beans.
- Ketchup, sauces, spreads, pickles, and chutneys.
- Chips and fried snacks.
Common Artificial Food colors
Next time, you must be watchful of the attractive cakes, biscuits, snacks, and drinks available at a social gathering! Some of the most commonly used synthetic food colors are:
- Tartrazine – triggers skin and breathing allergies.
- Sunset yellow – cholesterol and blood sugar increase
- Fast Green
- Allura Red
Artificial Food Coloring is extremely dangerous to your children’s health!
While natural colors are full of bioactive phenols that have antioxidative properties and multiple healthful effects, synthetic food colorings have no nutritional value!
In fact, a majority of the time, synthetic colors have a debilitating effect on the health of the consumer by triggering chronic conditions such as allergies, inflammation, cognition impairment, hyperactivity, and depression.
Small molecules of artificial food dyes bind with the blood cells, hence reaching all body parts. They eventually overload our organs with antigens, disrupt their functioning, and trigger multiple symptoms.
Usually, there is a prescribed limit of consumption for safe usage of food additives including food coloring. However, if one often consumes additive-laden food products, it is highly likely that their dosage would near the safety threshold, hence putting the health at risk!
Additionally, people suffering from health disorders such as allergies and inflammatory issues are even more prone to such additives and they will react adversely to the consumption of colored foods. Here are some of the health concerns and observed issues in clinical researches or trial groups:
- Food coloring affects fertility by affecting both count and quality of sperms.
- Tiggers neurobehavioural health disorders such as ADHD, ADD, anxiety, depression, hyperactivity, and anti-social tendencies.
- Thins down gut lining mucosa, making it permeable and inducing leaking gut syndrome. This triggers several chronic autoimmune and inflammatory health disorders that affect both body and mind.
- Increases bad cholesterol LDL and reduces good cholesterol HDL, hence affecting plasma quality, thickness, and blood pressure. This pushes consumers toward cardiovascular health disorders.
- Raises blood sugar levels and induces hyperglycemia by affecting the functions of the pancreas and liver.
- Increases the urea level in the blood plasma, hence overloading the kidneys.
- Food coloring binds with body proteins and decreases the concentration of antibodies in the blood, leading to a significant reduction in the immunity of the consumers.
- Induces insomnia and decreases sleep quality, hence stressing the body and hampering growth functions.
- Trigger cell mutation and increase the susceptibility of consumers to various cancers.
Children suffer the most due to foods with artificial additives and dyes!
Children have immature body organs and developing body functions such as the Immune system and neurological functions. When tiny foreign particles as the artificial food dyes enter their systems, they are unable to defend themselves as an adult would be able to do.
At the same time, they are more prone to the consumption of foodstuff loaded with colors due to higher availability of such options in the form of sugary and savory snacks as candies, cakes, biscuits, and drinks.