Spring Clean Your Pantry

There’s a lot of conflicting information surrounding food, but some ingredients are definitely worth avoiding. Here are the seven worst ingredients to remove from your kitchen:


High Fructose Corn Syrup is a cheap, toxic sugar that’s converted by your liver into VLDL – the unhealthiest kind of cholesterol. It can also lead to Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver disease, and contribute to weight gain and obesity.

Artificial Sweeteners like aspartame and saccharin are linked with numerous adverse effects, including headaches, dizziness, mood changes, convulsions and memory loss.  Think twice before choosing that diet soft drink.

MSG or monosodium glutamate, used as a flavour-enhancer in canned soups, crackers, meats, salad dressings, frozen dinners etc causes many adverse reactions in those who are sensitive to its effects, such as facial swelling and stomach upsets.

Artificial flavours on a food label could mean a single unnatural additive, or a blend of hundreds of chemicals. Strawberry flavour, for example, contains 49 chemical ingredients. Other worst offenders in this category include artificial raspberry flavour and artificial butter flavour (found in popcorn).

Trans Fats are formed when fats and oils undergo hydrogenation, a process designed to make them stable at room temperature for a longer shelf life. These trans fats have been linked to cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and obesity. Some of the culprit foods are vegetable shortening, some microwavable popcorn varieties, certain margarines, fried fast foods, bakery products like muffins, cakes, pastries that contain vegetable shortening, coffee whiteners, canned frosting etc.

Artificial Colours are now so prevalent we ingest five times more food colouring than our grandparents did. These artificial colours have been associated with increased hyperactivity in children with existing hyperactivity disorders. Foods to look out for include salad dressing, ice cream, sweets, chewing gum, brightly coloured breakfast cereal, jams and jellies… If it looks unnatural, it probably is!

Preservatives used to extend the shelf life of prepared and packaged foods can have a detrimental effect on your health. Many are allergens. Sulphites, for example, used to preserve dried fruit, wine, flavoured vinegars and sausages, have been linked to headaches, bowel irritability, behavioural problems and rashes. The