It’s not fair, I know!

The foods you buy at SAFEWAY can be contributing to your poor health.

Most people have no idea that there are even harmful chemicals lurking in their food. Foods that will build cancer, create inflammation, and make you weight loss resistant.

But if you pick up a label and read it, it’s hard to decipher the harmful ingredients from the healthy ones. So I want to start making it easier for you.

Today, let’s talk about NATURAL FLAVORS.

A common ingredient in many foods.

It is easy to think that something that has the word NATURAL in it would have 100% natural ingredients, but it doesn’t.

Here’s what you need to know:

Natural and artificial flavors really aren’t that different. And those “natural flavors” can actually contain synthetic chemicals!

Flavors (both natural & artificial) are complex mixtures that sometimes comprise more than 100 chemicals. In addition to flavors themselves, these mixtures contain chemicals that have other functions. Solvents, emulsifiers, flavor modifiers and preservatives often make up 80 to 90 percent of the mixture.

The main difference between a natural and artificial flavor is the origin of the flavor chemicals. Natural flavors must be derived from plant or animal material. Artificial flavors are synthesized in the lab. The actual chemicals in these two kinds of flavors may be exactly the same.

So if ARTIFICIAL & NATURAL FLAVORS have the same chemicals in them, are they safe?

Ironically artificial flavorings undergo stricter guidelines. There are very little guidelines for natural flavors. The truth is that safety evaluations for all food additives and flavor additives are not as thorough as they should be.

Frustrating right? This is why I will continue to tell you: READ LABELS.

Know what’s in your food. And if you see these ingredients ask yourself if there is a whole food version of that food you could make or eat.

Hope that helps! Keep learning.

Dr. Mindy