Do you get overwhelmed looking at nutrition labels? Do you know which ingredients to either eliminate from your diet or try to avoid? It can be confusing! Here’s a list of at least seven food additives (and what to look for on labels) to consider eliminating from your diet.
You have five primary external senses and taste is one of them; a sense you rely on multiple times a day. Taste itself has five primary receptors – sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and savory (or umami). These receptors help you decide your culinary likes and dislikes. What you may not realize is that the food you’re eating, and likely enjoying, could be filled with several food additives used to enhance and signal your taste buds.
Food additives are substances used in food and drinks to enhance their flavor and appearance. While there are several categories of food additives, there are seven specific ones that you might want to consider eliminating. You may not realize it, but these additives could be impacting your body’s ability to function at its best.
These additives are commonly found in manufactured and restaurant foods. If they harm your body, then eliminating them is an easy choice, right? Well, it can actually be quite difficult to avoid these items in your daily life. However, being aware of them and knowing what to look for can aid you in making more knowledgeable decisions on what and how much to consume.
When you’re looking at a nutrition label there are a few things to keep in mind: First, the ingredients are listed in the order of the amount used; largest quantities listed first to least quantities listed last. Secondly, food additives are not always listed as a straightforward ingredient; you’ll need to look through each example below to know what to search for on nutrition labels.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), HFCS is a sweetener made from cornstarch. It is used to sweeten everything from soda to granola bars to ice cream. Overconsumption of any sugar has been linked to several health issues including weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and an increase of heart disease. What to look for on a nutritional label: corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup.
Trans Fats are typically considered one of the worst types of fat you can eat. According to the Mayo Clinic, “some meat and dairy products contain small amounts of naturally occurring trans fat. But most trans fat is formed through an industrial process that adds hydrogen to vegetable oil, which causes the oil to become solid at room temperature.” The key here is to be informed when reading labels. A food label can list 0 trans fat if the product contains less than 0.5 of trans fat. If the ingredient list indicates partially hydrogenated oil, then you know there is in fact trans fat in the product.
Artificial Flavors are used by manufacturers to mimic natural ingredients in processed foods as a cost cutting measure. These flavors are all chemically produced and consumption of them, on a regular basis, do have potential side effects including allergies, fatigue, seizures, and can lead to an increased risk to certain cancers. When possible, always choose natural flavor additives. The nutrition label will list a flavor as artificial vs. natural.
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is a food additive most commonly added to Chinese food, but is also used in processed meats and some canned foods. MSG is most commonly known to cause headaches, swelling, and nausea despite no definitive research linking MSG to these symptoms. What to look for on a nutritional label: monosodium glutamate, MSG, hydrolyzed protein, autolyzed yeast, yeast food, or yeast nutrient.
Artificial Colors are used by manufacturers to make food and beverages more appealing and desirable to the consumer. These are found in cereals, candy, sodas, sports drinks, medication, and even cosmetics. They have names like Red No. 40 and Yellow No. 5 or 6. Studies have shown that children, with and without ADHD, do react to artificial colors with an increase of hyperactivity. What to look for on a nutritional label: According to the FDA, there are nine certified color additives used in food that may be referred to as artificial color added, artificial colors, or added colors if not listed specifically as FD&C Blue No. 1, FD&C Blue No. 2, FD&C Green No. 3, Orange B, Citrus Red No. 2, FD&C Red No. 3, FD&C Red No. 40, FD&C Yellow No. 5, FD&C Yellow No. 6, annatto extract, beta-carotene, grape skin extract, cochineal extract or carmine, paprika oleoresin, caramel color, fruit and vegetable juices, saffron.
Artificial Sweeteners offer the flavor of sweetness to foods without the calories of regular added sugars. One of the biggest concerns of using artificial sweeteners is that the added flavor might cause a consumer to choose unhealthy foods over more naturally, organic, healthy options, but altering our taste expectations. While direct links to cancer have been mostly ruled out, there are other concerns with excessive consumption of artificial flavors like weight gain and type 2 diabetes. What to look for on a nutritional label: Saccharin (brand names include Sweet and Low®, Sweet Twin®, Sweet'N Low®, and Necta Sweet®), Aspartame (brand names include Nutrasweet®, Equal®, and Sugar Twin®), Acessulfame potassium (acesulfame K, acesulfame potassium, or Ace-K and brand names include Sunett® and Sweet One®), sucralose (brand name Splenda®), Neotame (brand name Newtame®), Advantame , Luo Han Guo fruit extracts (SGFE).
Preservatives are added to foods to keep them from spoiling quicker, providing a longer shelf life at the market or in your home. There are several harmful effects linked to preservatives including breathing difficulties and certain types of cancer. When you have the option between fresh items or prepackaged shelved items, always choose fresh. The FDA lists the following as preservative indicators on nutrition labels: Ascorbic acid, citric acid, sodium benzoate, calcium propionate, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite, calcium sorbate, potassium sorbate, BHA, BHT, EDTA, tocopherols (Vitamin E).
It's not easy to eat only clean, wholesome foods but if you can become more label-savvy and reduce these additives in your diet, your body will thank you!
What are the key attributes of a Truth Bar?
Truth Bars are functional nutrition bars with many key attributes. They were the first bars with both prebiotics and probiotics; they are high in fiber (13-14g); low in sugar (4-5g); contain a full day's supply of Omega-3 from white chia seed (250mg); and are made from natural, real food ingredients with no fillers. They are gluten-free, kosher, non-GMO, soy-free and all 200 calories or less. Truth Bars contain premium, mostly organic ingredients such as organic extra virgin coconut in our coconut bars. Truth Bars come in both Vegan and Non-Vegan varieties. Best of all, Truth Bars continue to receive mostly five stars for great taste!
Questions About Prebiotics and Probiotics:
What is a probiotic?
Probiotics are good bacteria in your digestive system that help to keep your gut healthy and that make a beneficial contribution to your overall health.
What is a prebiotic?
Prebiotics are indigestible fibers that come mainly from certain plant foods that feed the good bacteria in your gut.
Why is it important to have both prebiotics and probiotics together?
Prebiotics feed the probiotics to help them thrive and work longer in your body. When combining a nurturing base of prebiotics in the belly, with a good dose of probiotics, a garden of flora blossoms and fills the gut with a balanced, healthy microbiome.
How much probiotic is in each Truth Bar?
1 Billion CFU's.
What is the strain of probiotic used in Truth Bars?
Lactobacillus sporogenes (bacillus coagulans). It is a stable Lactic Acid forming probiotic that has extensive studies of gut healing effects ranging across gastrointestinal issues, bloating, diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome. This spore-producing bacteria remains dormant in the package and on grocery store shelves, but becomes activated once eaten. This hardy bacteria strain has a protective shell that helps it survive the acid and bile in your stomach so that it can reach your intestines unharmed. Once there, the low ph and moisture in your intestines allows it to activate and multiply rapidly. This is especially true when it has prebiotics there to feed it.
Questions about ingredients:
How are Truth Bars sweetened?
In order to achieve a balance between sweetness and low sugar, Truth Bars are sweetened by a combination of natural sweeteners and real food ingredients.
How many grams of sugar do Truth Bars have?
The number of grams of sugar ranges from 4 grams per bar in the Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Bar to 5 grams per bar in the rest of the Truth Bar flavors.
Are Truth Bars Made With All-Natural Ingredients?
Yes. Truth Bars are made with 100% all-natural ingredients and contain no artificial flavors, no artificial colors, no artificial sweeteners, and no fillers. Truth Bar ingredients are also non-GMO.
Are Truth Bars Vegan?
Two Truth Bar flavors are vegan. Our Dark Chocolate Coconut and Chocolate Raspberry Coconut bars are both 100% Vegan. They're both rich in fiber and essential medium chain fatty acids that are easily digested, which makes them incredibly useful for a quick burst of energy.
Three of our Truth Bars are protein based (10g per bar) and non-vegan. Our Chocolate Almond Crunch, Mint Chocolate Chip and Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch bars feature a Non-Vegan blend of brown rice protein, whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate that supplies essential Amino Acids for a "complete" or "whole" source of protein.
Are Truth Bars 100% gluten free?
Yes. All Truth Bars are 100% gluten free.
Are Truth Bars soy free?
Yes. Though often found in chocolate, the specially formulated dark chocolate coating on all Truth Bars is completely free of soy. (the chocolate coating itself is also sugar free)
Are Truth Bars dairy and lactose free?
Truth Bar's vegan bars (Dark Chocolate Coconut and Chocolate Raspberry Coconut) are dairy and lactose free. Truth Bar's protein bars contain both Whey Protein Isolate and Whey Protein Concentrate. These whey proteins contain a small percentage of lactose.
What about other allergens?
If you have allergies, please read the food ingredients on the label carefully or talk to your nutritionist, allergist, or doctor about what is best for you. Also note that though not every Truth Bar contains these ingredients, they are made on equipment shared with peanuts, tree nuts, soy and dairy.
Are Truth Bars kosher?
Yes. They are certified OU Kosher by the Orthodox Union.
What is the source of Omega-3's?
Truth Bars contain Omega-3s from white chia seed.
Do Truth Bars contain MCT (medium chain triglyceride) Oil?
MCT Oil can be found in four of our bars: Chocolate Raspberry Coconut, Dark Chocolate Coconut, Mint Chocolate Chip, and Chocolate Almond Crunch.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch contains no MCT oil.
Where can I find a full list of ingredients?
You can find a full list of ingredients on each bar’s label and product page on truthbar.com. The ingredients can be found by clicking the second tab on each product page.
Where can I find nutrition information?
Each bar’s nutrition facts can also be found on the product pages on truthbar.com. Just click the third tab.
You can also find information on the ingredient page on truthbar.com that outlines key ingredients and their benefits.
Truth Bars & Popular Diets:
Are Truth Bars Keto Friendly?
Keto diets are very low in carbs, high in fat, ideally higher in fiber, and have some balanced amount of protein. The strictest Keto diets require very low to almost no carbs. Truth Bars would not be ideal for the strictest keto diet. But if you are looking for a snack option for a basic or moderate keto diet, Truth Bar's Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch bar is a great choice -- high in fiber (13g), high in healthy fat (12g), moderate protein (10g) and relatively lower net carbs (6g).
How many Weight Watchers points does a Truth Bar have?
Truth Bars have approximately 8-9 points per bar.
Are Truth Bars Paleo Friendly?
Paleo diets in their strictest form include foods that hunter-gatherers would have eaten. This means no foods that were not available to them (like sugar, processed foods, artificial ingredients) and lots of fruits, grains and lean protein. Paleo diets also restrict grains, legumes and dairy. Truth Bars, while gluten-free and only containing real food ingredients, would not fit in the Paleo diet in its strictest form as they contain some sugar (4-5g).
What is the shelf life of Truth Bars?
Truth Bars have a shelf life of 12 months from the date of production. We make our bars in small batches, which should ensure that our retailer's shelves are stocked with fresh bars when rotated correctly.
Do Truth Bars need to be refrigerated?
No. This type of probiotic is not in a live state on the shelf, it is activated only after it's eaten. For this reason, Truth Bars do not need to be refrigerated.
Questions about buying Truth Bars
How do I find out if Truth Bars are sold in a store near me?
You can use the Store Locator on truthbar.com to search by zip code, city or state to find a store near you.
What if there aren't yet stores near me that carry Truth Bars?
First, you can talk to your grocery store or health food store's manager and ask them to stock Truth Bars in their store. They can contact us directly and we can help. Meanwhile, Truth Bars can be purchased on amazon.com/truthbar and truthbar.com.
What is your return policy?
100% satisfaction or your money back. You can reach out to us at email@example.com and we will help.
Please let us know if you have a question that is not listed above.
Simply write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. We are happy to answer any questions!