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 is a Prebiotic?
Prebiotics come from plants, usually root plants that contain a lot of fiber and feed the good bacteria in your gut.
Why is it important to have both prebiotics and probiotics?
Probiotics alone cannot grow without a healthy gut to support them. 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 microbiome.
Can your body make its own Conjugated Lineolic Acid?
You certainly have the gut flora to make your very own CLA. It’s one of the many things your lactobacilli and bifidobacteria do for you.
It’s important to have healthy gut flora to be able to make CLA. People with gut dysbiosis have a significantly harder job of it – possibly one reason why obesity and gut dysfunction tend to go hand-in-hand. So if you’ve been eating well for a while and your gut is humming along nicely, you can probably count on a substantial CLA intake from gut flora. If you’re eating is not so “healthy” or you simply aren’t producing enough good bacteria, Truth Bar can help by giving probiotic support to build up your colonies of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria.
How much inulin is in each bar?
Chocolate Dipped Raspberry:
Chocolate Dipped Coconut: 3.2g
Mint Chocolate Chip: 3.3g
Chocolate Almond Crunch: 2.5g
How much MCT Oil is in each bar?
Chocolate Dipped Raspberry:
Chocolate Dipped Coconut: 4.5g MCT/bar
Mint Chocolate Chip: 0.5g MCT/bar
Chocolate Almond Crunch: 0.5g MCT/bar
These are approximate amounts based on estimate of 60% MCT present in coconut oil, and 65% oil in coconut.
What is the percentage of “prebiotic - probiotic"?
Using approximate inulin amounts:
Chocolate Dipped Raspberry:
Chocolate Dipped Coconut: 3.2g prebiotic to 500 Million CFU probiotics
Mint Chocolate Chip: 3.3g prebiotic to 1 Billion CFU probiotics
Chocolate Almond Crunch: 2.5g prebiotic to 500 Million CFU probiotics
What is the strain of probiotic in the lactoSpore?
Lactobacillus sporogenes (bacillus coagulans). It is a stable Lactic Acid forming probiotic that has exceptional and lengthy studies of gut healing effects ranging across gastro intestinal issues, bloating, diahhrea and irritable bowel syndrome.
What is erythritol derived from?
Erythritol is derived from NON-GMO corn as a fermented sugar alcohol with GRAS status from the FDA.
What is the ratio of sweeteners? (Tapioca / Erythritol / Stevia)
Chocolate Dipped Raspberry:
Chocolate Dipped Coconut: 6.5g / 3.2g / 0.02g
Mint Chocolate Chip: 11.0g / 3.3g / 0.02g
Chocolate Almond Crunch: 11.0g / 2.5g / 0.02g
Are Truth Bars Vegan?
We have created both Vegan and Non-Vegan bars. Two of our flavors are Vegan and two are Non-Vegan. Our Chocolate Dipped Coconut and Chocolate Dipped Raspberry 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.
Our Chocolate Almond Crunch and Mint Chocolate Chip bars feature a Non-Vegan blend of brown rice protein and whey isolate that supplies essential Amino Acids for a "complete" or "whole" source of protein. Our balanced mix of fiber and protein results in two meal replacement bars that provide all the BCAAs needed for proper muscle development.
Are Truth Bars 100% gluten free?
Yes, all Truth Bars are 100% gluten free!
Is there soy in Truth Bars?
Soy based lecithin is commonly used as an emulsifier in dark chocolates. However, they are are serious consumer concerns over soy that we have taken very seriously. In order to protect and promote overall health the specially formulated dark chocolate coating on all Truth Bars is completely free of both soy and sugar.
Are the bars Peanut Free?
Yes, all Truth Bars are 100% peanut free. We use only high quality almond and sunflower butter.
Where can I find a full list of ingredients?
You can find a the full list of ingredients on each bar’s product page. The ingredients can be found by clicking the second tab. Here's a link to each of our product pages: Chocolate Dipped Raspberry, Chocolate Dipped Coconut, Mint Chocolate Chip and Chocolate Almond Crunch.
Where can I find nutrition information?
Each bar’s nutrition facts can also be found on the product pages above. Just click the third tab.
Another place to find info would be our ingredient's page, which outlines each of our key ingredients and their benefits.
What is the shelf life of the bars?
Truth Bars have a shelf life of 18 months. We make our bars in small batches, which ensures that our retailer's shelves are stocked with fresh bars.
Please let us know if you have a question that is not listed above.
Simply write to us at email@example.com. We are happy to answer any questions!