Seton 'All From Home' Ad 728x90
Catholic Homeschool Articles, Advice & Resources
5 Simple Alternatives To Unhealthy Food Additives - by Abby Sasscer

5 Simple Alternatives To Unhealthy Food Additives

This is the 7th post in Abby Sasscer’s Simple Kitchen Series

Welcome back, everyone!

While most of us would like to be able to eat healthy all the time, the reality is that we cannot always do so. Cooking from scratch takes a tremendous amount of time and energy and sometimes busy moms like us don’t have a choice but to purchase convenience foods.

But even if there is a need to purchase convenience foods, it’s good to know that we can still make healthy choices for our families. How?

Aside from looking at the sugar, salt and fat content of each product serving, I also look at its ingredient list. If the list is too long, chances are these items have plenty of unhealthy additives or preservatives.

While looking at the ingredients list can seem burdensome at first, I found out that, in time, it becomes so second nature that I can spot these unhealthy ingredients without reading the entire list.

The next thing I do is that I try to stay away from certain food additives and choose products that have healthier ingredients instead.

The good news is that once I have found products with healthier ingredients, I can continue purchasing them in the future. This type of brand loyalty not only allows me to feed my family more natural alternatives but also helps support companies who care about the health of their consumers.

Simple Alternatives

Below are five unhealthy additives that are typically found in foods we feed our families:


This preservative is used mostly to keep oils in cereals, potato chips and crackers from becoming rancid. It can cause hyperactivity in children, weakened immune system and possibly cancer. This preservative is even banned in England.

Safer alternative preservatives would be Vitamin C, Vitamin E or Mixed Tocopherols.


5 Simple Alternatives To Unhealthy Food Additives - by Abby Sasscer | CC Susan Sermoneta |

Eating Cereal CC Susan Sermoneta

2. Artificial Food Coloring

These popular additives are used to color Food, Drugs and Cosmetics (FD&C) and are mostly derived from coal tar. These coal tar derivatives can cause hyperactivity, allergic reactions and may contain carcinogenic contaminants.

For a more natural alternative, look for products that are colored by: Beet Juice, Blueberry Juice, Raspberry Juice, Spinach Powder or Juice, Pumpkin Juice, Carrot Juice, Red Cabbage Powder or Juice, Turmeric, Annatto, and Saffron Flowers.

5 Simple Alternatives To Unhealthy Food Additives - by Abby Sasscer | CC Jennifer Chait |

Natural Food Dyes CC Jennifer Chait

3. Hydrogenated / Partially Hydrogenated Oils

These oils are associated with heart disease, certain types of cancers, atherosclerosis and elevated cholesterol levels.

Safer alternatives include extra-virgin olive oil, expeller-pressed flax oil, and organic coconut oil.

5 Simple Alternatives To Unhealthy Food Additives - by Abby Sasscer | CC Soma Rathore |

Rosemary Infused Olive Oil | CC Soma Rathore

4. Monosodium Glutamate

MSG can also be found in Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Hydrolyzed Protein, Seasonings, Flavorings, and Natural Flavorings. This unhealthy additive is known to cause headaches, itching, nausea, high-blood pressure, nervous system and reproductive disorders.

On a personal note, MSG has always triggered severe migraines so I try to stay away from it with a ten-foot pole. But if I really need to purchase convenience foods, I typically avoid foods with MSG or choose items that have the seasonings or herbs that are listed individually. These include: garlic, onion, parsley, basil, oregano, etc.

5 Simple Alternatives To Unhealthy Food Additives - by Abby Sasscer | Aromatic herbs, onions, garlic and pepper | CC Sergey Galaiko |

Aromatic herbs, onions, garlic and pepper | CC Sergey Galaiko

5. High Fructose Corn Syrup

This additive is associated with blood-sugar regulation issues, depression, fatigue, B-vitamin deficiency, hyperactivity, tooth decay, and indigestion.

More natural alternatives include: Maple Syrup, Rapadura, Stevia, Date Sugar, and Raw Honey (not to be given to infants and babies). As with any sweeteners, remember that moderation is always key.

5 Simple Alternatives To Unhealthy Food Additives - by Abby Sasscer | Straining Maple Syrup | CC Chiot's Run |

Straining Maple Syrup | CC Chiot’s Run

Thank You For Joining Me!

I hope you enjoyed my Simple Kitchen Series and I wanted to thank everyone who joined me during the busiest and holiest of seasons!

May Our Sweet Blessed Mother, Saint Martha, Saint Mary and Saint Zita be with all of us as we continue to embrace our vocations as wives and mothers!

Reference includes:
“Food Additives: A Shopper’s Guide To What’s Safe and What’s Not” by Christine Hoza Farlow, D. C., Published by Kiss For Health Publishing, Escondido California, 2004.
“Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon with Mary G. Enig, Ph. D., Published by New Trends Publishing, Inc., 2001

About Abby Sasscer

Born in the Philippines, Abby came to the United States in 1986. She is a wife, homeschooling mother of three, author, and speaker. In 2008, she founded Project Nazareth and continues to advocate simple living through books and speaking. | Meet Abby
Learn about Homeschooling with Seton
School Pre-K through 12 at home. A quality, Catholic education. Online learning. Accredited and affordable.
Request your Free Info Pack

Pin It on Pinterest