Food Dyes… WHY???

I have been hearing more and more of the negative effects that food dye can cause to the body. About 2 months ago I made a friend of mine some ‘RED’ Chocolate Popcorn. They did not know of any food allergies and her kids finished the bowl within minutes. That night one of her daughters came down with a terrible rash and woke up to hives. They eat butter popcorn all the time so we did not suspect that was the culprit.

Red Food Dye Popcorn

We didn’t put two and two together until last week when her daughter once broke out in massive hives and even had a hard time breathing after having some home made Shirley Temple. I remembered the red popcorn I had made the last time she broke out and sure enough, her daughter has a red food dye allergy.

Since finding this out I have been learning so much about the negative effects that food dyes have on us and the importance of steering clear of them. I reached out to one of my followers on Instagram who has eliminated them from her diet for just about all of her life. She is an expert at living dye-free! I asked her to write a guest post for us all to benefit from… so thank you Susan Hittle for The 8 tips To Eliminate Food Dye From Our Diets!!

Susan Hittle – Guest Blog Post

‘Adding food dyes to our food contributes nothing but color. It may make food look pretty but has no nutritional value. Dyes have been linked to several health problems, and although many studies may be inconclusive the fact that there are enough ties to continue research on them warrants limiting them, in my opinion. 

Some of the health problems that could be related to food dyes include, hyperactivity, neurotoxicity, problems with ADHD, genotoxicity, and cancer. 

When we first started adding alternative food dyes they originally came from coal tar, which comes from coal.  More recently they come from petroleum, or crude oil. Doesn’t that sound tasty! 

We started using artificial dyes because they are cheaper than using natural colors extracted from actual foods. They have a longer shelf life and are more stable throughout the food processing. 

I’ve been avoiding food coloring since I was around 13 years old. My dad had spent most of his life suffering from migraines. It was around this time in my life when he self diagnosed himself with food allergies. After years of not getting the help he needed from his physician he spent a Saturday researching foods that may cause reactions and made himself a journal. Within a few weeks he had found a list of about 6 items.Those first items were chocolate, cheese, food coloring, MSG, nitrates and nitrites. He was diligent with his journaling for at least 3 years and has even added a few new foods these last couple years.

A few weeks into his new discovery he looked at my 8 year old sister, who also suffered migraines daily, and was going to the school nurse for 2 Excedrin every day. He said she was too young to being doing that and what if she had the same food issues? Then he looked at me, suffering from cystic acne, and said, what if you do also but it shows up differently?  Try telling your 8 and 13 year old they need to give up pizza, cake and candy and friends birthday parties!!! 

My sister and I both struggled with this idea. But we both saw improvements when we committed to giving up these foods and couldn’t deny it.  Neither of us are diligent everyday in avoiding these foods, but we’ve found our balance. As an adult my acne doesn’t show up as much but can still happen with a bit of chocolate or something else. 

It is a struggle to give up these foods but food coloring is probably one of the easiest on the list. It takes work up front but gets easier more quickly than giving up gluten or cheese. Food dyes are horrible for us, and allergies or not it’s best to avoid them when you can or more often than not. You’ll find a lot of controversial research on what food dyes do or don’t cause. But there is plenty of evidence on the benefits of limited processed foods, which is the most common place to find dyes. 

If you’re looking to give up dyes I’ll share some helpful tips. Most important is read all the labels!!! 

8 Ways To Avoid Food Dyes

  1. Read the labels of any and all processed foods! Even things you can’t possibly imagine contain coloring, such as soups, pickle relish and cake mixes! Even foods like icing and ice cream that can be white. 
  2. Limit processed foods and boxed goods in general. Then you don’t have to worry about it. 
  3. Dyes are usually the last ingredients listed, but not always. So if you skip to the end and don’t see them go back and check the rest, just in case. 
  4.  No color dye is better than another. Reds, yellows and blues should all be avoided. It is also a good idea to avoid caramel coloring. 
  5. If the item you want has dyes, look for an alternative brand of the same item.  There are so many brands out there that are trying to do better for the consumer. The price may or may not be more money. This is one way limiting your processed foods can help. Once you find your alternative you won’t need to do all the comparison every time you shop. It is recommended to check back once in awhile as companies do make changes.
  6.  When looking at alternatives, remember the food dye doesn’t affect the flavor. 
  7.  Acceptable color alternatives include but not limited to beet juice, annatto. berries, carrots, pumpkin. turmeric, espresso. 
  8. Some tasty brands that don’t use dyes include Capri Sun, Black Forest Gummy Bears, Unreal Candies and King Arthur flours. 

Cheers to you for looking at ways to improve your health!!!’

You can follow Susan HERE

Food Dyes… WHY???

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