Additives And Food Essay Research Paper Additives

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Additives And Food Essay, Research Paper Additives and Food We consume more of them everyday, but many people do not know what additives do to food and the people that eat it. The average person is amazed by the number of additives injected into our food. Through years of scientific research, it is now possible to comprehend the most commonly used and controversial additives. What exactly is a food additive? The technical definition is “any substance the intended use of which results or may reasonably be expected to result—directly or indirectly—in its becoming a component or otherwise affecting the characteristics of any food.” This answer branches in many directions. There are flavorings, colorings, flavor enhancers, vitamins, antioxidants, preservatives,

emulsifiers, texturizers, thickeners, and many more. They all serve one purpose: to make the food we eat better. One of the most common additives is salt. The chemical additive sodium chloride was one of the first preservatives used in foods. It is used in almost everything we eat and essential to the life processes of humans. It acts with potassium to regulate fluid balance in our bodies by controlling the flow of liquids in and out of individual cells. Recently, the American Heart Association has recommended that healthy American adults reduce their sodium intake to no more than 2,400 milligrams per day. This is equivalent to 1? teaspoons of salt. People who are sensitive to sodium are at a higher risk to have high blood pressure, which can lead to cardiovascular disease.

Although in large doses, over a long period of time, salt is harmful, it is still one of the most common food additives. Another common additive is sugar. Used by our ancestors to preserve fruits, it is now one of the leading factors causing obesity and tooth decay. At the turn of the century, most sugar was sprinkled on at home. Today, much of the sugar we consume is added in the production of food. Compounds such as high-fructose corn syrup and dextrose, found often in soft drinks, account for more than thirty teaspoons of sugar in the average teenage boy’s diet. The problem lies with the emptiness of the calories and the missed opportunities for nutrition. If you’re filling up on sugar then you’re missing the opportunity to eat more nutritious foods that reduce the risk

for developing serious illness. A general guideline to a low-sugar diet: if sugar or one of the ingredients glucose, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, turbinado, honey or brown sugar is listed as one of the first three ingredients on the label, it has too much sugar. Caffeine is the drug of choice for millions of people around the world. “Caffeine is the only drug that is widely added to the food supply,” says Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). “Drinking the caffeine equivalent of several cups of coffee a day can lead to insomnia, anxiety, and difficulty concentrating. Ceasing the consumption of caffeine often leads to withdrawal symptoms, such as headache and fatigue,” said Roland Griffiths, a

professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Caffeine is a mildly addictive drug and the dangers far out-weigh the advantages. Caffeine has changed the way Americans live their lives. Once, Americans would wake-up to a tall glass of milk. Now, the drink of choice is a carbonated soft drink or coffee, which contain enormous0 amounts of caffeine. The addiction continues throughout the day, with the occasional sip of Coke, which contains 45mg of caffeine. By night, Americans are so high on caffeine that they deprive themselves of essential rest. In 1981, the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned pregnant women to “avoid caffeine-containing foods and drugs, if possible.” Recently, the American