Synthetic and Natural Additives: What’s Safe?

Are you scared of food additives?

These include things like colors, flavors, sweeteners, and preservatives. Some are as common as baking soda and table sugar, some are less familiar to us such as chymosin or erythorbic acid.

Synthetic vs. natural

Most additives are synthetic compounds but that does not make them inherently less safe than natural compounds.

The toxicity of any compound is determined by its effects in the body, not whether it is synthesized in a lab or produced by a plant.

The dose is also very important. Even something as common as table sale (yes, even sea salt) can cause illness or even death if consumed in excessive amounts.

It’s also interesting to note that many plants contain natural toxins. Some research suggests that we ingest at least 10,000 times more natural plant toxins than synthetic additives or pesticides!

What you need to know

Natural additives aren’t necessarily safer than artificial or synthetic ones.

The FDA regulates the safety of food additives but if you want to lower your intake of additives, read food labels and eat fewer highly processed foods.

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