3 of the Worst Ingredients in Processed Foods

3 of the Worst Ingredients in Processed Foods

3 Ingredients to Start Avoiding Today

I hate processed foods – but you will find the occasional box of cereal in my pantry.

80/20, ya’ know?

If I am going to buy something in a box made by a company there are a few rules I follow:

  1. I must recognize the ingredients.
  2. It must be somewhat clean (organic or non-gmo or whole grain)
  3. If they contain:  TBHQ, BHT or Azodicarbonamide….  I run for my life.

If you’re not convinced that processed foods are bad here’s just a glimpse at 3 common additives found in processed foods:


TBHQ can be found in boxed foods such as:  Cheezits, Town House Crackers, Toaster Strudles, Pizza Rolls & Poptarts among many others.  It’ even in taco shells, salad dressings and many items from fast food restaurants.

“You can’t get much more toxic than TBHQ. This synthetic preservative is a form of butane and has been linked to vision disturbances, liver enlargementchildhood behavioral problems, and stomach cancer in animal studies. It’s also banned for use in food in other countries including Japan, and is on the Center For Science in The Public Interest’s list as one of the worst food additives to be avoided.”  – FoodBabe.com

It constantly amazes me that so many of the hazardous food additives are banned in other countries but allowed in the food here in America.

The big companies make the same products for other countries without the dangerous chemicals…. so it is clear that they can produce a healthier product.

In America, they are allowed to put the junk in our food – so they do.  So frustrating!


BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene) is a preservative used to keep cereals (or other foods) fresh for longer shelf life.  it is banned in many parts of the world for having wreaked havoc during animal testing.  Many of the most popular cereals in America, like Rice Krispies and Cinnamon Toast Crunch, contain BHT.

What is most infuriating, is that this controversial preservative is not used in other countries.  The same exact cereals are packaged without the BHT overseas, but here in America – we get the added chemicals.


“Azodicarbonamide is a yellow orangish powder, more commonly used commercially in the creation of foamed plastics – like yoga mats, shoe soles, floor mats and window gaskets.  The FDA allows food companies to use azodicarbonamide as a flour bleaching agent and dough conditioner in any food product giving it a status of GRAS or “Generally Regarded As Safe”.  The United States is one of the only countries in the world that still allows this ingredient in our food supply. It is banned as a food additive in the U.K., Europe, and Australia, and if you get caught using it in Singapore you can get up to 15 years in prison and be fined $450,000.” – FoodBabe.com 

Azodicarbonamide is found in many breads, buns and baked goods sold at supermarkets.  Just looking at the ingredient lists on the package of most breads will probably motivate you to consider baking your own bread products.  I know it does this to me.

I have one child who suffered chronic bronchitis and was diagnosed with childhood asthma when he was a tiny guy.  I’m happy to report, he has outgrown his asthmatic/ bronchial attacks.  He still struggles during wet/ moldy seasons (he is allergic to mold), but is doing great.

Azodicarbonamide is linked to the onset of asthma (source).  When I learned this I started becoming hyper-aware of all the buns being fed to my asthmatic child.  This horrible ingredient was everywhere.  In restaurant buns, at parties & at school functions.  It was alarming that most of the buns being fed to my child were likely aggravating his asthma.


Healthy Snack Alternatives

TBHQ, BHT & Azodicarbonamide are not things I want inside my children…. or anyone.

If you are moving toward a cleaner diet, I would encourage you to start by eliminating these 3 additives.

To learn more about eating real food and how to find food freedom download my mini-book “How to Eat” for free HERE.

  • If you want to go off the deep end (with me)……
  • get tons of great, chemical-free recipes….
  • want to learn the truth about store bought flour….
  • or would like access to my bread-making instructional videos consider a membership It’s only $5 and new content is published almost daily! 

Stay Healthy Everyone!




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