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There’s No Safe Level Of This Ingredient, So Why Is It In Almost Everything?

When I went through my health crisis over 10 years ago, I thought that if I chose foods that were under a certain calorie, fat gram or carbohydrate level, I was going to get fit, lose weight, keep it off, and be healthy. I was wrong. Following that mentality kept me in a never ending loop of yo-yo dieting. To keep my body weight down felt like an uphill battle. It wasn’t effortless like it is now.

Our bodies are able to endure so much, but we tax them with ingredients that have been only invented to improve the production of processed foods and not our health. Our bodies suffer as a result and these ingredients cannot only affect our outward appearance but how we feel too. My body suffered for a long time and I’m so thankful I found a way out… This is why I want to tell you about this ingredient that is in almost everything you see on grocery store shelves and at major restaurants…

There is No Safe Level Of This Ingredient

Hidden trans fats can lurk in other processed ingredients.

You may have heard in the news that the FDA finally banned “partially hydrogenated oils” from our food (within the next 3 years). This is a step in the right direction – although a long time coming – because the consumption of artificial trans fat is strongly correlated an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and has been shown to lower good cholesterol and raise bad cholesterol levels for quite some time. The CDC has linked it to an increase in death rate and The Institute of Medicine says that trans fats have “no known health benefit” and there is no safe level to eat. No safe level! This ingredient should never have been allowed in our food in the first place! But, it’s not time for a celebration quite yet…

Although the FDA banned partially hydrogenated oils, they don’t address the other artificial additives in our food that also contain these heart-wrecking artificial trans fats. According to the EWG, some refined oils, emulsifiers, flavors and colors also contain trace amounts of trans fat, but they don’t need to be labeled as such and won’t be removed from our food. 

In fact, a very common emulsifier in processed food is one of these hidden sources of trans fat – and I’m sure you’ve heard of it.

If you are as diligent about reading ingredient labels as I am, I guarantee that you’ve seen this ingredient listed on the label, and probably wondered what the heck it was.

Usually labeled as “Mono- and Diglycerides of Fatty Acids”, or “monoglycerides” and “diglycerides” on an ingredient list – this is one of the most widely used emulsifiers that helps keep oil and fat from separating. 

This additive is a byproduct of oil processing – including partially hydrogenated canola and soybean oils – which contain this artificial trans fat that is so detrimental to our health. Even though mono- and diglycerides may contain trans fat, they aren’t required to be labeled as trans fats on food packages, and can even be in food labeled “No Trans Fat”. The FDA labeling regulations on trans fat only apply to triglycerides, and not to emulsifiers like mono and diglycerides. According to nutrition researcher Mary Enig, Ph.D., mono- and diglycerides are:

“usually by-products of fats and oils processing such as partial hydrogenation and various forms of extraction and interesterification processes. Even though they do have some caloric value, they are not counted as fats, and the fatty acids are not identified as having a particular composition. If they are fatty acids with trans bonds, they are not likely to be identified as such, nor would they be identified as any particular fatty acid…

… as the public becomes more aware of the dangers of trans fats, the industry may be tempted to add more MGs [monoglycerides] and DGs [diglycerides] containing trans fats in order to obtain the qualities they want in a food without having to list trans fats on the label”.

Sure enough, mono and diglycerides are in a lot of foods that are labeled “No Trans Fat” and “Zero Grams of Trans Fat”, such as Crisco shortening, Franz New York Bagel Boys Bagels, and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Light version. I’m not sure how much trans fat may be in these products based on them containing this ingredient but I definitely would leave them on the shelf.

Food companies are looking for cheap replacements to partially hydrogenated oils – will they be using more “monoglycerides” and “diglycerides”?

To really avoid artificial trans fats, keep in mind that the “No Trans Fat” label just means that the product contains less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving from partially hydrogenated oils (while still allowed in food), but they could still contain additional trans fat from hidden sources like mono and diglycerides

POTATOES

If you eat anything processed (tortillas, bread, ice cream) monoglycerides and diglycerides are nearly impossible to avoid.

I went to a conventional grocery store near my home to take some pictures for this post, and was really shocked at what I found. As I walked down every aisle looking for this ingredient, I literally blew up my phone with dozens of pictures. It’s in freaking everything! Okay, not really “everything”… but I found it in several of these types of products like bread, tortillas, cakes, donuts, nut butters, non-dairy creamer, margarine, and ice cream.

Dreyers with border

I Can't Believe It's Not Butter with border

JIF with border

 

It’s used to increase the shelf-life of baked goods (breads, cakes, dough) and to make them softer without adding butter or oil – which is more expensive. I also found it added to cheap peanut butters and margarines too (especially the brands that previously used partially hydrogenated oils)!

Why Some Ice Cream Sandwiches Don’t Melt

Remember seeing this video last year that showed the Walmart ice cream sandwiches that don’t melt in 80 degree weather? This is why. Additives like mono- and diglycerides can be added (along with other emulsifiers) to make low fat ice cream taste creamier – and also to keep it from melting quickly! I’d rather have ice cream that melts like it is supposed to, instead of chemical-additive filled ice cream that’s been designed to stay frozen longer. I’m sure you would too.

You’ll also have a hard time getting away from this ingredient if you’re still dining at mainstream restaurants.

If you read my book, you may remember this ingredient is added to Olive Garden’s famous breadsticks and the complimentary bread that is left on your table at the Cheesecake Factory. I found that almost every menu item at McDonald’s contains “mono- and diglycerides” because it’s in their buns – even their new “Artisan” buns – shakes, ice-cream, frappes, biscuits, and the liquid margarine that’s used to cook their eggs. You also could be eating this ingredient at Burger King (buns, chicken fries, ice cream, croissants), Wendy’s (Frosty, tortillas, buns), TCBY Frozen Yogurt, and Chick-fil-A (white buns, milkshakes, Frosted Lemonade). 

Some forward-looking restaurants (thank you Panera) have committed to removing mono and diglycerides, but most restaurants use it in at least some of their food. Why wouldn’t they? It’s cheap, makes the food last longer, and restaurants aren’t required to tell you what the ingredients are in their food if they don’t want to.

TRANSFAT

How much of this ingredient are we really consuming?

This additive is usually added in small amounts to food, but it’s added to so much of it – do we really know how much the typical American is eating? Anyone who is still eating out at conventional restaurants, buying packaged bread, tortillas, peanut butter, margarines, and ice cream, could be eating several doses of this ingredient… every. single. day.

I reached out to a food scientist at Penn State to comment on the safety of this ingredient and unfortunately there haven’t been many studies conducted on the level of trans fats that are present. Which begs the question, why are we eating this invented chemical that hasn’t been proven safe anyways?

Please continue to be vigilant about reading ingredient labels and if you don’t understand why an ingredient is there to improve your health, put it back on the shelf and run far far away. 

Do you know someone who might be eating mono and diglycerides? Then share this post with them – everyone deserves to know what’s in their food, why it’s in there and the risks of eating it.

Xo,

Vani 

 

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147 responses to “There’s No Safe Level Of This Ingredient, So Why Is It In Almost Everything?

  1. So, what is a safe brand of ice cream? It’s my favorite food and I eat it regularly.

    1. Organic Ice Cream (check your health food store or Whole Foods etc.) or make your own with frozen bananas and homemade almond or coconut milk – just google recipes for raw food ice creams.

      1. Just make sure you check the ingredients Carageenan is usually in organic dairy products or milk alternatives.

      2. Yes, watch for carageenan. Best to make your own. Very easy with a Vitamix 🙂

      3. And Carageenan is in too many foods – including BABY FOODs.

        As for ice cream – for years I only bought Breyers – because I knew what was in it.

        Except now I don’t know what the dairy cows eat….
        For over a year, I’ve not eaten any – I just make my own (without bananas)

      4. Haagen Daz is made by the same crappy Dreyers ice cream company.
        They use dairy from growth hormone treated cows

      5. I prefer to MAKE it FRESH as smoothies ( or with ‘iced GRASS-fed cream’ ) using ICE in my versatile “Vita-Mix food blender.” ICE (water) is a FOOD too! Our family has used our original Vita-Mix for over ten years. = a great investment for controlling what’s in your FRESH, unprocessed food.

    2. I also like ice cream. I buy different kinds of ice cream. I look at the ingredients. If I’m buying ice cream I’m accepting that it has sugar, cream, etc. But it shouldn’t have odd added ingredients. Bryers changed their recipe a few years ago making it worse instead of better. But I have found their chocolate ice cream is still only a handful of ingredients. It does not have the mono/diglycerides. However it does have “natural flavor.” Just check your labels, look for ice creams that have minimal ingredients that you can pronounce.

      The other option is to make your own. We have an ice cream maker where the bowl can stay in the freezer and be taken out when wanted. It only takes about 20 minutes to make the ice cream, though it’s not as hard as store bought. You can put whatever you want in it and can make it out of any kind of milk/cream you have including yogurt, almond milk, and canned coconut milk. Another great, easy, and healthy treat is a frozen banana blended with a little bit of almond milk, some vanilla, and maybe some cocoa. Tastes almost like a Wendy’s frosty, and is plant based. Look online for homemade plant based blender ice creams. I found a good one once that used cashews and really did taste like a vanilla milkshake.

      1. Bryer’s Natural Vanilla is the only Bryer’s flavor that has no artificial ingredients…just cream, sugar and milk…14 grams of sugar. The only one I buy!

      2. I understand there are ingredients that are included in ice cream that do not have
        to be on the label as they are understood to just be part of ice cream–maybe gras
        ingredients. I don’t know if this is still true. It was true in the 60’s.

      3. Breyers ice cream is no longer OK for us. It has been removed from the Feingold list.

    3. Bruce. I make a tasty organic plain yogurt with honey and fruit /nut mix freeze for a 1/2 hour …..is very safe tasty treat……Freeze pops from organic fruit are great to ……..Making my own icecream with organic ingredients maybe a later deal …

      1. Never tried Three Twins, but the Coconut Bliss is delicious. On the subject of Carrageenan-free ice cream, I recommend this link to this great shopping guide and page on Carrageenan courtesy of Cornucopia Institute:
        http://www.cornucopia.org/shopping-guide-to-avoiding-organic-foods-with-carrageenan/

        Oh, and that reminds me…Congress passed the DARK act (HR 1599) that will forbid states from implementing GMO labeling and create a government agency to regulate/subvert non-GMO labels so everybody call their senators and ask them to kill this bill. You can look up both of your senators and find their contact information at http://www.senate.gov or by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.

        The last thing we need is more corporate and government collusion against the people. But take heart, for if you’re reading this, and live in the US, you can pressure them into not passing the DARK act. You can also hold them accountable and stop supporting those that participate in the assault of the people with genetically compromised “food”.

      2. Watch out for Coconut Bliss, which is fantastic by the way. The sweetener is agave, that is horrible for the liver. I now avoid it all together and make my own. Check out various Paleo cookbooks on Amazon for ice cream recipes. I have one by Kelly Brozyna called Dairy Free Ice Cream that is better than any ice cream you can buy. Ice cream makers are very affordable and it’s easier than you think to make homemade, clean ice cream from home. Store in a glass container, not plastic.

      3. I’d also like to add that there’s a new ice cream line out called “Wink”. It’s difficult to find though. It’s 100 calories a pint, loaded with pea protein and sweetened with monk fruit extract and organic stevia. Contains no sugar, dairy, soy, nuts or eggs. They’re vegan, Non-GMO, Project Verified and gluten free. Check out winkfrozendesserts.com or 516-323-5283.

    4. There are some better choices in the grocery store just read your labels. No they wont be perfect but will be much better then the types shown here.

    5. Three Twins Organic ice cream, which you can get at Whole Foods. Some Kroger store sell it, but not every flavor. Whole Foods has many more flavors.

    6. We have Turkey Hill All Natural ice cream here… They only use a handful of ingredients (5) it has no Carrageenan. The only downfall for us it is not a non gmo product…

      1. Their Vanilla is GMO free, go to their website, it lists ingredients.

    7. I order chocolate and vanilla coconut ice cream that is sweetened with honey from Wise Choice Markets online. They also make it sweetened with stevia if you prefer.

    8. Turkey Hill “all Natural” ice cream is only three ingredients…and the chocolate
      is Belgium chocolate….really good…

    9. Not 100% sure because Ben&Jerry sold their biz but they did use the “right cows” per se and well,milk is a personal choice….make your own or find alternative way as in almond milk,coconut milk or find your local homemade ice cream using quality organic ingredients…..freeze ripe bananas and puree…add your touch…..almonds,raisins,cinnamon…..and it is quite delicous and creamy! Support those real ingredients and use grass fed organic products if you choose to have real milk. What else is possible? Have fun!

    10. Look for Alden’s its organic and whole foods should have it or make your own I do is very easy to do I bought an ice cream maker by Hamilton Beach works great just milk, sugar, cream, eggs and vanilla

    11. If you like bananas, just throwing 2 frozen bananas in a blender (a splash of almond milk to get it moving) is an awesome ice cream substitute. You can get creative with it and add fruit, peanuts, raw chocolate, or whatever you want to it. It’s sooo good and at least I know exactly what I’m eating. Same consistency as ice cream and I actually prefer it over any ice cream. 🙂

    12. Try buying the dessert bullet…make your own in seconds….easy healthy you control the ingredients!

    13. Look at ingredients. Should only be cream sugar eggs vanilla. There’s a lot out there but they’re more expensive. Just eat less. They taste way better

    14. Good day to you Bruce. It is easy to see that as long as anyone buys food(s) packaged, you are running a real risk of eating/drinking tainted food. Period! Vani and her operation are always bringing this urgent issue/fact to our awareness. God knows big business(that includes the government) are out for the maxing of profit and minimize the cost. Unfortunately ingredients are often included that are not healthy. Vani and her researchers are always, thankfully, bringing this reality to our attention. Bottom line, if you really enjoy ice cream, and really want to dodge the health hazards, make your own from scratch. Start up costs may exist, but in comparison to medical costs, it’s pennies on the dollars AND you protect your health. The easiest ice cream of sorts is-are sorbet(s). Your best choice is to MAKE YOUR OWN Frozen Juice. Commercial ice cream/yogurt unfortunately use ice(most likely not purified), juice from concentrate(no nutrition-dead food), and lots of sugar(not good . . . .) You may choose to experiment and blend your own, but keep the PULP(smoothie vs. fresh juice) b/c science/research is now finding out that the pulp is loaded with hundreds of phytonutrients and fiber that contribute to our bodies functioning properly. Fiber slows the absorption of sugar into your cells. That avoids the high glycemic spiking that is so hard on our bodies. Who knows, you may even create a small business of making and selling ice cream;
      Customized to/for their preferences and even for their blood type
      Totally Organic
      and actually good for you!!!
      Good luck and stay healthy!
      p.s. Nobody makes an apple better than Him!

  2. Right On, Vani.
    Thanks again for all you and your crew do!
    Information from you, Dr. Mercola and the Fooducate website have really made a difference in the way we now look at processed food, what’s in it and what’s it’s doing to our health.
    For the last several years, as I have changed my buying habits due to increased knowledge regarding what the manufacturers are putting in our food, I find that I now spend more time checking ingredients labels than I do actually shopping!
    There are around a dozen food ingredients in foods that get an immediate return to the shelf with a mental note to never buy that product again!

    As my Granny used to say ” When you know better, you are obligated to do better.”

    My general rule of thumb, default mode of shopping anymore is this:
    1. Do most of my shopping around the perimeter of the store and as little as possible up and down the aisles where the processed / packaged foods are.
    2. If it’s got a package w/ bar code or UPC #, I really take a lot of care as to deciding if I need to buy it and If it is a necessary buy, I use the knowledge I’ve gleaned from you and yours, Dr. Mercola and the Fooducate website to make a better decision.

    Thanks again !!!

  3. I just look at Publix brand Greenwise of organic Ice cream and there’s do not list the mono and diglycerides ..so at least that is one good product if you want to buy ice cream. But I have noticed you have to read even organic labels as they hide (in plain site) some really bad ingredients naming them to sound like something healthy.
    Thanks for the info though Food Babe!

  4. There is another substance that is nearly as ubiquitous- carrageennan. I can’t find whipping cream anywhere besides Whole Foods that doesn’t contain both it and mono and diglycerides.

  5. I buy Nature’s Own bread. But it does have the mono and diglycerides in their products. I found this Q&A on their website….

    Q What is the source of the mono and diglycerides used in your products?

    A Mono and diglycerides (dough conditioners that improve the softness and texture of baked foods) are derived from plant sources.

    Is this bread ok? I’m feeding it to my kids….daily. If it’s not, can you recommend a good white bread. Thanks!

    1. Whole Foods organic Mighty Multigrain is a great choice. It works well if you have kids who like/want white bread because it looks somewhat white in color. Goes great toasted with organic butter.

    2. Kathi: Vani clearly recommends AGAINST eating anything that contains mono/diglycerides in any amount. I use my bread machine to make white bread from a few basic ingredients, all organic. It’s quick, easy, and delicious — and I know what’s in it. It also costs a fraction of what you’d pay for store-bought organic bread. Good luck! –Nancy

  6. Your are doing a wonderful research, dear Vani.

    I admire you and your work…

    Best regards from your real Hamburger reader and friend Knut

  7. One HUGELY overlooked product is heavy cream! It would be easier raising my own cow than trying to get a pure heavy cream WITHOUT Mono- and Diglycerides as nearly every brand has this garbage in it!! Whenever I try and find some, it’s near impossible. Outside of a few local organic dairies, no one wants to carry pure heavy cream anymore!

    This has got to stop indeed!

    I’m glad you posted this Vani!

  8. Vani, the research you share is invaluable. I have an idea, you need to start your own food company. I’d buy all your products. Keep the great info flowing. Greatly appreciated!!!!

  9. If you live in one of the southern states that have Publix Supermarket uou MUST try their Organic Chocolate Ice Cream, I hear the Vanilla, is also awesome! On top of the awesomeness it’s affordable, yes $3.50 1/2 gl.
    Please do be careful and doNOT buy Edie’s not only is it laced with chemicals n carrageenan, the package isn’t sealed at all! In this day n age of tampering how is this allowed? Very irresponsible!

  10. Sort of amazing to me American’s have become so complacent. They eat poison, elect the same idiots to office every term, think the nightly news is real, and think war is anything but a business. I could go on for hours. Boy are we dumb.

    1. Far several years now, I have made this statement many times : the American
      people are too stupid to vote and far quite awhile I’ve noticed that they are too stupid to eat…America’s demise is right around the corner…

      1. AND? the only thing keeps us somewhat informed is this internet. What happens when they shut this down???

    2. Totally agree!!
      Yup, Americans are too busy watching the stupidity from Hollywood, lame sports players, and all other nonsense rather than caring about their health, education, financial well being and paying attention to how and who is really running our country.

  11. Haagan Daz- But read ingredients carefully. There are only a few which don’t have junk in them. Look for those with no more than 5 or 6 ingredients and you can easily pronounce all of them

    1. Häagen-Dazs Daz had a small line of 5 ingredient ice creams. The lemon ice cream was delicious. I haven’t been able to find it for two years. I can’t remember the other 2, but I could pronounce them.

  12. I agree with the gentleman who shops the ‘perimeter’ of the store. We never eat processed foods and haven’t in over a decade. The upside of this is that my husband who did suffer from high blood pressure and diabetes 2, doesn’t any longer. Those meds are long gone along with the 84 lbs. he lost! He is as fit as ever at 72 years…

    1. Bingo!!!!
      It is amazing to see patients and talk with hundreds and hundreds of people who got out of the main stream of commercialized food, (if you want to call it food ), and eat bulk foods as God had and always has intended, and got their HEALTH BACK!!! Congratulations and well done.!!

  13. There are a handful of restaurants (yes, like mine) that offer food that is real and fresh and free from the poisons like those mentioned all over the place in this post and many others. If you live or travel in the Charlotte NC area, check us out! We are passionate about local, real food. Facebook harvestmoongrille

  14. Why is polypropelene glychol (sp) in many items of food. I have read this is antifreeze! I have found it in foods I have purchased then threw them out! If it protects a car engine from overheating, with the most carcinogens harmful to us, how can they get away with this.
    I visited my daughter with 10 yr. old grandson who was drinking a “non-milk” product of chocolate drink. I looked at it’s label which said on the front, “Non-Milk drink” for energy, etc…It contains many milk products camouflaged using big chem words and “may contain info…”. This is something our younger parents are giving their kids, not knowing what is in it.

    1. Propylene glycol may be used in confectionery to dissolve flavours and to keep products moist.

      Propylene glycol is used as a coolant and anti-freeze, but then again, water is used as a coolant and salt is used an anti-freeze.

      Propylene glycol is not the same as ethylene glycol, which is also used as a coolant, anti-freeze, and aircraft de-icer, and has been implicated in those tainted toothpaste scandals. Both are sweet-tasting, but ethylene glycol is more toxic, because, for one, it breaks down in the body into oxalic acid—the reason we don’t eat rhubarb leaves.

  15. That Dreyer’s Slow Churn had some nasty ingredients. I make my own Ice cream, I know what’s in it and can use half the sugar. I make a gallon, it keeps well in the freezer.

  16. I would hazard that I eat 75-95% unprocessed foods. Now I am dehydrating and canning from my own garden. The food is so much better than from a grocery store. Thanks for helping me to make better retail processed food choices.

  17. These are great ideas and thanks for the place for a forum, Vani, not to mention all your hard work and sacrifice. However, knowing someone in the milk industry personally, the milk used in all ice creams is the grade that cannot be in the milk jug to be drank (I call it white poison and have a great book on it; you will never allow it to touch your kids lips again.) There are different grades, just like orange juice is made from not so good oranges (sometimes moldy, etc) , but those that can’t be sold as a whole fruit. So, if you are not going to make your own, you need to get the one that is not milk based that is in the health food store or section, rice, coconut based or something besides milk. ( not soy based as our body perceives this is another hormone and causes many health problems…so no soy.. anything. soy was not considered a food until forty years ago), Thanks for mentioning the DARK act Bob L, as I can only eat organics at this point in my health. Now, I just don’t know what I am going to do if there are no labels. I am SO angry that we have been sold out in yet another important area in our life: what we choose to put in our bodies when we work hard to try to keep the bad things out. It is hard work, but it is better than a ‘blank check’. Thanks Vani, you are a God send and everyone else for your valued ideas and posts.

  18. Is stevia really safe ? I don’t use any artificially sweeteners and if I need a bit of sweet I use coconut palm sugar.

  19. Well, I was using ( I can’t believe it’s not butter
    Because of the low sat fat,
    What butter and milk do you recommend for a heart healthy and watching a1c levels diet
    Thanks !!!

  20. Ok so I make almost everything now I see Ice Cream , people make this all the time I have never mastered this can someone put a link to a good organic ice cream recipe?

    1. Topwithcinnamon.com has a recipe for a coconut milk ice cream with pistachio crumb and blueberries that I’m dying to try. I usually just make it with frozen banana slices and almond milk in my blender, adding whatever other ingredients I might like (chopped nuts, cacao chips, maple syrup, etc). Be creative! It’s easy and fun…even if it doesn’t come out perfect, it’s still usually a tasty, sloppy treat.

  21. Please run for some top post at the FDA Food Babe – we NEED you there!! It’s time! Or at least be on an advisory committee to them.
    Can we get a petition started?

  22. Someone mentioned the DARK Act. Here’s part of the response I received from our district representative.

    “Currently, there is no mandatory requirement in federal law to label foods containing genetically modified ingredients, and as a result, labeling for these foods is regulated at the state level. However, the state-by-state definition of a genetically engineered (GE) plant creates a patchwork of differing state and labeling requirements, which can interfere with interstate commerce and cause confusion among consumers and manufacturers.

    “H.R. 1599 is a bipartisan bill that aims to eliminate this confusion and create more clarity for consumers and businesses by establishing one uniform definition of GMOs, which manufactures can voluntarily choose to use on product labels. Additionally, H.R. 1599 would protect consumers from false advertising by giving the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) the authority to verify that products claiming not to contain GMOs meet the standards of federal labeling laws. For these reasons, I voted for H.R. 1599 when it passed the House on July 23, 2015. ”

    There does seem to be some common sense there, however, I note one word in particular which I don’t like … “voluntarily.”

    1. What state do you live and please identify the Rep. Whom you quoted. The Rep missed the point entirely! The point is states need to retain their right to require labels! It may be imperfect but upholds the right of THE PEOPLE to demand labeling. Where is the Rep’s solution to create a bill to remove confusion, improve interstate commerce and uphold the right of the state and individuals?
      I personally have contacted my Senators and pleaded with them to defeat HR 1599 to retain states rights and fight for Americans’ right to know what is in their food.

      1. Oh, I agree, Mark, but we have power-mad legislators who think they know what is best for all of us. I received that response because I contacted my rep. and senators. I live in Tennessee, and the message came from Rep. Diane Black. In my message to them, I stated that Americans are past disgusted with legislators who do not serve us but rather serve the interests of big business and do not listen to the citizenry. On other discussion boards, I’ve often seen posters refer to politicians as “snakes.” I think that is fitting, since snakes do not have ears. My son has a “pet” snake, and I find myself talking to it as if it were a dog or cat, forgetting that it cannot hear. Just like a politician, it doesn’t hear what I say. I’m totally disgusted with our state legislators, too, for reasons I won’t go into. Suffice it to say, I’m so thankful that I was able to homeschool my children. I’m working hard to grow as much of our own food as possible. Organically grown produce from heirloom seed … as long as we are still allowed to do that.

  23. Many thanks to you, Vani. You are doing a wonderful service to humanity. We are all blessed having you as our good health guide. God bless you.

  24. Thanks so much for this timely post.

    I am fairly vigilant about avoiding additives like mono and diglycerides, but I recently was SO duped.

    I was at the mall and thought I would enjoy some PinkBerry yogurt. They market their products as healthy with quality ingredients, so I thought I was OK. Hah! No such luck.

    Check out them out here:
    http://www.pinkberry.com/images/nutrition/Nutrition.pdf

    Looks like another company we need to go after to ask if they can change.

  25. BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE…everyone needs to phone or email their senators to plead them to defeat HR 1599. This will keep states rights to demand labeling to keep the American public informed of what is in food they consume. GMO’s, Non-organic, toxic, not needed or harmful additives will be listed mandatorily on labeling. The winner in all this is the health of the American people.
    THIS IS WHAT’S AT STAKE! Don’t let the D.A.R.K. act win. HR 1599 is Denying Americans the Right to Know.

    1. Hello Michael,
      I am a health care provider and I work a lot with nutrition. I promote folks to educate themselves as much as possible. I always recommend several books.
      Eat Right 4 Your Type (( blood type )) written by Peter D’Adamo.
      You can buy the book used. . . . . I have talked with hundreds of people at farmer’s markets, grocery stores, usu. in the produce section, and or just on the street, and these folks all say the same thing. They were sick, the medical system was not working. They were suffering from one of the top 20 so-called incurable diseases that are running wild in this country; costs billions of dollars every year and are losing the battle on every front every year. When have you ever heard on the news that a government program and or the Pharmos have cured Alzheimer’s, Diabetes, Heart Dis. . . . .never!!! However, all of these people have walked away from their pain, meds., chronic inflammation, and their so-called incurable disease and now are experiencing radiant health. They all walked up to my booth at the market and pointed to the book and said,” That ‘s the book that saved my life . . . . .!”
      If you buy this book, read it . It will recommend the right bread(s) you can eat and or need to avoid. Good Health !!!!
      This is one of the most successful books I have read.

  26. Thanks for this info.
    What many people don’t realize is that even if you are eating an excellent diet with healthy omega 3 fats, if you are also eating trans fats – those are the fats that will be used in the membranes of your brain cells. This causes poorer communication between brain cells and can lead to cognitive decline.

  27. As usual, a long, drawn out article without a single reference to any scientific study. Without science these claims are baseless.

    1. Your point is well taken Larry. However, I’m sure you’re aware most packaged food found in your average grocery store is owned by the likes of Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont – do these companies have a good track record regarding the health & safety of living things? NO THEY DO NOT. Please do a little research on who owns most of these major food companies, like ConAgra.

      All that said, i agree with you that it would be good to see links to more scientific studies supporting the info in the article.

  28. Vani can you please explain why coconut oil is good for us when it is solid at room temperature. Thanks for all you do. Your book is my greatest find since “The China Study”!

  29. Hi Vani, I really love all the work you are doing in educating people about what is in their food. You are making a huge difference to people’s health. I was wondering if you could tell me about an ingredient called “modified milk ingredients”? I know it’s not good because my daughter and I have terrible skin reactions whenever we ingest this. What is it? How is the milk modified? Why would it cause exzema whenever we eat it? Naturally, we avoid it at all costs now, but I see it in so many things. Thanks again for all you do!

  30. It’s a sad world we live in..we already struggle with all different things tha come our way ..to have this problem of having to check labels is a huge problem…I. Check labels when I go to the supermarket …and every time I go I notice that no one absolutely no one checks their food labels in the supermarkets I shop at….
    The reason these companies won’t show what’s on many foods is..that if they did NO one would buy those food articles ..which they shouldn’t anyway….because the ingredients are most likely deadly…..I bought a new beer in the winter ..I got such an allergy attack it was aweful ..I was not sure if it was the beer so I bought one again the next day and sure enough I became very ill….I could imagine the chemicals that the beer must have contained….although vani has done an excellent job ..the road ahead is still long…because when they say they have taken out something like that trans fat …she found that there is another poison in there anyway…seeming as if the battle is horrendous…and it is because all organic food is not organic..and all people are not near farms ..or near those supermarkets that perhaps provide a choice…so just see How indeed difficult this problem is…..I am eating careful ..but I get very short of money just buying vegetables and fruit for the month ..I get short for the month for groceries because of the expense …not everyone has the money that most of you have…..so there has to be another solution only God can provide in his due time…Isaiah 65:21-22. My hope rest on this promise one day…and if I die ..my hope is this …Acts 24:15 …there will always and forever be snakes in politics …they have only cared for power and always will the corruption in politics is their forthose who are not blind to see it….but for those who rest their hope on men will always be slaves of corrupt men……

  31. Dear Vani,
    All of this is such helpful information! Thankyou. My mom-in-law came to live with us, and she brought butter to our table. Now, we were the margarine generation, believing that butter was bad, bad, bad. As I began making her breakfast, something interesting happened. The butter melted much more nicely into her toast compared to our margarine which just kind of sat there or when melted, turned the toast to a mushy consistency. I began researching and found your site and others against the trans fats. So, now has begun my family’s slow conversion from margarine to butter. Both are offered, but if I have control of toast making…butter is on everything 🙂

  32. Thank you this article. I am a label reader. I was not aware of the purpose of the mono and di gylcerides. They are in every processed food out there for the most part. I thank you for the observation that they are in many foods in the restaurant chains. Often after I eat bread products at many different restaurants I often feel that my asthma is acting up. Last night I ate some chex snack mix and after only a few minutes of eating a small bowl full I started with some bronchial coughing. I just looked at the ingredients and distilled monoglycerides is in bold letters, and it also has partially hydrogenated soybean oil. No more of that stuff. Again thank you for this information. I’m glad I am retired so I have time to cook from scratch. I am a vegetarian go my grains and greens are fresh, As a consumer I thank you again for bringing about more awareness for the shopper

  33. No one has mentioned Ben & Jerry’s, so am I to assume, Vani, that It is bad, too? Honestly, I have allowed my PTSD to keep me from doing the grocery shopping for a few years now, and I realize that I will have to go if I want to avoid toxic food. But I am very curious to know your thoughts on Ben &Jerry’s, supposedly all natural

  34. If you want to be safe always read the label and if there is a word that you can not pronounce or know what it is do not put it in your body. If it is processed at all do not eat it.
    Do you know how your body reacts to different foods? Example of this is my wife can not eat ice berg lettuce. She will bloat
    If you eat and do not feel right between the time you eat and 30 minutes something you ate is not good for you. What you need to do is eliminate wait a few days and try it again. How do you feel.

  35. This is very helpful, but the main ingredient in so many foods that simply must be avoided is High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). In Canada the label reads glucose-fructose for HFCS. Just read the labels and avoid this. One “popular” barbecue sauce had this as the first ingredient meaning it was the most abundant.

    This means “no soda pop” at all. And, of course, you can’t substitute “diet” pop, as aspartame (nutrasweet) is probably worse than HFCS. Interestingly, they use “real sugar” in England, that is, cane sugar, but any sugar in “processed foods” simply must be avoided.

    And please, please, do not donate such “foods” to food banks. One of the worst is Campbell’s tomato soup (not a single ingredient worth celebrating – even the water may be suspect).

  36. The problem with the DARK Act is all in its name. It leaves us in the dark! For us, the people, it is all about transparency. We have worked hard to know what we are being fed, and that battle is not over. Now they want us to take a step back? The important question is why? If it so safe, and doesn’t matter, then why all the cloak and dagger?

  37. Mention the ‘Safe food labeling’ bill that’s currently in congress, they’re misnaming the legislation to make it sound good in order to ban mandatory labeling of ingredients. Its so you as a consumer can’t avoid chemicals, GMO’s (don’t believe the ‘safe’ claim, there’s no independent long-term scientific research at all. Obesity and neurological epidemic in America anyone?), or anything else that people could want to avoid or want to know if they’re consuming.

    Call this bill out!

  38. Ryan, if you’re depending solely on the internet for your information there is
    little hope for you… There is only one place where you can get the whole truth
    and depend on it forever… In your answer to my post you wrote AND?
    My answer to AND? is go read the 26th chap. Leviticus and the 28th chap. in
    Deuteronomy of the Holy Scripture and you will understand what I wrote !!!

  39. Most of these comments are silly. U shouldn’t be eating animal products period. Your worried about these artificial Ingredients but u don’t seem to care about the cholesterol or unhealthy fats from the animals and their products your consuming . Look at any vegan processed food and u have zero cholesterol. If u want to live a healthy lifestyle eat fruits and veggies and their products.

  40. All of this is new to me. I admit it is frustrating knowing WHAT is and is not good for me! So much to know. Feels like I shouldn’t be eating at all!

  41. I am reading your book and have gotten about halfway through it. I have to admit I read a few pages and then have to put it down. It is so overwhelming because I am at the point I feel I just can’t eat anything. Now this, it is just too much for one person to comprehend. You may be able to find those foods that are devoid of all the bad stuff but in my area I cannot find them all and don’t have the know how or the money to buy all these types of products. I know my health is important but it is just soooo overwhelming and frankly I can’t remember everything. I am at the point where everything in the grocery store seems bad for me and it is so frustrating. I appreciate your work and efforts and wish I could do it all but it doesn’t seem possible. We are retired and on a fixed income so it seems out of our budget to maintain this level of buying these products. Everything is just so expensive. I believe in what you are saying and wish I could do it all but again it seems so impossible.

    1. I don’t think it’s impossible if you keep things simple. If you’re on a tight budget you may have to reduce your food options/variety, but you can still eat healthy. For instance, rice, grains, legumes, pasta, are affordable staples which can be bought organic while still maintaining budget and proper nutrition. You have to literally and figuratively think outside the box! A lot of the price of packaged foods is actually caused by the packaging itself. Buying in bulk -again 0rganic – saves a lot. It’s challenging at first but once you get the hang of it you’ll be wondering why you bothered with all that packaged garbage.

    1. Why do the only science based comments get deleted ? Are people afraid to talk about facts ?

      1. Her skin is radiant. Her eyes are full of energy. She’s in great shape. I’d say that the proof is in the pudding. Whenever I look at pictures of people who mock her, they always seem to be….well…..not quite in shape. Lol. Why not just go healthy? Get rid of all the processed crap. And live how we were created to? Why does someone have to know everything about everything in order to be taken seriously? Obviously she is personally getting results. Yes, science needs to back things up….but “science” has been known to be wrong. Be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

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