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Avoiding Preservatives for a Healthier Diet

Most of the food the average person eats has some sort of preservative in it. A preservative is any food additive that is meant to retard natural processes that would deteriorate the food. Now, this sounds good in practice. It’s something that allows your food to last longer and taste fresher.

Preservatives can slow down mold growth, stop food from rotting so quickly and preserve the fresh taste of food. But a preservative can also have some negative effects, and those generally affect your diet more than anything else.

Negative Preservative Effects

Preservatives work in a few different ways. they may stop cellular growth, preventing bacteria from forming. They may also slow down or stop cellular transport, so particles cannot move from one location to another. They can also prevent oxides from reaching the food, allowing foreign substances to take root.

Now those effects can carry over to your body because you absorb and consume the preservatives with the food. You can wash your food as much as you like, but it is likely that anything with preservatives will absorb some of those preservatives into it just through contact.

The negative effects can include allergic reactions, trouble breathing (sometimes related to allergic reactions), damage to the heart and even cancer. Of course, not every preservative is going to have an immediate negative effect on the person consuming it. But there can be cumulative damage. Over time, as the body absorbs more and more of the preservatives, their effects can become more serious.

How to Consume Fewer Preservatives

Having preservatives in the food you eat is mostly unavoidable. You can grow all your own food and only buy fresh foods that have no preservatives, but that isn’t an option for everyone. Not everybody can keep up that kind of lifestyle for very long, either because they don’t have space for it, they cannot afford it, or it takes up too much of their time. There are other reasons as well, but it is important to know that avoiding preservatives completely is simply an unattainable goal for the large majority of people.

What can be done then is to focus on eliminating as many of these preservatives from your diet as you can, reducing the amount you take in. The easiest way to do that is to avoid buying recessed, canned and prepared foods. Instead, cook with fresh fruits and vegetables as you can. You can also go to the meat market or some other fresh meat provider for your meats.

Canned foods are some of the worst offenders, as they are meant to last for years. They often have the most preservatives packed in, and a lot of these foods can be found locally, at farmer’s markets and even in the fresh produce section of your local grocery. You don’t really have to go far out of your way to enjoy healthy, preservative-free foods.

You’re still going to be taking in some preservatives, but by greatly reducing that amount, you can be healthier and avoid a lot of the negative effects that can come from consuming large amounts of preservatives over time.

It helps to know where your food comes from and what is done to it. Just because you bought something at a farmer’s market or it is labeled fresh, that does not mean that there are no preservatives in it. There may also be pesticides used on these products, and you still need to exercise the proper precautions, such as washing fruits and vegetables before you use them.

Additional Benefits

Preservatives can rob foods of a lot of their nutritional value. By eating foods that lack these chemicals, you can restore a lot of the nutrients that are essential to a healthy diet. You will be able to enjoy foods that are packed with more vitamins and that provide a wealth of health benefits to you.

This makes it easier to hit your health and fitness goals, as you will have more energy, build up your body with more strength and fight off infection easier. You may even find that you save money on vitamins since fresh, preservative-free foods are so much better for you.

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