Here are five toxic compounds in food that you should look out for


Charcuterie plate with mustards, cheeses, fruits, relishes, bacon, and breads. — Unsplash
Charcuterie plate with mustards, cheeses, fruits, relishes, bacon, and breads. — Unsplash 

While most food ingredients get accused of being toxic without science really supporting those stances, some can actually remain poisonous.

Following are five ingredients that can be extremely harmful, especially when taken in larger amounts:

Artificial trans fats

Used in many processed goods and snacks, artificial trans fats have hydrogen pumped into unsaturated oils.

These fats can cause inflammation and affect the heart negatively. In the US, the use of artificial fats is completely banned for this reason.

Bisphenol A and similar compounds

While BPA is a chemical that is used in food containers, studies have shown that it can sneak into the food or beverage inside.

BPA mimics estrogen and can disturb hormonal functions, reported Healthline.

As seen in animal studies, BPA exposure may also lead to reproductive problems and breast and prostate cancer.

Some studies showed that the chemical is linked to type 2 diabetes and obesity.

It is important to make sure your plastic container is BPA-free and is replaced by other compounds like bisphenol S.

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are environmental pollutants. 

When meat fat drops on cooking surfaces, volatile PAHs are produced that may seep into the meat being cooked.

Grilled meat of any type be it red or white has been found to contain PAHs.It is also found in processed food.

These are so toxic that they can increase the risk of breast, kidney, colon, and prostate cancer, reported a study published in  PubMed.

Added sugars

Added sugars can be quite detrimental to health. Several studies published by the National Institute of Health show that sugar high in fructose has been associated with obesity metabolic syndrome, fatty liver disease, and cancer.

Foods that have added sugars can also be addictive making it hard for people to quit.

It is crucial to limit sugar-sweetened beverages like soft drinks and fruit juices.

Coumarin in cinnamon

Coumarin is found in C cassia, C Loureiro, and C burmannii cinnamon.

Unfortunately, these are common in grocery stores. Coumarin, if taken in high doses, is linked with a higher risk of cancer and liver damage.

The problem is that a consumer can never know how much coumarin cinnamon has.

To avoid this, experts suggest taking Ceylon cinnamon or “true cinnamon” as it contained lower levels of coumarin.

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