Fit & Well: 20 Ingredients in Disguise

20 Ingredients in disguise

When it comes to nutrition labels the fewer the ingredients to define, the better. The rule of thumb is to keep it under ten. With that, you know you are the closest to the whole food state as you can get with pre-packaged nutrients. There are a plethora of additives out there. Most of which you can’t even pronounce. So many that you need a dictionary to decipher what exactly you are eating.

After doing some research, I would like to provide you with a glossary of some of the top controversial ingredients out there.

Acesulfame Potassium (Acesulfame-K)
A.K.A. – Sweet One & Sunett. Contains known carcinogens. Artificial sweetener in diet sodas and ice cream.

Artificial Colors
A.K.A. – Red #2, Red #3, Red #40, Citrus Red #1, Citrus Red #2, Yellow #5, Yellow #6, Blue #1, Blue #2, Green #3, Annatto, Bixin, Brown HT, Caramel Coloring, Norbixin, Orange B…Some Carcinogenic. Many are petroleum derived.

A.K.A. – Equal & NutraSweet. Potentially carcinogenic. A combination of two amino acids: phenylalanine and aspartic acid. Found in soft drinks.

Autolyzed Vegetable Protein & Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein
A.K.A. – MSG. Flavor enhancer & neurotoxin.

A.K.A. – Found in yoga mats. Also used in bagels & buns to maintain bread texture.

Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO)
A.K.A. – Contains bromine, the element found in brominated flame retardants. Keeps flavored oils in soft drinks suspended.

Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) & Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)
A.K.A. – Known carcinogens also used in rubber and petroleum products. Fat preservatives that keep foods from going rancid on the shelf. 

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
A.K.A. – Highly processed form of glucose converted into fructose (type of sugar found in fruit). There are claims that it inhibits leptin, the hormone responsible for telling your brain that you’re full and is known to contain toxic levels of mercury.

Monosodium Glutamate
A.K.A. – MSG. Flavor enhancer & neurotoxin.

Partially Hydrogenated Oil
A.K.A. – Primary source of trans fat, increases shelf life and stabilizes flavor.

Propyl Gallate
A.K.A. – Found in hair-grooming products and adhesives. Added to fats and oils to keep them from spoiling.

Potassium Bromate
A.K.A. – Added to breads to increase volume and produce a fine crumb structure. May also be used to produce some types of malted barley. Banned by all industrialized countries except U.S. and Japan.

Propylene Glycol
A.K.A. – Antifreeze. A synthetic liquid substance that absorbs water. It is also used to make polyester compounds.

Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH)
A.K.A. – Carcinogenic. Genetically-engineered version of natural growth hormone in cows.

A.K.A. – Sweet’N Low. Made from petroleum.

Sodium Benzoate
A.K.A. – Carcinogenic. Used to prevent the growth of microorganisms in acidic foods.

Sodium Caseinate
A.K.A. – MSG. Flavor enhancer & neurotoxin.

Sodium Nitrate & Sodium Nitrite
A.K.A. – Bacterial growth stopper in processed meats. Without these, foods would appear gray instead of red.

A.K.A. – Splenda. Made from sugar, scientists replace three hydrogen-oxygen molecules with chlorine atoms and change it’s chemical composition.

Tert Butylhydroquinone (TBHQ)
A.K.A. – A form of butane. Can be found in varnish, lacquer and resin. Helps prolong food shelf life.


Trainer, Mara Miranda from

– PM



2 thoughts on “Fit & Well: 20 Ingredients in Disguise

    1. Stay tuned…in the following weeks I will have a series called “Red Bite, Green Bite”. It will feature foods that are good to eat all the time, foods you should take caution to and foods you should stay away from. The Green Bite foods will give you some good options to clean up your diet.


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