Weightloss and Nasty Additives: BHA and BHT

Nov 08

Weightloss and Nasty Additives: BHA and BHT

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Ok, so I’m slowly recovering from my Mexico trip – looking much better.

I’ve been doing a lot of research into why my weightloss is so stubborn, and I think I have solved the mystery. I’ve been reading The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing – an amazing book, by the way, regardless of whether you’re into endurance walking or not. Several times in my reading I’ve come across reasons why the body holds on to fat in spite of one’s best efforts. I’m going to start talking about these on my blog, so watch for it!

Ok, so we’ve done several posts on superfoods. I thought it would be good to check out the “dark side” of nutrition.

How many times have you picked up a package of food and read the ingredients only to discover that you have no idea what they mean? We assume that because they’re in food, they’re safe.

Some are, it’s true, but some are quite dangerous, or at best, iffy enough to cause one to pause before consuming. I thought it would be a good idea to introduce you to some of those in this blog so that you can make an informed choice.

The first Additive we’ll tackle is BHA and BHT. Let’s define them, first of all.

According to Wikipedia:

Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) is an antioxidant consisting of a mixture of two isomeric organic compounds, 2-tert-butyl-4-hydroxyanisole and 3-tert-butyl-4-hydroxyanisole. It is prepared from 4-methoxyphenol and isobutylene. It is a waxy solid used in certain amounts as a food additive with the E number E320. The primary use for BHA is as an antioxidant and preservative in food, food packaging, animal feed, and cosmetics, and in rubber and petroleum products.[3] BHA also is commonly used in medicines, such as isotretinoin (known as Accutane/Roaccutane), lovastatin, and simvastatin, among others.

Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), also known as butylhydroxytoluene, is a lipophilic (fat-soluble) organic compound that is primarily used as anantioxidant food additive (E number E321) as well as an antioxidant additive in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, jet fuelsrubberpetroleum products, electrical transformer oil,[2] and embalming fluid.

So, why is it in my food? Well, oils and fats that are in foods get exposed to air, and then they oxidize, which makes them go rancid. The BHT/BHA added to foods act as anti-oxidants that stop or delay this process from happening, so your foods last longer.

The problem is, that while this helps stop your food from going rancid, there’s quite a list of studies done that show that BHA and BHT may contribute to carcinogenicity or tumorigenicity. This isn’t something I want to play around with.

So, what kinds of products contain BHT/BHA?

BHA is found in: butter, meats, cereals, chewing gum, baked goods, snack foods, dehydrated potatoes, beer, animal feed, food packaging, cosmetics, rubber products, and petroleum products

BHT is found in shortening, cereals, enriched rice, and other foods containing fats and oils

Want more information?

Toxicology of the synthetic antioxidants BHA and BHT in comparison with the natural antioxidant vitamin E

Diet Science: Fake Antioxidants – Don’t Be Fooled!

Any comments or questions? Post them in the comments section! I’d love to hear from you!

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The advice offered in this blog is based upon the author’s own experience. The author is not engaged in rendering professional advice or services to the readers. The ideas, procedures, and suggestions in this blog are not intended to replace a consultation with a physician or other qualified healthcare professional. All matters regarding your health require medical supervision. The author shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity that incurs any loss, damage, or injury caused directly, or indirectly from any information or suggestion in this Program.
* Any link with an asterisk (*) denotes an affiliate link or a source with some kind of payback for me.
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