I’m not delusional. I know that everyone already knows these foods are down right junk. In my opinion, these are the junkiest of the junk food, full of the most toxic chemicals and refined sugars. Please, not even in moderation.
1. Soda – Mountain Dew KickStart is plain scary. 19 ingredients, only 2 are not chemicals! Sadly, it’s marketed to teenagers as an energizing “juice drink” and contains only 5% juice (one of the 2 recognizable ingredients in the list – the other is water). Please don’t drink it at all, and especially not for breakfast!
Stewart’s Fountain Classics Orange’nCream Soda is sort of tricky. It looks like something you’d buy at an old-fashioned ice cream parlor, but is full of suspect food additives such as butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA – a possible carcinogen) along with yellow dye, artificial flavors, high fructose corn syrup, and, brominated soybean oil (a flame retardant!). I can’t imagine these chemicals even existed in 1924, when the bottle states the company was founded. It’s now owned by the Dr. Pepper/Snapple group, and is far removed from anything “classic”. Skip it.
2. Cheese Snacks – Cheetos Cheddar Jalapeno Crunchy Cheese Flavored Snack – 4 different artificial food dyes, multiple forms of MSG, artificial flavor, and partially hydrogenated oils. There are better crunchy cheese snacks out there, and some, like Stacy’s, are even made by Frito-Lay.
3. Lollipops – Charms Blow Pops and Jolly Rancher Lolly Pops – contain corn syrup, multiple artificial food dyes, and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), a chemical preservative that has been shown to cause cancer and disrupt hormones in rats. Try the “gum pops” by Glee Gum for a great alternative <a href=”http://www.gleegum.com/glee-gum-pops.htm”>http://www.gleegum.com/glee-gum-pops.htm</a>
4. Cookie Dough – Nestle’s, Pillsbury – partially hydrogenated oils, artificial colors and artificial flavors. Bake from scratch with butter, flour, and eggs. It’s worth the extra time to avoid the unnecessary chemicals.
5. Flavored ice creams – Blue Bunny Perfectly Peppermint ice cream – If it’s mint chip and it’s dyed green, avoid it. Usually that’s a “green flag” that the rest of the ingredients are not much better. Peppermint isn’t green. Go for the more natural, white versions.
6. Canned frosting – Pillsbury Funfetti, Holiday Frosting, Aqua Blue Vanilla “Happy Birthday” – a whopping serving of partially hydrogenated fat, mixed with preservatives, artificial flavor, and 7 different food dyes. Avoid (completely!) all of the “Funfetti” products. Home made icing is really simple to make, and it won’t poison you or your family.
7. Sugary Breakfast Cereals – Trix, Fruity Pebbles, and other colored sugar breakfast cereals – these foods are not for breakfast. Don’t have your children start their day with a bowl of sugar, multiple artificial food dyes, and preservatives that may disrupt their hormones. Choose cereals without added colors and multiple sugars.
8. Potato Chips – Wise Ridgies – Potato chips are not a great snack choice for obvious reasons – fried, fat, salt, and acrylamide (a “probable human carcinogen”). Go to <a href=”http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/acrylamide-in-food”>http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/acrylamide-in-food</a> for more on acrylamide, which is highest in French fries and potato chips. Certain brands of potato chips add insult to injury by also adding artificial food dyes, preservatives, partially hydrogenated oils, and MSG.
9. Microwave Popcorn – Chemicals such as perfluoruooctanoic acid (PFOA) in the lining of the bag may be linked to infertility in humans. PFOA contaminates the popcorn when the bag is microwaved. PFOA is in the blood of most Americans and persists in the environment. There’s a plan to phase it out by 2015, but its replacement may be just as bad. Until further information is gathered, use a popcorn maker (or the stove top!). It’s easy!
10. Pop Tarts – not for breakfast or for any time. Don’t load up on high fructose corn syrup and three other sugars, a slew of artificial colors and flavors, and refined vegetable oils. No nutrition here. I can’t even offer a replacement that compares. What is a pop tart anyway? How about some toast, butter, and jam? Delicious!