Linked to weight gain, digestive distress, increased levels of triglycerides, and defects in insulin and lipid metabolism.
On label: High-Fructose Corn Syrup or HFCS
Often found in: Processed and convenience products such as soda, bread, pizza, jelly, canned fruit, etc.
Linked to causing hyperactivity in children as well as increasing the risk of tumors and allergy-like reactions in humans. The European Union requires warning labels for some.
On label: Colors (Red, Yellow, Blue, etc.), Caramel, Amaranth, Erythrosine
Often found in: Desserts, yogurts, colored beverages, foods and snacks marketed to kids
Linked to weight gain, and causing cancer and digestive problems.
On label: Neotame, Acesulfame-K (Acesulfame Potassium), Aspartame, Saccharin, Sucralose
Often found in: Desserts, yogurts, snacks, many processed foods
Linked to hyperactivity, cancerous tumors, skin and eye irritation, and asthmatic problems.
On label: Nitrites, Nitrates, Benzoates, MSG, GMP, BHA, BHT, Sulfates, Sulfites, Sorbates, TBHQ
Often found in: Soups, crackers, meats, condiments, snacks and other packaged foods
Linked to raising LDL (bad) cholesterol and lowering HDL (good) cholesterol which could increase the risk of premature heart attacks.
On label: Hydrogenated or Partially Hydrogenated Oils, Shortening
Often found in: Processed and convenience starchy foods such as breads, pizza, muffins, etc.
Linked to overexposure and resistance to antibiotics and mistreatment of animals.
Look for: Organic, No Antibiotics Administered/USDA Process Verified
Not always noted; need to confirm with supplier and choose products that are organic and/or grass-fed, pasture-raised, cage-free
Often found in: Meats, milk, eggs and dairy
Linked to causing diabetes; not necessary; banned in some countries.
On label: Bleached Flour, Bromated Flour
Often found in: Breads, breadsticks, pizza crusts, crackers, pasta and other starches
The Sinister Seven, or Seven Ingredients of Concern, have been outlined by The Life Time Foundation. Learn more at www.lifetimefitness.com.