If you're trying to eat healthily, you'll need to look for and avoid these three food additives.

How safe or unsafe are those things found on food labels? We break down the these products and lay down the possible hazards or its adverse side effects.

Xanthan Gum

Xanthan Gum is used as an emulsifier or stabilizer, and it can be found on all of your favorite gluten-free products.

If you are not cautious with the levels, Xanthan Gum will really screw your intestines up. Research by Northern General Hospital showed that Xanthan Gum can induce colonic pain when ingested in high doses and is a highly effective laxative agent that can trigger flatulence and raise the "frequency of defecation."  Also, one Brazilian study showed it could worsen inflammation in humans based on lab studies. 


Maltodextrin has a greater glycemic index than table sugar, meaning consuming it will induce an increase in blood sugar after consuming food containing it, which can be harmful to those with diabetes or insulin resistance. It's also used as a sweetener that could be worse for you than plain old table sugar. 

A 2016 study by doctors in the Netherlands found that replacing unprocessed starches with Maltodextrin can increase the glycemic load of food, meaning it increases the sugar content and drives up how much blood glucose your body needs to metabolize in one sitting. This will result in insulin response and weight gain.

Palm Fruit Oil

Palm Oil is terrible for the heart and will pump up cholesterol, but since it's inexpensive and stays solid at room temperature but melts when heated (like margarine), the market is flooded with it. Research conducted by the University of Columbia showed that contrary to the common notion that Palm Oil can minimize cholesterol, it has limited health benefits and, due to its high concentration of saturated fat, can potentially increase cholesterol even in small quantities.

Another Malaysian research looked at what happens when you reheat foods that have been fried with palm oil and found that the more time the oil gets heated, the worse it is for you, the denser it is and the more likely it can lead to plaque deposits that can obstruct arteries and cause heart disease. It was discovered that when the oil is reheated, the plaque deposits in the arteries would potentially increase.

While small concentrations of these chemicals in the immediate term would not pose any high-risk health hazards, it is essential to know exactly what's in the items you are purchasing. Many ingredients would generally be somewhat acceptable, so the safest way to stop food additives is just stick just consuming whole foods so you don't really have to think about double-checking the label.