Junk Food is the New Heroin

shutterstock_25210807It is a fact that people have an actual addiction to food. I hear from people all the time who are in excruciating pain 24 hours a day “I would do anything to feel better”. But when the mention of changing their diets, eliminating sodas and processed foods, they recoil and say “I could never do that”. That my friends, is what addiction looks like. To be so dependent on something that you would sacrifice your quality of life, is addiction at its worst. When you see drug addicts or alcoholics destroying their lives and their bodies for the sake of a substance, it is clear the grip those chemicals have on the individual. The same is happening with food. People are struggling to get through the day, they are in terrible pain, suffering from fatigue, insomnia, digestive issues, etc. – but yet refuse to change the one thing that can make those things go away, their diet.

I was there, so I know what kind of power food has over a person. I would have done anything to relieve my symptoms too; anything BUT change my diet. I was in denial that something that brought me so much pleasure could actually be contributing to the problem (hmmm, sound at all like a drug addict talking…?). If I was going to be sick, I certainly wasn’t going to give up one of the few pleasures I had in life. The sad part of this thinking is that it keeps millions of people stuck. People who refuse to see the connection between what we put into our bodies and the sickness that ensues. We can’t possibly expect a living organism like he human body to thrive on chemicals and toxins anymore than we can expect it to thrive on drugs and alcohol. To our bodies they are one in the same, substances that we have grown dependent on. The problem is that they are slowly killing us.

shutterstock_12700213The New York Times recently ran this fascinating article which reveals the truth about what drives the food manufacturers in their quest to making a tastier snack and why they aim to get the public “addicted” to their particular product. These companies like Kraft, General Mills, and Pillsbury calculate with perfect precision, just the right amount of salt + sugar + fat + crunchiness + low satiety = addiction. This is a formula used by every food manufacturer to keep you coming back for more. They aren’t looking out for you, or your kids best interest. They are simply looking to increase sales and they will do that by any means necessary. This includes making products that aren’t fit for human consumption, even filling them with chemicals that have been banned in other parts of the world. They will use whatever means necessary to keep you (and your kids) hooked.

One of these chemicals is Yellow #5, also known as Tartrazine – hold onto your hats y’all, it is made from INDUSTRIAL COAL TAR WASTE. Each of those words is bad enough on it’s own, but to have them all strung together to describe a common food additive…ick. And to think it is used just to make something look more edible… double ick.

Here are some KNOWN side effects of yellow 5 – indigestion, anxiety, migraines, clinical depression, blurred vision, itching, general weakness, heatwaves, feeling of suffocation, purple skin patches, and sleep disturbance.  Certain people who are exposed to the dye experience symptoms of tartrazine sensitivity even at extremely small doses, some for periods up to 72 hours after exposure. In children, asthma attacks and hives have been claimed, as well as supposed links to thyroid tumours, chromosomal damage, and hyperactivity.

Check out the following foods that often contain yellow #5, you might be shocked to see some of your favorites on here.

shutterstock_70250746Prescription and non-prescription pharmaceutical drugs: kids chewable vitamins; chewable pills for colds/fever reducers

Flavored milk : It is in some of the flavored milks like vanilla and banana flavored.

Yogurt: Yoplait Trix – aimed at kids! 

Orange colored cheeses: Velveeta – m’kay, we probably saw that one coming… 

Pickles: All brands except the Claussen brand – really…? pickles…

shutterstock_765524Orange colored snacks: Doritos, Cheetos, cheese curls; Ranch flavored Bugles, cheddar butter popcorn, etc.

Macaroni and cheese: Kraft brand – another usual suspect


shutterstock_85923595Candy: M&M’s, Butterfingers, gummy bears, lollipops, Starburst, Smarties, Nerds, Pez, Sweet Hearts…just about all
colored candies

Colored marshmallows: …because regular marshmallows just weren’t appealing enough…?

Fruit snacks: It is in Twistables, Fruit Roll ups, Fruit Gushers, etc..The strawberry flavored ones tend to be the only flavored snacks that don’t contain the yellow dye. – once again, aimed at the kids! 

Gelatin and pudding desserts: It’s in most Snack Pack pudding cups/jello cups, Chocolate, Vanilla, Butterscotch, Banana, lemon, etc, etc, etc. It’s in the powder pudding mixes, including chocolate.

Ice cream: those that contain a candy ingredient, or banana flavored.

Popsicles: mostly the inexpensive yellow and orange flavors

Frozen snack foods: pizza rolls, corn dogs, etc.

Frozen breakfast foods: Pillsbury, Aunt Jamima and store brands; french toasts, waffles, pancakes, etc.

shutterstock_3830581Mountain Dew: It’s also in other colored sodas, like orange, and some lemon-lime brands

Tang and all “Orange” drinks: these are served at McDonald’s and other fast food restaurants.

Other artificially colored drinks: it is in some Kool-Aid flavors

shutterstock_41834203Boxed breakfast cereals: Cap’n Crunch Chocolate Balls, Trix, Fruit Loops, Kellogg’s Cinnamon Bun cereal as well as their Chocolate Cinnamon Bun cereal, etc. It is also in some Pop Tart flavors. – yup, more kid’s stuff…


Boxed side dishes/dinners: Cheese flavored rices and noodles, mashed potatoes, scalloped potatoes, Hamburger
Helper, One dish casserole meals, Chef Boy R Dee One Dish meals, etc…it’s in McCormicks Spaghetti Sauce powder envelope

Breads, cakes, and other baked goods (especially ones that contain “candied fruit”): It’s in colored sprinkles, chocolate frosting, vanilla frosting, boxed cake mixes (including chocolate cake and brownies), cupcakes, cookies including Iced Animal Crackers. Donuts, depending on the icing and of course, sprinkles or any kind of cute, shaped toppings.

Wasabi: seriously…is nothing sacred?!

Alcoholic drinks: drink mixers like sours but also some beer!

Also found in:
birth control pills

There you have it folks, frightening right?…As you can see, most of these products are directed at your kids, PLEASE read labels and keep this poisonous, disease-causing crap out of their precious bodies.

As I’m sure you noticed, none of the items listed above are “real” foods, they are all processed non-food items, but we have ALL eaten them. I used to start my day with a Mountain Dew every single morning – for years! Sometimes it is difficult to know what I mindlessly ate on a regular basis. I only hope that I can make it up to my body for putting up with all.that.junk! I encourage you to not only read labels, but even better, skip the processed foods altogether! Even if they don’t have yellow #5, they inevitably have other things that aren’t promoting you and your family’s health. Stick to wholesome “real” foods from the earth and your body will repay you with improving and long-lasting health.