“A no artificial flavours diet involves avoiding foods and beverages that contain synthetic or artificial flavourings. Here we look at a no artificial flavours approach, highlight the potential risks associated with artificial flavours, and provide practical tips for incorporating natural food choices into your daily routine.
Understanding Artificial Flavours
A flavour in food is there to enhance things like the taste and smell of a food. While foods do intrinsically contain natural flavoring substances; it is estimated up to 90% of Americans’ grocery purchases also contain added flavours.
Artificial flavours are therefore defined as chemical compounds created to mimic specific tastes or aromas found in natural ingredients/flavours. They are commonly used in processed foods, snacks, beverages, and condiments. Artificial flavours can be derived from a variety of sources, including petroleum and other chemical compounds. The conundrum is that some of these flavours are the exact same makeup as those that are found in nature so the term artificial, in this case, refers to the fact that they have been created by man to mimic those found in nature.
Because artificial flavours can have the same chemical composition as flavors isolated directly from nature it can be that they are as safe and healthy as those found naturally. In addition,artificial flavours do not need to go through the extraction process which can be highly intensive from a manufacturing point of view and may even have a higher purity.
Advantages of a No Artificial Flavours Diet
Neverthelss - for those wishing to avoid ‘artificial flavours’ the following applies
Many processed foods that contain artificial flavours are also high in added sugars, unhealthy fats, and sodium. By opting for natural food choices, individuals can reduce their intake of these less desirable ingredients, promoting a healthier overall dietary pattern.
Some artificial flavours have raised concerns regarding their safety and potential health risks. While the long-term effect of consuming artificial flavours is still being studied, choosing natural food options can provide peace of mind and support overall well-being.
Tips on Incorporating Natural Food Choices into Your Diet
Choose Whole, Unprocessed Foods: Focus on incorporating whole, unprocessed foods into your diet. These include fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and herbs and spices. These natural ingredients provide rich flavours and eliminate the need for artificial additives.
Cook from Scratch: Preparing meals at home using fresh ingredients gives you full control over the flavours and eliminates the reliance on artificial flavourings. Experiment with different herbs, spices, and cooking techniques to enhance the taste of your dishes.
Read Ingredient Labels: When purchasing packaged foods, carefully read ingredient labels to identify products that are free from artificial flavours. Look for foods labeled "no artificial flavours"
Embrace Seasonal Produce: Seasonal fruits and vegetables often offer the most vibrant flavors. Visit local farmers' markets or grow your own produce to access a wide variety of fresh, natural flavours throughout the year.
Adopting a no artificial flavours diet can lead to a greater appreciation of natural tastes, promote healthier food choices, and potentially reduce the intake of additives that may carry health risks. By prioritizing whole, unprocessed foods and cooking from scratch, individuals can enjoy the authentic flavors and reap the benefits of a more natural and wholesome approach to eating.
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Food and Drug Administration (2021). Artificial Flavors. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/food/food-ingredients-packaging/food-ingredients-and-packaging/artificial-flavors
Healthline (2021). Are Artificial Flavors Bad for You? Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/artificial-flavors
Environmental Working Group (2018). Dirty Dozen Guide to Food Additives. Retrieved from https://www.ewg.org/research/dirty-dozen-guide-food-additives