There is no surprise if we tell you that those brightened candies, gummy bears, cereals, cake mixes, and soft drinks that you find on the shelves are artificially colored. These items do not occur naturally, so it is easy to surpass them for those who are health conscious and do not want to include red, yellow, green, or blue dyes.
Now there is a piece of bad news here. The products that we mentioned above are the foods with artificial color and the ones that you can spot easily on the supermarket shelf. But there are plenty of foods on the market that may appear natural but are artificially colored or enhanced via food dyes. These artificial foods are not suspected because they do not look unnatural, and you have seen them like this since forever!
The following list of foods with artificial color that we are going to mention below would surprise you for a few reasons, that least includes that these foods are considered fresh and natural just made by mother nature. Before you decide to get rid of them from your diet, read on this blog, so you know exactly what products are natural and which ones are artificial foods with artificial coloring.
The six foods mentioned below are the ones that may look natural but are not of the color they look like.
You have seen cheese as white or orange, right? Wrong. The natural color of cheese, especially cheddar cheese, is light yellow or white naturally. The cheese gets its yellow color from beta carotene, a plant nutrient that is transferred into the cows' milk from the grass they eat. However, the topmost layer of the milk, the cream has the most beta carotene, but it is skimmed and sold separately. This is why the orange-yellow expected color of the cheese is obtained by adding saffron, carrot juice, or annatto, a natural dye made from the seeds of a plant.
The bright red tuna that you are thinking for your next dinner haul might appear fresh but is mostly gassed with CO (carbon monoxide). It is is an odorless gas that prevents the meat from browning and preserves its red color. Not only tuna but many types of meat have to undergo this gassing process, before arriving at the supermarket. Many countries have banned the gassing process, although The Food and Drug Administration has marked it safe to use. The main concern behind this ban is that the gas can be used to camouflage the red color of the meat but also dangerous because even if it passes its expiry date, the color doesn't change. That is why it is recommended to buy meat from the local meat market instead of preserved meat from the grocery stores.
The natural color of pickles is green but not the bright and radiant green that you see in the pickle jar. To keep the ripe mango or carrot's color from fading out on the supermarket shelves, the producers of pickles often add artificial food coloring (usually yellow) to preserve and brighten the pickles' natural color. The yellow color used, usually comes from turmeric (a yellow spice used in curries), but most of the manufacturers use tartrazine; that is an artificial lemon-yellow food coloring, derived from coal tar. This is super unhealthy as it can cause mutations in your cells' DNA. Therefore, you should choose pickles by reading its ingredients; if they are free from tartrazine, which is often labeled as Yellow #5 and Yellow 5.
Oranges got their name for a reason. They do not stay their color all the time. In their early growing season, the oranges' skin is greenish or not as much orange to appeal to the buyers in the supermarket aisle visually. That is why the oranges are sprayed with an artificial food coloring known as Citrus Red # 2 to make the fruits consumer-pleasing enough to be kept at the aisles. Unfortunately, like many artificial food colors, this dye is also harmful to human health. That is why we recommend buying organic produce without any synthetic food dyes used.
The majority of the bread has a label "wheat bread" so that we automatically assume that they are healthy. But that is not true. Most of the bread manufacturers use artificial caramel color so that the white bread appears brown. To avoid buying bread that has caramel in it, please check the ingredients at the back of the packaging and look for the whole-grain stamp on the product!
Radiant orange and tasty dried apricots appear healthy, fresh and appealing at the supermarkets' aisle. But did you know that the orange color that these dried apricots get is from the spraying of sulfur dioxide? Yes, you read that correctly. Before the drying process, the apricots are sprayed with this chemical that prevents them from turning int brown and preserves the orange color for a more extended period. Sulfur dioxide also boosts the shelf life of the apricots as well as maintain the sweet taste. If you are sensitive to sulfides, then you must opt for organic brands. It means that you just have given up the bright color of the dried fruit and gained more health and nutrition in return!
So these were some artificially colored foods that you should think of getting rid of from your healthy diet. We would suggest you use as many organic products as possible and always read the label on the packaging before buying anything.