If you are like me and read the ingredients in your packaged food, then you most likely ran into this over used and dangerous ingredient “Carrageenan“.
So What Is Carrageenan?
It is a “natural” ingredient used as an additive to thicken and emulsify everything from cheeses and deli meats to juices and frozen pizza. Carrageenan is derived from a red seaweed, therefore considered “natural”, yet far from natural in your body! (So just cause it’s says natural, doesn’t mean it’s safe!)
Most manufactures use this additive because it’s low allergenic, vegan and organic. This means they could add this addictive everywhere (more money for them), and what they do not consider is the affects it does to people’s health in the long run.
Whats The Deal With Carrageenan
You might think to yourself, “Well it’s just seaweed, it’s natural!” Wrong! This seaweed is natural only in the ocean, and when ingested could cause all sorts of havoc! Besides, there is absolutely no nutritional benefit for this additive!
There are two forms of carrageenan, degraded and undegraded:
Degraded carrageenan has shown to be a carcinogen to lab rats causing archers, tumors and cancers. Therefore, it is considered a “possible human carcinogen” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
Studies have shown the toxicity of carrageenan not because they study it but because scientists use it to induce colic’s on rats. (Gets you thinking!)
Now, undegraded carrageenan is used as an additive and considered “food grade”. The companies that choose to believe this type of carrageenan isn’t as toxic, are wrong!
First and foremost, every sample of undegraded carrageenan tested, shows as much as 25% of the degraded carrageenan present! Studies also show that undegraded carrageenan can turn into degraded carrageenan in the intestinal tract.
Research On The Affects Of Carrageenan
Dr. Joanne K. Tobacman, an associate professor at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, conducted numerous amounts of studies stating the affects undegraded carrageenan causes in the body. She found that even in small amounts, processed food that have carrageenan caused malignancies, inflammation and stomach problems.
So with that said, choose your food wisely! The more home made meals you make, the less junk you will be exposed to! Also, just cause it says “natural” doesn’t mean it’s “natural” to eat!
*Here is a good link to have handy when shopping for foods that do not carry this harmful additive.
I hope you found this post helpful! Please leave any questions or comments! 🙂