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Industrialized Eats

Take a close look at the nutrition labels on many processed-food products and you’ll see some ingredients that also have starring roles in nonfood items — often industrial products.

Just because an ingredient leads a double life in an industrial product doesn’t necessarily make it unhealthy, but it does underscore just how often processed-food products incorporate ingredients that aren’t straight off the vine.

If you’re trying to eat fewer processed — and more whole — foods, this list will give you more good reasons to make the switch.

1. Ingredient: Olestra

Food Use: fat-free potato chips
Industrial Use:
paints and lubricants
Potential Side Effects:  
Diarrhea, abdominal cramping

2. Ingredient: Calcium Chloride

Food Use: sports drinks, pickles
Industrial Use: road salt, ice melt
Potential Side Effects:  digestive tract irritation

3. Ingredient: Phosphoric Acid

Food Use: soda
Industrial Use:
rust removal
Potential Side Effects:  
decreased bone density, kidney stones

4. Ingredient: Calcium Sulfate

Food Use: tofu (for coagulation)
Industrial Use:
drywall, plaster of Paris
Potential Side Effects:
abdominal swelling, pain

5. Ingredient: Cornstarch

Food Use: pudding, chewing gum, certain canned goods
Industrial Use: 
rubber tires, plywood, insecticides
Potential Side Effects: 
this “hidden carb” may derail those trying to minimize flour- and sugar-based carbohydrates

6. Ingredient: Corn Syrup

Food Use: ketchup, cheese spreads, marshmallows, dehydrated soups
Industrial Use: 
shoe polish, metal plating, explosives
Potential Side Effects: 
linked to diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome

This article originally appeared as “Industrial Eats”.

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