It is an ingredient widely used by food manufacturers in solidifying foods and adding richness to low fat diets. The ingredient which is a derivative of red sea-weed also finds its way to beverages and drinks where it is used to keep other constituents together. Despite its famous use scientists stress that carrageenan has no nutritional value whatsoever. It is feared to cause gut irritation which can lead to intestinal bleeding and cancer.When we consume processed foods containing carrageenan we consume enough to cause gut inflammation. An acute case of gut inflammation could lead to heart diseases and impaired insulin action which can cause diabetes. At least research reveals that carrageenan actually caused these problems in lab animals. It is thus prudent to avoid the risk of excess carrageenan intake.
Here is how to reduce your carrageenan intake
- Read labels– It is a regulation for manufacturers to label all ingredients used on a food package. A careful analysis of the ingredients list on the back of the product can help you understand what you are indulging. Don’t trust that flashy message on the front of the pack.
- Avoid processed foods-Prepare your own fresh meals. Our fore fathers managed to be healthy for many years for they ate natural unprocessed foods. Studies that have been conducted on preindustrial societies reveal that those people rarely suffered from problems caused by carrageenan
- Fruit juices and beverages –These are of no health benefits and pack a high carrageenan amount. There is no actual fruit in there but sugars and other chemical flavors that taste like a fruit. The amount of carrageenan they contain makes them unhealthy for you. Try to suppress these desire for these drinks and replace them with actual fruits.
Despite its dangers carrageenan is still approved for use in food manufacturing in many countries. It is up to you to avoid the risks by cutting down on carrageenan intake.