Nuts, Seeds & Dried fruits - Good or Toxic?
Nuts, Seeds and dried fruits were always in the good list of mine as its packed fully with nutrients. There is no doubt that Nuts, seeds and dried fruits are healthy alternatives and packed source of nutrients. But there are also chemicals , additives and preservatives that lurks in them that makes them list in the "Avoid list" now.
Nuts, seeds and Dried fruits are one of the easily damaging food because of the rancidity ( spoilage) and have short shelf life if its fresh and raw. But the processing, additives and chemicals added while roasting increase its shelf life and add taste to it but they will cause more harm to your body than the nutrients present in them.
Amount of these chemicals and preservatives for a long term to your body can build up toxins and cause a various health problems in your body depending
on the amount and type of the preservative used.
I replaced nuts, seeds and dried fruits completely from all diet therapies now and swapped with other healthy veggies and small snack meals that you can consume especially during this pandemic period.
WHAT ARE PRESERVATIVES?
Preservatives are typically used to, ‘preserve’ food items. This helps increase the shelf-life of products and makes sure that there is no loss of taste or flavor in the product over a period of time. With globalization and increased transport efficiencies, a food item produced in a South-American Country is now easily available in a South Asian city thousands of miles away. The transport could take a few days or a few weeks, but adding preservatives will ensure that it is received by a customer exactly how its maker intended it to be at the time of manufacturing it.
WHY ARE PRESERVATIVES USED IN NUTS, SEEDS AND DRIED FRUITS..?
Preservatives are added to food like Nuts, dried fruits and seeds to fight spoilage caused by bacteria, molds, fungus, and yeast. Preservatives can keep food fresher for longer periods of time, extending its shelf life. Food preservatives also are used to slow or prevent changes in color, flavor or texture and delay rancidity.
Mainly because of the food preservatives they use to make the freshness and increase the shelf life. Even though Nuts are healthy but when it is roasted and processed with chemicals it does only harm to your body than good. Salted nuts are very unhealthy for patients with diabetes, heart conditions and kidney problems.
CAN YOU BE ALLERGIC TO PRESERVATIVES ?
Yes, many people can be allergic to preservatives in many food items and many goes undiagnosed. Sulfites are preservatives used in nuts and dried fruits. Sulfites can cause allergy like reactions (intolerances), with symptoms such as wheezing in people with asthma, allergic rhinitis (hay fever), and urticaria (hives) and can lead to toxicity and many medical conditions.
WHAT ARE MAIN PRESERVATIVES & CHEMICALS FOUND/USED ESPECIALLY IN NUTS, SEEDS AND DRIED FRUITS ?
A Consumer Council survey of 50 dried fruits available on the market found that they each contained at least one type of preservative, such as Sulfur dioxide, Sorbic acid and Benzoic acid, Propionic acid, Boric acid and Potassium metabisulfite, BHA or BHT
WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS OF THESE CHEMICALS ON YOUR BODY ?
PROPIONIC ACID SIDE EFFECTS -
CNS side effects, indeed the most common side effects, include severe frontal headache, dizziness, vertigo, and light-headedness. Mental confusion and seizure may also occur. Severe depression, psychosis, hallucinations are also found.
BORIC ACID SIDE EFFECTS -
Boric acid is low in toxicity if eaten or if it contacts skin. However, in the form of borax, it can be corrosive to the eye. ... People who have eaten boric acid have had nausea, vomiting, stomach aches, and diarrhea. Diarrhea and vomit may have a blue-green color.
POTTASIUM METABISULFITE -
Potassium metabisulfite can irritate skin, eyes, and respiratory tract.
Exposure to sulphites has been reported to induce a range of adverse clinical effects in sensitive individuals, ranging from dermatitis, urticaria, flushing, hypotension, abdominal pain and diarrhoea to life-threatening anaphylactic and asthmatic reactions.
SULFUR DIOXIDE SIDE EFFECTS -
Sulfur dioxide might not sound good enough to eat, but this food preservative does make its way into a number of edibles, including dried fruits such as raisins, dried apricots and prunes. Sulfur dioxide is one type of sulfite, a preservative whose name might be more familiar.
Sulfur dioxide affects human health when it is breathed in. It irritates the nose, throat, and airways to cause coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, or a tight feeling around the chest. Sulphur dioxide can cause respiratory problems such as bronchitis, and can irritate your nose, throat and lungs. It may cause coughing, wheezing, phlegm and asthma attacks. The effects are worse when you are exercising. Sulphur dioxide has been linked to cardiovascular disease.
BHA/BHT SIDE EFFECTS -
The oxidative characteristics and/or metabolites of BHA and BHT may contribute to carcinogenicity or tumorigenicity, however the same reactions may combat oxidative stress. There is evidence that certain persons may have difficulty metabolizing BHA and BHT, resulting in health and behavior changes. BHA and BHT can induce allergic reactions in the skin . The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies BHA as a possible human carcinogen.
WHAT ALL MEDICAL CONDITIONS SHOULD AVOID HAVING NUTS & SEEDS IN GENERAL FROM DAILY CONSUMPTION
If you have any of these medical conditions you should avoid nuts, seeds and dried fruits completely.
Asthma, Bronchitis, Breathing Difficulty, Wheezing, Sneezing, Sulphite allergy, Kidney problems, Skin irritation and Sensitivity , Skin Rashes, Itchiness, Hyper pigmentation, Eczema and Dermatitis, Gastrointestinal Discomforts, Gout, Cancer
HOW TO READ LABEL FOR PRESERVATIVES?
Yes, many of us have developed reading the label before purchasing, but most of the packages may contain and still doesn’t appear on the labels.
If you are having or buying nuts wash well before consumption to avoid consuming preservatives directly.
Avoid completely nuts, seeds and dried fruits if its added in cereals, meals or packed and you can`t wash them before consumption.
Avoid nuts completely if you have any of the medical condition mentioned above.
If you find signs or symptoms of toxicity, avoid nuts , seeds and dried fruits and replace them with a fruit or veggie meal.
It is better to avoid preservatives and additives from your diet completely for overall good health.
The healthy alternative is to buy fresh raw nuts in shells from farmers and stick to locally available choices to avoid preservatives and chemicals added in them.
However, if you can't get fresh alternative always read ingredient labels, because many of these foods do contain such additives and preservatives. Nuts and seeds that aren't raw, such as those that are roasted or salted, are more likely to contain colorings and preservatives, so avoid them completely will be a safe and better option.