Your child's favourite Nutella may cause cancer? Here's what you must know

Your child's favourite Nutella may cause cancer? Here's what you must know

Who doesn't like Nutella? However, this study says that this food product is a cause for concern. Here's a list of food additives parents must avoid.

Nutella is something we never run out of at home. I usually stock up on it for the myriad ways in which it can repurposed and have no doubt, the child LOVES it. So when I read this report in The Telegraph, I panicked, as would any parent.

Apparently, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has stated that palm oil, which is an essential additive in Nutella, generated more of a potentially carcinogenic contaminant than other vegetable oils when refined at temperatures above 200 degrees Celsius. However, EFSA never suggested that consumption of Nutella must be discontinued as further study was needed to assess the level of risk.

Perhaps the slightly assuring thing is, according to Ferrao, the Italian confectionery firm which owns Nutella, it uses an industrial process that combines a temperature of just below 200C and extremely low pressure to minimise contaminants. However, the fact that the issue was raised, itself is a matter of concern for most parents.

On a daily basis, knowingly and unknowingly, we expose our children to harmful food additives in some form or the other. Be it certain instant noodles, toffees, or colas, there are substances used in these to either improve the texture, taste or just increase longevity. The question is, when we know that a certain thing may be unhealthy for the child, do we still give into demands of an unsuspecting child or fall in the trap of convenience?

Continue reading for a list of food additives parents must avoid at any cost!

Wondering whether the things that you lovingly feed your child have any such harmful food additives? According to WebMD, the following are some food additives you may want to look out for on any packaged food items or drinks:

Mono-sodium glutamate (MSG): Present in most packaged foods, ranging from chips to soups, MSG is used for its flavour-enhancing and preservative properties. It is suspected of damaging nerve cells, increasing the risk of obesity, and in certain cases, leading to type 2 diabetes.

High fructose corn syrup: It’s a sweetener made from corn and is a sweeter and cheaper substitute to sucrose. Present in many processed food items, it is used to sweeten most non-diet soft drinks. It is said to increase the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Aspartame: Yet another artificial sweetener, it is mostly used for sweetening diet soft drinks. It has been suspected of having carcinogenic elements, and is also said to cause seizures, headaches, and mood disturbances.

Artificial colouring: These are chemical dyes used to colour certain food items and drinks. Supposed to cause increased hyperactivity in children, certain dyes, apparently, worsen symptoms of asthma.

Trans fat: This stands for partially hydrogenated vegetable oil and is used to enhance and extend the shelf life of food products. Often found in food items like microwave popcorn, margarine, donuts, and deep fried and processed food, they are said to increase the risk of heart ailments.

Consult a Here's to feeding healthy food and raising a healthy generation ahead!

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Written by

Divya Nair

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