Scary-Sounding Ingredients Demystified

Researchers published a study this week stating that two-thirds of the groceries they analyzed contained added sugars.  Many of these products, the CBC reports, are foods commonly consumed by babies and children. With health-conscious parents now scouring ingredient lists, we thought it would be a good time to help demystify some other scary-sounding ingredients you may encounter.

We’re often told “don’t eat anything your grandmother couldn’t pronounce!” This helps eliminate a lot of ingredients that may be harmful to your health. Unfortunately, it also eliminates some that are beneficial. “Anthocyanins” sound like they would kill you in a heartbeat, but are actually flavonoids that can protect your heart. Found in many red and purple foods, they are often used as a natural food colourant, and have been used to treat everything from liver issues to the common cold!

So today I’m going to break down some scary-sounding ingredients found in baby food, to help all you savvy parents navigate your next shopping trip.

Scary-Sounding Ingredient #1 – Calcium Phosphate Tribasic

Calcium Phosphate, simply put, is a mineral containing both calcium and phosphates. It occurs naturally in dairy products, and is an important component of teeth and bones. In addition to its use as a nutritional supplement, it is used as an anti-caking agent in spices, as an antacid, and to remove fluoride from tap water.

Scary-Sounding Ingredient #2 – Niacinimide

Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3. It helps with the proper function of fats and sugars in the body. Niacinimide is found naturally in meat, fish, nuts, mushrooms, and vegetables. It is anti-inflammatory, and can also be used in cream form to treat acne.

Scary-Sounding Ingredient #3 – Thiamine Mononitrate

Thiamine is the fancy name for Vitamin B1. It is an “essential” vitamin, because we can’t make it in our bodies. The scarier-sounding part of it, mononitrate, refers to the salt form of thiamine. It is the form of thiamine used in foods because it is the most stable form of B1.

Thiamine is naturally found in yeast and pork, as well as some whole grains. Our bodies use it to turn carbohydrates into energy, and to process fats and proteins.

Scary-Sounding Ingredient #4 – Riboflavin

Keeping on with our trend of important B Vitamins, meet riboflavin, or Vitamin B2. Riboflavin helps the enzymes in our bodies do their job properly. Dairy, eggs, organ meats, leafy greens, and legumes all boast a good amount of B2. It is used to enrich many foods, as deficiency is quite common when dietary intake of riboflavin is low.

Scary-Sounding Ingredients #5 – Tocopherols

Tocopherols are various forms of Vitamin E. There are 4 different forms of tocopherols, differentiated by Greek letters (alpha, beta, gamma, and delta). A product will usually specify which tocopherol is used, unless they’re using a mix.

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, most commonly found in nuts and seeds, vegetable oils (avocado, sunflower), and whole grains. Because of its antioxidant status, it has so many uses in the body. It is important for skin, heart, and eye health, and is being studied for its use combating Parkinsons, Alzheimers, and various cancers.

If you ever have a question about an ingredient contained in one of our products, feel free to ask one of our staff members. We value transparency with our customers, and always make an effort to keep you (and ourselves) well-informed.

Have a scary-sounding ingredient you want demystified? Let us know in the comments!

About The Author: 
Kelly Boaz, CNP
Kelly is a holistic nutritionist, specializing in eating disorder recovery and food freedom. She is also a public speaker (TEDx King St. West, TDSB) and a writer. Learn more about Kelly, and about booking private consultations at Twitter: @kelly_boaz    Facebook: /KellyBoazDotCom 

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