Invisible Presence of Synthetic Dyes
As consumers, we often take the color of our foods for granted. However, the truth is that artificial coloring, specifically purple dye, is more prevalent in our daily diets than we might expect. The typical American diet, full of processed foods, frequently includes artificial colorants.
Top 10 Foods with Artificial Purple Dye
Artificial purple dye is usually a mixture of two artificial colorings: Red 3 (Erythrosine) and Blue 1 (Brilliant Blue FCF). Here are the top ten foods that often contain artificial purple dye, some of which might surprise you.
- Colored Breakfast Cereals: Many cereals targeted towards children are brightly colored and use a mix of dyes, including purple.
- Packaged Fruit Snacks: Despite the word "fruit" in their name, these snacks often use artificial colors instead of natural fruit pigments.
- Sodas and Sports Drinks: Many drinks use artificial colorants to achieve their vibrant colors, including purple.
- Candies and Chewing Gums: Almost all candies and chewing gums use artificial colors, and purple is among the favorites.
- Frosting and Decorative Sugars for Baking: These colorful baking aids often contain artificial dyes, including purple.
- Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts: Many of these sweet treats contain artificial colors to make them more visually appealing.
- Pre-packaged Meals and Snacks: Some microwaveable meals and snacks use artificial colors to make the food look more appealing after cooking.
- Cupcakes and Pastries: Many commercially prepared baked goods use artificial coloring in both the product and the icing.
- Popsicles and Ice Pops: These colorful frozen treats often use artificial colors, including purple, to attract children.
- Salad Dressings: Some types of salad dressing use artificial colors to enhance their appearance.
Reading Labels and Making Choices
The key to avoiding artificial colors in your family's diet is to read the labels carefully. Look for words like "color added", "artificial color", or specific dye names like "Red 3" or "Blue 1".
In restaurants, don't hesitate to ask if their food contains any artificial coloring. Many establishments are aware of customers' concerns and can provide information about their ingredients.
Choosing foods with natural coloring can be a healthier and safer choice for your family. By being vigilant about what goes into your food, you can enjoy vibrant meals without worrying about the potential health effects of artificial colors.