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How Does Your Yoghurt Compare? Aussie Yoghurt Review

How Does Your Yoghurt Compare? Aussie Yoghurt Review

Francine Bell | February 23, 2020

 

The AFK community were asked what product they would like to have reviewed next. There were a few close contenders, but yoghurt took the lead. The most popular yoghurts were voted for. These are the yoghurts that form the basis of this review.

I have included a few extra yoghurts. These are yoghurts that I am aware of that rank well. I have done this to illustrate the differences across yoghurts.

I have kept this yoghurt very simple, looking only at ‘plain’ yoghurts. It is amazing how many yoghurts there are when looking at the plain versions. The analysis becomes a lot more complicated the minute we start looking into different flavours.

I generally recommend to stick to the plain yoghurts and top them with delicious fresh fruit and amazing wholefood ingredients instead.

I know that many of you consider sweetened vs unsweetened, so I have made sure to include both options for you, so that you can make an informed decision.

Let’s get to the additive free review

It blows my mind every time I undertake a review. There is a lot of work that goes behind the analysis. I thought that by keeping the review to favourite brands and reviewing only plain flavours, it would keep the review small. There were over 70 different ingredients used across the 45+ yoghurts that I reviewed! Imagine how many ingredients there would have been if I had looked at fruit flavoured yoghurts!

No wonder people are so confused and don’t know which options to choose!!

Please note: this is NOT an exhaustive list of yoghurts. The brands that were voted most popular by the AFK community have been reviewed.

What ingredients should you find in your yoghurt?

Yoghurt has a long history and an interesting one too!

Yoghurt is believed to have been discovered by Central Asian herdsman. They stored their extra goat’s milk into containers that were made out of animal stomachs to preserve whilst travelling. They realised that the milk became thick and tart and still edible despite long times in the hot sun.

Yoghurt was always made at home up until 1919.

It wasn’t until 1905 when a Bulgarian microbiologist discovered Lactobacillus balgaricus (the bacteria strain that ferments milk into yoghurt). After this was discovered, yoghurt became commercialised in Barcelona, Spain in 1919.

Moving on to today, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) defines yoghurt to mean:

“A fermented milk where the fermentation has been carried out with lactic acid producing microorganisms.”

fermented milk is defined as:

“A food obtained by fermentation of milk or products derived from milk, where the fermentation involves the action of microorganisms and results in coagulation and a reduction in ph”

We now see a variety of different microorganisms used in our yoghurts and “media” that they are grown on. More on this a little later.

So we know, in the beginning, yoghurt was simply milk and microorganisms.

Your typical ingredients that you will find in your yoghurt should include:

Milk 
Cultures (microorganisms)

What ingredients do we now find in yoghurts?

I will take you through each category of ingredients, so that you get an idea of the range.

Milk and cream

Biodynamic / organic pasteurised milk 
Organic milk 
Jersey cow milk
Pasteurised whole milk
Skim milk
Organic cream
Cream

I understand that some people have allergies and intolerances to dairy – either to the proteins or sensitive to lactose.. That is why I have included non dairy options too (see below).

It appears that there are a lot of people that choose low fat yoghurt or fat free yoghurt. I think many people don’t realise that by choosing fat free or low fat that they may be reducing the amazing benefits that come from yoghurt. Not to mention there is a big difference in taste!

People tend to think that by consuming low fat or fat free yoghurt they are less likely to become obese than people who eat full fat options.

Swedish study says that consumption of full fat dairy product is correlated with a lower risk of developing central obesity. Central obesity being excessive weight gain around the abdomen. A meta analysis of 16 studies in the European Journal of Nutrition echoes the weight-gain link.

US nutritionist Walter Willett of Harvard School of Public Health comments on the debate:

“The idea that all fats are bad still persists in the minds of many people, despite layers of evidence that this is not true. If anything, low fat/high carbohydrate diets seem to be related to greater long-term weight gain.”

Walter Willett’s theory on why obesity risk might be higher for those consuming low – fat dairy products:

“One likely explanation is that the full-fat version provides more satiety, but it is also possible that some of the fatty acids in milk products have an additional effect on weight regulation. Also, unfortunately, in many low fat dairy products the fat is replaced by sugar, and these will almost certainly induce more weight gain than the full fat versions.”

This is a complex area….but something worth considering and investigating further depending on your reasons for choosing low fat / fat free.

I think it is also important to consider that milk contains water soluble and fat soluble vitamins. Fat soluble vitamins are a type of vitamin that is absorbed into the body through fatty tissue. Fat soluble vitamins absorb best when taken with higher fat foods.

There are 4 types of fat soluble vitamins:

– Vitamin A
– Vitamin D
– Vitamin E
– Vitamin K

“Milk contains the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. The content level of fat soluble vitamins in dairy products depends on the fat content of the product”. Your body is actually likely to absorb less nutrients without the fat that accompanies the milk.

Food for thought…..

Plant milks

In the selected vegan yoghurts, I saw the following used as the base for the yoghurt:

Coconut
Coconut milk
Almonds
Coconut water

Cultures

In a lot of the yoghurts I reviewed, I found only “live cultures”, “probiotics” listed in the ingredients. I presume this is because the individual strains are very long names and it can be hard to fit on product labels.

I will say that every manufacturer that I spoke to, they were more than willing to provide which strains were included in their yoghurt. I wanted to make sure that they were all the cultures (and nothing else hidden) in the catch all ‘live cultures”.

Not all manufacturers have replied at this stage. I have waited longer than usual for responses. It is a busy time of year, I will update the findings if I hear back subsequently and the info impacts my ratings.

The types of live cultures and probiotics that were included in the yoghurts:

Probiotics acidophilus
Lactobacillus Acidophilus
Synbio – Lactobacillus.
Lactobacillus Casei L. Bulgaricus
Rhamnosus
Paracasei
Probiotics bifidus
Bifidobacterium
S. Thermophilus


I am not going to attempt to discuss the benefits and advantages of these strains. I recommend having a chat to your naturopath about which strains would be most beneficial for you and your family.

Reviewing the cultures in the vegan yoghurts, labelled as “live vegan cultures” was interesting.

Vegan cultures

Initially I had a hard time getting my head around ‘live vegan cultures’. In the beginning, I assumed that the strains required to make yoghurt needed to be animal derived.

I was informed by vegan yoghurt manufacturers that the cultures are sourced to ensure that they do not come into contact with dairy and are vegan friendly. These cultures are not grown on dairy “media”.

Some manufacturers were happy to discuss what ‘media’ they were grown on. Other manufactures less so. I recommend that you contact the manufacturer if you are concerned about what ‘media’ your vegan culture is grown on. For the purpose of this review, I have made a call, that it is outside the scope of this product review.

Other ingredients

Remembering, traditionally yoghurt comprised only two ingredients, milk and cultures.

Let’s have a look at all the other ingredients that are now included in commercialised yoghurts:

Milk solids

Organic milk solids
Milk solids
Non fat milk solids
Skim milk powder

This is an interesting ingredient that appears in most of the yoghurts I reviewed. Milk solids refers to the dried powder that remains after all the water is removed from the milk. These are often added to yoghurt to give a richer “mouth feel’ to low fat yoghurts, without adding extra fat.

There is debate about the health impact of milk solids. There is a school of thought that believes that during the processing of turning fresh milk into a powder, it results in cholesterol oxidising.

What’s the big deal of oxidised cholesterol?

Oxidised cholesterol is a dangerous form of cholesterol and can be irritating to blood vessels. It is this irritation that triggers the formation of plaque, the precursor to heart disease.

Speaking with one of the most passionate manufactures about the milk solids, their perspective was:

“Studies on dairy milk powders / dairy products have come to no conclusive evidence that oxidised cholesterols are present or at any level to cause any risk.”

I have come across some articles that indicate that oxidised cholesterols are present and can cause risk:

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jssc.200301249

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/MV_Calvo/publication/272785201_Presence_of_cholesterol_oxidation_products_in_processed_dairy_foods/links/54edcd690cf272fc6d225551.pdf

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1365-2621.1988.tb10181.x

In my rankings, I have included it as a highly processed ingredient and will leave you to decide if this is an ingredient you choose to avoid in future.

Sweeteners

Organic raw sugar
Organic honey
Honey
Sugar
Fruit juice concentrate
Tapioca syrup
Dextrose

A big range of sweeteners!

I will say in the past I have been very dubious about fruit concentrates.

I was surprised to learn that techniques have improved when looking at fruit juice concentrates. There are now alternative options to use sugars derived from fruits without hydrolysis, chemical products or enzymes. The process is a physical extraction only.

Not all manufacturers have responded or use these techniques. This has been reflected in the ratings. If I haven’t heard back from a manufacturer on how they have processed this ingredient I have classified it a highly processed ingredient.

This is a perfect example of why you can’t see an ingredient on a label and assume every concentrate has been made in the same way.

Tapioca syrup was used in one of the vegan yoghurts to aid the fermentation process. It provides food for the live cultures to feed on. In dairy yoghurt production, the cows milk contain naturally occurring lactose that the cultures feed on.

Usually the syrup is made using enzymatically hydrolysed and hence I classify it an an ultra processed ingredient.

Starches / gums / thickeners / emulsifiers

Organic tapioca starch
Tapioca
Rice starch
Rice flour
Native starch
Corn starch
Modified starch
Pectin

Gelatine
Tara Gum
Agar
Locust bean gum

Emulsifiers

Starch is increasingly used as a functional group in many industrial applications and foods due to its ability to work as a thickener. [1]

Stabilizers are important ingredients in manufactured dairy products because of their capability to improve viscosity and sensory properties, and inhibit or decrease whey separation during storage, as well as enhance the ratio of total solids in manufactured dairy products [2]

There are many sources of stabilizers. Some are synthetic (for example Carboxyl Methyl Cellulose); many of them have a plant origin, which is considered the cheapest and includes the most widely used ones such as corn starch, while a few, like gelatin, are of animal origin.

Starch is also widely used in yogurt manufacturing as a thickener to reduce defects, making the body and texture of manufactured yogurt appealing as well as reducing cracks in the surface of the curd milk [3,4]. Therefore, many plants are used to extract starch.

Again, there is a lot of variance when it comes to starches in terms of how they are processed. Some a created by physical processes, such as grinding rice, others are treated with enzymes to create the starches. I have reflected these differences in the rankings.

Colours

Caramel
Carotene
Paprika extract

Thankfully only a few yoghurts contained colour. If real ingredients are used, there is no need for colour in yoghurt. Often colour is added to make the yoghurt look creamier than it is.

Flavours

Natural vanilla bean flavour
Natural flavours
Flavour

These types of ingredients are what single manufacturers out from the rest of the pack. There really is no need for any of these ingredients in a yoghurt. I would want to see real vanilla bean, not an imitation flavour. Check my blog for topics on flavours to learn more.

Again, you need to question: 

Acidity regulators

Citric acid
Acidity regulator
Malic acid

I found an interesting correlation when looking at these acidity regulators in products. The products that contained acidity regulators also contained the ingredient water. Knowing the two ingredients that are required to make yoghurt are milk and cultures, why would water be included? To cut costs perhaps? For me, this raises the question, if water was excluded from the product, perhaps the acidity regulators could be excluded too?

Let’s get to the rankings

I know that you are eager to see the results. As I have mentioned to the AFK Community already, not all the manufacturers responded to my queries and questions, despite enthusiastic customer service emails initially. Manufacturers that had nothing to hide, were more than happy to field my questions and answer my queries multiple times and quickly!

The following rankings are based on my knowledge and experience with these ingredients and discussions with other manufacturers. 

You will see that I have ranked the yoghurt into 4 categories:

Avoid

These yoghurts contain some or all of the following ingredients: flavourings, gums, thickeners, acidity regulators, food colours and milk solids.

Mundella Greek Vanilla Yoghurt

OK

These yoghurts contain some or all of the following ingredients:
gums, thickeners and acidity regulators.

Nakula Coconut milk yoghurt natural

BETTER

These yoghurts contain milk solids or starch (vegan)

HnH Coconut Yoghurt

BEST

These yoghurts are clean and completely free of additives and highly processed ingredients.

Bondi Coconut yoghurt

How does your yoghurt rank?

I would love to hear your thoughts….what do you think about the above? Will you be voting with your dollar and buying a different yoghurt going forward?

Is it any wonder that consumers have such trouble navigating the supermarket shelves? The average consumer does not have time to do this. Big food manufacturers rely on this. They know you are time poor.  

Here at Additive Free Kids, I want to help empower each consumer to vote with their dollar every day. To help you, I have created the AFK PANTRY RESET coaching course.

This course will remove the overwhelm and fast track your journey to additive free. You can find out more here and join the waitlist.

Which vote will you be making at the supermarket next? If you would like to take a look at other product reviews or blogs, click here.

Mango Macadamia Balls

Mango Macadamia Balls

Francine Bell | August 6, 2018

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Are you looking for quick and easy additive free snacks?

Do you feel that you don’t have time to spend hours in the kitchen preparing additive free snacks?

We have a healthy additive free snack for you to try!  Perfect for those hungry little tummies after school!

.

These little balls of goodness look naughty but in actual fact are really good for you!

They are so easy and quick to make! Even the kids can make them ?

My kids love getting involved making all different types of bliss balls, balls, anything really!

They love helping to roll these.  Many hands make light work!

.

The great thing about these additive free snacks is that you can vary ingredients according to your taste, you can add more dried fruit or nuts or spices.

You can’t go wrong! Just makes sure they stick together enough to roll (add a little extra water if necessary).

A word of warning: these additive free snacks may disappear very quickly!

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Ingredients:

2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup dried preservative free mango
1/2 cup macadamias
2 tbs maple syrup
3 tbs water
coconut (preservative free)

.

Method:

Put all ingredients in your food processor or thermomix and blend at high speed until sticking together when pressed.
Roll heaped teaspoons full of the mixture with damp hands then toss in coconut.
Place in fridge to set.

 

Are Gluten-Free Foods Healthier for Us, Or Are You Buying Into Marketing?

Are Gluten-Free Foods Healthier for Us, Or Are You Buying Into Marketing?

Francine Bell | March 26, 2018

 

Just because it says “gluten-free” does not mean it is healthy.

Over the last decade, there has been a dramatic increase in gluten-free foods. In the past, you had to search hard to find gluten-free options. Now, you can walk into any supermarket and see an array of options available. These products are usually marketed as health foods.

The demand for gluten-free products originally stemmed from a medical need. Now gluten-free has become a lifestyle choice for many. As a result, there has been explosive growth in the gluten-free food market in recent years. The gluten-free diet has become a trend and a marketing angle for the last decade.

It is important to understand the size of the gluten-free retail market and how fast it has grown. In 2011 it was $1.7bn to $3.5bn in 2016 and is forecast to grow to $4.7bn in 2020 (according to Euromonitor, the consumer data group).

From a manufacturers perspective, they see a massive opportunity here! Sales in this category are increasing at astonishing rates and they want a slice of the pie. The trend is impressive. It is also driven by marketing efforts. I have seen many examples of manufacturers jumping on the bandwagon. Gluten-free labels slapped on products that didn’t contain any gluten in the first place. Typical examples of these are your stocks and soups.

Those that need gluten-free products are very sick and aiming to restore their health. They are being taken advantage of. Not all gluten-free products are equal. Just because a product is gluten-free doesn’t mean that the product is healthy. It can still have a concoction of additives added to it.

Manufacturers are preying on unsuspecting consumers. They are creating gluten-free products made with cheap grain fillers such as corn and rice. They are usually high in sugar, unhealthy fillers and additives. Yet, because they are gluten-free, they can slap a higher price tag on the product. Win-win for the manufacturer! Create a cheap product and earn a bigger profit margin.

Now obviously there are some great gluten-free manufacturers out there. I am only bringing your attention to a trend that I am noticing as I review products daily. I would love to show you some examples:

Bettie Crocker Cookie Mix – Gluten Free (Coles) – $6.59

Wendy Rueter Cookies

Ingredients:
Sugar, rice flour, milk chocolate chips, potato starch, dextrose, vegetable oil, sodium bicarbonate, starch, xanthan gum, salt.

The first ingredient is the largest ingredient used in this product. Sugar and rice flour are the main components of this product. Both cheap ingredients. The rest of the ingredients don’t look very appealing. It is possible to have delicious gluten-free options without the cheap substitutes. You would be better off making some gluten-free cookies at home. Using nutritious ingredients such as an almond flour or the like.

Let’s look at another example:

Simons Pantry Black Rice Gluten Free Wraps- $7.00

Gluten Free Pizza Flat Bread

Ingredients:
Water, black rice flour, thickeners (1442, 1450,464) Buckwheat flour, rice flour, canola oil, dried potato, sugar fibre, pea protein, sugar, natural flavour, stabilisers (415, 412), iodised salt, inulin, sodium bicarbonate, acidity regulator 297, cultured dextrose.

This reads like a laboratory experiment not a list of ingredients from my pantry. The largest ingredient in this product is water. Second ingredient rice flour. Both are cheap ingredients. Then thickeners are added to make the product look thicker than it actually is. The final product is likely to be quite bland. Sugar and flavours are added to boost the taste profile of the product.

Let’s look at one more typical example. One that I see all the time. Coeliacs buying rice crackers labelled gluten-free yet completely laden with additives. Not understanding the impact these additives can have on their body. A body that is already suffering.

Fantastic Gluten Free Crackers Cheese

Gluten Free Crackers

Ingredients read:
Rice (68%), Seasoning powder (Cheese powder (Cheese solids (contains milk, salt, culture, enzymes), soy, milk solids, acidity regulators (sodium orthophosphate, sodium citrate, lactic acid, citric acid), HVP, Yeast extract, Colour, Anti Caking agent (551), sugar, whey powder, salt, maltodextrin, tomato powder, yeast extract, onion powder, garlic powder, colour, citric acid, vegetable oil (Soy antioxidants), Modified Tapioca Starch (1422).

Look how long this list is! Immediately you can see that these aren’t going to be a great option for you. The ingredient list doesn’t represent products I would have in my pantry at home. How many ingredients in this list do you have in your pantry at home?

There are plenty of great gluten-free crackers on the market. Crackers that aren’t heavily flavoured and laced with additives.

The additives in these crackers discussed above could cause the following symptoms:
– allergic and hypersensitive reactions
– eczema, dermatitis, itching, hives, rash
– gastrointestinal ailments
– dizziness, headaches, heart palpitations, irritability
– migraines, nausea,
– restlessness

Gluten-free products have a reputation for being devoid of taste. If you are buying gluten-free products that are using cheap fillers, yes they will be. When you read the ingredient list you will see they are high in sugar, flavours and colours. It isn’t worth spending your hard earned money on these products.
Instead, find gluten-free manufacturers that do care about your health. Manufacturers that are putting your health before their profits. Manufacturers that are using great quality, nutritious whole foods that are gluten-free. Reward these manufacturers and support them by voting with your dollar.
Alternatively, buy whole food ingredients and make them yourself. The Wholefood Collective have sourced amazing quality ingredients to help you. Shop the gluten-free range here.

 

Just because a product is gluten free it does not mean that it is healthier for you. Always make sure you turn the packet over and read the ingredient list. In my experience, gluten-free products are some of the most additive laden products on the supermarket shelves.

 

5 Ingredients in Processed Foods to Keep Out of Your Pantry!

5 Ingredients in Processed Foods to Keep Out of Your Pantry!

Francine Bell | November 29, 2017

 

Consumers are starting to become more conscious of what they’re buying; starting to flip packets over to look at the ingredients list and look out for nasty numbers. Shoppers are getting savvy and starting to remove lots of those numbers and fillers from their weekly shop. As customers start to change their buying habits the food manufacturers are cottoning on to consumer habits. As a result, these manufacturers are focusing on cleaning up their labels.

 

They are focusing on ensuring ingredients:
– appear to be clean and simple
– could be found in your own pantry
– sound benign and not threatening

 

Over the years I have seen the following ingredients included in a huge array of products. These ingredients don’t sound like they’re harmful, they almost sound like they’re familiar ingredients you’d be happy to feed your family. They’re sneaky add-ins that I recommend avoiding in processed foods like the plague!

 

 1.  Yeast extract

Yeast Bread Yeast Extract health issues

Many people believe that this is a yeast derivative and therefore safe. What’s important to know how this ingredient is not naturally occurring, it’s been made in a lab and the resulting effects can be harmful.

How is this additive made?

The yeast goes through a hydrolysis process, which results in the cell walls being broken down and discarded. Enzymes then break apart the protein bonds to form free amino acids. Glutamic Acid is produced, which is a free amino acid. This Glutamic Acid is found in MSG. To be classified as MSG, it must be greater than 75% free glutamate. Anything lower than that doesn’t need to be declared as MSG or bear any warning labels for people who experience sensitivities to it! As a result, foods that contain yeast extract don’t need to be labeled as containing MSG. They can even use the terms “No MSG added”.

In nature we can find glutamates, they pop up in foods such as in tomatoes and mushrooms. These glutamates are not free. They are bound and found in smaller quantities in the body. Our bodies know how to regulate natural glutamates, which is not the case for free glutamates and they can cause excitotoxic https://www.sciencedaily.com/terms/excitotoxicity.htm effects on the brain.

 

 2.  Natural Flavours

 

Fruit Berries Market Natural Flavours Pop to your pantry and you’ll no double find natural flavours listed on so many products! It has the word natural in it, must be fine, right? Nope!

So why do so many companies list it and what flavor even is natural flavour? It is a lovely catch-all ingredient, where manufacturers don’t need to list what the components are. Often this one ingredient could actually represent anywhere from 50 to 100 ingredients.

How is this additive made?

These natural flavours may have started out natural, however, thanks to all the processing and manufacturing the end result is closer to artificial flavours than the whole foods you’d use at home for flavour. Basically, the difference between natural and artificial flavours is so tiny it’s negligible.

So why are they used? The over processing of ingredients results in a product that is almost flavourless. The only way manufacturese can make the product palatable again is to add flavours. What do you add in to entice an ever-concious group of customers? Natural flavours.

Both artificial and natural flavours are made in a lab, and they’re both on my hit list of ingredients to avoid.

 

 3.  Antioxidant 320

Ice-cream with sprinkles antioxidant 320The word antioxidant in many people conjures up delicious and widely loved superfoods like berries or green tea. Manufacturers rely on this association which links this ingredient to being ok and healthy.

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

How is this additive made?

Antioxidant 320, also known as Butylated hyroxyanisole (you wouldn’t want to see the full name on the ingredients list, now would you!), is used to prevent rancidity in fats and oils.

Consuming this one additive is linked with the following potential symptoms:

Allergic and hyper-sensitive reactions
Asthma
Headaches and migraines
Eczema
Hives
Rashes
Insomnia

These antioxidants are some of the most hidden of all additives. If this ingredient represents less than 5% of the total product, it doesn’t need to be declared on the ingredients list at all! And while Antioxidant 320 is actually prohibited for use for infants, with the 5% labeling loophole, the reality is that you might not know your child is consuming it.

 

 4.  Caramel Colour

 

Caramel Cake Caramel Colouring health effectsCaramel sounds benign, doesn’t it?! The word caramel is inextricably linked to childhood memories where caramel was homemade by melting sugar in a pan. Caramel colour additives are not the same as that childhood favourite.

How is this additive made?

There are a few different types of caramel colours that are used as additives, none of which occur in nature. The reality of lab-made caramel colour is a concentrated dark brown mixture of chemicals made with ammonium or sulfite compounds.

These caramel colour additives can cause a range of symptoms including:

Gastrointestinal ailments
Allergic reactions
Asthma
Hyperactivity

Because of the harsh chemical cocktail, these colours are prohibited in food for infants.

Make sure to check the products in your pantry, do you have any caramel colours lurking?

 

 5.  Carrageenan

Seaweed Sushi CarageenanCarrageenan is an additive that you will often find lurking in your organic products. Most people think that if the product is organic this ingredient should be ok also.

How is this additive made?

This ingredient is derived from seaweed. Seaweed is a natural source, so it should be ok for us, right? Nope, not the case! Even though it’s derived from a natural source, it can be destructive to the digestive system. This results in inflammation and other gut issues. We know that inflammation is a root cause of many serious diseases. It has also been linked to intestinal permeability (leaky gut), intestinal irritation and ulcers. Remember that free glutamic acid we discussed earlier? Yep, that can be part of carrageenan too. People who are sensitive to MSG may wish to avoid this additive!

 

These are just the top five additives that I work hard to ensure stay out of my pantry and out of our bodies, connect with me on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter to learn more about the additive-free lifestyle I’ve created for my family.

Live additive free?! Here’s why.

Live additive free?! Here’s why.

Francine Bell | March 22, 2017

Why Additive Free?

An irony of our modern day lifestyles is that we have never had so many conveniences. Yet, at the same time, find ourselves more time poor than ever! Over the last few decades there has been a huge increase in the supply of  convenience foods, and whilst this may have helped juggle the demands on our time… it has come at a cost. Not just a financial cost, but at a cost to our health as well.It is no coincidence that the surge in allergies, anxieties, behavioural disorders, breathing problems, skin conditions and other maladies has risen so dramatically. There is a large body of scientific evidence linking the additives in convenience foods with the increasing prevalence of behavioural and medical conditions.

The good news however, is that there are a growing number of people and organisations who know this and are here to help. Great tasting, wholesome food that is free from additives is readily available.

So Why Start The Additive Free Journey?

Food manufactures put additives in foods for a variety of reasons; to lower the cost of production, lengthen a product’s shelf life and/or trick our tastebuds into craving more. These are just a few of the reasons. Great for the food manufacturer but not so great for our bodies, especially our children. Young minds and bodies are much more susceptible to toxic agents than adults.

Additives can cause numerous issues for our children:

    • Digestive issues (diarrhoea, tummy pains, colicky pains).
    • Nervous disorders (hyperactivity, insomnia, irritability).
    • Respiratory problems (asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis).
    • Skin problems (hives, rashes, eczema).

I personally started my additive free journey nearly ten years ago after the birth of my first child. Seeing him struggle to breathe and realising his asthma had been caused by harmful additives kick started my personal journey. Since then we have been blessed with four more kids who are all affected by additives in different ways, and all have benefited from the additive free journey that our family has been on.

But it’s not just for the kids. Additives can have serious long and short term health impacts on us all, beginning with our moods.

We have two brains, one resides in our head, the other in our gut (men would argue they have a third mind a little lower down but we won’t go into that one!). Our head and stomach “brains” are connected by the vagus nerve.  This nerve is the primary route that gut bacteria use to transmit information to the brain. Toxicity in your gut can flow throughout the body into the brain, causing mood swings and behavioural changes.

All people are impacted, including our youngest, as toxic chemicals can be transferred through the placenta and breast milk to developing brains.

Our bodies are impacted as well. There is an old saying: “let food be thy medicine”. Digestive issues, respiratory problems and skin problems can have a debilitating impact on a family. By removing additives from your family diet you can often reduce or potentially eliminate these symptoms, restoring peace and calm to your family!

By making a few simple changes the immediate benefits will be evident and the long term improvements significant. Just think of the potential money and time saved from reduced doctors visits, pharmaceutical lotions, potions and pills, time off school, time off work, sleepless nights etc. And that’s before we even count the cost of stress and anxiety!

So How Do I Get Started On My Additive Free Journey?

Getting started on an additive free journey might seem a little daunting, but it’s not hard and certainly doesn’t have to be another drain on our otherwise time-stretched lives. Like all change, the key is to take those first couple of steps. These could include:

  1. Introducing more fresh and lightly processed foods into your diet.
  2. Read your labels – if you don’t recognise an ingredient don’t buy it.
  3. Join the Additive Free Kids community group – a great place for free support from hundreds of other mums that are on the same additive free journey.

 

 

 

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