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Phosphates

Posted on 06/18/2014

Phosphates are harmful to your health.

There I said it…and I’ll say it again, phosphates are harmful to your health. I’ve known this a long time and shared my medical (and personal) opinion on the subject often.

So, what are phosphates anyway?

Phosphates are chemical compounds often used in processed foods such as soda pop and lunchmeat and so on. They are supposed to help improve the shelf life, texture, color and moisture of the food item.

Why are excessive amounts of phosphates harmful, it is in our food after all so it must be safe….right?

As I found out more than thirty years ago, the Food and Drug Administration, once an item is deemed “safe” it is difficult to remove it from the safe list of ingredients in foods. That is true also with artificial food dyes often used in convenience and processed foods, as it is with phosphates too.

The harmful part of phosphates comes, according to researchers recently, in the shape of increasing the risk of developing high blood pressure, kidney disease and cardiovascular disease.

How It Works

Basically when there is high consumption of phosphates, the human body produces a high level of a powerful hormone produced in bone cells. This hormone is called fibroblast growth factor 23, also known as FGF23. This has negative health affects, such as high levels of sodium in the blood resulting in high blood pressure to increased calcium absorption by the kidneys leading to dangerous vascular calcification.

My advice, since phosphates are not listed on food labels now and are not going to be on the new labels, is to stick to unprocessed, real whole foods.

The findings by researchers were published in the current edition of the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine.

Meanwhile, Back in the Processed Meats Aisle

On related news, men who consume moderate amounts of processed red meats (lunchmeats, ham, salami, sausage, bacon and hot dogs) have an increased risk of heart disease and death from heart disease according to a new study in Circulation: Heart Failure, an American Heart Association journal.

Processed meats are made by preserving them through smoking, curing, salting or adding preservatives such as nitrates, sodium, phosphates and other food additives.

post-author

Seattle Sutton, BSN, RN

She made healthy eating her mission in life long before anyone else did, in hopes of helping her own obese father. A registered nurse by training and entrepreneur at heart, she lives, eats and breathes everything about healthy eating and helping to improve people’s eating habits and overall health. She enjoys never having to bother with grocery shopping, cooking and counting calories. Her favorite SSHE meal, although it’s hard to pick just one, is the Potato Gnocchi with Basil Pesto Sauce.

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