Thursday, December 12, 2013

Artificial food coloring... YUCK!

Earlier today, I promised you a post about living a healthier life by eliminating artificial dyes this holiday season. It's tough to do, considering all the festive green and red icing, sugars, and sprinkles tempting your taste buds. While you can't dictate what anyone else uses, you can make wiser choices with your own baking and purchases.

Why avoid artificial food coloring? 

The main issue seems to be ADHD -- researchers have found a link between artificial food dyes and attention problems and hyperactivity in children. Often, when dealing with these issues, parents will go out of their way to avoid sugar, but little thought is given to the dyes in the foods. While the UK does still allow the dyes, they demand labeling that states, “May have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.” 

Unfortunately, most of us are unaware of the multitude of products that have artificial food coloring in them. Things like pickles and yogurt. The FDA is not protecting us, so it's our responsibility to read every label. 

Whole Foods is one place where I can shop, confident there will be no synthetic dyes lurking in the food. They prohibit it. I served a cake on Thanksgiving from Whole Foods and loved the muted colors that could only come from natural sources. No fluorescent icing here! 

Cake from Whole Foods. Isn't it lovely?

While some people make their own food coloring, there are others who prefer the bottled kind. The good news is that it's available!

I use Color Garden dyes, which come in lovely shades of yellow, orange, blue, and red and are 100% plant based. But there are other choices available. Click the links below to find the right natural food coloring and colored sugars/sprinkles for your healthier lifestyle:

  •  India Tree -- created with vegetable colorants (red, pink, yellow, blue)
  • Maggie's Naturals -- fantastic selection of colors (green, red, orange, yellow, pink, blue, purple)
  • Colors from Nature by Wild -- they even have this nifty chart to show you which colors to use to substitute for Red #40, Yellow #5, etc.
  • Seelect -- a wide array of choices when it comes to certified organic colors
Getting away from artificial food dyes is just one of the many ways to live healthier lives during the holidays when we are often tempted beyond our tolerance level to indulge in foods that are not-so-good-for-us. 

To read more about artificial food coloring, click here to check out this excellent blog post over at 100 Days of Real Food.

What other things are you planning on implementing for your own personal well being? Why not consider joining the Hyland's Holiday Wellness Challenge?

Finish this sentence: This holiday season, I challenge myself to... 

For me, it's to stick to natural food coloring. What about you? Check out the Challenge on Hyland's Facebook page to participate. There are going to be some great giveaways and exclusive offers for those who sign up for the challenge. 

Why wait for the new year to start focusing on healthier living. Now's the time! Join Hyland's Holiday Challenge and let me know what you're going to do to help meet your wellness goals. I'd love to hear all about it!

Here's to our health,

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