Pectin may look and behave like good-for-you fiber, but it’s not always working in your favor. While this glue-like food moves through you, things get stuck to it, including essential nutrients, which inevitably leave the body with it. You’re simply not going to reap the full benefits of lycopene―or any of these antioxidants―if you’re also consuming foods that contain added pectin. So keep eating your apples and other foods that contain natural pectin, but skip it when it shows up on the label.
Increased Health Risks Due to Nutrient Depletion: Eyesight conditions, decreased immune response, frequent viral infections
4. Disodium EDTA
AKA: Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid
Found in: Processed foods
Robs Your Body of: Vitamin C, magnesium, iron, calcium, zinc, potassium
Disodium EDTA excels at preserving the color and flavor of foods. It grabs any free metals that would normally promote oxidation, therefore increasing shelf life. That’s also the reason prescribe it to people suffering from heavy metal poisoning: It clings to minerals in your digestive tract and pulls them out, leaving them to be disposed through your feces. However, just as in relationships, clinginess is a bad thing for healthy people because when you eat foods with the preservative, it pulls out both bad and crucial minerals and disturbs gut bacteria.
Increased Health Risks Due to Nutrient Depletion: Digestive issues, weaker immune system, compromised cellular and nerve function, anemia, cramps, kidney damage
5. Phosphoric Acid
Found in: Sodas, some flavored waters
Robs Your Body of: Calcium, magnesium
This chemical additive that’s used to keep carbonated drinks from going flat packs a one-two punch for your bones. In addition to blocking the absorption of calcium and magnesium, it may also be dipping into your personal calcium supply in your bones. Calcium and phosphorus like to be bonded, so when you take in phosphorus without calcium, it’ll take whatever calcium is currently in your body. Because calcium comes hand-in-hand with magnesium, when you lose one, you lose the other. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that women who drank an average of five colas a week had lower bone mass density than non-cola drinkers, possibly due to lower phosphorus-to-calcium ratios.
Increased Health Risks Due to Nutrient Depletion: Poorer bone and teeth health, osteoporosis, cramping and spasms, increased food cravings
6. Guar Gum
Found in: Beverages, soups, cottage cheese, some frozen desserts
Robs Your Body of: Beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein
This fiber from guar beans, which functions as a thicker, feeds gut bacteria. And, just as with sugar, this causes an overproduction of bacteria, which compete for key nutrients. In fact, eating guar gum may reduce absorption of carotenoids by 22 percent, according to research out of the Technical University of Munich.
Increased Health Risks Due to Nutrient Depletion: Eye diseases, such as macular degeneration