We’ve all heard of adulterants being added to our food products and we are also quite aware that they negatively impact our health in the long run.
Having said that, emulsifiers bring forth similar disturbing effects to your body if consumed regularly over a long period of time.
Let’s delve more into the details of what they are, how they work, and what health hazards are bound to occur due to the consumption of adulterated emulsifiers.
What is the role of emulsifiers in food?
Emulsifiers are quite versatile in their functioning. These are pretty widespread in almost all processed foods that we consume on a daily basis. Dairy products, chocolates, and processed meats do contain emulsifiers in varying quantities.
Blending the constituents together, giving the food product a smooth and finished texture, and imparting a soothing flavour and aroma to the food are all functions of emulsifiers.
However, as of late, synthetic emulsifiers have been reduced to nothing but soapy, detergent-like substances that only create lather in your gut, so not great for gut health. Consuming adulterated emulsifiers has become synonymous to adding detergent in your body.
Some of the other mainstream functions of emulsifiers include:
- Makes starch soft in cooking to give a fluffy texture in bread
- Reacts with proteins to cause bread to rise easily while making the dough
- Combats emulsion in ice creams to break foam and give it a smooth texture
- Imparts anti-splattering effects to oil crystals when reacting with water
Which foods contain emulsifiers to a large extent?
Any processed food item like dairy products and ice-cream contain emulsifiers. Here are the most basic items that contain emulsifiers in considerably large quantities.
- Some plant-based milk
- Ice-creams, milk, curd, and yoghurt
- Chocolate and margarine
- Processed meat and other foods
How do emulsifiers negatively impact your gut health?
A large number of emulsifiers in food can be compared to adding soap to your gut! Sounds horrific, doesn’t it? Consuming foods with a lot of emulsifiers takes a huge toll on your gut health. It not only hinders the process of smooth digestion and assimilation but also creates an imbalance in the gut bacteria (your gut bugs) leading to more health issues.
The soapy layer created in your gut by the action of these emulsifiers gets in the way of separating good bacteria from the bad. This disruption of gut microbes causes a sudden spike or low in the blood sugar levels.
It has been shown that food emulsifiers such as polysorbate 80 (P80) and carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) may contribute to intestinal inflammatory diseases such as IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's disease.
In addition to that, emulsifiers also contribute to obesity and fattening of the individual as a whole. The gut cannot function at its optimum best which leads to unhealthy weight gain.
Summing it up:
Sure, natural emulsifiers are needed in certain food items to blend the ingredients together and give it that rich flavour and texture that we love. However, synthetic emulsifiers are predominantly present in processed foods.
Therefore, the surest and safest way to steer your way clear of these soapy ingredients is to limit the intake of your junk and processed foods in the long run.
Consume as many natural foods as you can and rely on a diet rich in organic fruits and veggies. This will pave the way for avoiding this gut-destroying monsters from getting into your system and harming your gut health.
*Disclaimer: the information in this article is intended purely as information and not health advice. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, prevent or cure and one should always seek expert advice from their trusted health practitioner.