Read Your Labels!

Are you eating artificial food colors?  When explaining to my grandchildren why they shouldn’t consume foods or beverages containing artificial colors, I ask them if they should eat their crayons?  They usually get the point–do you?  From 1955 to 2007, the amount of food dye consumed by American children increased from 12 mg. per day to 59 mg. per day.  The Center for Science in the Public Interest has claimed that eight food dyes approved by the FDA caused hyperactivity and other behavioral problems in children.  These dyes include Yellow 5, Red 40, Green 3, Orange B, Blue 1, Red 3, Blue 2, and Yellow 6.  They add no nutritional value, only toxicity that can lead to disease.  Some have been shown to be carcinogenic.

The following is a list of some common cereals and candies that contain one or more of these questionable food dyes:  Apple Jacks, Froot Loops, Fruity Cheerios, Lucky Charms, Fruity Pebbles, Trix, Starburst Chews, Skittles, and M&Ms.   Even vitamins and minerals, as well as over-the-counter medications, can contain these dyes.  Just because something is FDA approved, doesn’t mean that it’s good for you.  You have to take responsibility for what you put into your mouth and the mouths of your children.

Read your labels!  If you see any of the above dyes or the word “artificial”,  put it back on the shelf.  Don’t be fooled by the word “natural”.  That could mean any number of things.  A rock is natural, but we aren’t supposed to eat it.  Be strong when your family cries out for those colorful toxins.  It may not be obvious how chemical additives are affecting your health, but over time, their steady accumulation will take its toll.

Eat God’s colors:  fresh fruit and vegetables!  Each natural color has its own health benefits.  Look for children’s vitamin and mineral supplements that contain no artificial dyes.  Sunshine Heroes Multiple Vitamin & Mineral for children by Nature’s Sunshine derives its natural colors and flavors from fruits and vegetables.  Check it out at

Keep Learning to be Healthy!

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist

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