Are Food Dyes Bad for You?

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When planning to dye your Easter eggs this year, some people may wonder the impacts of dyeing food and drinks as well. On St. Patrick’s Day, we saw green food and beer everywhere, but just what does food dye mean for you and your health?

And while it may look fun and cute, the truth about food dyes is important. According to the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, artificial food colorings have been linked to contribute to hyperactivity in children. Stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s have banned all artificial coloring from all of their products. To keep things as natural and wholesome as possible, it’s a good idea to limit our intake of artificial food dyes like Blue No. 1, Blue No. 2, Green No. 3, Orange B, Red No. 3, Red No. 40, Yellow No. 5 and Yellow No. 6 – you can see all of these listed in the ingredient list.

Fortunately, artificial food dyes aren’t our only option – there are also all-natural food dyes – they’re just not as easy to spot in stores. Whole Foods sells two natural food coloring products: Selec Color and Color Garden. Other brands like India Tree, Nature’s Flavors, and Chef-Master™ can be found online. These food colorings are derived from natural sources like vegetables, and contain no synthetic dyes.

You can also create homemade food colorings using natural ingredients like vegetable powders, Matcha powder, spinach powder and parsley. These powders can all be used as natural ways to make foods colorful for your holiday treats!

This article was written by Lilli Rozanski, intern with Elmwood Fitness Center and Eat Fit NOLA.

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