Why you should avoid the numbers at all cost!

Why you should avoid the numbers at all cost!

I hear you, I hear you… what are you talking about Brooke? What numbers? The numbers on my watch? The numbers on my phone? The page numbers in my book? NO, NO and NO. I’m talking about the numbers on the back of your food, nestled ever so cleverly in between ingredients you know, so they draw your attention away from the numbers.


Any numbers in the ingredient list of any type of food or drink that you plan on nourishing yourself with, is doing the absolute OPPOSITE! Numbers are chemicals in disguise. If one of my wishes came true, it would be that the food guidelines require food manufacturers to put CHEMICAL in bold font, in an ingredient list where a number usually is. The thing about numbers is that they can just skip our consciousness. As humans I feel we look for things we can read, and understand. If there’s just a simple number in the list, we go right past it.

But I’m urging you, begging you, telling you!!

To take notice of the numbers and avoid them at all costs. Some of the common ones you will see are:

621 – Monosodium Glutamate: a neurotoxin and lung irritant;

955 – Aspartame: a carcinogen;

220 or 221 – Sulphites: respiratory irritant, and drains essential vitamins from the body;

E numbers – Colouring: While it’s true that all E numbers are not harmful, there are plenty that are. Some of these are banned in countries throughout the world, but not in Australia (SHOCK HORROR!). They have been linked to childhood mood disorders including hyperactivity, high blood pressure, skin rashes, vomiting, increased thyroid hormone.. .the list goes on.

Why do companies use these chemicals?

These harmful additives are used for a number of reasons;

  • As a flavour enhancer to make you, the consumer, want to eat more;
  • As a preservative so the product has a longer shelf life;
  • As a marketing angle, so a product can be sold as sugar free, or low carb, but still have the taste one desire;
  • As a colour enhancer to make the product more aesthetically pleasing;
  • They’re cheap.

All of these reasons, do not have your health, or your best interests at heart!

Let’s look at our favourite snack foods

With snacks, most food manufacturers want you to eat more. The quantity that we consume determines their bottom line profit. This is definitely my cynical side coming out, but what other reason is there for these companies to put harmful chemicals in their snack foods?

But then there’s some fantastic snack foods to look out for, and when you peruse their ingredient list, low and behold, there’s NO NUMBERS! The list you’re reading makes sense to you, you understand what is in the snack you are about to eat, and that reflects directly on the integrity of the company that makes that food.

Be loyal to those that are loyal to you

I’m a wholefoods advocate. An organic wholefoods advocate. But the reality is that there is always a time that you need to grab a snack, maybe a packaged snack, and knowing what to look out for will directly effect how you and your family look, and feel. The companies that have clean labeling, that tell you what is in the product you’re eating, are the one’s that are loyal. They at least have their customer’s health in mind when they don’t put their bottom line before the wellbeing of the consumer.

What are you favourite brands that don’t use chemicals?