I wanted to share an email I received from a dietitian. It’s a great explanation of Sulfites, how to identify and avoid them.

She wrote, “Sodium sulfite is a chemical that is naturally present and/or used in food processing as a preservative and sanitizing agent. It prevents bacterial growth and the browning of exposed foods. It also prevents the growth of undesirable microorganisms during fermentation and food processing.

Many people are sensitive to this compound. A person can develop sensitivity to sulfites at any time in life, and the cause of sensitivity is unknown. For a person who is sensitive to sulfites, a reaction can be mild or life threatening. Reactions can include headaches, diarrhea, nausea, skin rash, swelling, and wheezing.

The FDA has banned the use of sulfites on fruits and vegetables that are eaten raw, such as lettuce or apples. In addition, manufacturers are required to label the use of sulfites in their processed products and list the compounds on their product labels.

Sulfites can be found in a variety of cooked and processed foods even though they are no longer used on most fresh foods. They also occur naturally in the process of making wine and beer.

Avoiding foods that contain or are likely to contain sulfites is the only way to prevent a reaction. If you are sensitive to sulfites, be sure to read the labels on all food items. When eating out, ask the chef or server if sulfites are used or added to food before or during preparation.”

Sulfite-containing ingredients to look for on food labels include:
Sulfur dioxide
Frozen apples
Dried fruit
Peeled potatoes
Maraschino cherries
Frozen vegetables
Fresh non-organic grapes

The more educated you are, the better chance you have of staying healthy. Hope you enjoyed the article.


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