Things to Avoid in Packaged Gluten-Free Foods

This list is not exhaustive but provides valuable insights into the harms of some very common ingredients you can find in many packaged Gluten-Free Breads, Cakes, and Cookies.

How Bad Artificial Sweeteners & Preservatives Really are?

#1 Artificial & Synthetic Sweeteners


Artificial sweeteners are a very prevalent ingredient that is used in many Gluten-Free packaged products.


  • A significant amount of scientific research conducted on the consumption of Artificial Sweeteners like Sucalrose , Aspartame , and Neotame, and Acesulfame-K have concluded that they are harmful to humans, catalysing and instigating liver damage, premature birth, and cancer.


Below you will find the most common sweeteners to avoid accompanied by the scientific article and papers published by the NHS and Medical News Agencies.



is Medical News Today wrote an interesting article about the links to Splenda (a well-known Sucalrose Brand) to Leukaemia in May of 2015 Medical News Article.   “The European Food Safety Authority reviewed sucralose in 2011, and said it is acceptable for an adult to eat 15mg per kg of body weight of sucralose each day”



The NHS’s reference to Aspartame is strong in suggesting customers to avoid it.

“Aspartame has been subject to more scare stories than any other sweetener, ranging from allergies and premature births to liver damage and cancer. It is low calorie and up to 200 times sweeter than sugar. Aspartame is used all over the world as a sugar substitute in thousands of foods and drinks, including cereals, sugar-free chewing gum, low-calorie (diet) soft drinks and table-top sweeteners.”[NHS Aspartame Review Article]



is a synthetic sweetener that has a low Glycaemic Index which is why it is used in many desserts. The European Union has strict regulation in its usage as it has many side effects including fermenting gut-bacteria, pulling water into the intestines through the sugar alcohols which can lead to bloating, diarrhoea and gas. MayoClinic studies suggest “sugar alcohols can increase your blood sugar level” [MayoClinic Link].

Now that we’ve discussed the sweeteners to avoid, a list of Natural Sweeteners are what you want to see in your Gluten-Free foods. If you can find Raw and Unprocessed and Organic versions of those sweeteners, then that’s the optimal choice.

Sugars you want to see:

  • Real Maple Syrup
  • Organic Honey
  • Organic Agave Nectar
  • Organic Cane Sugar
  • Organic Coconut Palm Sugar


#2 Artificial Preservatives



Artificial Preservatives are likely to be in every single Gluten-Free product you buy on a supermarket or retailer shelf. It is very important to note that artisanal bakeries don’t usually introduce these preservatives into their products and that they are a sign of large-scale industrial manufacturing, which is focused on uniformity and control, not quality and taste.


It is important to keep away from some of these preservatives as they have been proven to have significant harmful effects on the body.


Brominated vegetable oil (BVO)

(BVO) A complex mixture of plant-derived triglycerides that have been reacted to contain atoms of the element bromine bonded to the molecules. Brominated vegetable oil is used primarily to help emulsify flavoured soft drinks, preventing them from separating during distribution.



Potassium Iodate 

Is good to reduce radiation and that’s about it. An unopened box of potassium iodate tablets, distributed to every household in Ireland in case of a terror attack on reprocessing plants such as Sellafield and nuclear power stationsIs, also specified as a “thyroid blocking agent” to prevent uptake of radioactive iodine. Potassium iodate is an effective oxidizing agent that has applications for food manufacturing and chemical synthesis.Has been proven to contribute to Thyroid Gland diseases and banned in many countries as they are listed as “hazardous” for public health, the report by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said.


Potassium Bromate

Recently banned in EU and UK.  It is Proven to be a carcinogen and is classified as 2B.  This legislation is new and this carcinogenic was in many flours, breads, and cereals.


Calcium Propionate

Stops the growth of mould in food.  Basically this is a preservative used to remove the bacteria’s fuel and prevent its development.  The problem arises from ingesting this in your stomach which is filled with good bacteria that helps you break down your food and turn it into nutrients.  Calcium Propionate blocks and sometimes destroys enzymes that provide important fuel for this healthy bacteria to grow in your stomach [Calcium Propionate Link].


BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene) and BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole)

These are really bad preservatives for your mental health and are recommended to stay very far away from. By affecting the neurological system of your brain, these can affect your behaviour and are carcinogenic. Tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), from the same family, is a chemical preservative so deadly that just five grams can kill you.


High Fructose Corn Syrup 

The NHS says the global problem of diabetes is tightly linked to how much HFCS used in products available to the public. “Prevalence of diabetes was 8.0% in the countries with high HCFS availability, compared with 6.7% in countries with lower availability – a difference of approximately 20%.”[NHS Article Link]


Monoglycerides and Diglycerides

Even though these artificial preservatives are not specifically harmful to you, they are likely a signal of industrial and large scale production rather than artisanal high quality products. Because Manna Dew recommends the best, we recommend you stick to ingredients you would be using in your own cooking and this is not one of them.



Keep it Artisan!

We think that real whole foods made free from artificial preservatives and sweeteners are the best for you. Even though there is a use for preservatives in the food industry, high quality producers never opt for them and only use nutritious wholesome fresh ingredients.

Manna Dew recommends basing your diet on these natural and nutritious ingredients to promote your health and recommends you to choose products without these additives or preservatives.


When choosing your sweeteners, opt for Raw Unprocessed Organic options. When reading packaged labels, try to avoid Potassium Iodate, HFCS, BHT, BHA, and Monoglycerides/Diglycerides altogether.


Love your body, treat it with the best food you can find!



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