Read This Before Eating Anything With BHT

If there's one thing most of us are guilty of, it's rushing to processed food items and fast food in times of distress when the only thing we're concerned about is convenience and need something that's fast and easy to pick up. Unfortunately, processed food items have their downsides. Consider this: these products are designed to last in your pantry for a long time, which means that there are plenty of preservatives and additives that are supposed to improve flavor or help its shelf life. Some of the additives that are often found in these products include something called BHA and BHT (via Very Well Fit).

Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) are often found in processed food items in grocery stores like cereal. They're antioxidants that help your products last longer by protecting them against oxygen exposure and also help retain a product's flavor. This basically ensures that you can continue eating something like your box of cereal for a month without worrying about its contents going bad.

BHT and BHA may harm you in excessive quantities

It sounds innocent enough, right? As explained by Very Well Fit, BHA and BHT are fine to use in limited amounts. However, if a person consumes products containing BHA in excess, they may notice that it interacts with hormonal birth control methods or steroids. Note that BHA and BHT are often found in different kinds of processed food items, including fast food.

As per an article by the Scientific American, BHA is a bit of a controversial additive. While the Food and Drug Administration believes it is safe, certain research studies have indicated that BHA may be potentially carcinogenic. BHT, on the other hand, is not considered to be carcinogenic but may still affect organs such as the lungs, kidney, liver, and thyroid. It may also slightly disrupt the endocrine system. However, some researchers believe that it has anti-cancer properties in tiny amounts.

 General Mills, for its part, announced in 2015 that it was removing BHT from its cereals even though there isn't conclusive evidence against the additive. The lowdown is that there isn't enough evidence on BHA as well as well as BHT, but your healthiest and safest alternatives are to try and include more fresh foods in your diet.