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Doritos, the delectable crunchy tortilla chip with a taste sensation that triggers warm memories of parties, picnics, and cool road trips. They are the snack buddy you love to travel with. What’s so bad about them… What!? Now you’re going to tell me they cause cancer? Arghhhh!
Yes, in this processed food series my objective is to help you understand what that indecipherable ingredient list on popular processed foods really means for your health. With this you can make informed decisions about your food choices, and (hopefully) eliminate potentially cancer causing ingredients from your diet.
Doritos are statistically listed as the most popular chips worldwide. A seemingly harmless snack… but deceptively evil health-wise. What makes them so toxic? Let’s analyze the following 31 ingredients they’re made from and find out…
What are Doritos Made From?
Corn is a highly processed, genetically modified grain. While there are GMO-free snacks on the market, if it doesn’t specifically say “non GMO” on the bag then you’re almost certainly eating genetically modified corn. This means you’re consuming a grain that is not really a grain anymore. It is a known carcinogen linked to breast cancer, autism, gluten allergies, diabetes, and inflammation.
If genetically modifying the corn isn’t bad enough, the corn is then processed at high temperatures in a lye or limewater solution. This separates the corn kernel from the hard skin and rearranges the proteins to supposedly become “better quality proteins” while making them more digestible. Actually this process worsens the overall nutritional value by decreasing its available protein. Furthermore, cooking chips in a solution used in soap and drain cleaners can’t be safe for human consumption.
Lye is toxic if swallowed and causes blindness if it gets in the eyes. It burns the skin and when mixed with sugar creates carbon monoxide which is lethal. Let’s hope they didn’t use lye in the batch that you purchase to eat! The reason food manufacturers process it this way is because the corn doesn’t taste good otherwise. Limewater is better, but how do you know which method was used? The safest bet is to avoid all corn-based products.
The choices here are sunflower, canola, corn, and/or soybean oil. What’s wrong with that… it sounds healthy, right? After all, it is vegetables. Sadly, commercially processed sunflower oil, canola oil, and soy oil undergo a process by which they become oxidative. This leads to an increase of free radicals that damage the body and increase the risk of cancer − especially breast cancer. So no, that’s not healthy!
These cooking oils are also usually genetically modified and contain trans fats from hydrogenation making them highly toxic. This causes inflammation and unbalanced omega-3 / omega-6 fatty acid ratios that affect the immune system. This results in compromised immunity, increased cancer risk, increased circulation of bad estrogen, and a lack of nutrients.
Not a good profile by any means. If you want to be healthy − avoid commercially produced vegetable oils.
Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and Cottonseed Oil:
Partially hydrogenated oils are loaded with trans fats which are highly toxic. Cottonseed and soy are genetically modified and again very unhealthy leading to an increased risk of cancer. Even though the product contains less than 2%, it all adds up.
Maltodextrin is a starchy filler that has little to zero taste but is a carbohydrate that breaks down into sugar very quickly in the body. This negatively affects the blood sugar balance and ultimately results in unwanted fat as sugar is generally converted to fat. This seemingly harmless ingredient can wreak havoc in cancer patients and diabetics alike. It also contains numerous chemicals from the processing to break it down into its powdered form.
The Remaining Doritos Ingredients (less than 2% each)
Cheddar Cheese (milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes):
Pasteurized cow’s milk on an industrial commercial level is likely to contain all manner of unhealthy components. These include bovine growth hormone and GMOs from the animal feed which affect humans after consumption. So your Doritos are not dairy-free and they contain hormones that lead to breast cancer. Some researchers are even looking into leaky gut from the bacteria/viruses used in GMO “farming.”
Additionally, cheese cultures made from Lactococcus lactis cremoris bacteria to make cheese from the milk often contain GMOs. Supposedly there’s a healthy version that provides probiotics, the good gut bacteria. But still another count for GMOs with more salt and artificial enzymes.
Do you see the pattern here? GMOs are rampant in this snack along with salt, chemicals, and man-made enzymes. So this is not real food… is it?
Whey is a processed product that comes from milk and is an easily digested protein. However, it spikes blood sugar levels and interferes with insulin, so it potentially affects an increased risk of diabetes. It is also full of chemicals.
Not a good profile either, so protein drinks using whey are definitely unhealthy. Whey also leaves you feeling hungry shortly after consumption so you need to eat again. Plus the lethargy from the sugar roller coaster effects could entice you to consume a diet Monster Drink to counter the lack of energy.
How can you build up your body when it has to fight off all these toxins? Try substituting the popular “green smoothie” or “green drink” instead to get your energy and detoxify your body at the same time.
Also known as MSG, monosodium glutamate is a flavor enhancer that is scientifically classified as a neurological excitotoxin. Excitotoxins are stimulants to the nerve cells, especially in the brain. Overstimulation results in an increased sensitivity to MSG that eventually leads to cell death. So, essentially the worst case scenario for consuming products with MSG or D-glutamate, the free form, is brain damage. Probably not what you had in mind when you picked up a bag of chips.
Other adverse effects include: endocrine disruption (the part of the body that helps digest and metabolize food for energy), migraine headaches, leaky gut, and the inability to focus.
The primary reason MSG is used in most processed foods is for its ability to increase the flavor sensation. There are glutamate receptors on the tongue and throughout the body which stimulate the body’s desire to eat more, thus leading to addiction. This is due to the fact that glutamate is the number one neurotransmitter for the hypothalamus which controls the desire to eat as well as many other vital functions.
Think of MSG like a secret ingredient to get you “hooked” on certain products. This makes it difficult to avoid them even when you know they aren’t good for you, and the reason I mentioned Doritos as being deceptively evil.
Artificial color including (Yellow 6, Yellow 5, and Red 40):
For years artificial food coloring has been attacked for its adverse side effects. Some of these include increased risk of hyperactivity, chromosome damage, lymphomas which are cancer, violent aggressive behavior, insomnia, asthma, and thyroid tumors.
Combining these three colors to get that signature color combination that makes the Nacho Cheese Dorito so desirable (i.e. the eye candy appeal factor) could result in various forms of cancer. It can also cause violent aggressive behaviors, the inability to breathe, sterility, and disrupted sleep patterns in the consumers.
Doritos may be delicious but I think the backlash makes eating them an unreasonable risk. This may help to explain the reason why children who eat Doritos are often aggressive and why autism is becoming epidemic.
Buttermilk, Romano cheese (part skim cow’s milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes), whey protein concentrate, onion powder, corn flour, natural and artificial flavors, dextrose, tomato powder, lactose, spices, wheat flour, salt, lactic acid, citric acid, sugar, garlic powder, skim milk, whey protein isolate, corn syrup solids, red and green bell pepper powder, sodium caseinate, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate. All these chemicals, including refined salt, sugar, and dairy are causing serious chronic diseases and are the norm for processed snacks.
Why You Can’t Eat Just One
This recipe for success that Doritos boast is not by accident. Scientists have created a psychobiological formula for making humans want to eat junk food beyond their cognitive sense.
The reasons that the chips are so darn irresistible include the following:
- The “eye candy” appeal derived from combining yellow dye 5,6 and red dye 40
- The melt-in-your mouth fat formula
- The multiple doses of MSG flavor enhancers in several forms
- The lactic acid salivary response triggers
- And the perfect blend of spices, sugars, and quick digesting proteins devoid of nutrients that keep you coming back for more… and more.
Your body needs nutrients but is not getting them from this “non-food product.” So it will continue to demand real food that contains those nutrients.
Furthermore, the effects of perfectly balancing the flavors prevents the brain from registering the satiation of any one flavor. This causes you to over eat because you don’t feel like you ate anything.
This factor coupled with the melting fat sensation in the mouth gives your brain the impression you haven’t consumed any calories. So again your body triggers the stimulus to eat more fat which leads to obesity.
Finally the glutamate content (MSG) also elicits stimuli to the brain that eating this “food” is pleasurable so you want more and more pleasure.
Wow! Unless you make a conscious and deliberate choice to not eat Doritos it is nigh impossible to resist the urge. This is especially so if you’re hungry and they happen to be readily at hand. That’s why you need to keep them out of your house!
This is the reason that knowledge is power − there is hope now that you’re informed. Many alternative snack food choices are available. Some are more wholesome than others, but the processing is the biggest culprit for compromising your health. Remember, snacks (and of course meals) made with real, whole foods are best.
It’s time to take a stand against health-robbing processed foods… starting with Doritos. Stay tuned over the coming weeks for more articles on popular processed foods that need to stay on the shelf.
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Doritos are statistically listed as the most popular chips worldwide. They may seem like a harmless snack… but their ingredient list says otherwise.
Their main ingredient is corn, which is a highly processed, genetically modified grain. While there are GMO-free snacks on the market, if it doesn’t specifically say “non GMO” on the bag then you’re almost certainly eating genetically modified corn.
The second ingredient is commercially processed vegetable oil. Sunflower oil, canola oil, and soy oil undergo a process by which they become oxidative which leads to free radicals that damage the body and increase the risk of cancer − especially breast cancer.
Maltodextrin is a starchy carbohydrate filler that has little taste but breaks down into sugar very quickly in the body. This seemingly harmless ingredient can wreak havoc in cancer patients and diabetics alike.
Among other ingredients (see article for full list), Doritos contain MSG which is a known neurological excitotoxin. Adverse effects include: endocrine disruption (the part of the body that helps digest and metabolize food for energy), migraine headaches, leaky gut, and the inability to focus.
Some snacks are more wholesome than others, but the processing is the biggest culprit for compromising your health. Remember, snacks (and of course meals) made with real, whole foods are best.
Leigh Renee says
Does anyone know of any good snack chips
Jessica Coco says
One of the problems whether eating chips or even cereal is the fact the grains maybe heated to 500*F; making the grains turn into plastic. I assume this is done so the chips & cereals can stay on the shelf longer. Even if it says it’s organic, unless you know from the manufacturer it’s not baked at those high tempertures, avoid it.
I like TERRA, non-GMO, gluten free and delicious.
The best chips ever, my favorite flavor is Jalepeno Lime. The brand is LATE JULY and its NON GMO and all the ingredients are Organic. They are pretty addicting, and I try to only take out a serving size at a time and put the bag away. If you can’t find them in stores, write: Late July Snacks, LLC 15 Channel Center Street #105, Boston, MA 02210. They are made in the USA and are certified organic, non GMO.
Lynda Kamrath says
Sure, Leigh. Make your own. Thinly sliced veges baked in the oven are good choices. Of course, do not fry in vegetable oil. Potato slices drizzled with coconut oil or olive oil and baked in the oven are great.
But sweet potato done the same way is even yummier and more healthy, Lynda.
Silvia Logan says
I do not eat Doritos chips, so there should not be much of a problem for me. I ate some Nacho chips is the Mexican restaurant, but I do not very often eat in Mexican restaurants.
Peter & LInda says
Hey Ty and friends, could you look at making these articles “print friendly”? Sometimes it is easier to give a printed version to someone to digest! 🙂
Hi Peter & Linda,
Thanks for the suggestion! I will pass this onward.
That would be great
Alison Stevens says
I nearly purchased a packet this evening, and then chose not to, after reading this I am so happy I did not.
May I ask as where I live I have NEVER sadly come across GMO free ones or without ALL these ingredients, any chance of a Healthy Home Made recipe to make something similar.
Thank you for your hard work and for caring so I am sharing.
Check health food coop’s or organic sections of stores for ” Late July” brands. Call your stores or contact them on Facebook and request them. They are Organic and non-GMO and come in varied flavors. My favorite flavor is Jalepeno Lime, but they also have whole grain chips in that brand are are yummy too!
Susan Kitson says
me too! I love those chips
I was just tucking into a packet of corn chips when I I opened this email, needless to say they are now in the food bin!
Jorge R. Munoz says
I agree with Peter & Linda about making these articles “print friendly”; I also many times print articles to give to people because that way it does not get lost in their inbox and they read it for their benefit. I also like to thank you on behalf of my family about the work you’re doing. We bought the whole series at the very beginning of your coming out with the videos because we wanted to be informed since my wife got breast cancer which ended up not being, thank God; and we found out about it because of your videos. Ty, God bless you and your family and keep up the good work.
I will suggest this! Thanks for the feedback.
Larry G says
Any way to get actual references? So tired of reading these articles backed by someone’s opinion!! If you have nothing but opinion to back your claims. You got nothin’! .. And neither do I. Educate me with facts not opinions.
Please refer to the Sources and References Tab that is directly below the article summary.
Adam R says
Agreed, most of the assertions are conjecture or anecdotal. The references provided are just as bad. Not saying Doritos are healthy but this is mostly fear mongering.
Does anyone know of a natural treatment for sleep apnea?
Penny Krips says
Beanitos from Beanitos Inc. beanitos.com. Non- just about everything and gluten free. Few ingredients on most flavors, tastes great, our new go-to snack.
Listen everything causes cancer or increases or the chance of getting cancer. E.g. going outside increases your chances of cancer and so does staying inside.
I`ve been eating Doritos since i was a teenager. Now reading this article at 33 years old i am scared and hope i can find strength to stop eating not only Doritos but all the other harmful foods out there.
Billy Jones says
You lost me when u stated that GMO is carcinogenic – that is not proven and is BS….That is an opinion , not a fact.
GMO health risks unknown:
What’s the concern? Some people believe that altering the DNA of a plant or animal has a significant effect on a person’s chances of developing cancer. But the current research on the health risks of GMOs is inconclusive. In other words, researchers cannot confirm whether or not GMOs increase cancer risks.
Surprised you list Canadian Oil co. under Vegetable oils. that is still something I will not eat, no canola oil in anything I eat.