How to Avoid Artificial Food Dyes

Artificial dyes are added to food to make it appear more attractive and irresistible. These dyes improve, enhance and maintain the colour of food. They prevent any colour loss due to environmental reasons when the food is kept for long. Food dyes have now become commercially very important, especially for items with long shelf life. They are mostly found in processed foods, drinks, and condiments. You can expect the dyes to be present in nearly all processed objects from macaroni to olives.  Since these dyes are artificial and loaded with chemicals, their health effects on human body are very negative. More and more people are getting concerned about their use and looking for ways to exclude them from what they eat. It is very necessary for your health that you closely monitor any artificial colouring that you intake and do your best to avoid them. Our step by step guide helps you in your efforts with some suggestions of how you can avoid artificial food dyes.


  • 1

    The first and most effective step of course is to avoid as much processed food as possible. Go closer to the supply chain where there are less additives and dyes. Natural products like vegetables and fruits brought fresh from the market do not have any artificial dye in them. So is the case with fresh meat and poultry. If you need bakery products, try to bake yourself at home to make bread, muffins and cake so that you know what goes in your food. Use pure extracts for cooking instead of artificially prepared ones.

  • 2

    If you have to processed food, read the labels carefully before you buy anything off the shelf. Look for artificial dye colours which are potentially harmful. These include Blue 1, Blue 2, Green 3, Red 40, Red 3, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6. Look around the aisle for options which use natural food colours. Natural food colours include annatto extract, beta-carotene, beet powder, caramel colour, fruit juice, paprika, saffron, turmeric, and vegetable juice. These colours are not harmful for your health and can be used safely.

  • 3

    Totally replace fruit flavoured items with real fruit and its juice. Avoid processed fruit juices and flavoured milk since they have little of the original fruit and more of the artificial flavours and dyes. Remember as a rule that the more brightly coloured an object is, the more artificial dyes it uses. Steer away from the bright eating stuff that fascinates you and the children.

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