By: Dr. John Bagnulo, Director of Nutrition

Our company’s identity is and always has been centered on organic and whole. All of our products contain the highest quality ingredients available. Maybe it is time to highlight what we are not and what our products will never contain.

There is a growing list of foods or better described as food-like ingredients that are proven to drive inflammation, an overactive immune reaction, insulin resistance, and other mechanisms common to most chronic diseases. Here is a list of 10 terrible ingredients found in a variety of foods that we strongly oppose the consumption of and hope to raise consumer awareness around.

1. Added sugar. By this point in time, just about everyone has learned something about the deleterious effects of added sugar. If not, please consider this a crash course and understand that corn syrup solids, fruit juice concentrates, and all its other disguises are just as inflammatory – if not worse – than straight up cane sugar. Our products have no added sugar and never will.

2. Glyphosate. AKA: Round Up®. We joke that it should be called Round Down because of what it has been shown to do with respect to important families of bacteria that keep our GI and digestive system healthy. All of our products have been tested for glyphosate content, and proudly contain no glyphosate residues.

3. Casein. The curd component of milk is more difficult to digest but the real problem is with a specific type of casein known as A1 beta-casein. It has been shown to be highly inflammatory and can generate adverse reactions in many of us.

4. Gluten. As the most talked about protein in the world of allergies and intolerances, gluten is poorly understood by most health professionals. While only a small percentage of individuals may suffer from true celiac disease, all of the research examining the inflammatory effects of gluten consistently reflects its damaging role in the GI and particularly its ability to increase intestinal permeability…that’s not a good thing.

5. Omega-6 rich vegetable and/or seed oils. These are cheap sources of fat calories with a significant potential to sway the balance in favor of inflammation. The ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids directly determines how much inflammation is at our body’s disposal should a "fire" start. We use only the highest quality extra virgin flax and olive oils in our products, which are low in omega-6 fatty acids, yet contain some omega-3 fats.

6. Hexane-derived ingredients. Hexane is a petroleum distillate used by industrial manufacturing processes to separate oils and other fractions of a plant for refinement purposes. Hexane residues remain in most of these commercial ingredients. We feel strongly that it is best to limit petroleum products to only automobiles, if possible.

7. Soy. Too many people have one or more of an assortment of adverse reactions to soybean products or soy-based ingredients. While many of our consumers may tolerate or choose to have soy in their diet, we have chosen to produce products that are tolerated by as many people as possible.

8. Artificial anything. No artificial preservatives, flavors, sweeteners, colors or stabilizers of any sort. We just don’t trust them. It is that simple.

9. Corn. It is in just about everything these days and while it might not be a problem for some, it too contains a type of gluten known as zein which can cause GI issues. More importantly, because of how it is largely grown these days, we avoid corn-derived ingredients because they often contain numerous agrichemicals used in their production.

10. Pesticides. Functional Formularies products are typically used by individuals already dealing with difficult health issues. Why wouldn’t we want to do all that is possible to reduce their toxic burden? We use only organic ingredients in all of our products to help minimize the pesticide and other chemical content of the diet.

Thankfully these often highly offensive ingredients are being looked at more closely by researchers and MDs around the world. Take a look at the below resources to learn more!

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Dr. John Bagnulo is the Director of Nutrition at Functional Formularies and leads nutrition research and development initiatives. Learn more about Dr. Bagnulo here.