What is carrageenan?
Carrageenan is an additive used to thicken, emulsify, and preserve foods and drinks. It’s a natural ingredient that comes from red seaweed (also called Irish moss). You’ll often find this ingredient in nut milks, meat products, and yogurt
A study by researchers in Canada and at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health published in 2017 found that consuming carrageenan can lead to ulcers and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Since the late 1960s, there’s been controversy surrounding the health effects of carrageenan. Some evidence suggests that carrageenan triggers inflammation, ulceration, and that it damages your digestive system. People have been petitioning for products with carrageenan to be labeled with a warning or removed entirely.
So why ( they ) still produce it and sell it? the answer is in the ( they) , I leave this to your imagination to figure out who are they, and why they want to control the earth population, causing disease that dont kill you right away but make you buy more medications to treat your self, your family and your pets and making them billionaires. They use every legal and quack doctors to promote any products they want to sell and pay millions to get the FDA approval .So read the label please and read the ingredients.
HEMP MILK . Made for steaming, foaming, and pouring, this barista-style hemp milk is certified gluten-free by the GFCO and is vegan, dairy-free, carrageenan-free, kosher, and non-GMO verified. It contains only three primary ingredients: Filtered water, almonds, and rice and is shelf-stable until opened. Make sure it is free of Carrageenan.
Dangers and side effects of carrageenan
Products with carrageenan may be labeled as “natural,” but limited studies show that carrageenan may promote or cause: Inflammation, bloating, IBS, Colon cancer, food allergies. Increased inflammation can lead to a greater likelihood of other diseases, such as: IBS, Arthritis, tendonitis, and chronic cholecystitis.
Some studies suggests that there may be no substantial difference between “food-grade” (undegraded) and degraded carrageenan. Degraded carrageenan is a carcinogenic (cancer-causing) version that isn’t approved. It’s even used to induce inflammation in animal studies.
But many of the studies conducted on the dangers of carrageenan were on animals and cells. Reports of bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, and other digestive issues are mostly self-reported. People also report relief when they drop carrageenan from their diet.
Is it safe for consumption?
There need to be more human studies to confirm any link between carrageenan and digestive problems. In the meantime, you may want to limit how much carrageenan you consume.
The Food and Drug Administration still approves this ingredient. But in 2016, the National Organic Standards Board voted to remove it from their approved list. This means foods made with carrageenan can no longer be labeled “USDA organic.”
Which foods have carrageenan?
Carrageenan tends to be in vegan and vegetarian products. Since it’s a plant, manufacturers use it to replace gelatin, which is made from animal parts.
Common sources of carrageenan , you find them mostly in Chinese food, Pilipino desert, japan, and some south east Asian countries, so you have to look and read the ingredients carefully. Some of these products are:
- chocolate milk, NATA DE COCO products
- cottage cheese, and putting’s from coco milk.
- ice cream
- almond milk
- diary alternatives, such as vegan cheeses or nondairy desserts
- coconut milk
- hemp milk
- rice milk
- soy milk
Carrageenan has no nutritional value, so you don’t have to worry about missing anything when you remove foods containing it. Finding replacements for vegetarian or vegan foods without carrageenan is possible. Just remember that carrageenan-free milks may separate. This is natural. All you have to do is shake well before pouring.
The bottom line
If you’re worried about the side effects of Carrageenan, take it out of your diet and see if there’s any improvement in how you’re feeling. It’s legally required to be listed under a product’s ingredients, so it should be easy to start to figure out what foods to eliminate.
Talk to a doctor if you continue to experience inflammation or digestive issues after removing carrageen from your food. This may signal that carrageen isn’t responsible for your symptoms.
Some food from the Philippines, china and Vietnam that you should look for this ingredients is Nata de coco products.
Nata de Coco or coconut gel is a Filipino delicacy that looks like is a white translucent or opaque chewy jelly made by fermenting coconut water and bacteria called acetobacter xylinum. This bacterium with the help of the coconut water turned into a gel like substance, making it firm but still chewy. After it’s formed it turns into a probiotics with great fiber content which many people love to add into their diet. This delicate looking jelly might just look like a sweet treat, but it’s actually healthier than you think!
Nata de Coco in English is called ‘coconut gel’, or in Spanish ‘Sebainatare’, translated to ‘Natare’ in Latin meaning ‘floating’. This unique Filipino delicacy was created and produced in the Philippines at around 1954; production later grew in the mid 1970’s. It was invented by Teódula Kalaw África, as an attempt to utilize leftover coconut water or coconut waste.
It is an alternative to ‘nata de piña’ made from pineapples, preserving it into a jelly-like substance. Produced in the Philippines and introduced around the world. It was Gained popularity in Japan in the 1990’s. Nowadays, you can find nata de coco in its original form added in on the go juices, energy drinks, in diet food and drinks, creamy desserts, in different shapes, and sometimes flavored.
An ingredient derived from coconut water, coconut milk or coconut cream; this is usually processed by extracting the coconut liquids. Fermenting coconut liquid with a bacteria called acetobacter xylinum. The fats are then separated and cut from the Nata de Coco, cleaned and washed off of the acetic acid.
The translucent outcome is actually composed of millions of cellulose threads (fibers) referred to as ‘nata’. Sliced into the familiar squares we see packed in bottle jars to be sold in stores. These products can also be found to be made with sugar syrup, fruit glucose, or aloe vera. It is a great dessert for those with diabetes and looking for a quick sweet snack when dieting.
IT possesses a unique flavor, almost like a chewable translucent coconut jelly candy, subtly sweet without the overpowering coconut taste. It’s usually mixed in desserts like halo-halo, yogurt, ice cream, custard, to cold drinks like shakes, smoothies, or juices to add texture, and extra natural sweetness.
Nata de Coco Benefits IF IT HAS NO CARRAGEENAN
Nata de coco might seem like a sweet treat to add into a bowl of fruit salad, or enjoyed over halo-halo, but there is a little bit more to this translucent jelly. While there are no known nata de coco side effects, do note to eat this tasty snack in moderation as some Nata de Coco products use glucose and sugar water.
It contains Vitamin B1, B2, and C, from coconut cream. Which helps the body’s immunity?
A safe dessert even for those with diabetes, as this has no effect on blood sugar levels.
Is low in calories, contributing to a healthy diet.
A high source of dietary fiber. Keeps the body from having constipation, hemorrhoids.
Dishes where Nata de Coco is used
Becoming one of the favorite ingredients in cream based desserts, drinks, and other desserts, in the Philippines and several countries. Here are some of the ways it’s enjoyed in Filipino cuisine and around the world:
Halo-halo, this might be the best way to first introduce Nata de Coco to anyone. An icy refreshing dessert perfect for summer blues, a mixed beans and colorful jelly base, with crushed ice, evaporated milk, a slab of leche flan and scoops of ice cream , topped with cornflakes and the delicate translucent coconut gel.
Mango Sago–with Nata de Coco, a summer desserts to treat yourself after a hard day’s work, a simple mix of chilled mangoes or mango pudding, sago, nata de coco, and sometimes milk. Make sure it is a free of Carrageenan.
Buko Pandan , a simpler version of the halo-halo. But still delicious nonetheless. If you like no fuss simpler ingredients with coconut being the main flavor profile.
In yogurt cups, for extra sweetness and texture, try adding coconut gels with a combination of your fruit of choice! Some even add star or heart shaped Nata de Coco for an aesthetic look.
As a topping for ice creams, especially fruity or Filipino based ice cream like coconut, Buko Pandan, mango, ube and taro.
Fruit Juices, if you love milk tea with tapioca balls, then this nata de coco drink made of fruit juice, using coconut gel as a chewy ball substitute will be a game changer!
Over milk puddings, if you lack some topping options try adding this delicacy in, you won’t regret it.
Just remember like all good things, these are to be eaten in moderation. This natural sweet ingredient is healthy, with the consideration of the quantity. You can find these in any grocery store, specifically in the Asian section. Check the label to make sure that these are made with or without sugar and other ingredients such as the Carrageenan before making any nata de coco desert! it is you health, it is your life so dont make them billionaires, and dont listen to quack doctors on TV commercials.
Steve Ramsey, PHD Public health.