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What Happens In Your Body When You Eat Ramen And Gatorade

First Posted: 02/09/2012 6:33 am EST Updated: 05/28/2013 10:24 am EDT

By Briana Rognlin for Blisstree.com

Most of the time, we hear about avoiding processed foods because they'll make us fat. But a new video of what happens in your body when you eat Top Ramen and Gatorade vs. homemade noodles and drinks gives us a whole new reason to avoid it: We can't even digest it properly.

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TEDxManhattan 2011 Fellow Stefani Bardin's video, below, shows what happens in your body when you eat processed foods vs. homemade versions of similar foods, using a tiny "M2A" (that stands for Mouth to Anus, and it's trademarked, mind you) LED/camera capsule. The project looks at two subjects eating two similar meals: one composed of processed foods (gatorade, ramen, and gummi bears); the other of homemade versions (hibiscus drink, homemade broth with noodles and gummi bears made of juice). What happens to the foods is drastically different; possibly because, as Bardin puts it, Top Ramen is made to survive armageddon, while homemade noodles are made to be eaten.

Warning: It's best to watch this video after you've eaten your breakfast.

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  • Castoreum

    <strong>What it is:</strong> Extract from <a href="http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/castoreum" target="_hplink">beaver perineal glands</a> <strong>Where you'll find it:</strong> "Natural flavoring is defined by the FDA as any substance extracted, distilled or otherwise derived from 'natural' materials, such as plant or animal matter," Bradley explains. "In the case of strawberry and raspberry flavorings, some natural berry flavors may actually be enhanced by castoreum." It's also sometimes taken (intentionally) in <a href="http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-315-CASTOREUM.aspx?activeIngredientId=315&activeIngredientName=CASTOREUM" target="_hplink">supplement form</a>.

  • Ammonium Sulfate

    <strong>What it is:</strong> A salt compound <a href="http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ammonium sulfate" target="_hplink">comprised of nitrogen</a> <strong>Where you'll find it:</strong> In <a href="http://w3.uwyo.edu/~dwwilson/pamphlet.html" target="_hplink">some fertilizers </a> -- and in some breads, like the <a href="http://www.subway.com/Nutrition/Files/usProdIngredients.pdf" target="_hplink">rolls at Subway</a>. Chemicals with ammonia are typically added to neutralize a food that's too acidic, says Doyle, which can affect texture. It's safe in the amounts it is used in foods, he says, but admits it will certainly be startling to many people, who may only be familiar with it as a heavy-duty cleaner.

  • L-Cysteine

    <strong>What it is:</strong> An amino acid made from human hair or duck feathers <strong>Where you'll find it:</strong> Used as a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/24/processed-food-ingredients_n_1441700.html#s890346&title=KFCs_Chicken_Pot" target="_hplink">dough conditioner</a> in some bread products, Bradley says, which can improve the texture and feel of products, as well as prolong their shelf life. Feathers and hair are readily-available waste products that would cost more money to dispose of, says Doyle, and since both are protein, they can be digested down to amino acids.

  • Silicon Dioxide

    <strong>What it is:</strong> Also known as silica, it's most often present as <a href="http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/silicon+dioxide" target="_hplink">quartz or sand</a> <strong>Where you'll find it:</strong> Various fast food options, like <a href="http://www.wendys.com/food/pdf/us/nutrition.pdf" target="_hplink">Wendy's chili</a> and <a href="http://www.good.is/post/silicon-dioxide-and-smoke-flavor-taco-bell-s-definition-of-meat/" target="_hplink">Taco Bell's meat filling</a>. It's added to foods as an anti-caking agent, to keep them from clumping, explains Doyle.

  • Titanium Dioxide

    <strong>What it is:</strong> A chemical related to the mined metallic element <a href="http://www.rodale.com/gross-food?page=2" target="_hplink">titanium</a>, according to Rodale <strong>Where you'll find it:</strong> Sunscreen. It's a UV light absorber, says Doyle, but also works as a lightener in foods. It's often used to whiten skim milk, which, after the fat is removed, can appear slightly blue, he says. It may also be used in <a href="http://eatthis.menshealth.com/slide/3-salad-dressing" target="_hplink">salad dressings</a>, coffee creamers and frosting, according to <em>Men's Health</em>.

  • Azodicarbonamide

    <strong>What it is:</strong> A <a href="http://www.fao.org/ag/agn/jecfa-additives/specs/Monograph1/Additive-049.pdf" target="_hplink">processing</a> agent <strong>Where you'll find it:</strong> <a href="http://healthland.time.com/2011/10/27/why-lovin-the-mcrib-isnt-a-heart-smart-idea/" target="_hplink">Plastics, like yoga mats</a> and the soles of your shoes, according to <em>TIME</em>'s Healthland -- as well as <a href="http://nutrition.mcdonalds.com/getnutrition/ingredientslist.pdf" target="_hplink">hamburger buns</a>.

  • Shellac

    <strong>What it is:</strong> <a href="http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20588763_5,00.html" target="_hplink">Secretions from a bug native to Thailand</a>, Health.com reports <strong>Where you'll find it:</strong> Coating your favorite shiny sweets, like jelly beans. Look for it on ingredients lists as "confectioner's glaze."

  • Bone Char

    <strong>What it is:</strong> Charred <a href="http://www.peta.org/about/faq/Are-animal-ingredients-included-in-white-sugar.aspx" target="_hplink">cattle bones</a> <strong>Where you'll find it:</strong> While it's used less and less in foods these days, says Bradley, it was historically used to filter sugar appear to make it appear whiter and more pure. <em><strong>Clarification:</strong> Language has been added to indicate that bone char was used in the refining process, not as an additive.</em>

  • Cellulose

    <strong>What it is:</strong> <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703834804576300991196803916.html" target="_hplink">Wood pulp</a> <strong>Where you'll find it:</strong> In shredded cheese, salad dressings, chocolate milk and more, according to the <em>Wall Street Journal</em>. It's added to foods to keep them from clumping by blocking moisture, and can <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703834804576300991196803916.html" target="_hplink">thicken foods in the place of oil or flour</a>, which cost more.

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