Carrageenan sounds harmless enough at first glance: a derivative of red seaweed used as a thickener, stabilizer or emulsifier in many dairy foods and dairy alternatives.
But research has actually linked carrageenan to increased inflammation in the body – particularly gastrointestinal inflammation which can cause colitis-like disease and tumor promotion. Yikes!
The really scary thing is, carrageenan is found in SO MUCH of what we eat, even organic foods and other favorites of many “healthy eaters.” While it’s probably not harmful in very small amounts, if you’re relying on carrageenan-containing foods regularly, you may be putting your health at risk.
Here are just a handful of popular foods that contain carrageenan, as well as some better alternatives that do not.
DO NOT CONTAIN CARAGEENAN
|Chocolate Milk||Chocolate Milk|
|Cottage Cheese||Cottage Cheese|
|Sour Cream||Sour Cream|
|Almond Milk||Almond Milk|
|Coconut Milk||Coconut Milk|
|Coffee Creamer (non-dairy)||Coffee Creamer (non-dairy)|
By no means is this an exhaustive list. There are MANY other prepared foods, dairy foods, non-dairy alternatives, juices, etc – both organic and conventional – that contain carrageenan.
Here’s a very extensive shopping guide to help you avoid products with carrageenan.
In general, the best ways to minimize your exposure to carrageenan are:
- Limit packaged and processed foods.
- Read ingredients lists and choose brands that do not use carrageenan.
- Make food from scratch when possible (like almond milk – it’s easy!)