Category: Diet

Facts to Know About Carrageenan

green seaweeds

It is almost impossible to avoid carrageenan today. As such, it is highly unlikely to find yourself in a supermarket or a food store that does not sell carrageenan products. Carrageenan is often added to food items as an additive. Which foods might have this item in them? Coconut milk, organic yogurts, and some baby products are known to have decent amounts of this substance. Since you are now well aware that carrageenan is almost impossible to avoid, here are some essential facts to know about it.

What is Carrageenan?


A lot has been written about this substance, most of which is not true. In its simplest form, carrageenan is an additive that is obtained from seaweeds and red algae. When this extracted from these plants in an alkaline environment, the product is considered natural and healthy. On the contrary, when the same seaweed is extracted in acidic conditions, the resulting product is a degraded carrageenan also known as poligeenan.

The degraded carrageenan is known to cause adverse inflammatory effects on the body. This product is used in clinical studies to induce controlled inflammation in laboratory mice. The use of this degraded product that has evoked concerns from different quarters about the safety of carrageenan.

Why Carrageenan?

Carrageenan is mainly used as an additive and for conventional medicine. The use of this product in this two areas is often linked to its unique properties.

As a food additive, carrageenan is highly preferred for its thickening properties. Besides not having any nutritional value or unique taste, this thickening property explains why it is commonly used in creams, milk, yogurts, chocolate, and in other products like toothpaste.

woman with common coldAs highlighted earlier, carrageenan can also be used in conventional medicine. This product is often used as an active ingredient in common cold drugs. Also, it is also used in medicines used to treat intestinal conditions and has also been used as a laxative for a long time.

Controversies

Carrageenan has had a history of debates for decades, and this is not expected to change soon. A whole bunch of evidence clears some concerns about the use of this product are not objective in any way. Poligeenan or degraded component of carrageenan is often confused with its healthy counterpart, which has played a vital role in the soili9ng the reputation of carrageenan. For instance, it has been confirmed that carageenan does not cause cancer and medical experts continue to disagree with a whole list of other effects.

Vegan Food Ingredients You Should Try

veggies

The past two or three years have been an interesting moment for veganism as a diet. Today more people than ever are vegan for many reasons, and they are not as crazy as you think. Though a lot of vegans on social media is giving meat eaters a hard time, they do not represent the community. There are actually many health benefits that you can get from not consuming meat, and everyone, of course, has their own reasons to have any kinds of diet in their life. However, if you are interested in how people survive this way of living, here are vegan food ingredients that you should try.

Carrageenan

stew If this is your first time hearing the word carrageenan, no worries because people often have no idea that they have eaten this thing. Yoghurt, pudding, cream soup, many things in the market has carrageenan in it, and you have been eating the substance without realizing it. It is a thickening and stabilizing agent that is made from dried red seaweed, which makes it vegan. People often use this as the substitute for gelatin to thicken the sauce and many other things.

Tofu

white tofuDo not judge the food if you have not tried it yourself. The food came from soy, and there are so many delicious recipes that you can do with it. The tofu itself has no taste which makes it a blank canvas for you to experiment with what flavors that you want to make it taste like from savory to sweet.

Chickpeas

Eating cheese is one of the main reason people cannot go vegan, it is too hard to not live a life without enjoying that heavenly taste. But it is possible to make a close replicate of cheese using chickpeas and nutritional yeast. You have to try it out yourself first, and you will be surprised at how much similar the smell, texture, and taste is compared to the real thing.

Tempeh

Another soy-based food that you can play around with in the kitchen is tempeh, originally from Indonesia, the texture of tempeh is a lot similar to chicken meat. All you need to do is to season it just like how you would season your chicken, and you can trick many people to think that it is actual chicken.