BHA & BHT: Additives

BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) & BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene)

Two closely related chemicals, BHA and BHT are added to foods containing fats and oils.

BHA is used to prevent fats from becoming rancid. It is found in cereals, dehydrated potatoes, chewing gum, baked goods, snack foods, beer, and animal feed.


BHT also slows oxidation of fats. It is used to preserve food odor, color, and flavor. Many packaging materials, such as cereals, contain BHT. It is also added directly to shortening, cereals, and other foods containing fats and oils.

Research suggests that both BHA and BHT are potential carcinogens and endocrine disrupters because they mimic the hormonal actions of estrogen. The World Health Organization and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency consider BHA a possible carcinogen. There is also evidence that some people may have difficulty metabolizing BHA and BHT, resulting in health and behavior changes.


Image: Dalboz17

By Lisa Tsakos| September 17, 2013
Categories:  Eat
Keywords:  Food Labels

About the Author

Lisa Tsakos

Lisa Tsakos

Lisa has been in her own practice for over 15 years and specializes in weight management. She teaches natural nutrition in both corporate and educational environments and is a shining example of someone who practices what she teaches.

Lisa is a nutritionist and educator specializing in weight management. After losing weight several years ago through a more natural diet and by improving her digestion, she committed to sharing her new-found knowledge and returned to school to study nutrition. Over the past decade, her Nu-Vitality Weight Program has helped employees at numerous corporations lose thousands of pounds. In addition, Lisa regularly consults for groups and individuals with unique nutritional needs such as police officers and athletes. Lisa has been featured on the Discovery Channel, numerous radio programs and is a contributor to various publications. Additionally, she teaches nutrition at multiple post-secondary schools, has taught natural food cooking workshops, and authored two books.

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