Top 5 Aluminum-Toxic Foods to Avoid

Aug 30, 2023

Top 5 Aluminum-Toxic Foods to Avoid

To keep yourself safe from aluminum toxicity especially after you have invested time in detoxing it from your body, it’s essential that you also try and cut high-aluminum foods out of your diet. Here are the top five culprits!

1. Processed Cheese

Processed cheese — including American cheese — is one of the biggest contributors of dietary aluminum. They aren’t technically cheese. Processed cheeses are made by combining a small amount of real cheese with milk fat, artificial colors and flavors, salt, and sometimes whey protein.

Because processed cheeses contain so many different ingredients, they need an emulsifier — a compound that binds them all the ingredients together and keeps them shelf-stable. Many processed cheeses (especially in frozen products) are emulsified with sodium aluminum phosphate, which your body breaks down into aluminum and absorbs in small amounts. While you only absorb small amounts of aluminum from processed cheese and other high-aluminum foods, the aluminum gradually builds up in your body, nervous system and brain each time you eat them. Over the course of years, that kind of low-level aluminum exposure can contribute to serious health problems.

A 2005 study found that the cheese in a frozen pizza contained about 150 times more aluminum than a fresh pizza bought from a local shop. If you’re going to eat cheese, choose the real thing — processed cheeses are a major source of aluminum.

2. Packaged Baked Goods

Breads, cakes, muffins, and other premade baked goods are another big aluminum source. Many pre-packaged baked goods use a commercial version of baking powder to make their dough rise. The commercial baking powder often contains potassium aluminum sulfate, an acidic compound that activates the baking powder and increases its rising activity. Aluminum is also commonly used as an anti-caking agent in flour. This ensures that the flour stays light and fluffy and doesn’t clump up.

Several studies have found high levels of aluminum in processed baked goods that use aluminum-based baking powder. One study found that the worst offenders were frozen waffles, frozen pancakes, and boxed pancake/waffle mixes. Another study found that many packaged baked goods were high in aluminum, and about 10% contained seven times the acceptable daily limit of aluminum. Prepackaged pies and sweets were particularly bad.

Your best bet is to make baked goods yourself, and to check your labels to make sure you’re buying aluminum-free baking powder and organic flour. Fortunately, most non-commercial baking powders don’t use aluminum, so as long as you’re baking from scratch, you’re likely okay.

3. Tea

Studies have found that both green and black tea leaves contain high levels of aluminum and brewing tea leaves releases it into the tea and makes it more bioavailable. Meaning that tea drinking could be an easy route for aluminum absorption. Tea was comparable to processed cheese in terms of aluminum content and absorption rate, making it a significant source of dietary aluminum.

Researchers have also stated that drinking tea daily could result in a significant amount of aluminum reaching systemic circulation. Aluminum may produce toxicity to the central nervous system as it binds to proteins and can cause cross-linking, damaging their function. People with high levels of aluminum tend to have a high concentration in their brain tissue, which has led some researchers to believe that aluminum may have a role in neurodegenerative disease(s).

Some neurotoxic effects that have been correlated with aluminum include impaired learning, memory, concentration, as well as disorientation, also known as brain fog.

4. Cacao Powder

Cacao trees absorb aluminum, cadmium, and lead from the soil and store them in the cacao beans. When the beans are ground and processed, much of the aluminum ends up in cacao powder. When it comes to heavy metal contamination in cacao powder, the country of origin matters. A 2016 study compared the heavy metal content of cacao samples from four of the largest cacao producers in the world: Cameroon, Ecuador, Nigeria, and Ghana. The study found that cacao from Ghana had the highest concentration by far, while Cameroon and Ecuador had the lowest concentrations.

When you buy cacao powder, check the label for its country of origin. Try to choose cacao sourced from South America or Cameroon — they have the lowest risk of aluminum contamination. I personally love Cacao Bliss. It’s ’s a delicious, high-quality chocolate that is packed with antioxidants and superfoods.

5. Non-Dairy Creamer

Single-serving packets of non-dairy creamer are another source of toxic aluminum. Non-dairy creamer packets tend to clump and are also prone to spoilage because they’re unrefrigerated. To fix the problem, most manufacturers use sodium aluminosilicate, an anti-caking agent and preservative which provides a significant amount of absorbable aluminum per serving. Instead of non-dairy creamer, stick to using real milk, cream or nondairy creamers like coconut creamers. I personally love raw, organic grassfed cream.

Don’t forget that antacids are significant sources of dietary aluminum if one consumes these for heartburn on a regular basis. Better to fix the underlying root cause of heartburn (low stomach acid, dehydration and food sensitivities most commonly) than taking these toxic aluminum bombs.

Because of our constant exposure to heavy metals many people are opting to do a heavy metal detox reguarly.