With the onset of Ramazan we begin to see a rise in the consumption of Mashriqui drinks, though these charming red and radiant sherbets are apparently a wiser choice than soft drinks or energy drinks but as far as health is concerned they are just as risky - and most people do not know. Almost all brands of these bright red sherbets claim that they only contain natural and herbal ingredients but one only needs to take a look at the list of ingredients at the back to know the truth; all of these sherbets are loaded with artificial colors. In fact that is where they get their attractiveness, part of the problem is with the consumers' psyche... how we just love colored food and wouldn't really enjoy these sherbets if they were colorless or pale.
So what is wrong with artificial colors ? After all, the label says they're 'permitted' food colors, right ? That's right, sadly, they are permitted by the food regulation agencies but that doesn't mean they are safe to consume. Research has 'proven' with evidence that artificial food colors are harmful to health and can be the cause of various problems, specially among children. These colors are carcinogenic (means they can cause cancer) and can cause ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in young children, which means that they can affect mental well-being.
These are the colors commonly added to these drinks:
E102, E124, E110 (All three of them are graded dangerous, specially for kids, pregnant women and people with lung problems)
Apart from these colors most of these drinks contain Sodium Benzoate or E211 (as preservative) which is a known carcinogen and can cause ADHD when combined with Tartrazine (E102).
But of course it is not just the red drinks, the green and orange ones have exactly the same stuff in them. And all food products which contain these colors should be avoided (which is a grand list) but I am particularly talking about these Ramazan drinks because they have a LOT of color in them, and one or two glasses of sherbet puts lots of color in your body.
I know that a lot of people like myself enjoy these sherbets and won't be giving it up easily, even I have'nt given them up completely but knowing is better than not knowing and perhaps after reading this article and doing a 5 minute google search people may be willing to reduce the consumption of colors.
At the end I am leaving a request for all those famous brands which put unnecessary and harmful colors in their food products to attract customers, I think it is time to realize that more and more consumers are looking for healthier and natural options so it would be wise to cater to these growing numbers rather than continue old practices.
Have a blessed Ramzan!