Popular Food Products In America VS Europe, Which Ones Are More Unhealthy?


By Mayukh Saha / Truth Theory

Vani Hari, better known as “The Food Babe” is a popular blogger who shares her healthy lifestyle through blogs and does her bit to change the world.

One can learn more about the undesired ingredients that are hidden in processed food and avoid the hidden things by reading the information she provides through her thorough investigations.


You will understand and learn to make the correct choices while grocery shopping so that you can get into the habit of choosing the correct food with the best elements.

She created FoodBabe.com for the sole purpose of changing the world. The Food Babe Army has also voted with their own dollars to buy sustainable products and shape the marketplace, actively.

She wrote a great blog by comparing the food in the USA with the one available in the UK.


She spent several years investigating how American and European food products were different and was extremely disgusted by what she found.

She was surprised that massive companies like PepsiCo, Quaker, and Kellogg’s sold safer products overseas but they made inferior products to sell to the Americans.

She noted down all the food products, comparatively, and highlighted the ones that were more unhealthy.

Which Food Version Is Better: The Ones Found In The UK Or The Ones In The US? 

1: McDonald’s French Fries

mcdonalds fries in us vs uk 768x679 3

French fries in the UK are made with simple ingredients like potatoes, dextrose, salt, and oil. The version in the US is made with a “natural beef flavor” and sodium acid pyrophosphate. They are also fried in oil which is laced with dimethylpolysiloxane. You might know that dimethylpolysiloxane is the key ingredient in silly putty.

2: Quaker Instant Oatmeal Packets

U.S. vs. Uk quaker oats packets

The US version of Quaker uses “Flavored and Colored Fruit Pieces” which are made up of artificial strawberry flavor, dehydrated apples, and an artificial dye, Red 40.

This trash is not sold in the UK. The closest relative that you can find is a product known as “Oat So Simple” which has real strawberries in it.

3: Mountain Dew

mountain dew us vs uk ingredients

The UK version of Mountain Dew is bright yellow in color owing to the fact that it contains beta carotene, which is a color naturally derived from carrots. A different version of Mountain Dew is sold by PepsiCo in the US.

The US version is colored artificially to give it a tantalizing look, with the help of a petroleum-based dye known as Yellow #5. Artificial dyes have been linked to a plethora of health issues and are sometimes contaminated with carcinogens. The US version also contains brominated vegetable oil (BVO) which is banned in Europe. The bromine in such oils irritates the skin and mucous membranes and long-time usage can cause headaches, memory loss, and even impairment in coordination and balance.

4: Heinz Ketchup

U.S. vs. Uk heinz ketchup ingredients

Heinz Ketchup is a household item in America. The version in the UK is GMO-free while the one in the US is filled with GMOs while keeping High Fructose Corn Syrup. They have also added, “natural flavoring” that creates an addiction to the said product. 

Heinz also makes “Simply Heinz” which is sold in the US and uses these natural flavors but has a much cleaner ingredient list. It is quite confusing as to why Heinz does not replace this with the heavily processed one. 

5: Doritos

U.S. vs. Uk doritos ingredients

All in all, Doritos are unhealthy but the US version of this food product is covered in artificial dyes from petroleum (Red #40, Blue #1, and Yellow #5). These dyes also contain benzidine, which is a carcinogen.

The Doritos sold in the UK does not contain artificial dyes as they have to add an additional label that warns customers “May Have an Adverse Effect on Activity and Attention in Children”. This version is also non-GMO unlike the American one, which is made with GMO corn contaminated with glyphosate weed killer.

6: Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes Cereal

U.S. vs. Uk frosted flakes

The ingredient list of both looks the same, but the addition of preservative BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) in the US version is the major differentiating factor.

Research has linked BHT to cancer and it is said that BHTs are endocrine disruptors that can interfere with your hormones. 

BHT isn’t permitted in cereals in Europe, so Kellogg’s reformulated their cereals to sell them legally overseas. 

European countries take a “precautionary principle” approach which adds certain additives to their food products that are risky. They have banned or added labels to such additives for the welfare of their citizens. The US has chosen the opposite way. They do not remove the harmful additives from their food until they have been proven to be dangerous, which in reality, takes a lot of time.

The US government allows food manufacturers to keep themself in check and to decide which chemicals and ingredients are safe to be used, which in practicality is not a great approach to such a topic.

If a company is given this right, they will always choose the cheaper way out in order to make more profits which in turn will have a negative impact on the health of the consumers.

Image credits: FoodBabe

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