This food additive, which works as an emulsifier in beverages, features bromine, the same ingredient used with some flame retardants in furniture and plastics. Sounds gross, but what's worse is the harm: In addition to the health risks mentioned in our list of 13 banned foods still allowed in the U.S., BVO may also cause build-up in fatty tissues and create reproductive and behavioral problems.
Eat instead: If you're looking to kick your cola habit, reach for sparkling water and add a lime or lemon wedge. When only soda will do, buy one sweetened with all-natural stevia that doesn’t contain phosphoric acid, an ingredient usually added to keep bubbles fresh but that has been shown to block calcium absorption. The new Honest Fizz line quenches thirst without the bitter aftertaste that some stevia-sweetened drinks have.