We get asked all the time what are the easiest swaps you can make to start living additive-free without it being overwhelming.  We completely understand this because when we started living additive-free it was overwhelming for us too.

Living additive-free will only ever be as complicated as you make it, so if you simplify it then it will be a piece of additive-free cake (haha)!

With that in mind, here are some really simple swaps you can make to get started today:

Margarine Vs Butter

Margarine contains vegetable oils that are highly processed.  These oils are extracted from plants using either a chemical solvent or oil mill.  They are often then purified, refined and even sometimes chemically altered.  Margarine may also contain artificial food colours as well as annatto (160b) and preservatives.  You can simply swap this out for butter which should only contain cream, water and possibly salt.

Peanut Butter

There are lots of great brands in the supermarket that are now made with 100% peanut butter.  We prefer the organic ranges that just contain 100% peanuts and nothing else as peanuts can be heavily sprayed with pesticides.  100% peanuts is a must and try to avoid ones that contain vegetables oils and sugar.


Always go for plain chips over flavoured chips.  Flavoured chips often contain flavour enhancers like 621 (MSG), or Yeast Extract (MSG), Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (MSG) etc.

Ingredients should say:  Potatoes, oil, salt (also be careful the oil isn’t palm oil, because we like Orangutans).


A lot of ice-creams on the market that we have found contain annatto (160b) as well as colours and flavours.  There are a few plain vanilla ice-creams that don’t contain annatto (160b) so we would recommend getting these ones.  Or better still, make your own, we have plenty of ice-cream recipes on our website and you can purchase ice-cream moulds >>> here.  That way you know exactly what is in it.

100’s and 1000’s

100’s and 1000’s are basically a chemical sh!t storm, #sorrynotsorry.  They are filled with artificial food colours that are linked to many, many issues like cancer, hyperactivity, skin rashes and more.  Instead choose artificial free 100’s & 1000’s that are made using all-natural food colours like beetroots, carrots and paprika.  We like the Hooper brand which you can check out here.

Food Colours

Artificial food dyes are also linked to many issues such as behavioural issues, headaches, skin rashes and more.   Again, try and choose all-natural food colours like the Hopper all-natural food colours made from vegetable juices. We like the Hooper brand which you can check out here.

Flavoured Rice Cakes

Generally, the plain variety of rice cakes are additive-free, whilst the flavoured versions often contain yeast extract, which is a form of MSG.  MSG is linked to behavioural issues, asthma, depression, sleeplessness, nausea, migraines and more.  Clearly, something our bodies just don’t need.

Grated Cheese

Ever wondered what that white powder is on the grated cheese?  Well, that’s anti-caking agent, which is an aluminium-based agent that our bodies just don’t need.  It’s there so your grated cheese doesn’t stick together.  A better choice is to buy block cheese and grate it yourself.

Maple Syrup

Be careful when buying maple syrup.  Maple ‘flavoured’ syrups contain colour (150d), natural flavours (who knows what they are) and preservatives as well as other ingredients.  Whereas pure maple syrup only contains 100% pure maple syrup.


Purchase a bag of air-popped pop-corn over microwave popcorn.  It won’t contain all the nasties microwave popcorn has and it’ll have much less sugar and fat.  Even better, pop it yourself.  It’ll take you approx. 5 minutes and it’s MUCH cheaper!

Shredded Chicken and Deli Meats

Deli meats are heavily processed and most likely contain nitrates or nitrites and possibly artificial food colours.  Supermarkets are now stocking nitrate-free small goods in the dairy case section where they stock the packaged deli meats, so check them out as they are a better alternative.

For shredded chicken, making your own is really easy, and yummy!! Here’s the recipe.

Rice Crackers

Flavoured rice crackers may contain 621, 627, 631, 635 (MSG), yeast extract which as mentioned above is a form of MSG as well as an anti-caking agent.  The plain ones or multigrain ones contain no MSG or yeast extract and are a much better option.

Tomato Paste

This is a great example of always making sure you read the ingredients. The Leggos tomato paste in the plastic tube contains preservatives, the glass jar one has no preservatives.  Always read the ingredients – always!

Deli Chickens

Deli chickens often contain flavour enhancers like MSG, you are much better to roast your own.  Here’s a recipe you may like.

Dried Fruit

Dried fruit will most likely be full of sulphur dioxide.  If you suffer from any form of respiratory issues you should avoid this preservative. It can be fatal to asthmatics and should be avoided at all costs.  For example, dried apricots should not be bright orange, they should be brown and ugly looking – they taste better too.


Then register your interest for the next round of our signature e-course, Additive-Free Made Easy.  We usually kick it off with a free 7-day additive-free challenge.

This FREE challenge is for you if you want to eat healthier, reduce harmful additives, and make some easy shopping swaps. And it’s fun! Are you in?

  • Learn what harmful chemicals to look out for when food shopping
  • Get manageable daily tasks
  • A daily dose of inspiration and tips!
  • Recipes the whole family will love
  • Meet like-minded people in our private FB community
  • BONUS: Free Live Webinar Masterclass at the end of the Challenge

Simply head on over to >>> HERE to register your interest for the next round and challenge.

Much love
Jo & Tracey x