Worried about plastic packaging and its effect on your health? Get the facts about what's a risk
Scientists believe they now know why bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical widely used in food packaging, is bad for our health, leading to a greater risk of obesity and developing diabetes.
BPA leaches into consumer foods and liquids from certain plastic food storage containers, tableware, water bottles and from the internal coating of food cans. Once inside the human body, BPA acts as a strong synthetic estrogen (a female sex hormone) and even low doses may cause increased fat storage in humans, due to BPA’s effect on the pancreas. The pancreas is the organ that produces insulin when we eat to help shuttle the energy derived from our food, into our cells for storage.Too much BPA in your blood can cause the pancreas to release almost double the amount of insulin than under normal circumstances. This excess release of insulin causes more glucose to be stored as body fat. Overtime the situation worsens with BPA becoming a risk factor for obesity, type 2 diabetes and other metabolic disorders in humans. Canada declared BPA a toxic substance in 2010.
So how can you avoid ingesting BPA?Georges Philips and Simon Shawcross, co-authors of The ONE Diet weight loss book, suggest the following measures to avoid BPA and other plastic toxins in food:• Minimize your use of canned foods• Consumer plastics usually display a recycle code in the 'recycling triangle' on the packaging, which displays a single number between 1- 7. Do your best to avoid plastics with the code numbers below:Recycle code 3 (plastics) - typically found on clear food packaging and bottles used to contain cooking oil. Recycle code 6 (polystyrene) – found on disposable cups, plates and pre-packed meat trays.Recycle code 7 (other plastics) - sometimes used for water bottles and baby bottles.• Avoid microwaving food and drink in plastic containers.• For storage and heating of food and liquids, use Pyrex, glass or stainless steel whenever possible.• Some plastic-based storage containers, bags, wraps, water bottles and baby bottles are BPA-free and are promoted as such; seek these out if you are going to use plastics.• Whenever possible, buy fresher foods that are not pre-packed. For example, buy meat, fish and cheese from their respective counters at the supermarket, or from a butcher, cheese seller or fishmonger. In addition, buy loose fresh fruit and vegetables rather than those packed in plastics.
Posted: 12/04/2012 at 16:19
Posted: 13/04/2012 at 19:31
Like us on facebook
Follow us on twitter
Other Hearst Magazines UK sites