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Want Health? Ditch Those Plastics!

Sometimes it’s not the food you put in you, it’s what you put the food into. Learn how to ditch plastics and keep your healthy food healthy!

plastic_bottles_crushed_garbage_recycle_bpa_picHearing the word health leads many of us to automatically think of diet, nutrition, and exercise. But what many of us fail to give as much attention to are the smaller, yet just as important, details such as reducing the toxic load. One big source for toxins that most don’t consider is plastics. Plastics contain harmful components, such as BPA, or Bisphenol A, which is a known hormone disruptor.Hormone disruptors can wreak havoc on the body by confusing it. They cause your body to either increase or decrease the production of different hormones. These disruptors also have the ability to imitate hormones, causing hormone imbalance and interference to occur, which means the proper hormonal signaling will be disrupted, which in turn means your hormones will do things that they shouldn’t. Because hormones are so fundamental to nearly every vital function in the body, when they are disrupted and aren’t functioning as they should, a number of health issues can arise, such as cancer, fertility problems, thyroid dysfunction, metabolism and energy problems, mental and memory issues, and immune problems.BPA is a common additive to many plastic products commonly used today. This is a significant problem because BPA is a synthetic estrogen that can disrupt the endocrine system. Even in small amounts, it can have devastating effects on the body. In fact, BPA has been linked to a large number of problems, including infertility, breast and reproductive system cancer, obesity and overweight problems, diabetes, early puberty, and behavioral issues.There are other known hormone disruptors beyond BPA, including mercury, common pesticides, lead, and other heavy metals. Aside from the plastic containers, bottles, and cups used every day in the U.S., these contaminants are also found in makeup, face wash, soaps, perfume, laundry detergent, cleaning products, sunscreens, and plastic toys. And this isn’t an all-inclusive list, meaning you can see how easy it is to be exposed to way too many hormone disruptors on a daily basis!While completely eliminating exposure to these harmful hormone disruptors may be next to impossible in our modern society, there are some good ways that you can at least minimize or reduce your exposure.

Some top ways to reduce exposure include:

plastic_food_storage_pic1. Throw away any and all plastics found in your kitchen! This includes dishes, containers, and appliances. Replace them with stainless steel, glass, or porcelain. Especially avoid putting warm or hot foods into plastic containers, as this more easily leaches the chemicals into the food.2. Stop using bottled water! Most plastics contain hormone disruptors; if not BPA, then often a similar ingredient is used. If the water has been sitting in the bottle for a long time, especially in a heated or cold place, the BPA will leach into the water. Instead, use glass or stainless steel bottles.3. Discontinue using plastic wrap such as Saran Wrap, especially over warm or hot foods. Instead use parchment paper, glass jars, beeswax wrap, or even a kitchen cloth.4. Eliminate or avoid processed foods as much as possible. Processed foods are often packed (and processed) in plastics that transfer the hormone disrupting chemicals directly into the food product.5. When plastic must be used, keep it out of the freezer, dishwasher, or microwave, as BPA and other hormone disrupting chemicals are leached from the plastic much more easily when in hot or cold temperatures. If you use a microwave, only ever use ceramics or glass.6. Try to only drink hot or cold beverages or soups from home or at restaurants that don’t use plastic cups or bowls. In addition, bring your own mug or other food utensils to work to use in place of the plastic options.7. Minimize or discontinue use of canned goods. Most cans (unless specifically labeled otherwise) will be lined with BPA. The problem is that even if a can is labeled BPA-free, it can still have a different hormone disrupting chemical used in its place, such as BPS or PET film. Aluminum cans, such as you might find with soda pop, are also lined with BPA.8. Avoid feeding your baby powdered baby formulas if possible, as these processed powders are packaged in containers that contain BPA.receipt_hands_plastic_bpa_shopping_groceries_pic9. When purchasing anything at a store, restaurant, or anywhere really, request “no receipt.” This is because most all receipts (including airline tickets, movie tickets, and everyday receipts) contain BPA on the outside layer. This BPA gets transferred to our hands where we can end up transferring it to our face, mouth, and other places. It can even seep into the body through the skin.10. Talk to your dentist! Many dental procedures use products and tools that contain BPA.11. Buy or make your own natural cleaning products that are devoid of any and all synthetic chemicals, including BPA. Store these natural cleaning products in glass or stainless steel containers.12. Non-stick cookware is lined with hormone disrupting chemicals. Therefore, avoid these and instead use stainless steel or cast iron pots, pans, and other cookware items.13. Buy organic foods as much as possible. The pesticides and herbicides used on conventional foods contain a number of hormone disruptors that remain in the food and then are ingested into the body.Learn more about problematic plastics!

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