Go BPA Free

Three Steps to a Healthier Diet

You’ve turned the page on 2013 and the holiday indulgence is over. You’ve packed on a few extra pounds and even the thought of any more turkey makes your stomach turn. You’ve written and re-written your new year’s resolutions – cut the carbs, get on a diet, get back into the gym, and maybe even get into the best shape of your life.

But there’s something else you can do to improve your health: Get rid of Bisphenol A, or BPA for short. BPA was originally used as a synthetic estrogen in the 1930s, but is now a key component in the production of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. Health Canada and the FDA have both banned BPA from baby bottles and sippy cups. Environment Canada even listed it as a toxic chemical in 2010. BPA mimics estrogen and is considered an endocrine disruptor. It is associated with numerous adverse health conditions such as obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, infertility, and even behavioural problems.

So where’s the connection with your diet? Well, everywhere. About 95% of Canadians and 93% of Americans have detectable levels of BPA in their urine. Exposure is ubiquitous and BPA will hit you from every angle – food, water, plastic, dental fillings, receipts…the list goes on. For now, let’s cut the list short and zone in on minimizing BPA exposure from food, since you’ve committed to a healthier diet in 2014.

Plastic Utensils BPA is used in the production of polycarbonate plastics (the hard and clear type).  A 2011 study in Environmental Health Perspectives found estrogenic activity in all plastic products tested, including so-called BPA-free items! In fact, some of the BPA-free products exhibited even higher estrogenic activity. Important note – there are numerous synthetic chemicals that mimic estrogen. BPA is only one of them. So what to do? Use glass, aluminum, steel, ceramic and other non-plastic options; especially when it comes to cooking and storing food. 

Canned Food Stay away! A 2011 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that consumption of one serving of canned soup daily over five days was associated with a more than 1,000% increase in urinary BPA! The reason being, a lot of manufacturers use BPA to line the insides of cans in order to protect the cans and also prevent microbial contamination. Unfortunately, BPA leaches into and contaminates the very same food it’s supposed to protect. Check for BPA-free alternatives, or better yet, go with raw fruits and vegetables.

Raw Fruits and Vegetables Load up!  Not only do you avoid BPA and other toxic chemicals common in packaged food, you also benefit from the detoxifying ability of fresh fruits and vegetables. Oranges, apples, grapefruit, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower all contain a compound called Glucaric Acid (commercially sold as Calcium D-Glucarate); a powerful detoxifier that has been scientically shown to enhance detoxification of numerous toxic compounds including BPA.

So there you have it. You know what BPA is, what it does, and how to avoid it. The only thing left is to take action and eat cleaner in 2014.

Frederick Munawa is the founder of LeachFree Health. He is a health & fitness fanatic with an insatiable appetite for research. Learn more at www.leachfree.com