Have you ever seen Bisphenol-A (BPA) listed in the ingredients of a can of tuna or a can chicken noodle soup?
Most likely not.
That doesn’t mean you’re not consuming it.
BPA is a synthetic estrogen that has been used to package consumer goods since the 1950s. It can be found in reusable drink containers, DVDs, cell phones, eyeglass lenses and automobile parts. In the grocery store, you are most likely to come into contact with BPA in polycarbonate plastics used for water bottles and in the lining of food cans. It is even in the thermal paper used for cash register receipts.
The BPA used in cans and bottles can seep into your food and beverages, and it is especially good at leaching into canned foods that are acidic, salty, or fatty, such as coconut milk, tomatoes, canned fish, soup, and vegetables.
With BPA in the packaging of so many household staples, it is likely that you have some in your system. In a 2003 -2004 survey the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found detectable levels of BPA in 93 percent of Americans in a sample of 2,500 people tested.
A November 2011 Harvard School of Public Health study found that a group of volunteers who consumed a serving of canned soup each day for five days had a more than 1,000% increase in urinary bisphenol A (BPA) concentrations compared with when the same individuals consumed fresh soup daily for five days.
According Duke Medicine, animal research has raised concern about the possible health implications that BPA exposure might have in humans. The chemical could cause a wide variety of problems, from behavioral and reproductive issues to obesity and cancer.
The Food and Drug Administration is concerned and is taking steps to reduce human exposure to BPA in the food supply, so much so that it has banned BPA use in infant bottles.
However, until BPA is removed from all plastics, here are some tips to help you minimize your exposure:
1. Look for containers that are labeled “BPA free.”
2. Choose glass, porcelain, or stainless steel containers over aluminum or plastic bottles, cans and containers.
3. Don’t choose plastic bottles that have the numbers 3 or 7 recycling symbols on the bottom. Number 6 is dangerous as well, but for different reasons.
4. Never microwave in plastic containers.
5. Never wash or reuse plastic containers not labeled as “BPA free” (e.g., ribbed bottles or water containers).
6. Reduce your use of canned goods unless they are labeled “BPA free.”
3 plastic container types to avoid whenever possible:
3 (PVC) – A possible carcinogen. Found in bottles and clear food packaging, number 3 plastics may release toxins into your food and drinks. The risk is heightened when these containers are put through the dishwasher, heated up or frozen. Flexible plastics may contain BPA as well.
6 (PS) – Number 6 plastics are what we call Styrofoam. These can release toxins into our food when heated up.
7 (OTHER) – Found in baby bottles, water bottles and food containers, number 7 containers can leach bisphenol A – a hormone disruptor that can lead to neural and behavioral problems in children. BPA is a synthetic hormone that can stimulate premature puberty.
Remember, BPA is only one of the 150 “Poor Food” ingredients that we identify in our book, “Rich Food, Poor Food,” enabling consumers to be safer and healthier as they navigate the grocery store. Read “Rich Food, Poor Food“ to learn about the others and improve the quality and safety of every item you put into your grocery cart.
-Mira and Jayson
Through their unique charismatic personalities and relatable qualities, husband and wife dynamic duo Mira Calton, CN and Jayson Calton, Ph.D. prove that two are better than one. In addition to authoring their books, “Naked Calories“, and “Rich Food, Poor Food,” the Caltons are the founders of Calton Nutrition and the Calton Institute of Lifestyle Medicine, and are columnists, contributing editors and quoted experts in multiple national publications and media outlets, including FOX and FRIENDS, Happening Now, America Live, Headline News, SHAPE, Dr. Steve, Cosmopolitan, Readers Digest, LIVESTRONG, The Daily Buzz, Daytime, NBC, ABC, Body Checklist, AOL Travel, Prevention, and many more. They are extremely proud of nutreince, their reinvention of the multivitamin, and love hearing the inspiring testimonials of those who take it.