In the day and age of ultra healthy eating, it can be hard to tell what’s actually good for you and what’s not. There are so many rules, but everyone’s bodies are different, so how are you to know if dairy affects you like it affects your friend, or if carbs will really add some inches to your waistline?
It urns out that we should really be paying more attention to chemicals than simply calories, fat, carbs, etc. “It’s not simply calories in, calories out,” said Dr. Leonardo Trasande, director of the Division of Environmental Pediatrics at New York University School of Medicine. “That used to be a convenient framework for thinking about obesity, but now we know that synthetic chemicals disrupt how calories are processed and ultimately converted into protein vs. sugar vs. fat.”
Here’s what he’s talking about: The American Academy of Pediatrics recently issued a policy statement highlighting some of the worst food safety mistakes that you might be making, specifically when it comes to food packaging materials such as plastic.
So in addition to focusing on the kinds of food we’re eating, new research shows it may actually be more important to be considering the safety of our food in how it’s prepared. This is especially important when it comes to children.
“Pound for pound, children eat more food and therefore have a higher level of exposure compared to us adults,” said Dr. Leonardo Trasande, director of the Division of Environmental Pediatrics at New York University School of Medicine. “In addition, their developing organ systems are uniquely vulnerable…there can be fundamental disruptions in various endocrine functions that can manifest not only in early childhood but potentially in later life as a result of prenatal or infant exposure.”
Bisphenols, phthalates, nitrates and nitrites are all chemicals that Transande is concerned about, and yet they’re still allowed in packaging, along with hundreds of others that could be a cause for concern.
Experts believe that these chemicals and more can be disruptive to the thyroid hormones and endocrines, and may even affect brain development, obesity, and decreased birth weight. The American Chemistry Council, is pushing to get this framework updated due to it being outdated and more science coming out.
“Chemicals used in everyday products need to be rigorously evaluated for their full potential of human health impacts before they are made widely available in the marketplace,” said Dr. Maida P. Galvez, an associate professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Pediatrics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
One of the best ways to prevent plastic chemicals from seeping into food is to avoid putting food in the microwave that’s in a plastic container. While we know not to microwave aluminum foil in the microwave because it can spark a fire, we don’t typically think twice about putting plastic in there, though maybe it should for a different reason. Substances in packaging such as adhesives and coatings can indirectly affect your food through its packaging and cause a negative health effect in children especially.
For other ways to reduce exposure of plastic and more on the recent research done, check out this video below.
Do you ever microwave food in plastic containers? What do you think of this recent research?