Believe it or not, some common items you have in your kitchen pantry may contain toxins that are considered to be harmful when consumed in large quantities.
While these hazardous food chemicals are not too much to worry about since they are rather minimal, there is no science to support the claims made about these food products. If you consumed these food products in large quantities, they might begin to have a negative effect on your overall health.
Here are 6 food products to avoid this year to minimize your consumption of hazardous food chemicals:
1. Refined Vegetable and Seed Oils
Oils such as sunflower, corn, soybean, cottonseed, and safflower oils are all classified as refined oils. Since these oils are refined so much, they contain no valuable nutrients, making them empty calories.
When eaten in large quantities, vegetable oils have a negative effect on your health. This is due to their high levels of omega-6 linoleic acid which can cause inflammation when consumed in high quantities. This linoleic acid then damages your arterial endothelial cells and in turn, puts you at risk for heart disease.
Most people tend to eat too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3. Studies have shown that this can lead to increased risk (between 87 and 92%) of breast cancer in women.
Using these refined oils at room temperature is not too bad for your health. However, when you heat them to use for cooking, they release toxic compounds that may lead to cancer, heart disease or inflammatory diseases.
As we all know, trans fat is the unhealthiest fat that you could consume. Hydrogen is pumped into their original form of unsaturated oil to create a solid form of fat. These fats are processed differently by the body compared to naturally occurring fats.
As such, they cause inflammation in the body along with a host of other negative effects of the heart, as many observational and animal studies have shown.
This has further been proven to be true by controlled studies. These studies showed that there is a profoundly negative impact on heart health. These effects include circulation issues from arteries impaired ability to dilate sufficiently. Chronic inflammation is notorious for being the root cause of many other conditions. These include obesity, Type 2 Diabetes and insulin resistance.
It is safe to say that trans fats are hazardous food chemicals you want to cut out this year to achieve optimum health for you and your family.
3. BPA: Bisphenol-A
BPA is a chemical commonly found in the plastic that is used to make food and beverage containers. Canned foods like chicken, fish, vegetables are beans, packaged foods, and bottled water.
Studies conducted on BPA have found that it leeches out of the container into the food product. It is believed that it disrupts hormone function as it mimics estrogen and binds to receptor cells. Studies have been conducted on the effects of BPA on pregnant animals.
The results have shown that exposure to BPA has an effect on the reproductive system as well as the future health of the fetus, increasing its risk of prostate or breast cancer. Other observational studies have shown that high BPA consumption can lead to infertility, obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, thyroid issues, and polycystic ovary syndrome.
Avoid exposure to BPA’s as a hazardous food chemical this year by opting for fresh, unprocessed food, and ensuring that the bottles and containers you purchase are certified as BPA-free.
4. Mercury in Fish
Mercury is yet another hazardous food chemical you want to avoid this year. It’s a widely known fact that seafood is generally high in mercury and is the number one contributor to the accumulation of mercury in humans.
Mercury finds its way into the fish via plants that grow in water contaminated with mercury. Small fish feed on these plants and larger fish feed on the contaminated smaller fish. With time, the mercury will accumulate until they are eaten by humans.
Mercury is what’s known as a neurotoxin which is damaging to the brain as well as nerves. It is particularly dangerous for pregnant women as it increases the risk of abnormal development of her fetus’ nervous system, including the brain.
Since fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, it is advised for its wealth of health benefits. However, fish such as swordfish and mackerel should be avoided as they tend to have a much higher concentration of mercury.
Consult the list of fish to determine which types are in the category for “lowest mercury.” These are the best fish to eat as they are generally the ones that are high in omega-3 fats, and low in mercury content. These include sardines, anchovies, herring, and salmon.
5. PAHs: Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons are a byproduct of red meat when it is cooked in a certain way. Red meat is known for being an excellent source of iron, protein and other nutrients. When smoked or grilled at high temperatures, the fat that drips off onto the hot surface it produces PAH’s that seeps into the meat.
Colon cancer and cancers that affect the digestive tract have a strong association with grilled red meat. These links have only been linked to meats such as lamb, pork, beef, and veal. Chicken and other poultry, on the other hand, have proven to be a protective factor against colon cancer. A study into PAHs found that when paired with calcium, diets high in cured meats produced fewer amounts compounds that cause cancer.
6. Coumarin Cassia Cinnamon
Cinnamon is a wonderful spice that provides a host of health benefits, such as lowering cholesterol and blood sugar in type 2 diabetic patients. Cinnamon contains coumarin, a compound that can be toxic when consumed in large quantities.
Cassia cinnamon (the more common type) contains higher levels of coumarin compared to Ceylon cinnamon. Liver damage and cancer are risk factors when high levels of coumarin are consumed.