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How to Keep Bisphenol A, or BPA, Out of Your Food
Recent studies indicate health dangers from the plastic softening chemical, here's what you need to know to lower your exposure.

Avoiding BPA in your foodWith recent news of studies linking bisphenol A—a chemical in hard plastics and the linings of food and beverage cans—to diabetes and heart disease, you may be wondering what you can do to minimize your exposure. The Environmental Working Group last year conducted an analysis of BPA in various canned foods and found the amount varies widely depending on the food. Condensed milk, for instance, has relatively little BPA, while infant formula has a lot more—about one fifth the safe dose limit set by the Food and Drug Administration. Of course, the potential risk also depends on how much you consume of which products.

Here are some good tips for reducing your intake of BPA.

1. Prepare meals from unprocessed fresh produce and grow your own food,
this is the only way to truly eliminate BPA from your meals.

2. Buy tomato sauce in glass jars. Canned tomato sauce is likely to have higher levels of BPA because the high acidity of the tomatoes causes more of the chemical to leach from the lining of the can. Think beyond plain tomato sauce to any canned pasta—like ravioli and those fun-looking but poisonous kids' meals (Lunchables™ are EVIL). Also avoid any other canned items that are high in acidity, such as fruit. All will have elevated BPA levels.

3. Consume frozen or fresh fruits and vegetables instead of canned.
In addition to their BPA-free benefit, fresh and frozen produce usually
have more nutrients, which often get lost in the process of canning.
Eden Foods does offer canned beans that are BPA-free.

4. Purchase beverages in plastic or glass bottles. Canned soda and juice often contain some BPA. You don't need to worry, though, about disposable plastic water bottles. Most don't contain bisphenol A, and those that do are usually marked on the bottom with a number 7 recycling code.

5. Use powdered infant formula instead of ready-to-serve liquid.
A separate assessment from the Environmental Working Group
found that liquid formulas contain more BPA than powdered brands.

6. Think in terms of moderation. You don't need to avoid all canned foods, but avoid them when you have the choice.
Just consult the chart below and follow a sensible approach, eating less of those foods that are high in BPA.

Leves of BPA in Food Products

*Graphic Courtesy of Environmental Working Group. This article has been adapted and expanded from a news release by USNews


 
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