Leanness Law # 2: Don’t Eat Plastic
You’re probably thinking, Well, I don’t generally eat plastic. Ah, but you do. Chances are that you’re among the 75% of Americans with detectable levels of phthalates in their bodies. Phthalates are synthetic chemicals found in plastics that lower testosterone, and trick our bodies into storing fat. Here’s what you can do to reduce your exposure:
- Never heat food in plastic containers or put plastic items in the dishwasher, which can damage them and increase leaching. BPA leaches from polycarbonate sports bottles 55 times faster when exposed to boiling liquids as opposed to cold ones, according to a study in the journal Toxicology Letters.
- Avoid buying fatty foods like meats that are packaged in plastic wrap. Plastic wrap used in supermarkets is mostly PVC, a type of plastic that leaches phthalates; like other obesogens, phthalates are attracted to, and are stored in, fatty tissue. (That’s right – the more fat you have in your body, the more obesogens you’re storing.) So when you buy fatty foods wrapped in PVC, you’re buying extra obesogens. Instead, go right to the butcher counter, and ask the butcher to wrap your meat in brown paper. (By the way, don’t worry about plastic wrap you buy to wrap things at home – most are made from polyethylene – a harmless type of plastic.
- Cut down on canned goods by choosing fresh or frozen vegetables or tuna in a pouch over canned tuna.
Leanness Law # 3: Run Free
Choose organic, pasture-raised meats whenever possible, for 2 reasons: First, avoiding obesogens is all about protecting your hormonal system. But conventionally raised beef comes preloaded with 6 different hormones (including the weight-gain hormone TBA); those hormones are used to make the cows gain weight, and they’re still detectable in the meat after slaughter. Second, grass-fed beef is leaner, contains 60% more omega-3s, 200% more vitamin E and 2-3 times more conjugated linoleic acid (a near-magic nutrient that helps ward off heart disease, cancer and diabetes, and can help you lose weight) than conventional beef.
Leanness Law # 4: Filter Your Water
The best way to eliminate EDCs from your tap water is an activated carbon water filter. Available for faucets and pitchers, and as under-the-sink units, these filters remove most pesticides and industrial pollutants. Check the label to make sure the filter meets the NSF/American National Standards Institute’s standard 53, indicating that it treats water for both health and aesthetic concerns. Try The Brita Aqualux ($28, brita.com), Pur Horizontal faucet filter ($49, purwaterfilter.com) and Kenmore’s under-sink system ($60, kenmore.com).
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