Diabetes Forecast

Toxic Substances

Why mercury and BPA matter—and how to avoid them

By Tracey Neithercott , ,

Your food may be making you sick in a way that has nothing to do with illness-causing pathogens. Some foods contain substances that have been linked to health problems. Read on for helpful tips for dealing with two of the most common dangers.

Mind the Mercury

Fish is an important part of a healthy diet. But certain types of fish are high in mercury, which can be detrimental to your health. Stay safe by eating fish low in mercury. This list will help you determine which seafood is the smartest choice.

 Anchovies  Ahi tuna
 Haddock   Marlin 
 Salmon   Orange roughy 
 Sardines   Shark 
 Tilapia   Swordfish 
 Whitefish   Tilefish 

The Lowdown on BPA

Bisphenol A (better known as BPA) is an industrial chemical found in many polycarbonate plastics and food packaging. It’s been linked to health problems, especially in infants and children. The chemical can leach into food and drinks from the inner coating of canned foods, storage containers, baby bottles, and water bottles. While the Food and Drug Administration says BPA is safe at low levels, concerned consumers can cut their risk of ingesting BPA with these methods: 

  • Look for BPA-free products. Many water bottles, baby bottles, and food storage containers advertise they contain no BPAs. Some (but not all) plastics with the recycling codes 3 and 7 may contain BPA.
  • Use glass or steel containers instead of plastic.
  • Reduce the number of canned goods you buy. Some soups, for instance, come in paper boxes.
  • Don’t put containers made from polycarbonate plastic in the microwave or dishwasher. Over time, plastic may break down, allowing BPA to seep into your food.

More great food-safety tips!



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