What is BPA and why you should avoid it

Written by Katherine Maslen | 8 January, 2020

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a common additive to plastics that has been shown to be harmful to human health. You’ll find it in things like plastic water bottles and plastic food storage containers. BPA can also be found in the plastic that lines canned food, tetra packs and food packaging (long life drinks and food).

What can BPA do to me?

Bisphenol chemicals are endocrine disruptors and xenoestrogens. Studies have shown that BPA is associated with an increased risk of endometriosis, infertility, and breast cancer. It can contribute to learning difficulties in children and can even affect their behaviour.

Studies like this one have also found that blood BPA levels are associated with hypertension (high blood pressure) and that those that have higher BPA are more likely to get complications from their hypertension, like kidney dysfunction.

We know from studies that just about every human in the developed world has detectable levels of BPA in their bodies. You ingest BPA when you drink from plastic bottles, use plastic food storage (especially if you’re heating it in the microwave), canned food (the lining has plastic) and tetra packs (also lined with plastic). Heating plastic may release up to 55 times more BPA in your food or drink – so anything that has been pasteurised in the bottle or canned will have high levels of BPA. Takeaway coffee cups are also lined with plastic containing BPA and the hot liquid aids its release.

But, isn’t plastic going BPA free?

A lot of plastic manufacturers are now producing BPA free plastic – but it isn’t any safer. BPA free plastic contains other bisphenol chemicals, like BPS or BPD. The only safe way to avoid bisphenol is to try and eliminate plastic from your food and drink altogether.

Here are some tips for going bisphenol free…

  1. Get a glass or stainless steel drinking bottle and fill it with filtered water.
  2. Avoid sodas and mineral water from plastic bottles.
  3. Use glass storage containers or reused jars to store leftover food in. Never, ever heat plastic in the microwave.
  4. Avoid ready made and frozen meals that come in plastic.
  5. Stop eating canned food. Tomatoes in particular are high in BPA due to the acidity in the fruit, which leaches even more BPA out. Use passata in glass jars instead. For coconut milk you could try to source a paste in a glass jar.
  6. Bring your own ceramic, stainless steel or glass re-usable coffee cup for takeaway coffee.
  7. Avoid tetra pack liquids, like long life milk.

By adopting these changes you’ll not only be helping your body but also the planet, with a reduction in plastic waste. Studies show that once you stop ingesting BPA your blood levels decline very quickly. The endocrine dysfunction may still be there, and can be balanced with the help of a naturopath.

Interested in improving your overall health and wellbeing? Make an appointment with one of our naturopaths in our clinics. Book online now.

Katherine Maslen

Katherine is a mother, clinical naturopath and nutritionist, entrepreneur and leader in the natural health space. Katherine has a unique story; after overcoming a violent childhood with domestic violence and a heroin addiction by the age of 15, she discovered natural health and healing, worked on her own recovery and has been a passionate health advocate ever since. It is through making her own shifts and guiding thousands of people through their health journeys that has lead Katherine to become a force for good in the natural health industry.

Katherine is the author of the best-selling book Get Well, Stay Well and the host of the world-renowned podcast, The Shift. The Shift is the first of its kind – and audio-documentary series featuring 25 world experts with season one focusing on gut health.

Katherine is on a mission to change the face of health and to empower people to take responsibility for their own health and healing journey. She is a regular media commentator, international speaker and the founder of Shift – the world's first natural health membership service available online and in their Australian clinics.

Read more by Katherine Maslen

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