We all resort sometimes to canned food. It is really easy to open the can and create a quick meal. Although the ease of canned food is a great advantage, there are also some disadvantages of canned food as well.
This main disadvantages of canned foods are the chemicals. There has been a lot of research more recently to the affect chemicals have on our health.
BPA and our Health
One of these chemicals is Bisphenol A (BPA). It has become widely known and I'm sure you have have seem a lot of canned foods claiming that their lining is BPA free. This is a great thing since BPA has been demonstrated to have toxic effects in humans. Bisphenol A (BPA) is known for its estrogen mimicking properties.
BPA has been linked to several human diseases including
- Cardiovascular disease
- Breast Cancer
- Behavior Issues
- Tooth Developmental defects
- Reproductive disorders for both men and women
Once ingested, these chemicals do not just leave the body automatically. A scientist out of the University of Rochester found that even people who have fasted for 24 hours, still had high BPA levels in their urine.
History of BPA
In 2012 the FDA banned BPA from baby bottles after several studies showed concern of impaired brain development and reproductive development. Despite the widespread understanding of the toxicity of this chemical, in 2017 testing found that nearly 40% of canned foods still have BPA in the lining.
What about BPA free?
Since BPA has been taken out of many canned foods, it is easy to think they that are safe to consume. Sadly, this is not the case. Instead of companies that were using BPA, now use BPS and BPF. Studies are showing that the these other two types of bisphenols are not anymore safe than BPA. These chemicals have a similar structure of BPA, so they have the same estrogen mimicking properties.
The safest option is to reduce the amount of canned foods we consume. I use certain canned foods myself, but do the best as I can to reduce where I can.
Tips to reduce canned foods.
- Look for frozen options of your typical canned foods such as fruits and vegetables and beans (yes I have seen frozen beans!). This is a much safer option.
- Try to dabble a bit more in home cooking. If you know you depend a lot on canned soups for example, try making a big batch and freezing what you do not eat. My book Kitchen Confidence has several very easy recipes for soup.
- Make a big batch of beans from dried beans and freeze half the batch for later use. This is much easier than you think
- And like all my recommendations when it comes to lifestyle changes is to start small. So if you depend heavily on canned foods, pick one to start reducing by. So if use a lot of canned green beans, just focus on switching to fresh or frozen green beans instead of all the vegetables. This is not about being perfect, it is always about progress.