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Foods to Avoid in the New Year

01.05.10 Foods to Avoid in the New Year

This is the time of year when we are all evaluating our lives, including our diets.  I know I am always thinking about how to improve our family's meals.  We've made some good changes in recent years-- moving away from too many processed foods, and too much soy and pasta.  We've switched entirely to whole wheat products too.  When I came across this list of foods to avoid, from Yahoo Shine and via Dr. Mercola, I was happy to see that many of the other changes we've made are included as well.

Many of these foods were selected to avoid because of their toxic loads, such as BPA and pesticides.  Not eating these foods is a great step to lessen your family's exposure to chemicals and toxins prevalent in many of our foods and food packaging.    

Here's the first item on the list.  Does the topic look familiar?  BPA rears its ugly head again.  It's in canned goods, not just in sippy cups or waterbottles!  I started using canned tomatoes for cooking a few years ago and am still trying to shake the habit (I only use it in a real pinch). And I have such a deep fondness for canned tomato soup that stems from growing up with it and grilled cheese (probably Velveeta!). Ah, the 80s.  Anyway, it's best to avoid the stuff now.  


1. Canned Tomatoes

The expert: Fredrick vom Saal, PhD, an endocrinologist at the University of Missouri who studies bisphenol-A

The problem: The resin linings of tin cans contain bisphenol-A, a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to ailments ranging from reproductive problems to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Unfortunately, acidity (a prominent characteristic of tomatoes) causes BPA to leach into your food. Studies show that the BPA in most people's body exceeds the amount that suppresses sperm production or causes chromosomal damage to the eggs of animals. "You can get 50 mcg of BPA per liter out of a tomato can, and that's a level that is going to impact people, particularly the young," says vom Saal. "I won't go near canned tomatoes."

The solution: Choose tomatoes in glass bottles (which do not need resin linings), such as the brands Bionaturae and Coluccio. You can also get several types in Tetra Pak boxes, like Trader Joe's and Pomi.

Here's the rest of the post.  Happy eating in 2010!  What goals or resolutions do you have for your family's diet this year? 


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