Every week I receive countless information on the dangers of pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and chemicals in our food. In particular the amount of antibiotics used in food production in Australia is greater than that prescribed by doctors. I thought it would be useful to share some of this information in the hope you can make healthier food choices.

Pesticides

Pesticides abound in our food supply. Unfortunately these pesticides have detrimental effects on our health including increased stress on our detoxification pathways, unbalancing our hormones and damaging our cells particularly those in the brain. These chemicals also accumulate in our fat stores. So if you are embarking on a weight loss strategy it is important to support your liver, kidneys and lymphatic system.

The foods with the highest pesticide residues in Australia are apples, strawberries, grapes, pears, nectarines, peaches, cherries, capsicums, lettuce, potatoes and wheat. Apart from eating only organic forms of these foods, you can wash the foods in white or apple cider vinegar to reduce the external pesticide residue.

Plastics

Plastics such as BPA or Bisphenol A (BPA) are widely used chemicals that can behave like estrogens in the body. They are used in the manufacture of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. BPA is in many consumer products, including the lining of food and beverage cans, plastic food packaging, dental sealants, paper receipts and water pipes. Exposure in people is widespread and occurs mainly through eating or drinking contaminated food and beverages.

Animal and human studies have linked BPA to hormone-sensitive cancers, including breast and prostate cancers. BPA is found in the urine of 95 percent of adults. While many consumers now wisely refuse to purchase plastic products unless they are BPA free, many plastic manufactures have replaced BPA, with Bisphenol-S (BPS), which may be even more dangerous. Therefore, it is best to avoid plastic products and use glass instead. Unfortunately, almost all bottled water is sold in plastic bottles.

High Fructose Corn Syrup

High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is used as a sweetener in thousands of mainstream packaged foods sold around the world, from bread to soft drinks and even breakfast cereal. Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) found that cancer cells have a particular liking for refined fructose which directly causes cancer cells to reproduce and spread in a way that glucose does not.

The study demonstrates that there is a major difference between high fructose corn syrup, a highly-refined sugar commonly used in processed foods and beverages, and refined sugar cane. Both can lead to health problems, but high fructose corn syrup is worse in terms of cancer growth.

High Fructose Corn Syrup also contributes to obesity. A Princeton University research team demonstrated that rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same.