Eating out is something that we all enjoy, whether this entails eating at a café, restaurant as well as the odd fast-food meal. The majority of us are aware of the links between eating out and obesity, heart disease and diabetes, but the latest study published in the journal Environmental International presents a new concern; phthalates.
Phthalates are a group of chemicals that are commonly added to food packaging and other food processing materials to increase their flexibility, durability, and transparency. However, phthalates can also cause upheaval in the body, particularly in the disruption of hormones. According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, hormone disruptors or endocrine disruptors are chemicals that may interfere with the body’s endocrine system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological and immune effects in both humans and wildlife.
The latest study to investigate phthalates in humans was led by Ami Zota, an assistant professor of environmental and occupational health at the George Washington University in Washington D.C., and Julia Varshavsky, Ph.D., from the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health.
“People who ate the most fast-food had phthalate levels that were as much as 40 percent higher,” Zota reported.
The scientists also took data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which were collected in 2005-2014.
Individuals who reported consuming more restaurant, cafeteria, and fast food meals had phthalate levels almost 35 percent higher than people who mostly ate food purchased from a grocery store.
Even more concerning is, although the links between eating out and phthalate exposure were significant in all age groups, the most robust links were found in teenagers. Adolescents who regularly ate out had a 55 percent higher phthalate level than people who ate at home.
Zota explains, “This study suggests food prepared at home is less likely to contain high levels of phthalates, chemicals linked to fertility problems, pregnancy complications, and other health issues”.
What we should take away from this is that it is always better to prepare your own meals, so you are aware of the types of ingredients you are consuming. You may benefit from doing a cleanse. The Dr Cabot 15 Day Cleanse is designed to enhance the body’s liver detoxification pathways and prompt the elimination of toxins from our body by addressing the three key areas of detoxification – your liver, gut and immune system. The Dr Cabot Cleanse comes with a 15-day easy-to-follow meal plan, complete with delicious healthy recipes to support you in achieving maximum cleansing. After completing the 15 Day Cleanse, you can maintain the benefits you have achieved with Dr Cabot’s Maintenance Program which includes Dr Cabot Ultimate Superfood and Dr Cabot Ultimate Gut Health for continued support and maintenance of liver and gut health.