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Boxed Mac N’ Cheese Contains Dangerous Endocrine Disruptors. (Is Your Cheese Contaminated?)
Why is cheese so susceptible to this form of contamination?
It is because of the unique fat-binding qualities of phthalates that allows them to easily attach to the fats found in cheese and other fatty foods.
A number of researchers link phthalates to the disruption of proper sexual development in boys and girls. They connect this chemical with the impaired development of genitalia in females. In males, it lowers sperm count levels later in life and leads to an increased risk of testicular cancer.
This is especially alarming when one considers what a common ingredient cheeses are. We add cheese to so many recipes and products available in the grocery store. Processed and packaged foods like macaroni and cheese appear to contain higher levels of phthalates. Boxed macaroni and cheese was found to contain levels of phthalates four times higher than that of hard cheese, according to the University of Washington study.
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What can you do?
There’s no need to despair. Here is what you can do about it.
- The best approach is to simply eat a better diet.
- Avoid processed foods, and eat plenty of green leafy vegetables.
- Educate yourself.
- Adjust your shopping habits.
- Reduce your intake of the types of cheese and other food products most at risk for contamination.
- Drink plenty of water, and get plenty of exercise. Research has shown that sweating is a great way to eliminate certain contaminates from your body, and this includes phthalates.
Another resource that will be helpful is the Environmental Working Group. They compile a list called the “dirty dozen” of endocrine-disrupting products to avoid, and provide suggestions for healthy alternative products to buy instead.