How modern kitchens are conspiring against your health: From microwave cancer risk to chemicals in water filters … – Daily Mail
The kitchen is a place where families usually gather to have a pleasant meal.
But this room you think is ‘safe’ is actually riddled with health dangers.
Kitchen designs have changed a great deal in the past century thanks to innovations in technology helping us to properly store and clean food.
And while our appliances can help us prepare dishes with ease, our eating habits could pose both immediate and long-term threats.
For example, microwaves have sped up the rate at which we heat our food, but the plastic containers we use for it can leak carcinogens, or cancer-inducing chemicals, into our meals.
We reveal five dangers you never noticed, the effects they could have on your health, and what you can do to fix the problem.
While appliances help make our lives more convenient, they also pose many dangers including an increased cancer risk from microwaves and chemicals in our filtered water
For years, controversy has swirled around the dangers of cooking food in the microwave.
Some scientists have suggested that the ovens kill nutrients, despite the lack of evidence supporting this claim.
Radiation expert Professor Magda Havas of Trent University has also said that microwaves literally leak radiation.
The radiation waves used in our ovens are actually designed to heat water and, because the majority of our bodies are made of water, they naturally absorb microwave radiation.
But the danger truly lies in the fact that most microwave users heat their food in a plastic container.
Microwaves don’t cause cancer themselves as much as the plastic containers used for them
According to the Environmental Health Perspectives Journal, ‘there is evidence that most plastic products release estrogenic chemicals when exposed to microwaving, which can lead to cancer’.
Additionally, microwaveable food contains specific chemicals to aid the process, such as BPA, polyethylene terpthalate (PET), benzene, toluene, and xylene, all of which have linked to cancer.
Rather than using plastic, heat up food using glass containers or other microwave-safe dishes.
Professor Havas insists on literally leaving the room.
‘It’s a personal choice, I’m not going to tell anyone not to use it because I understand how useful they are,’ she said.
‘If you’re going to use it, go out of the kitchen.
‘Don’t just stand on the other side of a wall, really walk away. The waves travel through walls so you are still at risk.’
RISK: Food poisoning
Refrigerators revolutionized food storage from the days of ice boxes and packing items in salt.
And while they keep food fresher for longer, disorganization and overstocking gives bacteria and toxic substances a playground to reproduce, leading to food poisoning.
Overpacking your refrigerator could make cold air unable to circulate to keep bacteria away
This is because cold air needs to circulate to keep food chilled and to keep bacteria at bay, which can’t be done in a crowded environment.
You can decrease your risk of food-borne illnesses by wrapping stored foods and regularly cleaning your fridge.
Within two hours of purchasing your food, refrigerate or freeze it accordingly.
Leftovers should be eaten within three to four days and the temperature should be kept between 32F and 40F (0C and 4C), and the freezer temperature below 0F (-18C).
Don’t thaw food at room temperature. The safest way to thaw food is to defrost it in the refrigerator and be sure to cook it immediately.
The fad diet of juicing has risen in popularity due to the belief that it will help you lose weight and detox your body.
But according to a study by the Harvard School of Public Health this trend leaves its millions of followers open to diabetes.
The study authors wrote: ‘The high glycemic index of fruit juice – which passes through the digestive system more rapidly than fiber-rich fruit – may explain the positive link between juice consumption and increased diabetes risk.’
Juicing your fruits could up your intake, but also lead to a higher concentration of calories
This is because when fruits are juiced, the calories are more concentrated.
Additionally, taking the same energy in liquid form as opposed to a solid will make you increase your appetite later.
This is because the liquefied energy doesn’t satisfy your appetite as well as the energy from solid food.
In other words, blending/juicing food can lead to a misconception that you are eating less when in reality you are eating more.
Try using fruit with a low glycemic index or swap three servings of juice per week for whole fruits. Research suggests this leads to a seven percent decrease in diabetes risk.
Keep the pulp if you can. In addition to being an insoluble fiber, pulp contains plenty of vitamins, minerals and pectin – which helps lower cholesterol, ease digestion and improve the removal of fat and harmful chemicals from the body.
Fresh juice can be used as a supplement to your daily diet, but avoid using it as a replacement for a meal.
The World Health Organization also recommends consuming five daily portions of whole fruits and vegetables.
4. TELEVISION – OBESITY
When televisions were invented, they were originally in the living room where the family gathered in the evening to watch a show.
A recent Nielsen report showed that the average American watches almost four-and-a-half hours of live television a day.
Adding to the risks of a sedentary lifestyle, many modern kitchens have a television used for entertainment during meals, which can lead to mindless eating.
Studies have shown that eating in front of a television leads to mindless snacking
There are risks associated with this behavior.
The first comes from advertisements because 37 percent of air time is dedicated to food, which would add up to plenty of influential imagery.
Secondly, studies have show that television viewers are more likely to become distracted and lose track of how much they’re consuming, which can easily lead to overeating.
Install your TV as far away from the kitchen as possible. If your TV is in the living room, avoid eating on the couch and eat at your kitchen or dining room table.
There are also ways to prevent your snacking in front of the TV.
Chew on gum or drink some water to distract your mind.
If you always sit in the same spot while watching TV, move to another spot – lie on the floor or change seats.
And if you must snack, make a healthy vegetable platter such as celery, carrots or cucumbers, instead of reaching for chips or chocolate.
5. FILTERED WATER – SUDDEN DEATH
While filtering water has helped make water cleaner and taste better, it may also be a silent killer.
Filtered water is demineralized, meaning it provides little or no minerals critical for bodily functions, such as magnesium and calcium.
While filtered water makes the supply cleaner, it also demineralizes the water leaving you lacking essential vitamins and minerals
According to a publication by the World Health Organization, many countries report that soft water (low in ions) or water low in magnesium is associated with increased mortality from cardiovascular diseases compared to hard water and water high in magnesium.
In addition, purified water is an active absorber. When it comes into contact with air, it absorbs carbon dioxide, making it acidic.
The more purified water a person drinks the higher the body acidity becomes, which can create an unwanted environment for illness, bacteria, and yeast to thrive.
Try to drink more mineral water to make sure you’re getting essential nutrients, but as long as it’s not with added sugar.
If this is not an option, try to eat magnesium-rich foods such as legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains and leafy greens or take magnesium supplements.
You may also prefer a non-standard filter such as a reverse osmosis filter, which removes pollutants from water including nitrates, sulfates and fluoride.
It costs a bit more than your average screw-on filter but costs far less than buying bottled water in the long run.
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