Nothing can be more frustrating than trying to lose those last ten pounds. But it might not be your fault that you can’t get rid of that stubborn fat. In fact, on May 11, the White House announced that it was taking on a new threat to America’s homeland security—and it wasn’t talking about terrorism or a rogue disease. Rather, the White House was referring to a class of chemicals known as endocrine disrupting chemicals and it’s pretty likely you’re eating them on a daily basis.
So what are endocrine disrupting chemicals, otherwise known as EDCs? In a recently released report, the White House listed EDCs as one of the primary reasons for the obesity epidemic. Scientists have even coined a term for EDCs—“obesogens”—because they “may promote weight gain and obesity”. But what does that mean for you? It means that weight gain and weight loss isn’t a simple calories-in and calories-out equation any longer. EDCs are natural and synthetic compounds that primarily operatNothing can be more frustrating than trying to lose those last ten pounds. But it might not be your fault that you can’t get rid of that stubborn fat. In fact, on May 11, the White House announced that it was taking on a new threat to America’s homeland security—and it wasn’t talking about terrorism or a rogue e by mimicking estrogen—the hormone that doctors discovered increases the risk of heart disease, breast cancer, stroke, blood clots and abnormal mammograms after years of prescribing the drugs to menopausal women. So while once-upon-a-time “an apple a day kept the doctor away”, the same isn’t true today since apples are actually one of the most obesogen-laden foods available for consumption because of the large amounts of pesticides used to keep pests away from the fruit while it’s growing.
The obesogen news is pretty alarming and might make you feel pretty helpless. However, there are some new “leanness laws” that will help you shed that last ten pounds:
- Know when to go organic: The average American is exposed to 10 to 13 different pesticides through food, beverages and drinking water every day and nine of the ten most common pesticides are EDCs. True, eating organic can be expensive, but if you eat organic for just five days, you can reduce circulating pesticide EDCs to non-detectable or near non-detectable levels.
- Don’t eat plastic: that is, don’t eat of plastic containers, don’t microwave food in plastic containers, and don’t put plastic containers in the dishwasher. Bisphenol-A, synthetic chemicals found in plastics that mimic estrogen — essentially, artificial female hormones. Like pesticides, BPA tricks the body into storing fat and not building or retaining muscle. Not eating from plastic containers will cut down on the amount of BPA that you are exposed to and avoid heating plastic containers in any way since BPA reacts faster to heat than to cold.
- Go lean: always choose pasture-raised beef, or grass-fed beef, which contains none of the weight-promoting hormones fed to grain-fed cows. If you just can’t afford the pasture-raised beef, choose conventional beef that is at least 95% lean. Another option is to buy vegetarian burgers or bison burgers. Similarly, avoid buying fish that contains a high level of mercury or PCBs such as bigeye tuna, tilefish, swordfish, shark, king mackerel, marlin and orange roughy. The bigger the fish, the greater the chance it carries a higher level of toxins.
- Filter your water: eliminate EDCs from your water by purchasing an activated carbon water filter. These filters remove most of the pesticides and industrial pollutants in the water supply to your home.