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Posted on 09-20-2015

Environmental Toxins Can Cause Weight Gain!

It’s hard to believe but it is true; chemicals in the environment can trigger weight gain. We call these chemicals obesogens or xenoestrogens. Many of the chemicals we use every day, such as BPA (bisphenol A) in plastic containers and bottles, phthalates (parabens) in fragrances, and perfluoroctanoic acid in nonstick pans and stain resistant products disrupt the hormones that influence weight gain. According to Sara Gottfried, author of The Hormone Reset Diet, BPA acts as a fake testosterone, which can contribute to polycystic ovary disease (PCOS) and interfere with insulin signaling in women. PCOS is a hormonal disorder that affects at least 10% of women. It increases blood sugar levels leading to insulin resistance, diabetes, acne, infertility, and weight gain. 

Other chemicals such as polyvinyl chloride which is in plastic handbags and yoga mats and triclosan a chemical in hand sanitizers also affect hormones. These chemicals disrupt hormones that turn on fat cells by both increasing their numbers and by increasing their fat storage capacity. In addition, these chemicals alter our metabolism in many different ways: they make us hungrier, they reduce the number of calories needed to gain weight, and they encourage fat storage.     

Although you can’t avoid all man-made chemicals, there are ways to decrease your exposure. Use glass bottles instead of plastic (or BPA free plastic), don’t microwave or store food in in plastic containers, look for phthalate free or fragrance free personal care products, avoid nonstick pots and pans, don’t use hand sanitizers. Buy eco-friendly mattresses and sofas without the use of flame retardants. For more ideas go to ewg.org. 

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