Plastic food prep containers are convenient. They’re great for fitness enthusiasts that are strict about portion control, they’re perfect for busy professionals and for the people that are just making their first steps in the world of meal prep. The problem, however, is that the market features dozens of such containers. What does it take to pick the best ones?
Looking for plastic containers that are free from BPA is one of the first and biggest essentials for healthy and convenient meal preparation. There are several reasons why you should stick to BPA-free plastic and the following guide will give you all of the information you need to make smart meal preparation choices.
What is BPA?
BPA stands for bisphenol-A, a substance that has long been used for plastic hardening. Officially labeled as safe, BPA is today recognized as one risky chemical that could contribute to a range of health problems.
The problem with BPA is that it gets leaked into food and drinks. Once in the human body, BPA can mimic the activity of estrogen and other important hormones. As a result, BPA has been labeled as an endocrine disruptor. This is the main reason why FDA reviewed its recommendations for the amounts of BPA found in plastic. Though according to FDA experts BPA isn’t dangerous in small quantities, it’s still better to opt for plastic containers and bottles that are BPA-free.
Several clinical studies confirm the endocrine disrupting characteristics of BPA-containing plastic.
Clinical Studies and Evidence
University of Cincinnati researchers have recently established a link between BPA exposure and an increased risk of prostate cancer. The study involved 27 men suffering from prostate cancer and 33 healthy men.
The researchers took urine samples and explored the quantities of BPA. They found significant differences between the quantities of BPA in the urine of men suffering from prostate cancer and the healthy individuals. The urinary difference in BPA levels was most significant in men under the age of 65, which could explain the early onset of prostate cancer in some men.
More than 100 animal studies on BPA have been carried out till present day. Researchers linked BPA exposure to a vast array of health issues like reproductive problems, structural damaged to the brain, hyperactivity and behavioral problems in children, early onset of puberty, increased prostate size, increased risk of obesity and alteration in the immune response.
This is why FDA changed its regulations about FDA found in plastic. Currently, FDA-containing plastic can’t be used for the manufacturing of baby bottles and sippy cups because of all the troubling research.
How to Choose the Best Food Prep Containers
Though the scientific community can’t reach consensus about BPA yet and more research will be needed, it’s a good idea to stay on the safe side by avoiding plastics that contain the chemical. If you’re interested in buying food prep containers, check the quality and the type of plastic before doing anything else.
The safe plastic varieties that food and beverage containers can be made of include high density polyethylene (HDPE), low density polyethylene (LDPE) and polypropylene. The dangerous plastics are polyvinyl chloride, polystyrene and polycarbonate. The final variety is sometimes labeled as PC and it’s the one that’s predominantly linked to leaking BPA into food and beverages.
Safe and effective food prep containers have to be practical, as well.
Choose varieties that can be used to do easy portion control. The product linked above is one great example. The set consists of seven containers, each one used to determine the optimal quantity of a specific nutrient. The containers are used to measure carbs, proteins, fruits, veggies, healthy fats, dressings and nuts.
Go for a set that also has leak-proof lids. These keep the ingredients inside safe and prolong the lifespan of the meal. The taste also remains unaltered, resulting in delicious and perfectly enjoyable meals.
Making food at home is the best way to keep yourself healthy and to do effective weight management. You need food prep containers but be careful about the purchase of such products. Assess the quality of the plastic before doing anything else. The best food prep containers are BPA-free and 100 percent safe. This is the first characteristic to examine – it’s the key to being healthy, happy and fit.