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Nutrition & Fitness Newsletter

Avoiding Microplastics: How & Why?

image plastic bottles

The latest reports show that microplastics are everywhere. These tiny pieces of plastic contain harmful chemicals such as BPA, phthalates and PFAS.  Microplastics come from the plastics in our environment, broken down to a point where they're in the food we eat, the air we breathe and the water we drink.  These microplastics have been linked to heart attack and stroke.  They can accumulate in tissues and organs in body, in the liver microplastics can lead to liver damage and disease.  Other long-term impacts have yet to be fully researched.  However, current research suggests they behave as carcinogens (cancer-causing), endocrine or hormone disrupters that can increase the risk of obesity and metabolic disorders - like diabetes, neurodevelopmental problems and reproductive issues.  Babies and young children are most susceptible to these effects.  Even though they are everywhere we can take precautions to reduce our exposure.  Try a few of the following suggestions.

  • Avoid Processed Foods -   Consumer reports found the highest level of plasticizers occur in fast food, particularly phthalates and phthalates substitutes.  Try to eat mostly a whole foods diet, foods the occur nature and are the least refined.

  • Limit high-fat foods -   Higher levels of plasticizers are known to be in fat-soluble foods, meaning there is greater exposure with higher fat foods.  Try for a low-fat diet of healthy fats from non-animal sources.

  • Buy Foods That Aren't Packaged in Plastic -  When possible buy foods in bulk or packaged in non-plastic containers.  Although it can hard to know of the exposure prior to packaging or processing.  Produce that is not prepackaged is a good choice.

  • Don't Microwave Food in Plastic Containers -   Having hot food in contact with plastic can transfer more chemicals to the food.  Instead use ceramic and glass containers for microwaving foods.  If you do use plastic containers don't heat them in the microwave or use to store hot food.  Steel containers can also be used for food storage but cannot be microwaved.

  • Don't drink from plastic containers -  Plastic bottled water has recently shown to have high levels of microplastics. Choose reusable glass or stainless steel bottles.  Make sure you regularly wash your reusable containers to prevent bacterial build-up and illness.  Additionally avoid tea bags made from plastic. 

  • Check Personal Care Products and Cosmetics for Microplastics -  Some personal care products contain microbeads or even smaller nano particles that can penetrate the skin.  Microbeads are often used for cleansing and exfoliating in facial cleansers, shampoo and toothpaste.


Does Yogurt Reduce Diabetes Risk?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved labeling yogurt as a way to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes, even though the evidence is limited.  The FDA is allowing this "qualified health claim", meaning there is no significant scientific agreement that eating at least 2 cups of yogurt per week may reduce the risk of developing diabetes.  This will be allowed as long as there are disclaimers.  Meanwhile, go ahead and have yogurt if you choose to, but make it part a a healthy balanced diet along with exercise, to reduce overall risks of chronic disease.  No single food can reduce the risk of any disease.

Sheri is a Certified Nutritionist with a master's degree in nutrition, with over 15 years of clinical counseling experience, an ACE-certified Personal Trainer with advanced certifications in medical exercise, senior fitness and health coaching.  All nutrition consultations include exercise guidance, dietary analysis and meal plans to meet your individual lifestyle, calorie and nutritional needs.

Free introductory 15-minute appointments are also available.

To schedule an appointment with Sheri Mar, email:  or call or text:  206.789.6440

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