5 things you should throw away for better health
Here is a list of five things which must leave your homes before you embark on the journey to a healthy life.
1) Old Plastic Containers:
Go through your collection of food-storage containers and toss anything made of clear, rigid plastic, and stamped with a 7 or “pc” (stands for polycarbonate).
“These are the types of containers that may contain BPA,” says Sonya Lunder, MPH, a senior analyst at the Environmental Working Group, who also advises tossing warped or cracked containers.
While manufacturers have taken BPA out of many of the newer polycarbonate containers, old ones still probably have it. And multiple trips through the dishwasher can make the chemical react further. Lunder also cautions against heating any type of plastic in the microwave because of chemical-leeching concerns. “Glass is safer in general,” she says.
2) Air fresheners:
Though some companies have recently announced they’re phasing out phthalates, which are used to help fragrance linger longer, many air fresheners (solids, sprays, and plug-ins) still contain this type of chemical, which in large doses may have harmful effects on reproduction or development. “These products are simply chemical perfumes that you put in the air,” says Lunder, who argues that it’s much healthier to take care of the root cause of a smell than mask it with chemicals.
3) Antibacterial soap
Antibacterial soap is no more effective at killing bacteria than the regular stuff—and they may not be safe, according to a 2014 FDA report. Triclosan, the active ingredient in antibacterial cleansers, has been shown to alter hormone regulation in animals, and there’s also concern that the chemical may contribute to antibiotic resistance.
4) Your stash of diet soda
If you haven’t already, you may want to reconsider your diet soda intake—especially if you’re trying to lose weight. A much-buzzed-about study published in the journal Nature found that non-caloric sweeteners such as saccharin, sucralose, and aspartame may mess with the gut bacteria that play a key role in healthy metabolism. Researchers found a link between these sweeteners, altered gut microbes, glucose intolerance and metabolic syndrome (both precursors to Type 2 diabetes) in mice and humans.
5) Worn-out running shoes
Most running shoes should be replaced every 300 to 400 miles, says Jason Karp, MD, exercise physiologist and author of Running for Women. For a runner who logs 30 miles a week, that’s about every three months. When shoes wear down, they lose their cushioning and are less capable of absorbing the impact of your foot landing with each step, so more force is transmitted to muscles, bones, and tendons, putting you at risk for injuries, he explains. If you’re not a runner, replace them about every six months, or as soon as you notice that the tread is looking worn out.