How To Reduce Your Exposure To Phthalates

 

What Are Phthalates?

Phthalates are a group of chemicals that are used in a wide range of products. These compounds are used to increase the flexibility of plastics and also act as binding agents, emulsifiers, lubricants, dispersants, and suspending agents. Phthalates are found everywhere…

  • Personal care products like shampoo, soaps, perfumes, moisturizers, hairspray, and deodorant
  • Cosmetics and nail polish 
  • Shower curtains
  • Garden hoses
  • Vinyl upholstery and vinyl flooring 
  • Adhesives and glues
  • Food containers and wrappers
  • Laundry detergent 
  • Air fresheners 
  • Children's toys
  • Medical devices 
  • Cleaning solutions 

How Phthalates Can Impact Your Health

Although the health impacts of phthalate exposure are not yet fully understood, several phthalates are known endocrine disrupters. Endocrine disrupters are chemicals that interfere with the endocrine system, producing adverse developmental, reproductive neurological, and immune effects in humans. Research has shown that some phthalates mimic or partially mimic and displace hormones in the body like estrogens, androgens, and thyroid hormones. Endocrine disrupters can also interfere with the way hormones and hormone receptors are made or controlled. Endocrine disrupters have been linked to adverse health effects like reduced fertility, abnormal sexual development, promotion of obesity and metabolic disease, and an increased risk of endometriosis and certain cancers. BPA and DEHP are two phthalates that are known to act as endocrine disrupters in the body. 

How To Limit Your Exposure To Phthalates

Although it is nearly impossible to avoid all exposure to phthalates, there are ways to limit your exposure.

  1. Limit your use of plastics: Purchase glass food storage containers and use this amazing product instead of plastic wrap. Use glass or stainless steel water bottles. 
  2. Stay away from fast food: High fat foods are more susceptible to chemical leaching and the packaging and processing of fast foods leads to higher levels of phthalates. Check out this study for more information.
  3. Only purchase canned food with a "BPA FREE" label:  Canned foods are a major source of phthalate exposure. Click here for more info.
  4. Stay away from scented products:  If a product lists "fragrance" or "parfum" on the label, there is a good chance that is contains phthalates. Here is a list natural air fresheners. 
  5. Research your cosmetics and personal care products thoroughly: Phthalates are just group of  of the many chemicals found in cosmetics and personal care products. Replace your old products with new, more natural ones. Check out The Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetic Database to find healthy, humane beauty products.
  6. Reduce your children's exposure: to phthalates and other chemicals by choosing non-toxic and sustainable products and toys. This website has a great selection.
  7. Choose organic when possible: Phthalates are used in pesticides and choosing organic foods can reduce your exposure. Check out this study on the subject.  
  8. Make your own cleaning products: Many popular cleaning products contain harmful chemicals.  Here are some great recipes for homemade, safe cleaners. 

The health effects of phthalate exposure are still largely unknown and research is ongoing. Here are some great resources for those who wish to learn more about the subject.

https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/endocrine/

http://www.ewg.org/key-issues/toxics/phthalates

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpin Spiced Granola With Chia, Cranberries, and Raisins

Fall is the time for pumpkin flavored everything. From muffins to lattes, this flavor takes over in October. However, many of those pumpkin flavored goodies are filled with artificial flavors and loads of sugar. Thankfully, this recipe contains nothing but the good stuff. Rolled oats, nuts and seeds, chia, canned pumpkin, and coconut are the stars of this healthy combination. If you are not a fan of cranberries or raisins, try subbing in dried Turkish figs, dried blueberries, or to stick with the fall theme, dried apples. Enjoy!

 

Pumpkin Spiced Granola With Chia, Cranberries, and Raisins 

Dry Ingredients:

  • 3.5 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup walnut halves ( sub in cashews, pistachios, or almonds if desired)
  • 1 cup mixed seeds (I used pumpkin, sunflower, and apricot)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon*
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg*
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger*
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup dried flaked coconut
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (optional)

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Liquid stevia (optional)*

Dried Fruit:

  • 1/2 to 1 cup cup raisins, cranberries, chopped figs, or chopped apples*

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 315-320 degrees*
  2. Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk wet ingredients together until fully combined
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix together until all ingredients are coated with wet mixture
  5. Spread the mixture onto a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet
  6. Bake the mixture for around 35-45 minutes (this will depend on your oven), stirring the mixture every 10-15 minutes to prevent burning around the edges
  7. When the granola is golden brown and crispy, remove from the oven and let cool
  8. When the mixture has cooled, add in your dried fruit of choice
  9. If you desire the granola to be a bit sweeter, you can toss it with a few drops of liquid stevia
  10. Store in a glass storage container or jar for 1 to 2 weeks
  11. Enjoy!!

 

 

**Temperature will vary depending on your oven. Just keep a close eye on the granola while baking to ensure that it is cooking evenly without burning

** You can substitute 2 to 2.5 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice for the spices in this recipe

**Feel free to adjust the spices and sweetness to your liking!