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Who Should NOT Eat Canned Food (or at Least Limit the Consumption)

While everyone can reap health benefits by choosing fresh locally-grown produce over canned foods, some groups of consumers may gain extra benefits by avoiding eating canned food. Are you one of them? Continue reading to find out who should be the first ones to limit the consumption of canned foods.

1. Pregnant Women and Babies

According to a 2012 UC Berkeley study, bisphenol A (BPA) – a controversial chemical widely used in cans and plastic bottles – seems to alter thyroid hormones which guide pre- and post-natal growth and brain development in humans. The changes in thyroid hormones caused by BPA were evident in pregnant women and newborn boys. However, more research is needed to determine the precise impact of those changes on mothers and their babies.

Canned food
BPA, a controversial chemical, is widely used in cans.

Furthermore, studies done in rodents and primates show that exposure to tiny amounts of BPA in utero can alter mammary gland development due to the estrogenic properties of BPA. This in turn can lead to pre-cancerous and cancerous lesions later in life. Exposure in the womb to estrogenic substances like BPA has also been connected to an increased risk of prostate cancer later in life.

What's more, a study from the Harvard School of Public Health has linked exposure to BPA during pregnancy to hyperactive, depressive, and anxious behavior in young girls. The higher the mothers' BPA levels, the more likely the girls were to have behavior problems as toddlers. Boys' behavior was unaffected by BPA.

3. Women With Infertility Problems

BPA has also been linked to miscarriages and infertility as well as to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a common female endocrine disorder and a leading cause of infertility in women. A 2010 study found that the blood levels of BPA were nearly 60% higher in lean women with PCOS, compared to those of controls. In obese women with the syndrome the BPA levels were more than 30% higher.

4. People at High Risk of Heart Disease

A 2012 study published by the American Heart Association found that BPA exposure may be linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Using data from a long-running British health survey, researchers at the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, the University of Exeter and the European Centre for the Environment and Human Health uncovered that people who had heart disease had, on average, higher urinary concentrations of BPA. Of course, this finding does not prove that BPA causes heart disease, and thus, further research is warranted.