Eating Home-Cooked Meals Lessens Exposure To Harmful PFAS, New Study Says

Your grandmother is not wrong when she says that you should only occasionally eat out and eat more homemade meals. Eating in is better because homemade food is more nutritious and comprises of less calories. It is also safer as it is more hygienic. You have more control on ingredients too which means there are lower chances of accidentally consuming ingredients you are allergic to.

Now a new study says that eating in is healthier than eating out. It explains that this is because people who eat packaged foods more have higher levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in their body. PFAS are chemicals that are found in contaminated water, kitchen appliances, and packaged foods.

These collect in the body as they cannot be broken down. PFAS are linked to developmental and reproductive problems. The journal Environmental Health Perspectives has published this new research work. The same researchers who conducted this study also carried out a previous one which found that packaged foods commonly contain PFAS.

Eating At Home Is Healthier Than Consuming Fast Food

For the purpose of this study, researchers looked at data from a CDC research program called the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. They analyzed the data of 10,106 participants’ eating habits and patterns. Scientists also obtained participants’ blood samples to analyze the amount of PFAS. They found that eating at home shared a link with lower PFAS levels.

Compared to those who consumed more home-cooked meals, individuals who ate more fast food had higher markers of PFAS in their blood. This shows that food from eateries consumes higher PFAS due to its packaging. Furthermore, researchers noted that those who consumed more oven-made popcorn had higher PFAS in their blood.

Laurel Schaider, Ph.D., co-author of the study said, “Our results suggest migration of PFAS chemicals from food packaging into food can be an important source of exposure to these chemicals.” Scientists of this study concluded that it was better if your food had less contact with food packaging so that exposure to PFAS and harmful chemicals was less.

How PFAS Are Harmful To Health

PFAS are chemicals that humans have created. The government has no safety limit set on them. However, food outlets claim that changes to food packaging has new varieties of these chemicals which are not as harmful. Experts disagree; they believe these new PFAS are equally harmful.

A number of studies have shown the adverse effects of these chemicals on the health of humans and rodents. One study found that those with high exposure to PFAS had higher cholesterol levels. Furthermore, PFAS also lead to higher odds of developing cancer. These chemicals can disrupt hormonal functionality and keep the body from properly responding to vaccines.

Other than food packaging,  household products, in workplace areas and industries also contain PFAS. Moroever, drinking water and live organisms such as fish, animals and humans comprise of them as well.