Could chemicals called “obesogens” be making you fat? Their name might sound like a joke, but the unfunny fact is that they’re being added to lots of healthy foods. Obesogens are contaminants such as pesticides and other pollutants that, research shows*, may change the way we process or store fat. Through conventional farming and packaging, they can be sprayed on, or absorbed by, our food. (You can read more from Stephen Perrine, author of The New American Diet.)
The good news: according to Perrine, avoiding the most obesogen-laden foods for just five days can reduce the contaminants in your body by 80 percent! Check our list of items known for carrying the heaviest load of obesogens. Choose organic whenever possible, and you’ll avoid the bulk of the bad stuff.
peaches and nectarines
spinach, kale and collard greens
3. Animal foods
They are what they eat, and conventionally-raised beef and chicken are often fed a diet mixed with low-dose antibiotics as well as growth hormones and steroids. The biggest problem is the fat, where these baddies accumulate. As for fish, farm-raised salmon is notorious for containing hormones.
4. Canned items
A lining in many cans called BPA (bisphenol-A) is the problem. Some companies, including Eden Foods, are BPA-free, but most companies sell a mixture of items with and without BPA. To learn more about which is which, see this list of BPA-free brands. To be sure you’re BPA-free, look for Tetra Paks or foil packs, use fresh, or call the company to confirm.
Buy organic, and obesogens won’t have a fat chance.
Photo by Liz West