Nancy Dell: BPA in containers; benefits of beer

The mineral silicon in beer may help to build stronger bones

I try to avoid BPA in plastic.  Is it safe to heat foods that come in pouches and cartons like soup? 
Bob, Internet

First, let me give viewers a little background. BPA is a chemical used in some plastic bottles, containers, and in the lining of some cans. In 2010, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences expressed concern about BPA. They say BPA gets into your food and when you eat it, BPA mimics the hormone estrogen. Experts say this may effect the brain, body weight, breast and prostate health –  especially in fetuses and children.

As a result, you see BPA free containers, but they may not be better.

Some contain BPS which is just as bad, and others, we do not know what they contain because companies will not disclose what they are using. So while it is better to buy foods in pouches, cartons and cardboard containers instead of plastic or cans lined with plastic, do heat the foods in a pan on the stove or in glass in the microwave as much as possible. This will reduce the chances that chemicals in the packaging end up in your food.

It is convenient to steam veggies and good other foods in the package, so do the best you can. When time allows, put the food in a pot or in glass. You will benefit if you do this just 30 or 50 percent of the time. It does not have to be all or nothing.

While watching the football game, we discussed if beer has health benefits. Does it?
Josh, Internet

Yes, in moderation, beer has health benefits. A recent Scandinavian study found women who drank beer once or twice a week had a 30 percent lower risk of having a heart attack. Some beers have as much fiber as some vegetables and a little alcohol can raise good cholesterol.

Tufts University found people who had one or two beers a day had higher bone densities than non-drinkers. The researchers speculate that the mineral silicon in beer helps to build stronger bones. So enjoy that beer, but no more than one or two a day.

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