Canned tomato sauce is full of heart healthy lycopenes, but it may actually be harming you and your family. Find out why.
How many times have you opened a can of tomato sauce to use in a pasta dish? If you’re using canned tomato sauce, you may be putting you and your family at risk for health problems. There’s BPA in cans just as there is in plastic baby bottles and water bottles – and canned tomato sauce is one of the worst sources of BPA since its acidity causes more of the dangerous plasticizer to leech into the sauce.
BPA in Cans: Why is It a Problem?
BPA of bisphenol A is a chemical used to make plastic bottles, containers, and children’s toys. It’s also used to line the inner surface of cans. It’s received a lot of publicity lately after studies showed that food or liquids placed into containers containing BPA may become contaminated with the unhealthy compound. Studies have shown that BPA can have adverse effects on growing children including premature puberty and may increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, liver problems, reproductive problems, and some types of cancers in humans. Bisphenol A acts as an endocrine disruptor which means it can mimic the effects of estrogen in the body which could increase the risk of breast cancer.
BPA in Cans: Why is It Still There?
BPA liners are added to the inside of cans to prevent the liquid inside from coming into contact with the metal in the can. Although some makers of plastic containers and bottles are removing BPA from their bottles, canned food manufacturers have been slow to respond. Only two companies currently use BPA free cans – Eden Foods and Trader Joe’s. According to some sources most – but not all – of their canned goods are BPA free, so check with the companies before buying.
Why is Using Canned Tomato Sauce So Bad?
According to test results published on the Tree Hugger website, canned tomato sauce had one of the highest levels of BPA at 18.2 parts per billion. Eating just half a cup of tomato sauce with this level of BPA would result in BPA exposure that’s greater than what’s been shown to be harmful to animals. Other canned tomato products have also been found to have high levels of BPA because of their acidity which can wear away the plastic lining leading to BPA contamination.
Alternatives to Canned Tomato Sauce?
Unfortunately, you can’t buy a canned tomato sauce that isn’t packed in a can that contains a BPA liner. The best alternative is to buy tomato products in glass jars or make your own.