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How to Choose the Best Food Storage Containers

How to Choose the Best Food Storage Containers

Every family’s refrigerator always has food containers dedicated to storing and preserving food. Most of them are made of plastic and are available at low prices and offer convenience and ease of cleaning. Other food storage containers available on the market are made of glass and are a more secure and advanced product, but it tends to be more expensive than plastic containers.

Although plastic containers have cheaper prices than glass containers, buying these types of containers can ultimately affect your family’s health over time because they tend to include hazardous substances. Therefore, this post will help you learn more about the harmful effects of some storage containers over others and the way to choose the best food storage containers for your family.

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1. The harmful effects of plastic containers

    Photo Credit: MICHAEL SULLIVAN via http://thesweethome.com/

    When using poor quality plastic containers to contain an assortment of hot foods or processed foods when reheating in the microwave at high temperatures, the additives or harmful ingredients in plastic containers will soak into the food. In the market, there are a few types of plastic that can withstand temperatures from 150 to 200oC. However, when using this type of plastic to produce food containers, the manufacturer has added some other additives to increase product quality and reduce production costs. These additives are not conducive to human health, so if you use the product in long-term, they can affect your health.

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    The best plastic for making food containers is PP (Polypropylene), which is non-toxic and very flexible. If the plastic used for food containers is recycled from waste plastic, it is very toxic because they only tolerate temperatures between 70 and 80oC, so when used for packaging hot food or exposure to high heat sources, the harmful ingredients can be released.

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    2. The way to choose the best food storage containers

      Photo Credit: easylunchboxes.com

      Choosing food storage containers is an important thing with people, so you should learn more about the way to choose the best type of food storage containers to use. There are seven types of plastic containers with different features:

      • Type 1: All products that are made by polyethylene terephthalate (PETE) are quite safe and regarded as not being harmful to your health. However, the products made from this plastic are often used one time because its surface is capable of accumulating bacteria and it is difficult to kill them just by using water to wash them normally. The plastic is used to make water bottles and 16.9 fl oz beverage bottles, such as the kinds used to hold mineral water, cola, syrup, and so on. This is the reason why you should not reuse such bottles.
      • Type 2: HDPE is considered to be relatively safe because the ability to smell and accumulate bacteria on the surface is relatively low. However, the disadvantage of this plastic is its milky color. Therefore, people often use this kind of plastic for containing water, juice, and milk.
      • Type 3: PVC is very dangerous if you use the material to produce all kinds of plastic containers for food storage containers because of its ability to prevent the development of hormones and decrease fertility. Furthermore, PVC is very susceptible to distortion when used for holding hot foods or exposure to high temperatures.
      • Type 4 and 5: They are quite similar in structure and functions. Type 4 is often used to produce all kinds of wrapping paper and food wrap film. Type 5 is suitable for making plastic bottles and food storage containers. In fact, these types of plastics are quite safe for human health. However, you should choose the containers that have number 5 on the surface to avoid toxicity.
      • Type 6: This plastic is quite similar to type 1 because it is also used to create plastic products for one time use. However, this type of plastic also contains toxic substances that affect human health because, when exposed to high temperatures, the material can soak into the food.
      • Type 7: It is a mixture of Polycarbonate and BPA. This is the plastic used for packaging food and it contains substances with no health benefits.

      In summary, when choosing food storage containers, you should choose the containers that are made of a type 2, 4 or 5 for plastic for packaging and food preservation.[1] Furthermore, in order to protect your health, you should limit exposure to high heat sources to prevent food from becoming tainted with toxic substances.

      Featured photo credit: Pleasant Kitchen via pleasantkitchen.com

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      Reference

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      Angella Copper

      Professor of Hanoi University of Science and Technology

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      Last Updated on October 15, 2018

      Why Am I So Tired? 10 Reasons You’re Extremely Tired And How to Fix It

      Why Am I So Tired? 10 Reasons You’re Extremely Tired And How to Fix It

      “Why am I so tired?” is a question that people ask themselves pretty frequently. Everyone gets tired at one point or another, particularly after something like an illness, a long night up with a sick child, or a busy week at work. When tiredness is persistent, however — when you feel tired as soon as you wake up in morning or when sleep doesn’t seem to help, no matter how much rest you get— it may often indicate a deeper, underlying problem.

      While there are a lot of possible reasons for tiredness, here’re some of the most common causes of fatigue:

      1. Dehydration

      If you want to boost your energy levels, first check whether you are dehydrated. The human brain is 85% water, and needs to maintain this level in order to perform its essential functions.

      If you fail to drink enough water, the brain extracts fluids from your blood to compensate for the deficit. As a result, the oxygen levels in your blood drop, reducing the amount of energising oxygen available to your organs and tissues. Fatigue and sleepiness set in rapidly, leaving you more vulnerable to the 2 pm post-lunch crash that many of us experience.

      You cannot cure this crash with caffeine – the only long-term, effective solution is to drink hydrating fluids throughout the day.

      2. Lack Of Exercise

      A workout will surely leave you feeling even more tired, right? Wrong! As counterintuitive as it may sound, physical activities have an energizing effect. Moving your body releases endorphins, increases your heart rate, and boosts your concentration.

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      Try to fit in at least 30 minutes of medium-intensity exercise every day. It’s easiest if you can make this part of our everyday routine, either as soon as you wake up or right after work.

      3. A Poor Diet

      The food you eat has a direct impact on sleep quality and the amount of rest you get every night. For maximum energy, stick to protein, slow-release carbohydrates, and a moderate amount of healthy (unsaturated) fats. The majority of your food should be plant-based, high in fiber, and low in sugar. These choices will prevent blood sugar fluctuations, which can leave you feeling exhausted.

      An easy way to make sure you stick to a good diet is through meal preparation. It’s easy to just get take-out when you’re tired after work, but if you have a meal ready for you in the fridge, you’ll be less tempted by pizza or cheese.

      Find out more about healthy meal prep here: 10 Meal Planning Apps You Need To Have To Get Healthier Easily

      4. Skipping Breakfast

      Physician Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan advises that eating breakfast is key to maintaining a good level of energy throughout the day. When you eat breakfast, you are sending calming signals to the areas of the brain responsible for avoiding danger, along with those that instruct the body to conserve as much energy as possible.

      Ingesting food signals to your brain that there is enough food available to ensure our survival. This encourages it to stay relaxed, which in turn, promotes restful sleep.

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      Some great ideas for a healthy, filling, and make-ahead breakfasts include overnight oats, smoothies, and freezer-friendly breakfast burritos.

      Or if meal-prepping isn’t your think, stock up on easy but healthy breakfast foods like multigrain cereal, yogurt, and fruit: 20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time

      5. Poor Quality Of Sleep

      We all know that it’s important to wind down a couple of hours before bed. But did you know that it’s what you do throughout the day that promotes good-quality sleep? It’s not just about the number of hours you sleep, but how restful and deep that sleep is.

      TO feel rested, try to regulate your everyday routine to make your sleep deeper and better. Get up at a regular time in the morning to ensure that you get regular sunlight.

      Eat nutritious foods in moderate amounts, and make sure you stay hydrated. Go to bed at the same time. And before bedtime, avoid screens that can give off harmful blue light and also keep you stimulated when you need to prepare for a restful night.

      Read more about how to develop a routine that will get you better sleep: Poor Sleep Quality Comes from All the Things You Do Since Morning

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      6. Sleep Apnea (A Person’s Airways Get Blocked off While They Are Asleep)

      Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder where a person’s airways get blocked off while they are asleep, causing their oxygen levels to drop while they are asleep. This often causes people to stop breathing at night and then to jerk themselves awake (this can happen over 30 times an hour).

      Because of this, people with sleep apnea can feel short of breath and have low energy levels. Mouthpieces and other devices to aid in breathing as well as the use of a special breathing machine to keep oxygen levels in a safe zone.

      If you feel tired all the time and think you might have sleep apnea, consulting with a doctor is important. Do a sleep study, as this can often reveal if there is an underlying problem causing your tiredness — and once a diagnosis is made, treatment to help you get your energy back begins.

      7. Depression

      Depression is the most common mental health disorder in the United States (and in many other countries of the world as well). It is marked by persistent feelings of sadness or unhappiness but has physical symptoms, too. Apart from fatigue, people may also experience changes in sleeping and eating habits and difficulty concentrating.

      Treatment can often center on anti-depressants, counselling and lifestyle changes like stress management to help manage this condition. You can take a look at these 15 Ways To Overcome Depression And Sadness.

      Many people also benefit from activities like yoga and meditation, which help regulate both the body and mind.

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      8. Hypothyroidism

      If a person has hypothyroidism, their thyroid gland does not produce adequate levels of these important hormones— and the result can be a persistent and unrelenting fatigue, even if someone is getting enough sleep. Other common symptoms of this disorder include mood swings, weight gain and feeling cold all the time.

      Fortunately, simple blood work can reveal if there is a problem and it can be treated with artificial thyroid hormone pills like Synthroid. Check here for signs of having a thyroid problem. If you suspect that you might have hypothyroidism, talk to your doctor.

      9. Anemia

      People with anemia are not able to make enough red blood cells to transport oxygen throughout the their bodies. This is often due to a lack of nutrients like iron or B-12 and can be caused by problems such as heavy periods, bleeding in the digestive tract or pregnancy (due to the increased demands of the growing baby).

      However, in most cases, this can be resolved with treatments like changes in diet, iron supplements or B-12 shots.

      While here are some drinks you can try to relieve symptoms of Anemia, it’s best to do a blood test and consult your doctor in case of any hidden medical conditions.

      10. Cancer

      While you shouldn’t be freaking out about cancer just because you are tired, it is a fact that fatigue is one of the symptoms of cancer. Other common symptoms can include unexplained weight loss and the presence of palpable lumps or growths. This disease is marked by the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells that can do damage to surround tissues and possibly spread to other parts of the body.

      Diagnosis is usually by biopsy and treatment often focusses on radiation, chemotherapy or surgery— and generally when a diagnosis is made early, the outcomes for the patient are better.

      Featured photo credit: Lily Banse via unsplash.com

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