New research suggests chemicals in plastics may encourage fat storage.

Chemicals called phthalates are found in a huge range of everyday items, from furniture and electronic goods to toiletries and plastics. As they are not bound to materials, they can easily migrate into the environment, making exposure to them unavoidable. Research published in Toxicology in Vitro suggests that the presence of certain phthalates in the body may encourage cells to store fat, by disrupting hormone balance. While it’s impossible to avoid chemicals altogether, eating organic food and using glass, ceramic or stainless steel containers for food storage can help minimise your exposure. Why not start by swapping your plastic water bottle for a stylish glass one?

In other news…

Fat Burning Blackcurrants

The Secret Reason You Might Not Be Losing Weight

The blueberry is the ‘superfood’ berry of choice for most health conscious people, but the humble blackcurrant could be an unexpected ally in the battle to burn fat. A study by the New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research found that high levels of anthocyanins – the purple pigment found in the berries – increase blood flow and can enhance fat metabolism by up to a third during exercise. Add them to your protein shake or smoothie for a sweet and healthy treat.

C Is For Slimming

The Secret Reason You Might Not Be Losing Weight

We all know vitamin C does a vital job of supporting the immune system, but do you know it could influence your weight too? A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found a link between low levels of vitamin C and a higher body fat percentage. Research from the University of Arizona, USA, also suggests that a vitamin C deficiency impairs the body’s ability to use fat as a fuel source. Increase your intake of brightly coloured fruit and vegetables – or take a supplement – to reap the benefit.

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