Research shows potential health risks from macaroni and cheese

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(CBS) – Some bad news for Macaroni & Cheese lovers, on National Macaroni & Cheese Day.

A report is raising questions and health concerns about the chemicals found in the cheese powder found in some macaroni and cheese products.

The report was funded by four advocacy groups and says common chemicals known as phthalates, are found in some mac and cheese and other cheese products.

Phthalates are chemicals used to make plastics soft and can get into your food during packaging and processing.

They can disrupt the hormones in the body and could affect the brains of developing children.

Dr. Leonardo Trasande from the New York University Medical Center says his research shows a link between phthalates and an increase in blood pressure and insulin resistance in children.

Research also shows that phthalates can induce inflammation in our bodies, related to diabetes and cardiovascular risk.

Dr. Trasande says there are some simple steps to reduce your exposure to these dangerous chemicals.

First, eating fresh fruit and vegetables is a great way to avoid contact with food packaging in the first place.

Second, experts say don’t microwave anything in plastic, the heat can cause the chemical to seep into your food.

Third, don’t use the dishwasher to clean plastics.

Dr. Trasande says glass and stainless steel containers are good alternatives to store your food.

Also if a plastic container you own is scratched or damaged, it’s best to just throw it away.

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