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Too much aluminum in Chinese diet

Northern Chinese consume four times as much aluminum as their southern counterparts.

Northern Chinese consume four times as much aluminum as their southern counterparts.

It was recently found that more than 30 percent of Chinese people’s diets contain more aluminum than recommended.  40 percent of the excess aluminum is found in flour, with the primary contributor being the alum mixed with it.  It is common practice for restaurants and food manufacturers to use alum-enriched baking powders because it makes the food look better, taste better, and is less expensive than other alum-free powders.  People in northern China, who traditionally prefer flour-based foods like noodles, absorb 4 times as much aluminum as people in the south of China.

Excess levels of aluminum in your body can cause neurological symptoms such as disturbed sleep, nervousness, emotional instability, memory loss, headaches, and impaired intellect. Too much aluminum can also inhibit the body’s ability to digest and make use of calcium, phosphorus, and fluoride—which in turn prevents bone growth and reduces bone density.  Additional symptoms include aching muscles, anemia, digestive problems, lowered liver function, colic, and impaired kidney function.

Here are a few precautions that you can take to help lower your aluminum intake:

  • Look for products and cook with baking powder that doesn’t contain some form of aluminum
  • Don’t cook with aluminum cookware—use cast iron, glass, or copper cookware instead
  • Avoid dented aluminum cans or any aluminum beverage container—the protective coating might have sustained damage and aluminum could have leached into the beverage

Follow these precautions, and take a closer look at what you are putting into your body to live a healthier life.

One Response to “Too much aluminum in Chinese diet”

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