Meal prepping trend sparks harmful plastic BPA debate

HOUSTON-- Meal prepping has become the latest trend on social media. The phrase has become so popular that searching the hashtag '#mealprep' on Instagram pulls up more than 5.5 million posts.

“I usually do it on Sundays. Get it out of the way, cook for the whole week. I usually make brown rice, chicken and veggies and store them in Tupperware or plastic containers,” Julian Deal said.

Clean eating and portion control are healthy benefits of prepping, but what your food is being stored in may be cause for concern.

It all stems back to something called BPA, which is often found in plastic containers and canned goods. When BPA is heated, doctors say it could have toxic effects.

Dr. Tricia Kapavik, who specializes in nutrition said, excessive exposure to BPA can lead to increased amounts of estrogen and could lead to weight gain.

"It can affect your hormones and some of your transmitters as well. Our body is amazing at filtering things, it really is. We've got a liver and kidneys for a reason. The challenge is when we're overloading it and we're constantly bombarding it,” said Kapavik.  “We need to make sure we're minimizing our exposure to BPA and minimizing the potential harmful effects. One of the worst negative effects of too much BPA is potentially cancer.”

Dr. Kapavik recommends using glass containers for food storage and stainless steel bottles for drinking instead. She adds that people should also avoid eating canned goods.

“If you're going to be meal planning, you might as well buy the containers. They’re going to be the best for you," Dr. Kapavik said.

Most health nuts said that they're aware that too much BPA is bad, but they don't really care.

"It's not good, I know. But I use it because it's convenient and it's easy. The glass containers are too heavy. If they could find another alternative, I'm all for it," Mariann Lee said.

So whether you're meal prepping to become healthier or just for the sheer convenience, maybe it's best if you don't take your chances and just get the glass.