Lately, it’s been an ongoing struggle for companies to reduce the use of plastic in order to reduce the damage our environment is dealing with. Fast food chains and almost every restaurant, their first step is to come up with straw alternatives (others even remove the use of straws entirely), especially for take-out orders. Now, there’s an emerging study that plastic straws aren’t just harming the environment, but also your health.
Bloating & Gas
It is said that sipping from a straw makes you swallow more air into the digestive tract. It can cause discomfort to your digestive tracts such as gas and the feeling of being bloated, which usually happens when you drink carbonated beverages or chewing gum.
There was one time that I kept experiencing tummy aches that I couldn’t figure out how or why I was getting it. I’m a healthy eater and there’s no way that it was because of my food intake. Then, I realized that I was drinking my daily dose of healthy smoothies using a straw. It was then that my friend told me that it might be because of bloating and gas. So, I ditched the straws and promised to stick to my usual glass instead. My tummy aches were gone almost instantly.
You’re probably like, “How?!” but drinking sugary or acidic beverages through a straw sends a concentrated stream of liquid towards a small area of the teeth that can result to enamel erosion and can cause tooth decay in the long run. It is recommended that if you have no choice but to drink from a straw, you might want to position the straw behind the teeth and at the back of the throat. However, just by thinking of it, it’s uncomfortable for most people– especially me.
Bottomline, just ditch the straws and help save the environment! In return, you’ll have a beautiful cavity-free smile and a cleaner environment.
Most plastic straws are made from polypropylene, a type of plastic that is commonly made with petroleum. Polypropylene is considered to be food-safe in amounts approved by the FDA. However, there are studies that say that it is possible that the chemicals from polypropylene can leak into liquids and release certain compounds that affect estrogen levels especially when it is exposed to heat, UV light, and acidic beverages.
Whether the evidence is true or not, I would rather just skip using straws entirely so I highly recommend just drinking from the glass itself or using plastic straw alternatives such as bamboo, stainless steel, and glass straws.
For some, getting wrinkles is a dreadful thing especially if it’s a sign of premature aging. You may be just in your 20’s and you have wrinkles already because of an unhealthy lifestyle. The “pucker lines” that smokers have can also occur to people who drink in straws on a regular basis.
This anti-straw movement is a great step towards reducing waste, damage to our environment and our overall health. However, it’s pretty obvious that there’s still a lot of work to be done. But with continuous effort and constant support to these movements, something bigger and better will come of it.
These health issues may be far from serious as it may not be enough to make you stop using plastic straws in general, but think of our environment and the state that it’s in. Hopefully, it’s enough to help you decide to make the big switch.