One of the worst things in your food and drink isn't an ingredient at all -- not in the usual sense, anyway. It's a hormone-like chemical used in the packaging.

It's called bisphenol-A, or BPA for short, and the problem is that it doesn't remain inside the packaging. It leeches out into your food and drink, giving you a small-but-steady hormone boost with every swallow.

BPA has been linked to dozens of health risks, and the latest research adds another to the list: heart disease.

British researchers compared the records of 758 patients who were healthy at the start of a 10-year study, but went on to develop heart disease, to 861 people who remained free of the disease the entire time.

And as it turned out, the heart disease patients had higher overall urine levels of BPA at the start of the study.

That alone doesn't prove that BPA causes heart disease, but other studies have also found a link between the two -- and if that's not enough to scare you away, consider all of the other risks.

This chemical, which mimics estrogen inside the body, has been linked to obesity, diabetes, and sexual problems -- including problems with sperm counts, concentration, vitality, and motility.

And in children, BPA has been linked to developmental problems, behavioral problems, early puberty and more, especially in kids who were exposed in the womb.

Getting rid of BPA isn't easy, since this chemical is used in most food-grade plastics. It's even used in the linings of metal cans and the caps of sealed glass jars.

You can see where this is going, right? The best way to slash your levels is to switch to the foods you should be eating anyway -- and that means nothing that comes from a package or container of any kind.

One study I told you about last year showed that switching to a diet of organic fresh foods slashed BPA levels by 60 percent in just three days.

But don't stop at three days. Make it a permanent habit, and you could bring your BPA levels down even further -- and boost your health and the health of your entire family at the same time, since you'll be eating better, too.