The most common question I get about heavy metals is…

“Where am I getting exposure to these metals from?”

It’s confusing. And hard to believe when I tell you.

But one of the primary places is your food. Even organic food.

I like to make health concepts simple, but this is a subject that’s confusing. So bear with me as I walk you through this toxic exposure.

To begin with, let me tell you that in my office we have tested hundreds of people for heavy metals. There are two metals that show up consistently: lead and mercury.

Many of you know that mercury is in fish. In fact, I have heard a lot of you say you avoid fish because of it. Smart choice.

But where are you getting lead?

Below is a list of foods that have been tested for lead and shown up with high levels. In fact, many of these foods are so high they should have a warning sign on them! Let me remind you that the World Health Organization states that there are no safe levels of lead in the human body.

Here are some of the foods you need to look out for:


The Environmental Law Foundation (ELF) recently tested certain drinks on the market, especially those marketed to children. The report states that a whopping 85% of the tested drinks contained enough lead to require a warning label. The results are alarming since 125 out of 146 products had enough lead in a single serving to justify a warning.

According to the ELF, lead was found in major brands of juice including:

Welsh’s, Great Value, Kroger, Traders Joe’s, Walnut Acres Walgreen’s brand, Minute Maid, Gerber, Del Monte, and Dole.

Plus, lead was found in organic brands such as 365 Everyday Value® Organic, Earth’s Best® Organic, and O Organics™.

Hot Sauces

A new study out of the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) reported that they’ve found alarming levels of lead in several types of imported hot sauces that were tested.

The study, conducted by Shawn Gerstenberger and Jennifer Berger Ritchie, was published in the Journal of Environmental Science and Health and is the first known investigation into lead levels in hot sauces according to the university.

Protein Drinks

Consumer Reports revealed that several popular highly-processed protein powders like Myoplex, Muscle Milk, Designer Whey and the GNC brand, all contained unacceptable levels of arsenic, cadmium and lead.

According to Consumer Reports editor Andrea Rock, “Consuming these kinds of protein drinks on a regular basis can, in some cases, create the risk of chronic exposure, even at low levels, to heavy metals such as cadmium and lead that can pose health problems, particularly to vulnerable people.”

Organic Foods

The state attorney general has accused several large California grocery stores including Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods of selling lead-tainted ginger and plum candies in a case that underscores how little consumers know about the food they eat.

The lawsuit, filed April 30 in San Francisco Superior Court, argues that Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, 99 Ranch Market, Island Pacific Supermarket, Marina Food and other retailers have been selling candy, snacks and bulk food made with ginger or dried plums that contain dangerously high levels of lead.


Consumer health watchdog As You Sow tested 35 of 50 chocolate products, including chocolate bunnies and eggs.

Lead was found in the chocolates of the following manufacturers:

Trader Joe’s, Hershey’s, Green and Black’s, Lindt, Whole Foods, Kroger, Godiva, See’s Candies, Mars, Theo Chocolate, Equal Exchange, Ghirardelli, Earth Circle Organics, and more.

For a full list of chocolates found to contain lead and/or cadmium, see link below:

Baby Food

The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) analyzed 11 years of data from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and found that food – and baby food in particular – is a meaningful and surprising source of lead.

EDF’s data found:

  • Lead was detected in 20% of baby food samples compared to 14% for other foods.
  • Eight types of baby foods had detectable lead in more than 40% of samples.
  • Baby food versions of apple and grape juices and carrots contained more detectable lead than the regular versions.

As depressing as it might seem, there are some ways you protect yourself.

1. Get educated

Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to toxins in your foods. Keep learning. Know which foods are best to avoid.

2. Detox metals regularly

Detoxing is not for earthy-granola-crunchy-types anymore. Detoxing is a powerful tool you can use to avoid many serious health problems.

Keep learning. Empower yourself. Health is a journey.

Have an awesome day!