If you regularly read our content, you know that we strongly encourage people to make healthy, dietary changes. In addition to highlighting foods that are beneficial for you, we also try to illustrate why certain foods are detrimental to the body. When it comes to overall health, however, a lot of elements, which can do harm to the body, are often overlooked. In this specific case, we are referring to cookware.
A lot of people don’t take the time to familiarize themselves with the potential dangers of certain cookware. So many people purchase nonstick cookware because these items are sold based on how easy they are to clean. People almost neglect the fact that popular nonstick cookware products contain a harmful chemical that can increase one’s risk of cancer.
Most nonstick cookware is made with poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). These substances can release perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a carcinogenic chemical when heated, into your food. Other chemicals can also flake off into your food during the cooking process.
So How Do You Choose Cookware?
When it comes to buying pots and pans, you need to keep an eye out for certain words. Aluminum and Teflon should always be avoided when you are buying cookware. According to research, elevated aluminum levels have been linked to ALS, Alzheimer’s disease, and problems with the central nervous system. Teflon is a material used in most nonstick cookware and can emit toxic chemicals at high heat. This is both dangerous for the cook and the person who eats the food.
Don’t let toxins leach into your food. We recommend the following nontoxic cookware items to keep your kitchen healthy.
Cast Iron Cookware:
In the olden days, almost everyone used cast iron pots and pans. Most health experts agree that cast iron cookware is one of the safest options on the market. Not only do cast iron pots and pan retain heat well, but they also handle higher temperatures better than nonstick cookware. People who have low iron levels can also use cast iron cookware to naturally boost iron levels, because some of the iron from the pan can end up in your food (this is totally safe, by the way). Make sure you read up on how to properly season and clean your cast iron cookware.
Stoneware is typically used for baking, as opposed to cooking on the stove. Stoneware is better than using aluminum baking sheets, roasting, pans, or muffin tins. While they can be tricky to clean, they give your food some great flavor and they help to evenly cook your food. Don’t use soap to clean the stoneware because the stone can absorb the soapy flavor.
Next to cast iron, stainless steel is considered to be one of the safest, nontoxic cookware options. Stainless steel cookware can resist corrosion and it doesn’t flake off into your food. The important thing to remember is that there are many grades of stainless steel, so make sure you buy food-grade cookware. Stainless steel is a combination of carbon, chromium, nickel, and manganese. Make sure you don’t use an abrasive cleaning device to clean your pans because damaging the lining makes it possible for metals to leach into your food.
While you won’t use glass on the stove, glass cookware is nontoxic, eco-friendly, and extremely durable. There are no PFAS or fluorinated chemicals in glass cookware, but make sure that you buy oven-safe glass! This is of vital importance because you don’t want to spend time making an elaborate dish, only to have your glass break in the oven. As long as you are using glass cookware, you may as well use glass containers instead of plastic ones to avoid the toxic effects of BPA.