CategoriesHealthy Lifestyle

Safe Cookware

Safe Cookware

Most of you understand the health benefits of food you’re cooking but what about the pots and pans you’re cooking in? Have you ever thought about how safe your pots and pans are to your health? Studies show that the quality and materials that cookware is made from can have an impact on your health.

Did you know that the following material used in cookware poses known health risks and should be avoided?

  1. Teflon

Non-stick cookware made from Teflon is the most popular form of cookware in the shops. Teflon contains a non-stick coating which is made of a toxic chemical known as

PFOA considered a likely carcinogen. When heated, Teflon releases dangerous chemicals into the air which are highly toxic to breathe and thought to cause a range of health problems. Overheated chemical non-stick coatings also release fumes that cause an illness in humans with flu-like symptoms such as chills, fever, body aches, nausea and occasional vomiting.  Other types of non-stick cookware also contain toxic non-stick PFOE coatings. Throw out all Teflon pots and pans especially scratched and chipped ones!

  1. Aluminium

Aluminium cookware is highly toxic and known to pose health risks. It may be cheap but don’t let this fool you. Aluminium gets absorbed into any food that comes into contact with it. Aluminium is a toxic metal proven to damage brain tissue, lead to degenerative diseases and is associated with memory loss, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Getting sick in the long-term isn’t worth it. There’s a reason aluminium cookware is banned from being sold in many countries. Also, avoid using aluminium foil or line it with baking paper to prevent it contacting any food.

  1. Cast iron

Avoid cast iron that is uncoated as it can leach toxic iron into the food. This form of iron is different to the iron in meats and vegetables that our body needs. The iron from cast iron cookware cannot be utilised by our body and instead builds up as a heavy metal in the organs, causing health problems over time and iron toxicity. Cast iron cookware coated in enamel is safe as the enamel prevents the metal from leaching into food.

  1. Copper

Copper in cookware leaches into food and is unsafe if the copper is on the cooking surface. However, copper used inside the base of cookware such as stainless steel is okay to use as long as it doesn’t contact the food.

So what are the safer alternatives you can use?

If you’re going to go to all the trouble of cooking healthy meals, it makes much more sense to cook them in safe, non-toxic cookware. There are so many types of cookware on the market today, it’s easy to be confused. Health should always be the first priority but I’ve also taken into account durability, price and ease of cleaning. Here is a list of non-toxic cookware that I recommend:

  1. Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a great choice for cookware because it is durable and less expensive. It is made of iron, nickel and chromium and sometimes other metals. A high-quality stainless steel is labelled 18/10 meaning it consists of 18% chromium and 10% nickel. Avoid cooking acidic foods like tomatoes or vinegar in stainless steel which could cause some leaching of metals into the food. If you are allergic to nickel, you could try a stainless ratio with less or no nickel or avoid stainless steel. Look for pans with copper cores as the heat will be more evenly distributed and will burn less. Stainless steel is not non-stick, so oil or liquid must be added to prevent burning.

  1. Ceramic

Ceramic cookware is good as long as it is high-quality. It’s easy to clean, is versatile for cooking in the oven or stovetop and is scratch-resistant. The newer ceramic non-stick cookware are also good as long as the coating is non-toxic. An example of a good brand is Neoflam. These are good for frying and cooking foods that tend to stick or burn. Some of these also don’t require adding oil. A downside is that they can break and chip easily so you’ll need to be careful with them. Avoid the cheaper ceramic cookware and ceramic-coated as they can contain toxic metals in the coatings.

  1. Glass

Glass is very safe, non-porous and inexpensive. It can’t be used on the stovetop but is great for cooking in the oven. It cooks food faster than metal as it holds the heat longer. An excellent brand is Pyrex. It’s also great for storing food as it doesn’t leach chemicals like plastic which is toxic, even if it’s BPA-free. Glass containers can be used as lunchboxes and can be reheated without the lid on.

  1. Enamel

Enamel is a coating of porcelain which is powdered, melted glass and baked on top of a metal base such as cast iron, ceramic or stoneware. It is one of the safest types of cookware and is relatively non-stick and easy to clean. The enamel coating won’t leach dangerous chemicals into the food as you cook. Enamel is also suitable for both the stove top and the oven. Enamel is likely to be expensive but will last you for many years.

It can be expensive and a long process changing over your cookware to safer, non-toxic alternatives but start with what you can, one at a time. A good place to start is by getting rid of your Teflon and non-stick items and replacing each with a non-toxic alternative. It’s well worth it for your health in the long term.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.