We all know how much influence our diet has on our health, but what about the cookware we use? No matter what our pans and pots are made of, a certain amount of that material will end up in our food when we cook it. So, what are the effects of these chemicals and what kind of cookware should we choose for ourselves and our families? Here are some suggestions on which cookware to avoid and which to use.
Cookware to avoid – the least safe options
The first on this list is aluminum cookware. Aluminum is frequently used to make cookware, since it can conduct heat more quickly than other materials. However, it’s toxic and it gets released from the pans and pots into your food as you heat it, or if you keep acidic foods in an aluminum container of any kind. So, if you cook fish, tomato soup or use dairy products when preparing your meals, avoid aluminum dishes at all cost. However, there is some cookware made from aluminum which is covered in some more reliable cooking materials. This is a safer version, but you should still be careful, since the layers of material covering the aluminum might get damaged in time, allowing the aluminum to leak into your food after all. Exposure to too much aluminum may lead to several bone diseases, dementia and even Alzheimer’s disease.
Another type of cookware you should avoid is the non-stick cookware. Teflon or non-stick is one of the most common types of cookware. There are several problems with it, but the main one is that it shouldn’t ever get overheated, since then it releases toxic fumes into the air. Also, the non-stick top layer is easily damaged, so little bits of it can end up in your food. And underneath that top layer is usually aluminum, so it can actually get from bad to worse. Use of non-stick pans and pots could increase the risk of cancer and various respiratory issues, which is why you should consider some safer options for your cookware.
Cookware made of stainless steel is much safer to cook in than the aluminum or Teflon. The fact that it’s quite affordable and non-toxic, makes stainless steel cookware popular and widely used. However, unlike non-stick, you have to be careful not to have your food glued to the bottom of the pan. If you want to be extra careful, you should invest in the first-rate Scanpan cookware collection, which is not only elegant and modern but also safe to use with any energy source.
Another option that can be considered safe enough is anodized aluminum cookware. It’s an electro-chemically anodized type of aluminum, which turned it into a more reliable cooking surface, one that’s usually scratch-resistant and non-stick. These features make anodized aluminum a preferred option for many cooks.
The safest options
One of the several completely safe materials is ceramic. This old-school material won’t release any compounds into your food, so choosing porcelain or ceramic coated cookware will provide you with even heat distribution, as well as the lovely feeling of nostalgia when serving meals in a lovely ceramic pot or pan, and you don’t have to worry about any health issues. Similarly, glass cookware will also keep your food safe from any unhealthy ingredients, and it can be used at high temperatures, allowing you to cook anything you want in these dishes.
Another vintage-type, yet very safe version is cast iron cookware. It’s most likely the healthiest cookware you can get and it can be seasoned well to make it non-stick. Plus, this material can be used on a stovetop one moment, and then inside the oven the next, allowing you to use one pan when you would otherwise need two or more. And if cast iron is too old-fashioned for you, there is a modernized version you can get, enameled cast iron cookware. Although a bit pricey, it offers all the good features of cast iron, but with an enameled surface. This means that the maintenance is easier, since you can wash it inside a dishwasher; you can skip the seasoning process because enameled cast-iron is stick-proof, plus it’s very durable and can be bought in many colors and designs.
Thus, don’t choose your dishes based merely on their attractive appearance, but rather pay more attention to the materials they were made from. Only when cooked in reliable and nontoxic cookware can your food actually be healthy, which is what you aim for, especially if you cook for your children daily. For that reason, start replacing the harmful dishes with the healthy and safe ones as soon as possible.