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Healthiest Cookware for Home Cooks: What Should You Be Using?

Healthiest Cookware for Home Cooks: What Should You Be Using?

These days, there are a wide variety of cooking pots and pans to choose from; from Teflon-coated to aluminum, enamel, and ceramic, to name a few. Are all of these types of cookware safe to use? Some of them might pose risk to one’s health. You might be cooking the healthiest dishes out, but they can become toxic and contaminated because of the cookware that you are using. What’s the healthiest cookware for home cooks?

Toxic Cookware

The material and chemicals used to make cookware don’t just stay in the pot. Sometimes it even produces harmful fumes and the toxin leaches into the food.

Here are some of the cookware that can potentially cause harm:

Non-stick Cookware

The most common form of non-stick cookware is Teflon-coated cookware. The coating appears black and shiny. Using this cookware produces harmful fumes. Manufacturers often place warning signs on this cookware regarding how not to heat it for too long or not to cook with it using very high temperatures.

Teflon is not the only non-stick coating available in the market. Coatings such as Calphalon, Anolon, Silvertone, and Tefal use potentially harmful chemicals that can pose a risk to one’s health.

Copper Cookware

Copper cookware looks aesthetically pleasing but it can be potentially harmful especially if it does not have a lining or if the lining on the copper cookware is too thin. Our body needs a certain amount of copper but too much can be lethal. Copper leaching in food can occur especially when acidic food is being prepared. Copper cookware can also be expensive and difficult to maintain.

Aluminum Cookware

Aluminum itself is a toxic substance that can jeopardize your health. Aluminum can leak into the food you’re cooking and settle in your organs over time. Anodized aluminum is also currently available in the market as a safer, more durable alternative but the coating can still wear down over time.

Unglazed Clay or “Earthenware”

Earthenware is probably one of the oldest and common types of cookware. We often hear that food cooked in earthenware tastes better and gives the “lutong bahay” feel. But without testing the pot for contaminants, there is no way of knowing what chemicals could be seeping into our food.

Healthiest Cookware for Home Cooks

The healthiest cookware for home cooks are those that stay intact, do not emit harmful fumes, and do not allow harmful chemicals to seep into the food.

Cast Iron

Cast iron is not only safe for cooking but it can potentially have great health benefits except if you are a person who has iron overload disorders. It is probably one of the healthiest cookware for home cooks.

If the iron does seep into the food, it is a mineral that many of us can use in our system. Cast iron also retains heat, which makes it ideal for slow cooking and keeping food warm for a while. The problem with this cookware, however, is you have to season it carefully because it is not nonstick.

Carbon Steel Cookware

Carbon steel has a similar make-up to cast iron but is lighter and easier to store and use. This type of cookware can also withstand very high temperatures. But it can degrade if cooked with acidic food.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel cooking is less prone to leaching except for stainless steel cookware that has been damaged by harsh scouring. One thing to take note of is stainless steel is made of nickel. The more nickel used in the pot, the more “stainless” it is. The body can handle some nickel, but too much can be detrimental. Use stainless steel cookware with caution by alternating it with other safe cookware.

Titanium Cookware

Titanium is a mineral often used in surgical instruments because the metal does not adversely affect the human body. Cookware made with titanium is generally an affordable option, lightweight, and durable. This cookware also doesn’t leach into food and is highly resistant to scratches and rust. The downside of this cookware is it takes a while to heat up and doesn’t always heat evenly.

Ceramic

Ceramic cookware is great for baking and cooking. No harmful chemicals leach into the food and most pure ceramic cookware is scratch-resistant. Ceramic is considered to be one of the oldest healthiest cookware for home cooks.

Enamel-Coated Cast Iron

Porcelain coating, a type of glass, is used to coat the cast iron to make it rust-proof, non-stick, and easy to maintain. This type of cookware does not leach chemicals into the food but the coating can degrade over time.

Tempered glass

Glass does not leach chemicals into the food and is also safe to use in a microwave. This type of cookware can be heated to fairly high temperatures without the risk of emitting harmful fumes.

Key Takeaways

Not all cookware is safe for cooking. Cookware coated with non-stick materials is generally not safe to use especially when cooking in high temperatures for a period of time. Cookware made of aluminum and copper is potentially toxic. The healthiest cookware for home cooks is cookware made of iron, glass, ceramic, and titanium.

Learn Other Healthy Eating Tips here.

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Sources

Safe and Healthy Cookware: What You Need To Know When Choosing Non-Toxic Pots & Pans, https://foodrevolution.org/blog/healthy-cookware/, Accessed February 8, 2021

What is the healthiest type of cookware?, http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=dailytip&dbid=92, Accessed February 8, 2021

Safe Non-Toxic Cookware Guide, https://gimmethegoodstuff.org/safe-product-guides/cookware/, Accessed February 8, 2021

Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA), Teflon, and Related Chemicals, https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/teflon-and-perfluorooctanoic-acid-pfoa.html, Accessed February 8, 2021

Is Your Cookware Making You Sick?, https://www.lendinghearts.org/recipes/is-your-cookware-making-you-sick/, Accessed February 8, 2021

Cookware Buying Guide, https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cookware/buying-guide/index.htm, Accessed February 8, 2021

Teflon Pan Safety: What You Need to Know About Nonstick Pans, https://foodprint.org/blog/teflon-pan-safety/, Accessed February 8, 2021

 

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Written by Hazel Caingcoy Updated May 14
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
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