Most people nowadays are aware of the importance of eating healthy, but not everyone knows that the cookware you use to make the food is just as important as the food itself. Even the healthiest of diets can result in health complications if the cookware used is toxic. Below we reveal what the most dangerous cookware is, as well as what some safer options are:
Teflon is probably the biggest offender on this list – many of us choose this non-stick material because it’s convenient and ubiquitous. However, it’s also the most dangerous.
The non-stick properties of Teflon cookware are achieved with a coating of PTFE, which is a plastic polymer that starts to leach toxins when heated above 572 degrees Fahrenheit. These toxic fumes can lead to flu-like symptoms called polymer fume fever, informally known as Teflon flu. They’re not only dangerous to people, but they’re also fatal to pet birds, such as parrots.
Another chemical compound that is found in Teflon cookware is PFOA, which has been linked to several types of cancer including prostate, breast, and ovarian cancer. While it’s believed that PFOA is present in such small amounts that it poses no risk to humans, it’s worth noting that it’s also found in many other everyday things. This is why it’s best to limit your exposure wherever possible.
This is a safe cooking option that truly withstands the test of time. It heats well and evenly, and can even be seasoned to make it non-stick. It doesn’t leak anything toxic into your food and is actually a good natural way to increase your iron levels. If your iron levels are good, you can try enameled cast iron cookware, which is just as convenient and safe to use.
It’s no surprise that the use of aluminum is widespread – besides being the most abundant metal, it’s also very strong, versatile, lightweight, and recyclable. However, it’s not without its hidden dangers.
Aluminum is a neurotoxic metal. In fact, elevated levels of aluminum have been linked to several central nervous system diseases, including ALS and Alzheimer’s. Though aluminum is usually coated, the coating is prone to chipping, releasing the toxic metal into your food.
This is another safe option to consider. IT will never release anything toxic when heated up, it’s durable, environmental-friendly, and doesn’t hold onto old smells or flavors. It’s only negative is that it’s non-stick, but that’s a small price to pay for such safe cookware.
You might have seen copper cookware in stores and noticed how pretty it is. You might also have heard about its conductive properties, which allows for quick and even heating, but do you know that copper can actually be dangerous when used in cookware?
Like some other heavy metals, small quantities of copper is needed for good human health. However, an excess amount of it in the body can lead to heavy metal poisoning. When copper cookware isn’t coated, it can release copper when cooking acidic foods. When it is coated, the coating often contains nickel, which is another toxic element.
This is a great option – it’s lightweight and resistant to scratches, and can be seasoned to make it non-stick. It will also last a very long time. Just make sure that you buy food-grade stainless steel as this doesn’t contain chromium or nickel.
Ceramic-coated cookware looks nice and seems like a safe option, to begin with. After all, 100% ceramic is completely safe for cooking purposes, but a coating of ceramic is usually hiding bad materials.
The soft ceramic coating isn’t the most durable and starts chipping after several months of use. When this occurs, the cadmium and lead that is sometimes found in the coating will end up in your food and then your body. Lead poisoning is one of the most dangerous types of metal poisoning and can result in headaches, abdominal pain, infertility, and other health complications. Even when the coating is lead-free, chipped cookware can still present dangers – it’s usually neurotoxic aluminum that’s under the ceramic coating.
This is one of the best and safest options around since it’s made with natural materials, isn’t toxic, and won’t peel or chip off. It’s also non-stick and can be washed in the dishwasher. The only downside is that 100% ceramic can be pretty expensive, but it will last you a very long time.