With all the foodies in our gym who also love to cook, I figured this article by Chris Kresser about the best and worst types of cookware would come in handy. When you go into all the trouble to cook up a paleo meal with quality organic grassfed ingredients, it would be quite a shame if the cookware you use has toxic properties or if its metals alter the taste of your food.
Kresser’s top three picks were:
Enamel: Its non-reactive, almost non-stick surface takes time to heat up, but is evenly distributed for balanced cooking. It can also go from stove top to oven easily.
Cast Iron: Though seasoning it can be a pain, cast irons are one of my personal favorites for cooking. It heats up quickly, distributes the heat evenly, and is much less expensive than enameled cookware. Pass on this option if you have iron overload though, as some iron can leach into your food.
Stainless Steel: Quick to heat up, stainless steel is great for browning meat and making sauces. It’s also the most hardy when it comes to cleaning. The downside is things tend to stick to the pan if not adequately oiled up and heated.
The three worst ones were:
Teflon: Made of a chemical called PFOA which is found in the blood of everyone tested who uses this type of cookware. The EPA says PFOA is a likely carcinogen. What’s terrifying is teflon pans, when heated to a certain temperature (around 400F) releases a toxic fume that kills birds.
Aluminum: Can lead to significant amounts of aluminum leaching into the food. Aluminum has been linked to Alzheimer’s, as well as other issues with the nervous system. Since leafy veggies and acidic foods retain the most aluminum, avoid cooking these foods in aluminum pans if you use them.
Copper: Also a leaching problem, which can lead to a copper-zinc imbalance. This imbalance can lead to ” behavior disorders, depression, acne, eczema, headaches, and poor immune function.” Also, be wary of cooking acidic foods in stainless steel coated aluminum pans.
Check out the original article here for more details on each of these types of cookware.
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