It is not just the food that you eat, but also the cookware influences your overall health. All cookware is not built the same. Some of them are expensive while the others are pocket friendly. Some retain heat better than others. And some cooking materials may pose health risks that others don’t. Before you purchase a sparkly new set to cook meals for yourself and your family, it’s certainly important to know whether it’s safe.
In this blog, we are going to list the healthiest and safest cookwares for your kitchen.
Out of all alternative options out there, cast iron is incredibly versatile, very durable, and relatively inexpensive – so, it’s no surprise that it’s one of the most popular cooking materials out there.
Molded from a single piece of metal, an alloy of carbon and iron, cast iron uses no other additives or toxic substances. Cast iron is naturally non-stick, allowing anyone to replace non-stick pans and use this healthier alternative which consumes less cooking fat in the process.
A staple in many kitchens, stainless steel is made using steel forgings which guarantees strength and durability. But if you’re wondering whether stainless steel cookware is safe, well, it also comes with a couple of health concerns you should be aware of before purchasing.
The steel itself is not the problem. It’s completely non-toxic, the same as cast iron. The issue is the substance that coats it.
Usually, you’ll get one of the two options. It’s going to be either chromium or nickel. Chromium is essential for the human body, but only in small amounts, and can be derived from food. Nickel, on the other hand, is considered harmful to the human body as some of the residue is likely to get ingested with food overtime.
Aluminum is a terrific heat conductor, and aluminum cookware is really inexpensive. However, aluminum itself has a few problems: it reacts with acidic foods and leeches pretty badly. Aluminum consumption is linked to Alzheimer’s disease, as well as some other conditions.
But not to worry. There are two commonly-used options to treat aluminum cookware and avoid this problem. It’s either a non-stick layer or anodization.
Ceramic cookware has a reputation for posing a very low risk to your health. We have to agree. After all, at its core, ceramic is nothing but clay, baked at super high temperatures. It’s eco-friendly, entirely non-toxic, and non-reactive, making it a solid option for most cooks. However, a lot of it isn’t suitable for cooking on a stovetop, especially if it’s an induction one. Another problem with ceramic is the glaze and paint on the ceramic dishes (especially older ones), can potentially include lead – a highly toxic substance.
Modern graniteware cookware does not contain any widely-known harmful substances. It is oven and stove-ready. Although a drawback is that it’s not really non-stick and will require a big glug of fat for cooking pretty much anything. Also, modern graniteware utensils simply tend to be on the lighter side, meaning they won’t hold heat as well and won’t be suitable for all kinds of cooking.
Copper is less commonly found in a regular kitchen. The most expensive out of the options on this list, it’s valued for both the aesthetics and supreme heat conduction – it conducts the heat up to 5x better than regular iron, and up to 20x better, when compared to stainless steel! Copper cookware is usually lined with another metal, such as tin, which is not reactive, and won’t leach into your food. The drawback is that tin is also very soft and has a low melting point of around 450°F. This means that leaving the pan unattended over high heat and scrubbing hard while cleaning will remove the tin, and expose the copper.
Making healthier choices is an option while purchasing these cookwares. Know what works best with your lifestyle and choose accordingly.