Cookware is simply pots, pans, and dishes in which food can be cooked. Cookwares just don’t cook the food in it, they influence the taste of the food and also have power over the quality of the food. A healthy diet requires healthy food.
Likewise, healthy food does not just contain healthy ingredients; they require excellent processing while cooking. There are many different types of cookware in the market. Cookwares are mostly made of metals.
Accordingly, some of the common metals used for manufacturing cookware are: Stainless Steel, Copper, Aluminum, Carbon Steel, Cast Iron, Clay and Stoneware, Non-stick Surfaces, PTFE cookware, Ceramic. All of these metals have their own advantages and disadvantages according to usage and health benefits.
Are All Cookwares Healthy?
Cookwares are healthy generally. They make sure the food is cooked thoroughly and well processed. So the risk of bacterial and fungal diseases decreases if food is being cooked in cookware.
The modern cookwares have gone through a lot of vigorous innovations. These include surfaces that are non-stick and also anodized aluminum. Despite all, the healthiest cookware picks are the ones made of materials like cast iron and stainless steel.
How to Measure the Health Benefits?
The cookwares come with different kinds of benefits for different usage purposes. To measure the health benefits and find out which is the healthiest to cook with, there are few criteria you can consider.
However, the most important criteria are the material of the cookware, whether it’s toxic or not, and the possibility of the material to leach into food during cooking. Toxic material like aluminum can harm the human body badly.
On the other hand, aluminum consumed once is not very harmful, but if you use it daily, it will most likely lead you to cancer.
These criteria give a clear idea about which cookwares are healthy and which should be avoided.
Healthiest Type of Cookware
Having considered the toxicity and possibility of toxicity migrating to food, researchers have decided that stainless steel and cast iron are the healthiest types of cookware. These cookwares date back to about thousands of years. Innovation has made the modern cookwares handy and convenient but has failed to make them healthy.
Most of the modern cookware contains chemicals that are harmful to the human body. Although modern cookwares are very popular, if a person is health conscious and wants to take care of his food intake, he should take everything into consideration.
Cookware to Be Aware of
The aluminum cookware, copper cookware, non-stick cookware, etc. are very popular but should be avoided if you are conscious about your health. All of these cookwares contain minerals and materials that are harmful to your health. They are undeniably handy and comfortable to use, but their toxicity makes the usage questionable.
Below are the list of cookwares to be avoided:
Cookware that is Non-Stick
This industry began with Teflon. Now the non-stick coating includes many other types of coatings such as Anolon, Silverstone, Circulon, Cephalon and many others. These are all lab invented chemicals and mostly not natural at all. Anything that does not come from nature should not be used for cooking.
Aluminum has been placed in the top 200 toxins that can jeopardize your health. There are hundreds of studies about aluminum and diseases.
However, it has been considered that the aluminum pans and pots have gone through many improvements, but it is still recommended not to use aluminum cookware because of the potential hazard of aluminum itself.
Copper is an essential element of our diet but also is a metal categorized as a toxin. Pots and pans made of hundred percent copper are fairly safe. Cooking directly on the surface of copper reveals the food to the potential issue of copper toxicity.
The toxicity increases when acidic food is cooked in the pan. All kinds of potentially toxic materials should be avoided.
After we have scratched out the cookwares to avoid and reviewed the reasoning, let’s get to know what cookwares we should use for the benefit of our health:
Iron is an ancient metal and humans have been using it for centuries. Cast iron is not pure iron; it is a mixture of iron and carbon. Cast iron has a really low melting point. It is popular for camping and outdoor cooking.
Cooking in cast iron is very healthy. It requires less oil, and it has the sheen of seasoning that makes it almost non-sticky naturally! Cast iron is popular for being environment-friendly. No chemical substance is present in the cast iron pots and pans.
The use of cast iron cookware is very versatile. It can be used for frying, poaching, stewing, sauteing, broiling, etc. Water-based cooking can be done in it too. It is safe to be used over the fire and has no side effects on food.
Stainless steel is not a pure metal itself. It is an alloy. The steel is made up of chromium, iron, and nickel. Some companies use manganese as the substitute for a nickel because manganese is cheaper than a nickel.
This type of cookware is also comparatively extra stable than the above-mentioned cookware. Many researchers have expressed concerns about the discharge of chromium, but right now, chromium is an essential part of many people’s diets.
Accordingly, pans made out of stainless steel are not good heat conductors. Often they have a copper or aluminum core to increase conductivity. Some researchers have expressed views on the leaching of nickel, but steel is very stable and durable. However, the possibility of leaching is low if it is taken good care of.
At the same time, using steel wool or something that can scratch the steel is not very wise. That will expose the metals underneath and nickel too. To maintain good quality, steel should be used carefully and washed mildly.
Cookware is the new trend of kitchen utensils. They are rapidly gaining popularity and their usage saves both time and energy. It is tempting to use the modern and more convenient cookware, but to consider one’s health, the old fashioned ones serve better.