Healthy Habits: Get the Right Tools for the Job

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So you've cleared your cupboards of hormone-disrupting processed foods and stocked up on fresh vegetables and fruits, organic meats, low-fat organic dairy products, and whole grains. Excellent. You've replaced high-calorie cooking methods like frying with low-calorie methods like baking, roasting, and steaming. Awesome! Now let's take a closer look at another aspect of healthy cooking: your cookware.

See previous related post HERE.

Believe it or not, the pots and pans you cook your food in can have an impact on your metabolism. Some choices are better than others, and I'll start with the good ones:

  • Cast iron. This classic material conducts heat well and can even add a little iron, an essential nutrient, to your food. Cooking experts recommend seasoning cast-iron pans with vegetable oil so foods won't stick to them.
  • Porcelain-coated cookware. Pots and pans coated with porcelain are naturally low-stick and easy to clean.
  • Stainless steel. An alloy of iron and other metals, stainless steel is nontoxic and doesn't react with acidic foods.
  • Glass. Glass cookware is great for baking and roasting and has the advantage of being microwave safe.


What I'm not so crazy about are pans with chemical nonstick coatings like Teflon. For years, nonstick pans had a great rap because they made cleanup easier and required less butter and oil for lubrication. But in recent years, organizations like the Environmental Working Group have spoken out against Teflon because it contains the chemical perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which may be released when Teflon is heated. The Environmental Protection Agency has labeled PFOA a likely human carcinogen, and some research has linked it to abnormal levels of thyroid hormone, liver inflammation, and elevated cholesterol. The maker of Teflon has committed to phasing out PFOA by 2015, but until then you're better off using healthy alternatives.



  1. Hi Jessica -- I applaud the idea of creating a safer home, and because there's so much misinformation out there about Teflon, I'm not surprised that you are concerned. I'm a representative of DuPont though, and hope you'll let me share some information with you and your readers, so that everyone can make truly informed decisions.

    In regards to PFOA and cancer - The weight of evidence gathered from a number of significant health studies continues to indicate to us that there is no health risk to the general public from exposure to PFOA. Additionally, no authoritative body has designated PFOA as a human carcinogen. The U.S. EPA stated that it is premature to conclude that PFOA causes cancer. For more information, please visit and can provide you with additional information.

    Regulatory agencies, consumer groups and health associations all have taken a close look at Teflon. This article highlights what they found -- the bottom line is that you can use Teflon without worry.

    I'd truly be glad to share additional information about it if you are interested, and appreciate your consideration of this comment. Thanks, Ross4Teflon

  2. Ross4Teflon - I would love to get some more information to myself and my readers. If you have something else you would like mentioned, I would love to share it. All information and truths are better than part information.


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