Is non stick cookware harmful to health?

Is non-stick cookware harmful to health?

Human beings have been making use of all sorts of metals to cook and boil their food since the dawn of time. There are so many benefits to this and even if the methods have changed drastically, the concept behind the act is still the same. Nowadays, however, we have the unique benefit of advancement in the technology behind better and more improved kinds of cookware which is less harmful to our food and our loved one’s health.

Ever since it first popped up a couple of decades ago, nonstick coated cookware such as pans and pots have become super popular thanks to their amazing advantages and ease of use. Nonstick based dishes and pans offer numerous advantages which make them so popular.

What is a non stick pan?

So, then the basic question that arises is what is a nonstick pan or cookware in the first place?

Most nonstick skillets and pans are the way they are because they are covered with Polyethylene which you might know as Teflon. Teflon is one of the most popular kinds of coating in this cookware as it helps build a non-stick surface in order to diminish the capacity of how different food items react around it and thus do not stick to it.

Here we have provided detailed buyer’s guide about 5 best non stick pans for 2020

The non-stick covering permits your food to be braised, fried, grilled and cooked without really sticking to the dish. So this is obviously an excellent solution to having to scrub those pans later on for hours to get the burnt food off.

They function really well when cooking food items that may stick to your favorite pans such as meats and eggs for example. Another major reason why people love using nonstick pots and cookware is that it is definitely healthier as you will not need to add in the same amount of oil that a nonstick variety will need. So not only is it healthier but you are also saving up on that oil. This is primarily because of the Teflon coating as it ensures that the food will not stick to the surface.  However, the main problem is that there are a lot of myths and rumors floating around on the web surrounding the toxicity of Teflon based cookware and it has become imperative to address these!  

So, what are the concerns?

One major concern in recent times has been that if not used properly is that the nonstick covering can be scraped off and be ingested as it will go by undetected among the food. This is usually something that will happen if your utensils are less expensive or of a lower quality, or those that have been not cared for as well as they should.

The fact of the matter is that no matter how tough a coating is with extensive usage, they are bound to chip off eventually especially with time. Contrary to popular belief, ingesting tiny particles of nonstick covering will not make you sick and is not even harmful as this is too tiny to actually affect you and will most likely just pass through your system.  The only real disadvantage might come to your pot and pans themselves as this will considerably lower down their own stickiness.

So, what was the reason Teflon based cookware came under so much fire in recent times? Well, most Teflon that was manufactured back then was created with a substance called PFOA and this substance is particularly dangerous for human health.

Perfluorooctanoic acid or PFOA as it is generally called has been proven to be dangerous as it has been connected to serious health disorders relating to the kidney and the liver. However, this should not be a cause for concern anymore as, since 2013, almost all Teflon and nonstick cookware has been free of PFOA in all forms.

As a rule, Teflon is considered a very stable compound on its own, however, there are more risks associated with it when it comes to the amount of heat it can take on. When at temperatures above 300°C, Teflon coatings on nonstick cookware begin to separate, which is not ideal as it can give off harmful synthetic substances into the surrounding air.

Here, we have provide detailed guide about best non stick pans without Teflon.

There have even been cases of people contracting a unique Teflon based influenza that occurs when they are in close proximity to fumes given off by a Teflon material exposed to high heats.  Polymer-based fever is especially harmful as it can have symptoms as low as coughs and chills to more serious lung issues and brain issues. However since PFOAs have been banned by the FDA and other health authorities and exposure of these materials to temperatures as high as 300 degrees Celsius is rare, Teflon based cookware isn’t really as toxic and dangerous for you to use. If anything all that is necessary is to engage in a few precautionary measures and all should be well.

So, what are some precautions you can take?

To conclude this article, we felt it best to list out a few of the main ways you can ensure that your Teflon based pans and cookware are kept safer and durable for longer. The first step you can take is to always make sure that you cook with a thermometer which will not only let you know if your food’s state but will also help make sure that the Teflon limit of 300 is not crossed. Other than this you should always make sure that while cooking with nonstick cookware, do not use metal forks and spoons since these may chip away at your cookware and start to expose the pans and there will be no need to worry!