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Toxins and Cookware

It’s not just what you eat…it’s what you cook in!

I asked for new pots and pans as a gift this past holiday season and therefore did a deep dive into what’s healthiest. I did the research so you don’t have to. The reality is a bit scary! Here are the big avoids:


This leaches into food and is a well known neurotoxin (aka poison to the brain and nervous system) that has been associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Aluminum damages the protective “blood brain barrier” that lines our brain to protect and select what substances can pass through blood stream into our most valuable organ. A leaky blood brain barrier can lead to symptoms such as brain fog and headache as well as longer term disease processes and neurodegeneration.


Although these are the prettiest pots in my opinion, long term use of copper cookware can deplete levels of zinc in our systems. These two elements, zinc and copper, directly compete with one another in the human body such that too much of either can shift balance. The copper zinc ratio contributes to hormone health and immune function!


This is often used to coat non-stick pans but unfortunately has been associated with serious health risks including thyroid imbalances, obesity, and testicular cancer. THROW THESE POTS OUT! The perfluorocarbon they’re made with is identified by major environmental groups as harmful to both the body and the environment.

So now that I’ve frightened you off of some of the most popular cookware here’s the good news: We have safe options. Here are the winners in my book for various reasons:

  1. Enamel covered cast iron: These are safe and beautiful and made without toxins. Think “Le Creuset” or the less expensive version “Our Place” pans. Cast Iron can be heavy to handle but provides even heating and sturdiness.

  2. Stainless steel comes in second for me mainly for aesthetic purposes. These pots are easy to find in stores and are affordable though they can be hard to keep clean.

  3. Glass pots and pans are super safe but breakable. I’ve had a set that lasted 2 years before every piece was shattered! EEK

  4. Ceramic pots are also good BUT some contain lead and I haven’t yet figured out how to identify which ones are safe. More research is needed.

My Current Faves

In my home I’m currently cooking with my favorite “Our Place” brand pan with stainless steel pots and glass oven ware. I’ve given up on the aesthetically pleasing version of cooking in all matching items and have just come to rely on my trusty pieces that I know are safe! It was hard giving up some of those easy non-stick items like a grill pan and skillet but knowing how they affect the health of my family was motivation for me.

Here is a link to my favorite pan. (Bonus points for being a woman owned business!):


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 © Copyright 2017 Tara Nayak N.D.

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