In the past couple of years, as we move more towards technology, safety, and hygiene when using various chemicals has increased too. These substances are used to create Teflon, other non-stick, and ceramic-coated pans and pressure cookers that are used for cooking. According to a recent study, it was found, that with more usage and scraping of pans, a tiny amount of chemical leaches into our food. Quite surprising, right?
Back in the 1970’s people obviously did not have any idea about non-stick pans or Teflon. Safe to say they were not even introduced. The common cookware back then was aluminum, the cheapest and most reliable option. Aluminum pans were made from pure aluminum, and came without any coating or covering. They were fit for daily usage and since they are the best conductors of heat available, it made them ideal for cookware. However, there were still drawbacks.
Based on a Canadian team’s research, high levels of aluminum concentrations were revealed in a human brain on autopsy. The real cause is not yet determined, but, after this discovery, we might assume that the metal could pose a serious threat in the future.
To gain a deeper insight into this, we gathered a list of ten health risks that are known to be associated with cooking in aluminum cookware.
Ten Health Risks of Cooking in Aluminum
- Aluminum is known to cause Alzheimer’s disease when its tiny pieces scrape out from the aluminum pans and mix into our food. This, however, is not yet proven but from a fresh study. Concentrated traces of the metal has been found in many Alzheimer patients’ brains.
- Aluminum can cause various kidney diseases when it stores a lot in the human body.
- Lung effects have been observed in some patients when their bodies are exposed to prolonged use of aluminum.
- In very rare cases, people can also develop certain bone diseases when using old aluminum pans long after their expired lifetime.
- Presence of aluminum in the human brain can also cause brain diseases along with Alzheimer’s disease.
- The US health administration revealed a few cases of a disturbed nervous system in patients after their exposure to cooking in aluminum. Though the effects are minimal and don’t happen all of a sudden, they could cause serious damage if the use is not eradicated.
- The metal is known to react quickly with acidic foods such as tomatoes and rhubarbs. If you cook acidic food in an aluminum pan, the risk of causing any of these diseases can increase.
- If you are using an aluminum pan for preparing quick meals, then it is fine. However, if the food is stored or cooked for a long time, then there is a higher chance of chemical leaching into your food.
- Aluminum easily scrapes off from pans that are old and worn out. If you keep replacing the old ones, you can decrease your risks.
- Lastly, people who have higher traces of aluminum in their bodies can develop lung problems such as coughing or chest congestions.
Minimizing Your Risk
Now that you are aware of the potential health risks caused by cooking in aluminum cookware, it is important to know how you can minimize them. If you have aluminum cookware at home, make sure they are not too old or worn out. In case if they are, try to replace them with new ones. Do not cook acidic foods in aluminum pans and don’t store any type of leftovers in them. Instead, you can use plastic boxes for storing and refrigerating.
Although aluminum has always been a great choice for cooking and kitchen assistance, because of its health risks people have moved to healthier options. Some of which include copper, iron, cast-iron, stainless steel, ceramic or glass. They all have their pros and cons but can be good alternatives in comparison to aluminum.
Apart from the above options, a newer version of aluminum cookware is also in the market called anodized aluminum. Not just an innovative version, but also a kind of cookware designed to reduce all the risks associated with typical aluminum.
Hard Anodized Aluminum
So hard-anodized aluminum is prepared after an electrochemical process that hardens the aluminum making the metal stronger than stainless steel.
Anodization occurs when aluminum is placed in an acidic solution and exposed to a high current. As a result, a layer aluminum oxide is deposited on the metal’s surface making it harder and more resistant.
This has a number of benefits including:
- Lightweight, easy to carry and cook in both oven and stoves.
- Evenly spreads heat- Good conductors.
- Resists corrosion
- Durable- Lasts longer
- Prevents aluminum leaching into food by 40% in comparison to an aluminum cookware
- Does not reacts with acidic foods such as tomatoes and rhubarbs.
- Easy to clean
- The non-stick surface is great to cook at
- Scratch resistant
- Oil-free cooking
Now that you have a complete guide on which cookware would suit best to your kitchen based on both safety and hygiene. Do check out the best-anodized aluminum cookware in stores and start replacing all the old ones for a long healthy lifestyle.
About the Author
Mariam Javed is is a health and wellness writer based out of Los Angeles. She graduated from New York University with a degree in journalism and psychology. When she’s not writing, doing yoga, or exploring mountains and beaches, she spends her time cooking healthy food with her favorite pressure cooker.
Article source: Sooper Articles