Nutrition Articles

Healthy Cookware and Bakeware

What You Need to Know about Teflon, Aluminum and More

My late maternal grandmother was the kind of grandmother who set the bar. She could whip up an outfit for me on her sewing machine in less than a day. Her cookie jar was always stocked with homemade chocolate chip cookies. And of course, her grammar was superb.

She did have one habit though that annoyed me to no end. If ever I expressed a liking for something she owned, like a vase, a bowl, or a piece of furniture, she grab a blank sticker, write my name on it, and stick it to the item. “There,” she’d say, “now you can be sure you’ll get it after I die.” The last thing I wanted to think about was her not being around anymore. A few years ago that’s what happened though, and I wound up with a Griswold skillet and Dutch oven—my grandma's cast-iron cookware that I later learned were highly sought-after collectibles. But there’s no way I’d ever sell these family heirlooms, because besides being sentimental, they’re also one of the healthiest types of cookware available.

If you’re searching for the perfect cookware, or worried about the health hazards you've heard about aluminum or Teflon, check out this list of pros, cons and real facts about the many types of cookware on the market.
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About The Author

Liza Barnes Liza Barnes
Liza has two bachelor's degrees: one in health promotion and education and a second in nursing. A registered nurse and mother, regular exercise and cooking are top priorities for her. See all of Liza's articles.

Member Comments

    How does one track cooking in a cast iron pan in the food tracker? - 11/26/2015 10:10:32 PM
    What about ceramic pans? I recently bought some and love them. Are they safe? - 11/12/2015 7:23:48 PM
    I use enamel coated iron cookware. Received first piece over 40 years ago (and I am still using it) and bought other pieces over the years as I could afford it. It is by far the best irrespective of your cooking surface. I have no children but expect to hand it down to the niece of a very good friend as this cookware will always be desirable because of its' method of cooking and deserves to become an heirloom. - 8/8/2015 10:28:32 PM
  • As someone mentioned below, I'm a huge fan of stoneware for baking. Roasting vegetables, potatoes, sweet potatoes will never be the same!

    I also have to point out that the Teflon pan pictured in the article is actually anodized aluminum... I have that pan. (I hate it, but that's beside the point.)

    I'm a fan of stainless cookware, except for some very specific pieces (i.e., grill pan, griddle, stir fry pan). - 7/27/2015 10:37:48 AM
    Great article, i've always believed in baking with parchment, but not all parchments are alike, i found genuine vegetable parchment by chef le bon they are the best - 7/1/2015 7:09:01 PM
  • My paternal grandmother did the same thing re: having us put our name on things we wanted to inherit after she was gone. At the time, I didn't like to think of her someday beign gone, but it did make the dispersing of her estate much easier since everyone already knew who was getting what. - 12/12/2014 3:55:20 PM
    I am a fan of cast iron, as well. Cast iron pans last forever, and it gives the food such a lovely crispyness. However, they are heavy for cooking! I have found that stone frying pans that is lighter and doesn't require oil for cooking. Try out Ozeri Stone Earth Pan or Swiss Diamond. There is another post on how to choose the healthiest and safest cookware at : http://www.stonef
    ookware/ - 12/7/2014 8:13:31 AM
    Aluminum element has an effect to make us get a slower reaction and we should really not take in too much aluminum element. There is another post about how to choose the safest cookware at : http://bestcookwa
    -cookware-set-guide/ - 8/6/2014 8:41:01 PM
    Well, I have also see a post says that we would get a slow reaction if we use the aluminum cookware too much at https://doquwucu.
    Is that true? - 7/1/2014 7:57:42 PM
    I just like cast iron cookware and I think Stansport Cast Iron 6 Piece Cookware Set is good. See:bestcookwares
    - 5/15/2014 11:34:43 AM
  • I bought a "ceramic" waffle iron and it smells like plastic just like Silverstone and Teflon did. I suspect real ceramic cooking materials are quite expensive.

    I like glass and stainless steel. I can't use cast iron because of my smoothtop stove. I never thought about it until after we purchased it. Our stainless steel set was a wedding gift 35 years ago. It still looks great but I didn't know you shouldn't use SOS pads on it! EEK! - 3/25/2014 9:40:57 AM
    i have a cast iron griddle and I love it. It's the next best thing to not frying your food...hubby loves when I cook with it. - 3/25/2014 9:05:28 AM
  • I am a cast iron cookware junkie, I own 29 different pieces of cast iron cookware. I also use copper bottom and aluminum bottomed stainless steel cookware. I am another who prefers stoneware for all in the oven dishes when possible, the alternative is cast iron for oven cooking. - 2/13/2014 1:46:13 PM
  • LINMAR2004
    Is cast iron practical on a smooth top stove? ty - 1/21/2014 6:18:33 AM
  • OK article but I do NOT believe that chromium or nickle can leach out of stainless. It is ALLOYED with the steel. - 7/31/2013 9:09:03 PM

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