Nutritional Wisdom with Carly Pollack

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Common Cookware Associated w/ Abnormal Thyroid Levels, Liver Inflammation, And More!

I’m always walking that tightrope between informing you and Debbie Downer-ing you - I'm a peach at dinner parties - but it's time we talk about up-leveling your cookware. You've heard "Teflon's bad for you" but do you know why? You're not going to make the change until you really know...

Non-stick pans and pots are coated with polytetrafluoroethylene (i.e Teflon) which is a part of a family of chemicals called poly-fluorochemicals (PFCs), and they are highly toxic. As far back as the 1950s, DuPont (maker of Teflon) has been warning us to literally keep our canaries out of the kitchen when cooking with their product to avoid the bird’s untimely death. Go run and protect your canaries!

From the Environmental Working Group:

“PFCs have been found in nearly all Americans tested by federal public health officials. Chemicals from this family are associated with smaller birth weight and size in newborn babies, elevated cholesterol, abnormal thyroid hormone levels, liver inflammation and weakened immune defense against disease.”*

Cooking with non-stick pans not only exposes you and your loved ones to toxins but it also damages one of your most vital detox pathways, the liver. That ain’t good!

So, what to do without spending a fortune?

Replace as you can. You don’t have to throw out all your pans and pots today (or do it and burn your bras and undies while you are at it WAHOO), but you can make a plan to replace them. Start with your most used pan or pot and work your way through the rest when your budget allows by replacing them with one of the following:

Cast iron pans. Cast iron is your go-to solution when seeking to replace your non-stick pans. These pans last forever so you can often find them at estate sales, thrift stores, in a box of your great grandmother’s effects, etc. I’ve had great luck with these pre-seasoned Lodge skillets. There are many resources on how to resurrect or keep cast iron as smooth and “non-stick” as possible. I like this one.

Stainless steel pots. Stainless steel is what you want to replace your non-stick pots. I’ve never had a problem cooking anything in a stainless steel pot,  just make sure to add enough good fat (coconut oil and ghee are my go-to) to get the job done. Fun fact, if you aren’t sure if that metal pot you have is stainless steel or something else, see if a magnet sticks. If it sticks, it’s a witch…um…stainless steel.

Nonstick pots and pans that are PFOA, PTFE, SPEO, APEO, NMP and NEP free. I found this brand on Amazon that looks promising. Unlike other ceramic cookware brands, the Ozeri pan utilizes GREBLON ceramic - an ultra-safe ceramic coating from Germany which is 100% PTFE, PFOA, APEO, NMP and NEP Free (absolutely no controversial chemicals).

Practice good care. While you are waiting to replace your non-stick pots and pans be wise about how you use them. Don’t use metal spatulas on them, don’t use abrasive scrubbers, and don’t let them get too hot. The higher the temperature, the more toxic the non-stick pan becomes. This way you can reduce your exposure to toxic PFC’s by keeping the non-stick component of the pans as intact as possible.

*If you would like information on how else to avoid PFCs, check out this guide by the EWG.

Informational and inspiring? Or Debbie Downer-ing?

I hope it was the first one. Love, Debbie… I mean, Carly


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