Utensils used for cooking may contain chemicals suspected of causing cancer. If you also have to pay attention to the cooking method, the choice of pan or saucepan is essential. Europe 1 explains which ones to choose, and which ones to avoid.
If you have to be careful about the food you eat, you also have to watch the utensils in which you cook it. Because in our pans or our baking papers, there are quite harmful chemicals that can have severe consequences on our health.
Risks of certain cancers of the liver, testicles, mammary glands, pancreas, blood, immune system… these chemical substances are also suspected of disrupting the endocrine system in humans. In 2019, a study published by Public Health France had already shown that 100% of the French population was impregnated with these compounds used for their resistance to high heat or their non-stick and waterproof properties.
Pay attention to the cooking method
There are no less than 4,500 ultra-toxic chemical compounds that are the subject of studies and the French government began in January to hunt for these substances, also called eternal pollutants. To find out if an object contains it, you have to look at its label: until May 2019, you could spot them thanks to the name PFOA, now banned in 180 countries. It has been replaced by GenX which contains HPFODA, renamed “forever chemicals”, already classified by the European Chemicals Agency in the category of substances of very high concern.
But if the choice of pan or saucepan is essential, the cooking method is just as important. “To have the least inflammatory diet possible, I recommend gentle heat as a cooking method”, explains Véronique Mounier, doctor of pharmacy, micro nutritionist and specialist in integrative medicine. “It’s steam cooking where we’re not going to overheat the water either. The ideal being to be able to preserve all the vitamins and minerals, so cook as quickly as possible and at a temperature if possible below 100 degrees.”
Which utensils to choose?
As for utensils, it is better to choose a stainless steel pan that is simple to clean, easy to use and durable. Another advantage: it allows you to cook your food without too much fat during cooking. Conversely, it is absolutely necessary to avoid using a scratched Teflon frying pan. As for aluminum, its use in the kitchen is debated. If we know the critics on the aluminum salts contained in deodorants, which would be implicated in breast cancer, the same questions arise for aluminum pans.
Last solution: cast iron utensils. If this material is less manageable and expensive, it does not present a health hazard. Cast iron is also a durable material, usable for years, even decades.
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