By Jenny Everett, SELF magazine
When it comes to health, the kitchen has got to be the most important room in the house. Which is exactly why the ongoing rumblings about possible carcinogens in non-stick pans have us ransacking our cabinets wondering what's good and what's evil.
To find out whether we're overreacting -- and exactly which pots and pans we should own -- we called on Alexandra Zissu, author of "The Conscious Kitchen."
Related: Five Fresh Apple Recipes for Fall!
According to Zissu, many non-stick pans are made with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a likely carcinogen that leeches into our food when it's heated. Frighteningly, studies show that 9 out of 10 Americans have traces of PFOA in their bodies. Yikes, right?
While some argue that the levels are insignificant, and use of PFOAs is supposed to be phased out by 2015, Zissu recommends ditching your non-stick cookware in favor of these amazing non-toxic options. Seriously, they're all you need!
Try: The Best Workout for Your Butt Type
1. A Cast Iron Skillet. "Cast iron actually puts iron into your food, which is a good thing," says Zissu, who cooks in her grandmother's old skillet. They last forever (in fact non-stick qualities improve over time!), are relatively cheap (as low as $11 from Lodge Cast Iron if you can't snag one from granny's pantry), and can be used for anything from frying an egg to baking cornbread.
2. A Stainless Steel Pasta Pot. You may need two, a smaller one for soups and sauces and a larger one for boiling pasta. Don't forget to read labels: Pure stainless steel is fine (avoid anything that has an
aluminum core) as is stainless steel with a copper base or core (provides better heat conduction, but is pricey).
Related: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss
3. A Dutch Oven. Brands such as Le Creuset sell enamel-coated cast iron dutch ovens, which Zissu calls the workhorse of the kitchen. "You can make soups, boil water, saute, and transfer them to the oven," says Zissu. And it doesn't hurt that they're pretty enough to keep on your stovetop 24/7. While dutch ovens are pricey, they're easy to clean and make you feel like a pro in the kitchen (perfectly even browning!). That, and the peace of mind, make it well worth the splurge, in our opinion.
Is the PFOA news enough to make you ditch your non-stick cookware?
More From SELF:
- Hungry? Try one of these 30 healthy snacks
- Lose weight faster: 6 days to get slim
- Try these superfoods for flatter abs
Check out 10 ways to avoid germs at the gym
- Reach your weight loss goal with SELF's no-stress fitness plan
Photo Credit: Condé Nast Digital Studio