You May Also Like

woman in grass

3 tips for flipping the script and seeing your anxiety as a strength, not a weakness

Why Gisele Bündchen's style includes minimalism

How Gisele Bündchen applies Marie Kondo’s joy-sparking principles to her *whole* life

The ultimate summer self-care day

Your guide to the ultimate summer self-care day

sia cooper of diary of a fit mommy

I’m a famously fit mom—and was shamed for it

The plant giant hogweed burns skin severely

Watch out, plant ladies and hikers: This weed causes severe burns upon contact

Tiffany's Graduation Gift Guide

9 invaluable gifts for recent grads (that they’ll *actually* like)

Are your pots and pans making your food less healthy?

Sure, your produce is mostly organic and your meat is hormone-free. But how healthy are your pots and pans? Three kitchen pros give their healthy cookware tips.

woman cooking

If you’re like me, your produce is mostly organic, your meat is hormone-free, and your dairy is, well, largely almond-derived. But how healthy are your pots and pans?

Despite my fastidiously healthy food choices, I recently learned how lax I’ve been about the cookware I’ve used to prepare it all. Like searing an expensive cut of meat in a scraped-up non-stick pan I bought on the cheap, possibly even during college. Oops. That’s when a realization took hold: Isn’t what we cook in as important as what we cook?

We posed this question of three kitchen pros who gave us the searing truth about healthy cookware:

French Culinary Institute's Tim Shaw

Tim Shaw, special curriculum instructor at the French Culinary Institute at the International Culinary Center

People started using non-stick pans, like Teflon and Silverstone, because they’re afraid to use heat, or their stovetops at home are so weak that they don’t really heat the pan up adequately. But if you use an AllClad or Calphalon pan or—my favorite—cast-iron, and you heat the pan up, and add in a very, very small amount of fat, like coconut oil, that actually creates a non-stick coating. I tend to not use non-stick pans at all.


Junelle nutritionist at Miraval spaJunelle Lupiani, registered dietitian and nutrition manager at Miraval Resort in Tucson

Both Teflon pans and aluminum pots have been linked with Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and birth defects in animals. But there are new, green non-stick pans that don’t contain the toxic chemical found in Teflon, so they can be more stable at higher heat and are also resistant to flaking. That said, I personally think we should all just go with an enameled cast iron or a nice stainless steel heavy bottom saucepan.


Harry Rosenblum Brooklyn Kitchen

Harry Rosenblum, co-owner, the Brooklyn Kitchen

There are few things about cookware that are inherently unhealthy— it’s how people use them. Non-stick coatings are not meant to be heated over 500 degrees. But if you’re preheating a pan on high without anything in it, the pan can get well over 500 degrees. Then the non-stick surface can degrade and release chemicals that can end up in your food and, subsequently, your body.

But you don’t need expensive tools—it’s just about using them correctly. I think people would be amazed at the kind of beat-up cookware used in commercial kitchens that turn out some of the city’s best food. —Nina Pearlman

Want to read more healthy articles like this? Subscribe to Well+Good and get our top posts delivered to your inbox.

Loading More Posts...

You May Also Like

Natalie Portman's vegan wings on 'Hot Ones'

Natalie Portman dropped 4 healthy truth bombs while eating so-spicy-she-cried vegan wings

new mom meditation

This 10-minute meditation for new moms can help *anyone* relax

Dr. Frank Lipman is my dad

What it’s like to grow up with a famous holistic medicine pioneer for your dad

Tiffany's Graduation Gift Guide

9 invaluable gifts for recent grads (that they’ll *actually* like)

Platypus could be the cure to diabetes

The next great hope for diabetes treatment is…a platypus?

Check out Emma Roberts' book list for summer

Emma Roberts gave 3 summer-reading recs to Nicole Richie—and you can steal ’em