For today’s families on the go, “no fuss, no mess and easy-to-clean” sounds like music to our ears. Unfortunately, there is a downside to all this convenience. Those non-stick surfaces on pots, pans and bakeware that make clean-up a breeze could also be making us sick.
Most non-stick surfaces work through the use of a synthetic ingredient called polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), also known by the DuPont brand name Teflon. A specific component of Teflon is PFOA (or C8). PFOA has long been known to have some pretty adverse effects on laboratory animals and the substance has recently been labeled “likely to be carcinogenic to humans” by an expert report commissioned by the EPA.
Other studies have found PFOA showing up in the fetal cords of babies and in local tap water supplies .
What’s more, PFOA remains indefinitely in the environment. Today it is estimated that close to 98% of the American population has some level of PFOA in their bloodstream. Studies have linked it with liver, testicular, pancreatic and breast cancer as well as immune system issues, thyroid imbalances and strokes. Certain clothing, carpeting, packaging materials and even rainwater may contain PFOA.
Stay Away from Aluminum
Ever use one of those cheap aluminum pans to bake your Thanksgiving turkey? For the next holiday season, you may want to reconsider. Aluminum found in many baking dishes and pans has been linked to cancer (including Breast Cancer), kidney disease and Alzheimer’s. What’s more, this metal can easily leach into food, especially when heated or when coming into contact with acidic foods like tomato sauce or salad dressing. A person cooking with aluminum (in an aluminum baking dish or pan, for example) is likely to absorb up to 3.5 mgs of the substance through their food ─ that’s 3 times the EPA recommendation in most cases! Aluminum can also be found in many baking products such as flours and baking powder.
Detox for Health
Perhaps you already know that making the switch to PFOA-free and aluminum-free is the way to go to reduce toxic exposure. But what if you have used Teflon and/or aluminum in the past? Should you be concerned about how much of these substances you have put into your body so far? With the right diet plan that includes foods that heal and the right kinds of supplementation that eliminates toxins, you will be on your road to recovery. The following foods and supplements have demonstrated to have a protective effect against aluminum in the bod y and will help to eliminate other toxins as well. Be sure to include at least one in your diet everyday:
- Curcumin, derived from Tumeric
- Propolis, a bee product
- NAC, which stimulates glutathione production (glutathione is a primary anti-oxidant that is normally produced in human cells)
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin C
Get Back to the Basics
By far, the best way to eliminate toxins from your cookware is to make sure the pots, pans and baking dishes you cook with everyday contain no traces of PFOA or aluminum. There are always the old favorites ─ a few of which you may have buried in the back of your kitchen cabinets already. Cast iron may be slightly tougher to clean but there is nothing wrong with the tried and true 10-pound iron pan your grandma used to use. Glass bakeware is also a perennial favorite as well and never goes out of style.
Be proactive with prevention (Essential #2) by Reducing Your Toxic Exposure by making informed decisions about your cookware.