Did you ever think that microwaving a ready-to-eat meal can cause you to have a flare? This is just one of the items you use every day in your kitchen that can do serious damage to your health!
Plastic packaging, Teflon-coated cookware, and even aluminum foil are routinely used in the kitchen, but few people are aware of the long-term health risks associated with using them.
If you haven’t read my first article in this important two-part series, start here and then come back to this article to see what you should be using instead!
You can reduce flares and worsening of symptoms by using safer alternatives in the kitchen to prepare, handle, and store your food.
Here are some kitchen products you should definitely invest in if you’re living with a chronic illness:
1) Toaster Oven
A toaster oven works differently from a microwave. A microwave heats food by directing microwaves which excite food particles to a heated state. The microwaves also work on other exposed surfaces including food packaging.
If the food is in plastic packaging, plastic compounds like BPA and PVC leach into the food, posing many long-term health risks.
A toaster oven works by direct heat, much like heating by sunlight. It does not trigger the breakdown of compounds of the food packaging, meaning the heated food is at no risk for contamination.
Furthermore, cooking and heating food in a toaster oven does nothing to destroy the nutrients in the food (unlike a microwave), so you’ll receive the most nutritional benefits possible in each and every meal.
Complete nutrition is absolutely critical to anyone living with an autoimmune disease!
Important Note: For toaster ovens, it is best to use metal, stoneware, or ceramic dishes to cook and reheat food. Always read the fine print to see if your cookware is toaster oven safe!
For more information, see this helpful article.
2) Ceramic Cookware
Teflon is commonly used to coat cookware to make it stick-free and easy to wash. The problem is that the compounds used to make Teflon have been found to be harmful to human health.
Ceramic cookware is a good alternative to Teflon. This type of cookware retains heat well, which makes it fuel efficient. Unlike Teflon, ceramic does not contaminate food. Moreover, ceramic cookware is naturally non-stick, so you won’t have to waste spoons scrubbing away at it later on!
3) Cast Iron Cookware
Another good alternative to Teflon cookware is cast iron cookware. Oftentimes, this traditional material is shunned because it is heavy and prone to rust. However, cast iron oiled by healthy cooking oil makes very good cookware because it is a good conductor and retains heat for longer.
Furthermore, there is no danger of the iron scrapings getting into your food because this material is not easily scratched. Also, unlike Teflon and other unsafe cookware, cast iron will not contaminate your food with harmful chemicals. Another good thing about cast iron is the minute amounts of iron that wind up in your food is actually good for your health!
4) Glass Baking Dishes
Glass baking dishes are better than aluminum foil. This is because the metal in aluminum foil leaches into food when it is heated, aluminum intake has been linked to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Glass baking dishes are much safer because glass is inert and does not break down when hot.
Important Note: For toaster ovens, it is best to use metal, stoneware, or ceramic dishes to cook and reheat food. Always read the fine print to see if your cookware is toaster oven safe.
5) Glass and Silicone Storage Containers
Storing food in plastic containers can expose it to dangerous plastic compounds, like BPA and PVC. This is especially true for fatty, salty, and acidic foods. BPA leaches into these foods and can put your health at further risk.
Glass and silicone containers are better alternatives because both are stable and inert.
Using these items to prepare, handle, and store your food could help you avoid the dangers posed by contamination of harmful compounds, keep your food’s flavor more enjoyable to eat, and decrease your risk of exposure-related autoimmune flares.
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Toaster oven courtesy of YourBestDigs