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Whenever you cook for your loved ones, you make sure that you choose the best possible ingredients, cooking medium, vegetables, spices and everything that would make food more nutritious and yummy. However, how often do we pay heed to the utensils that we cook in? Well, if until now you have not been paying heed to, it is important to know that the cookware that uses for cooking also has a great positive or negative impact on the food being cooked in it. In this article, we shall discuss some best utensils that you should use for cooking and also talk about the ones you should avoid!
What Kind of Utensils are Ideal for Cooking?
There can be many health threats lurking if you do not pay heed to the cookware that you use to cook meals for your family. Here are some of our healthy cooking cookware recommendations or some best utensils for Indian cooking:
1. Stainless Steel
One of the most readily available and best vessels for cooking that you should consider is stainless steel. You can not only cook wide varieties of dishes in it, but it also retains approximately 60 to 70 per cent nutrient content of the food. However, refrain from buying the stainless steel utensil that is polished with chromium or nickel as they may cause health threats.
2. Cast Iron
One of the long-lasting and sturdy metals that can be used for cooking food is cast iron. Small amounts of iron leach from the cookware when you cook food in a utensil made of cast iron, however, that is healthy for us. But if you are battling with an overload of iron in the body, avoid cooking food in such utensils. The modern-day cast iron utensils come with a safe coating to reduce leaching of iron; such utensils are more durable and easy to care too.
Undoubtedly one of the safest kitchen utensils that you can use for cooking is glassware. Glass is a non-reactive material, which means it neither release harmful elements into the food being cooked nor does it absorbs any nutrition from the food. The only limitation that is associated with it is that it is mostly used for microwave cooking.
Brass is a great material when it comes to cooking food because the food prepared in such utensils retain as much as 90 per cent of its nutritional content. Brass utensils are great for preserving the optimum way to keep most nutrients intact in the food that is being cooked. The only drawback or downside of using such utensils is cleaning them because extra care needs to be put in when you wash such utensils. Also, do not cook food in such utensils if the food is too acidic in nature.
Bronze is another very healthy medium of cooking food but this material tends to keep approximately 97 percent of the nutritional quotient of the food intact. However, be aware of any tin or nickel that may be added to these utensils as it may lead to health hazards. Buying for a known or reliable source is a better way of buying some authentic bronze utensils.
6. Clay Pots
Clay heats up slowly and thus helps in retaining moisture and nutrients of the food intact. The biggest drawback associated with clay pots is that it takes longer to cook in comparison to other materials. Also, make sure that you buy unglazed pots rather than picking up the glazed ones because the latter may use harmful chemicals that may release during the process of cooking.
Cookware You Should Avoid for Cooking Purposes
Where cooking in some kinds of utensils helps in adding extra health benefits, on the other hand, there are some materials that may pose health threats if you cook food in them. Following are some cookware materials that you should avoid cooking food in:
There is no doubt that when it comes to stir-frying or sautéing food, ceramic cookware is a great option. However, the sad part is that most cookware with ceramic coating has a very thin coating and underneath there may be a coating of aluminium that may pose serious health hazards is used for cooking food. If you have to use ceramic cookware, make sure you buy one with heavy ceramic coating and from a renowned store or brand.
There was a time when almost Indian households were flooded mostly aluminium utensils in their kitchen cabinets. It was established that aluminium is a thyrotoxic metal. If it is used for cooking food, it can easily leach in the food and then cause liver disorders, constipation, paralysis and even cause brain disorders.
Granite utensils can pose some serious health conditions too because they are coated with a harmful substance called tetra fluoro ethylene. The reality is that such cookware is not exactly made up of granite but just look like it, in either case, it is not healthy for cooking.
4. Non-Stick Cookware
With more and more people getting conscious about their health and fitness, non-stick cookware is what has become the latest fad. However, these kinds of cookware are coated with Teflon or tetrafluoroethylene that contains material like cadmium and mercury that can pose health threats like various kinds of cancer, heart diseases etc. Slowly and gradually these elements store up in the body and cause mental and nerve disorders too.
Here are some frequently asked questions for some added information on the topic:
1. Are Silicone Utensils Safer than The Plastic Ones?
Well, silicon utensils are not all natural, but they are made non-toxic silica. These can easily withstand freezing and heating without leaching off harmful chemicals. However, this might not be the case with most plastic utensils as they leach harmful chemicals when exposed to extreme temperatures.
2. What Utensils Can I Use with Non-Stick Cookware?
Non-stick utensils require extra care and handling as any sharp objects; metal spatulas can compromise the coating of these utensils. Using wooden or silicon cookware is an ideal option because such materials are less abrasive and do not cause damage to your cookware.
We hope that this article has helped you understand why certain cookware should be chosen while others should be avoided completely. Be smart and choose your cookware sensibly so that you and your family enjoy healthy food that comes from your kitchen.