Toxic Versus Healthy Cookware Knowledge

11 03 2019
Although the bar-bee presents some health risk... I use white oak quarters to make natural briquettes... 'Chemical free.'

If barbequing foods was more convenient and healthy…  I’d eat this way everyday.”  Carcinogens are released and absorbed into foods through high heat smoke temp exchange.

Updated:  11 March 2019, by Marc Woodard

Throughout the years toxic cookware products have fueled consumer safety and health risk concerns abroad.  Although cookware technology has made great strides in decreasing health risk factors, those risks still exist in inferior cooking vessel products.

Cookware safety concerns stem from the fact metals and sealant toxins can be released and absorbed into the blood regardless of the advancement of cookware technologies.

Learn how to avoid unnecessary health risk by understanding how to use the right tool for the job and identifying breached cooking vessels & sealants.

For those unaware, most pots and pans have a protective HEAT barrier sealant which protects us from the reactive nature of metals. The cookware bonding and sealant technologies today can protect consumers from hazardous materials when used and cared for per manufacture instruction. However when unaware of cookware quality and signs of overuse… hazardous sealants and metals are more apt to absorb into foods.

“Unfortunately, both copper and aluminum react readily to foods. (Copper, when ingested in quantity or consistently can cause liver, stomach, and kidney problems as well as anemia. Also, aluminum has long been suspected of contributing to Alzheimer’s disease (Chu 2005).”

“The reason this became a concern is that large amounts of the material have been found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, which proves that aluminum crosses the blood/brain barrier. This does not establish a causal link, which would be needed to say definitively that aluminum in the brain causes Alzheimer’s disease.” However “Aluminum is on the 2007 list of top priority toxins in the United States (a list put out every year by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry), and aluminum has been clearly identified as a toxin for the human nervous system, immune system and genetic system (New 2015).”

Compromised Teflon Aluminum Pan. Note the scratch marks. This pan has been replaced

Compromised Teflon Aluminum Pan. Note the scratch marks at bottom of pan. This sauté pan has been replaced.

Another concern with use of aluminum pots and pans is when treated with a Teflon sealant over the metal. Then that surface material becomes compromised.

There is a two-fold contaminant health risk factor with compromised cookware. A scratched or worn Teflon surface for example exposes the food to aluminum and flaking of the sealant material.

The two-fold contaminant factor increases as cooking temps near 450 degrees and  significantly increase when over 500 degrees.  This produces toxic fumes and causes Teflon to bubble off metal pans with chemical flakes further contaminating the food. I tested the 450-500 degree premise by overheating a compromised Teflon pan.

I filled a Teflon coated pan with water and heated it over a propane stove at a high temperature.  Once the water was 2/3 boiled out of the pan the Teflon began to flake into the water at 475-500 degrees. Within a short period of time 1/3 of the bottom pan was exposed aluminum with Teflon flakes floating in the water.

“Dupont, the inventor of Teflon, was sued for withholding safety information about the use of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in non-stick cookware.” “Studies which used animals as test subjects revealed that non-stick cookware “is more likely than not” related to, or a cause, or catalyst of the following medical problems: Children’s healthy development, risk of liver, pancreatic, testicular, and mammary gland tumors; Altered thyroid hormone regulation; generalized damage to the immune system; Reproductive problems and birth defects.”

Compromised Teflon coated pans are good for one thing… target practice [Marc Woodard].

“Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) are both fluoride compounds.” These hazardous chemicals are also known as PFC (perfluorinated compounds). “Fluoride is a poison that depresses the thyroid, which can cause hypothyroidism, particularly with repeated exposure. It accumulates in the bones, teeth, and pineal gland. It has been linked to brittle bone disease, and it causes cognitive problems. ‘The E.P.A. reported that PFOA accumulates inside humans for years, and it has been verified to produce cancers in laboratory tests (Corriher 2008).”

“EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) officials due to a growing body of evidence showing them to be highly toxic, extraordinarily persistent chemicals (some NEVER break down in the environment) that pervasively contaminate human blood and wildlife all over the globe. Recent research has shown that prenatal exposure to PFCs compromises early childhood immunity and that general exposure increases the risk of arthritis (EWG 2013).”

Healthier Cookware Choice

Anodized Aluminum Cookware is a Safer Alternative to Teflon sealed pots and pans – These days, many health conscious cooks are turning to anodized aluminum cookware as a safer alternative. The electro-chemical anodizing process locks in the cookware’s base metal, aluminum, so that it can’t get into food (West 2016).”

Anodized Cookware

Anodized Cookware

For those that want to know more about the metal construction of your pots and pans selections, “Anodized’ means that a material such as the aluminum in cookware, has been subjected to an electrolytic process, where natural oxidation has been controlled.  This involves immersing the aluminum in a chemical bath and applying an electrical current to it, causing oxide to be produced from the resulting rust on the aluminum. This layer of oxide hardens the aluminum and makes it resistant to corrosion.”  “Which results in an even harder and more durable (cookware) coating (2014 Mifflin).”

Calphalon is the leading manufacturer of anodized aluminum cookware, but newer offerings from All Clad (endorsed by celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse) and others are coming on strong (West 2016).”

“At the time of its founding, All-Clad distinguished itself from other cookware companies by using a patented “roll bonding” process by which metals are sandwiched together and then formed into a cooking vessel. The company derived its name from this cladding process, which is applied not only on the bottom but extends all the way up the sides of each cooking vessel (Wikepedia 2016).”

Copper Cookware is excellent for certain uses.  Also it is not a health risk concern when selecting a durable sealant technology and when proper use and care is applied. Cookware “favored by chefs for sauces and sautés is copper, which excels at quick warm-ups and even heat distribution (West 2016).   “Copper can be toxic when used on the inside of cookware, so it is usually reserved for use on the outside or with a lining of other materials.” Such as “Copper pots and pans are usually lined with tin or stainless steel so the consumer doesn’t need to be concerned with copper toxicity. Excellent heat conduction can be maintained through the lining (Carmichael 2015).”

All-clad sauce pan

Clad-Stainless steel sauce pan

Stainless Steel Cookware Combines Different Metals – In fact, stainless steel is really a mixture of several different metals, including nickel, chromium and molybdenum, all of which can trickle into foods. However, unless your stainless steel cookware is dinged and pitted, the amount of metals likely to get into your food is negligible (West 2016).”

Be careful how you clean it though, as frequent use of abrasive materials can scratch through the protective stainless surface and release small amounts of chromium and nickel. Although stainless is very safe for most to use, “people with nickel allergies should avoid cooking with stainless steel cookware (EWG 2013).”

Cast Iron Cookware may Actually Improve Health… and is known for its durability and even heat distribution. ‘Cast iron cookware can also help ensure that eaters in your house get enough iron—which the body needs to produce red blood cells. ‘Iron is considered a healthy food additive by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.”

“Consumers should beware, most cast iron cookware needs to be seasoned after each use and as such is not as worry-free as other alternatives. Lodge Manufacturing is a leading American producer of cast iron, enameled cast iron, seasoned and stainless steel cookware (Lodge 2016).”

Ceramic Cookware has the properties of cast iron. “Le Creuset with cast iron, stainless, copper and aluminum heat exchange interior to enamel coating does not appear to cause health risk with long term use (West 2016).”

“The Le Creuset foundry uses standard sand casting methods. After hand finishing, items are sprayed with at least two coats of enamel. The enamel becomes resistant to damage during normal use (Wikepedia 2016).”

There isn’t much negative on Le Creuset. Only that it’s very expensive and a World chef Cuisine preference of cooking standards. The only user precaution was to ensure avoidance of chipping the enamel. The smooth and colorful enamel is dishwasher-friendly and somewhat non-stick, and covers the entire surface of cookware to minimize clean-up headaches.

    “Glass Cookware. All glass is inert, nontoxic, and safe (except for lead crystal glassware, which – surprise – contains lead) (EWG 2013).”

Other Safety Cookware Tips

“Aside from glass, stainless steel, modern enamel (which is cadmium-free) and iron, there is anodized aluminum” which was discussed earlier. Although “Anodization is a process by which aluminum is treated with a nonreactive hard coating of aluminum called aluminum oxidation, which does not leach, but it might still be prudent to avoid storing tomato sauce and other acidic substances in any aluminum vessel. Care should also be taken to discard aluminum ware that is damaged in any way, which can happen even with the anodized version (New 2015).”

Throw away scratched Teflon cookware and any other type of badly worn, pitted or chipped pots and pans and replace with higher quality products. The first one I replaced was the Sautee pan.

Enamel sealed clad sauté pan.

Stainless ceramic sauté pan.  Approx. $55.00.  This is my favorite cooking pan. It still looks the same – good as new one year later.

I replaced it with two high quality pans of various size: One a stainless-clad, and the other a like-Le Creuset type – Stainless Ceramic. I discovered I liked them both and began purchasing similar quality products based on price to upgrade compromised cookware.

For me replacing the sauté pan was a priority because I used it a lot to cook my meals. Most can’t afford to replace high quality cookware all at once. My advice, replace poor quality cookware with high quality products during seasonal promotions, e.g., black Friday and Holiday season. In time you’ll have great quality kitchen ware at 20-50% off normal price.  I’ve replaced all my Teflon cookware with stainless, clad, enamel and ceramic pots and pans. I’ll never go back to Teflon sealed cookware.

“Avoid using metal or hard plastic utensils on cookware. These utensils can scratch surfaces and cause pots and pans to wear out faster. Use wood, bamboo or safe silicone treated instead (Wax 2015).”

“How to mitigate the possibility of ceramic lead absorption”

Protect your family from ceramic cookware containing lead that can leach into cooked and stored foods. “It is not uncommon for ceramic items used for cooking or simply for decoration to contain lead. In fact, lead has been used in the glazing process for ceramic dishes, bowls, pitchers, plates and other utensils for centuries. Typically, after being fired in a kiln, a piece of ceramic will appear smooth and shiny due to the lead in the glaze (Claire 2012).”

Cookware with lead: Safe use and risk factor awareness.

Enjoy good eats knowing no toxins have been absorbed into the foods you love to eat.

Enjoy good eats knowing ‘no cookware toxins’ have been absorbed into the foods you love to eat.

1) Acidic foods such as oranges, tomatoes, or foods containing vinegar will cause more lead to be leached from ceramic cookware than non-acidic foods like milk. 2)  More lead will leach into hot liquids like coffee, tea, and soups than into cold beverages. 3) DO NOT use any dishware that has a dusty or chalky gray film on the glaze after it has been washed. 4)  Some ceramic cookware should not be used to hold food. This includes items bought in another country or considered to be a craft, antique, or collectable. These pieces may not meet FDA specifications. 5) Test kits can detect high levels of lead in ceramic cookware, but lower levels may also be dangerous (Wax 2015).”

Now you’re armed with the most up-to-date kitchen cookware knowledge and can select the right tool for the job that puts your family’s health first.

Good Health to You and Your Family!

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET.  2019 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for FREE Monthly eNewsletter.

 References

Carmichael, Jackie. “Is It Safe to Cook in Copper Pots?” LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 26 Apr. 2015. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

Chu, Michael. “Common Materials of Cookware.” Cooking for Engineers. CFE Enterprises, Inc., 15 July 2005. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

Corriher, Sarah C. “The Dangers of Non-Stick Cookware.” The Health Wyze Report. Health Wyze Media, 24 Feb. 2008. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

EWG. “Be Cautious With Cookware.” Start Cooking Healthy by Using Safer Cookware. EWG or Healthy Child Healthy World, 22 Feb. 2013. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

Lodge. “Lodge Use and Care.” Lodge Cast Iron. 2016 Lodge Manufacturing Company, 2016. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

Mifflin, Mariette. “Anodized and Hard Anodized Cookware Construction.” About.com Home. About, Inc., 16 Dec. 2014. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

Mitchell, Claire. “Beware of Lead in Ceramic Kitchenware | Food Safety News.” Food Safety News. Marler Clark, 17 Aug. 2012. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

New, Maggie. “Poisons from Aluminum Cookware.” LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 24 June 2015. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

Wax, Emily, RD, the Brooklyn Hospital Center, Brooklyn, NY. Also Reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial Team. “Cooking Utensils and Nutrition: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia.” Cooking Utensils and Nutrition: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. MedlinePlus, 25 Apr. 2015. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

West, Larry. “What Kind of Cookware Is Safest for the Environment?” About.com News & Issues. About, Inc., 19 Jan. 2016. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

Wikepedia. “All-Clad.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

Wikepedia. “Le Creuset.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

 





Toxic Versus Healthy Cookware Knowledge

20 01 2018
Although the bar-bee presents some health risk... I use white oak quarters to make natural briquettes... 'Chemical free.'

If barbequing foods was more convenient and healthy…  I’d eat this way everyday.”  Carcinogens are released and absorbed into foods through high heat smoke temp exchange.

Updated:  20 Jan 2018, by Marc Woodard

Throughout the years toxic cookware products have fueled consumer safety and health risk concerns abroad.  Although cookware technology has made great strides in decreasing health risk factors, those risks still exist in inferior cooking vessel products.

Cookware safety concerns stem from the fact metals and sealant toxins can be released and absorbed into the blood regardless of the advancement of cookware technologies.

Learn how to avoid unnecessary health risk through understanding the right tool for the job and identifying breached metal sealants.

For those unaware, most pots and pans have a protective HEAT barrier sealant which protects us from the reactive nature of metals.  The bonding and sealant technologies used today can protect consumers from hazardous materials when used and cared for per manufacture instruction.  However when unaware of quality cookware choice and sealant wear and tear signs… hazardous metals are more apt to absorb into foods using compromised cooking vessels.

“Unfortunately, both copper and aluminum react readily to foods. (Copper, when ingested in quantity or consistently can cause liver, stomach, and kidney problems as well as anemia.  Also, aluminum has long been suspected of contributing to Alzheimer’s disease (Chu 2005).”

“The reason this became a concern is that large amounts of the material have been found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, which proves that aluminum crosses the blood/brain barrier. This does not establish a causal link, which would be needed to say definitively that aluminum in the brain causes Alzheimer’s disease.” However “Aluminum is on the 2007 list of top priority toxins in the United States (a list put out every year by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry), and aluminum has been clearly identified as a toxin for the human nervous system, immune system and genetic system (New 2015).”

Compromised Teflon Aluminum Pan. Note the scratch marks. This pan has been replaced

Compromised Teflon Aluminum Pan. Note the scratch marks at bottom of pan. This sauté pan has been replaced.

Another concern with use of aluminum pots and pans is when treated with a Teflon sealant over the metal. Then that surface material becomes compromised.

There is a two-fold contaminant health risk factor with compromised cookware.  A scratched or worn Teflon surface for example exposes the food to aluminum metal and continuous flaking of the sealant material.

The two-fold contaminant factor increases as cooking temps near 450 degrees and  significantly increase when over 500 degrees.  This produces toxic fumes and causes Teflon to bubble off metal pans with chemical flakes further contaminating the food.  I tested the ‘450-500 degree premise’ by overheating a compromised Teflon pan.

I filled a compromised Teflon coated pan with water and heated it over a propane stove while camping to reach a high temp necessary to further destroy the seal.  Once the water was 2/3 boiled out of the pan the Teflon began to flake into the water at 475-500 degrees.  Within a short period of time 1/3 of the bottom pan was exposed aluminum with Teflon flakes floating in the water.

“Dupont, the inventor of Teflon, was sued for withholding safety information about the use of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in non-stick cookware.” “Studies which used animals as test subjects revealed that non-stick cookware “is more likely than not” related to, or a cause, or catalyst of the following medical problems: Children’s healthy development, risk of liver, pancreatic, testicular, and mammary gland tumors; Altered thyroid hormone regulation; generalized damage to the immune system; Reproductive problems and birth defects.”

Compromised Teflon coated pans are good for one thing… target practice [Marc Woodard].

“Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) are both fluoride compounds.” These hazardous chemicals are also known as PFC (perfluorinated compounds). “Fluoride is a poison that depresses the thyroid, which can cause hypothyroidism, particularly with repeated exposure. It accumulates in the bones, teeth, and pineal gland. It has been linked to brittle bone disease, and it causes cognitive problems. ‘The E.P.A. reported that PFOA accumulates inside humans for years, and it has been verified to produce cancers in laboratory tests (Corriher 2008).”

“EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) officials due to a growing body of evidence showing them to be highly toxic, extraordinarily persistent chemicals (some NEVER break down in the environment) that pervasively contaminate human blood and wildlife all over the globe. Recent research has shown that prenatal exposure to PFCs compromises early childhood immunity and that general exposure increases the risk of arthritis (EWG 2013).”

Healthier Cookware Choice

Anodized Aluminum Cookware is a Safer Alternative to Teflon sealed pots and pans – These days, many health conscious cooks are turning to anodized aluminum cookware as a safer alternative. The electro-chemical anodizing process locks in the cookware’s base metal, aluminum, so that it can’t get into food (West 2016).”

Anodized Cookware

Anodized Cookware

For those that want to know more about the metal construction of your pots and pans selections, “Anodized’ means that a material such as the aluminum in cookware, has been subjected to an electrolytic process, where natural oxidation has been controlled.  This involves immersing the aluminum in a chemical bath and applying an electrical current to it, causing oxide to be produced from the resulting rust on the aluminum. This layer of oxide hardens the aluminum and makes it resistant to corrosion.”  “Which results in an even harder and more durable (cookware) coating (2014 Mifflin).”

Calphalon is the leading manufacturer of anodized aluminum cookware, but newer offerings from All Clad (endorsed by celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse) and others are coming on strong (West 2016).”

“At the time of its founding, All-Clad distinguished itself from other cookware companies by using a patented “roll bonding” process by which metals are sandwiched together and then formed into a cooking vessel. The company derived its name from this cladding process, which is applied not only on the bottom but extends all the way up the sides of each cooking vessel (Wikepedia 2016).”

Copper Cookware is excellent for certain uses.  Also it is not a health risk concern when selecting a durable sealant technology and when proper use and care is applied.  Cookware “favored by chefs for sauces and sautés is copper, which excels at quick warm-ups and even heat distribution (West 2016).   “Copper can be toxic when used on the inside of cookware, so it is usually reserved for use on the outside or with a lining of other materials.” Such as “Copper pots and pans are usually lined with tin or stainless steel so the consumer doesn’t need to be concerned with copper toxicity. Excellent heat conduction can be maintained through the lining (Carmichael 2015).”

All-clad sauce pan

Clad-Stainless steel sauce pan

Stainless Steel Cookware Combines Different Metals – In fact, stainless steel is really a mixture of several different metals, including nickel, chromium and molybdenum, all of which can trickle into foods. However, unless your stainless steel cookware is dinged and pitted, the amount of metals likely to get into your food is negligible (West 2016).”

Be careful how you clean it though, as frequent use of abrasive materials can scratch through the protective stainless surface and release small amounts of chromium and nickel.  Although stainless is very safe for most to use, “people with nickel allergies should avoid cooking with stainless steel cookware (EWG 2013).”

Cast Iron Cookware may Actually Improve Health… and is known for its durability and even heat distribution. ‘Cast iron cookware can also help ensure that eaters in your house get enough iron—which the body needs to produce red blood cells.  ‘Iron is considered a healthy food additive by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.”

“Consumers should beware, most cast iron cookware needs to be seasoned after each use and as such is not as worry-free as other alternatives. Lodge Manufacturing is a leading American producer of cast iron, enameled cast iron, seasoned and stainless steel cookware (Lodge 2016).”

Ceramic Cookware has the properties of cast iron.  “Le Creuset with cast iron, stainless, copper and aluminum heat exchange interior to enamel coating does not appear to cause health risk with long term use (West 2016).”

“The Le Creuset foundry uses standard sand casting methods.  After hand finishing, items are sprayed with at least two coats of enamel. The enamel becomes resistant to damage during normal use (Wikepedia 2016).”

I could not find much negative on Le Creuset.  Only that it’s very expensive and a World chef Cuisine preference of cooking standards.  The only negative was to ensure avoidance of chipping the enamel. The smooth and colorful enamel is dishwasher-friendly and somewhat non-stick, and covers the entire surface of cookware to minimize clean-up headaches.

    “Glass Cookware. All glass is inert, nontoxic, and safe (except for lead crystal glassware, which – surprise – contains lead) (EWG 2013).”

Other Safety Cookware Tips

“Aside from glass, stainless steel, modern enamel (which is cadmium-free) and iron, there is anodized aluminum” which was discussed earlier. Although “Anodization is a process by which aluminum is treated with a nonreactive hard coating of aluminum called aluminum oxidation, which does not leach, but it might still be prudent to avoid storing tomato sauce and other acidic substances in any aluminum vessel. Care should also be taken to discard aluminum ware that is damaged in any way, which can happen even with the anodized version (New 2015).”

Throw away scratched Teflon cookware and any other type of badly worn, pitted or chipped pots and pans and replace with higher quality products.  The first one I replaced was the Sautee pan.

Enamel sealed clad sauté pan.

Stainless ceramic sauté pan.  Approx. $55.00.  This is my favorite cooking pan.

I replaced it with two high quality pans of various size:  One a stainless-clad, and the other a like-Le Creuset type – Stainless Ceramic.  I discovered I liked them both and began purchasing similar quality products based on price to upgrade compromised cookware.

For me replacing the sauté pan was a priority because I used it a lot to cook my meals.  Most can’t afford to replace high quality cookware all at once.  My advice, replace poor quality cookware with high quality products during seasonal promotions, e.g., black Friday and Holiday season.  In time you’ll have great quality kitchen ware at 20-50% off normal pricing.  I’ve nearly replaced all my Teflon cookware with stainless, clad, enamel and ceramic pots and pans.  I’ll never go back to Teflon sealed cookware.

“Avoid using metal or hard plastic utensils on cookware.  These utensils can scratch surfaces and cause pots and pans to wear out faster.  Use wood, bamboo or silicone instead (Wax 2015).”

“How to mitigate the possibility of ceramic lead absorption”

Protect your family from ceramic cookware containing lead and then potentially leaching into cooked and stored foods.  “It is not uncommon for ceramic items used for cooking or simply for decoration to contain lead.  In fact, lead has been used in the glazing process for ceramic dishes, bowls, pitchers, plates and other utensils for centuries.  Typically, after being fired in a kiln, a piece of ceramic will appear smooth and shiny due to the lead in the glaze (Claire 2012).”

Cookware with lead: Safe use and risk factor awareness.

Enjoy good eats knowing no toxins have been absorbed into the foods you love to eat.

Enjoy good eats knowing ‘no cookware toxins’ have been absorbed into the foods you love to eat.

1) Acidic foods such as oranges, tomatoes, or foods containing vinegar will cause more lead to be leached from ceramic cookware than non-acidic foods like milk.  2)  More lead will leach into hot liquids like coffee, tea, and soups than into cold beverages.  3) DO NOT use any dishware that has a dusty or chalky gray film on the glaze after it has been washed.  4)  Some ceramic cookware should not be used to hold food. This includes items bought in another country or considered to be a craft, antique, or collectable. These pieces may not meet FDA specifications. 5) Test kits can detect high levels of lead in ceramic cookware, but lower levels may also be dangerous (Wax 2015).”

Now you’re armed with the most up-to-date kitchen cookware knowledge and can select the right tool for the job that puts your family’s health first.

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2018 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for FREE Monthly eNewsletter.

 References

Carmichael, Jackie. “Is It Safe to Cook in Copper Pots?” LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 26 Apr. 2015. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

Chu, Michael. “Common Materials of Cookware.” Cooking for Engineers. CFE Enterprises, Inc., 15 July 2005. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

Corriher, Sarah C. “The Dangers of Non-Stick Cookware.” The Health Wyze Report. Health Wyze Media, 24 Feb. 2008. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

EWG. “Be Cautious With Cookware.” Start Cooking Healthy by Using Safer Cookware. EWG or Healthy Child Healthy World, 22 Feb. 2013. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

Lodge. “Lodge Use and Care.” Lodge Cast Iron. 2016 Lodge Manufacturing Company, 2016. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

Mifflin, Mariette. “Anodized and Hard Anodized Cookware Construction.” About.com Home. About, Inc., 16 Dec. 2014. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

Mitchell, Claire. “Beware of Lead in Ceramic Kitchenware | Food Safety News.” Food Safety News. Marler Clark, 17 Aug. 2012. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

New, Maggie. “Poisons from Aluminum Cookware.” LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 24 June 2015. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

Wax, Emily, RD, the Brooklyn Hospital Center, Brooklyn, NY. Also Reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial Team. “Cooking Utensils and Nutrition: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia.” Cooking Utensils and Nutrition: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. MedlinePlus, 25 Apr. 2015. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

West, Larry. “What Kind of Cookware Is Safest for the Environment?” About.com News & Issues. About, Inc., 19 Jan. 2016. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

Wikepedia. “All-Clad.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

Wikepedia. “Le Creuset.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

 





Toxic and Healthy Cookware Knowledge

17 09 2016
Although the bar-bee presents some health risk... I use white oak quarters to make natural briquettes... 'Chemical free.'

Although the bar-bee’s high temp-smoke present some health risk… I use white oak quarters to make natural briquettes.  I don’t use chemical start briquettes ‘very toxic.’  If barbequing foods was more convenient and healthy, I’d cook this way all the time.  You can’t beat the oak wood flavor.

Updated:  17 Sep 2016, by Marc Woodard

Throughout the years toxic cookware products have fueled consumer safety and health risk concerns abroad.  Although cookware technology has made great strides to mitigate health risk factors, those risks still exist to a lesser degree.

Those concerns stem from the fact metals and sealant toxins can be released and absorbed into the blood regardless of the advancement of cookware technologies.  Learn how to avoid unnecessary health risk through understanding the right tool for the job, wear and tear signs, proper use and care.

For those unaware, most pots and pans have a protective HEAT barrier sealant which protects us from the reactive nature of metals.  The bonding and sealant technologies used today can protect consumers from hazardous materials when used and cared for per manufacture instruction.  However when unaware of quality cookware choice and sealant wear and tear signs… hazardous metals are more apt to absorb into the body via foods cooked in compromised cooking vessels.

“Unfortunately, both copper and aluminum react readily to foods. (Copper, when ingested in quantity or consistently, can cause liver, stomach, and kidney problems as well as anemia.  Also, aluminum has long been suspected of contributing to Alzheimer’s disease (Chu 2005).”

“The reason this became a concern is that large amounts of the material have been found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, which proves that aluminum crosses the blood/brain barrier. This does not establish a causal link, which would be needed to say definitively that aluminum in the brain causes Alzheimer’s disease.” However “Aluminum is on the 2007 list of top priority toxins in the United States (a list put out every year by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry), and aluminum has been clearly identified as a toxin for the human nervous system, immune system and genetic system (New 2015).”

Compromised Teflon Aluminum Pan. Note the scratch marks. This pan has been replaced

Compromised Teflon Aluminum Pan. Note the scratch marks at bottom of pan. This sauté pan has been replaced.

Another concern with use of aluminum pots and pans is when treated with a Teflon sealant over the metal. Then that surface material becomes compromised. There is a two-fold health risk concern over this type of cookware. That is a scratched or worn Teflon surface that exposes the food to aluminum metal and a compromised Teflon seal.  When heated near and especially over 500 degrees produces toxic fumes and causes Teflon to bubble off the metal and flake into foods.

I’ve tested this truth by overheating a compromised Teflon pan doomed for the trash can.  I filled it with water and heated the pan over a propane stove to reach the high temp necessary to compromise the seal.  Once the water was 2/3 boiled out of the pan the Teflon began to flake into the water.  Within a short period of time, 1/3 of the bottom pan was exposed aluminum.

“Dupont, the inventor of Teflon, was sued for withholding safety information about the use of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in non-stick cookware.” “Studies which used animals as test subjects revealed that non-stick cookware produces health issues in the following categories: Children’s health and development, Risks of liver, pancreatic, testicular, and mammary gland tumors; Altered thyroid hormone regulation; generalized damage to the immune system; Reproductive problems and birth defects.”

“Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) are both fluoride compounds.” These hazardous chemicals are also known as PFC (perfluorinated compounds). “Fluoride is a poison that depresses the thyroid, which can cause hypothyroidism, particularly with repeated exposure. It accumulates in the bones, teeth, and pineal gland. It has been linked to brittle bone disease, and it causes cognitive problems. ‘The E.P.A. reported that PFOA accumulates inside humans for years, and it has been verified to produce cancers in laboratory tests (Corriher 2008).”

“EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) officials due to a growing body of evidence showing them to be highly toxic, extraordinarily persistent chemicals (some NEVER break down in the environment) that pervasively contaminate human blood and wildlife all over the globe. Recent research has shown that prenatal exposure to PFCs compromises early childhood immunity and that general exposure increases the risk of arthritis (EWG 2013).”

Healthier Cookware Choice

Anodized Aluminum Cookware is a Safer Alternative to Teflon sealed pots and pans – These days, many health conscious cooks are turning to anodized aluminum cookware as a safer alternative. The electro-chemical anodizing process locks in the cookware’s base metal, aluminum, so that it can’t get into food (West 2016).”

Anodized Cookware

Anodized Cookware

For those that want to know more about the metal construction of your pots and pans selections, “Anodized’ means that a material such as the aluminum in cookware, has been subjected to an electrolytic process, where natural oxidation has been controlled.  This involves immersing the aluminum in a chemical bath and applying an electrical current to it, causing oxide to be produced from the resulting rust on the aluminum. This layer of oxide hardens the aluminum and makes it resistant to corrosion.”  “Which results in an even harder and more durable (cookware) coating (2014 Mifflin).”

Calphalon is the leading manufacturer of anodized aluminum cookware, but newer offerings from All Clad (endorsed by celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse) and others are coming on strong (West 2016).”

“At the time of its founding, All-Clad distinguished itself from other cookware companies by using a patented “roll bonding” process by which metals are sandwiched together and then formed into a cooking vessel. The company derived its name from this cladding process, which is applied not only on the bottom but extends all the way up the sides of each cooking vessel (Wikepedia 2016).”

Copper Cookware is excellent for certain uses.  Also it is not a health risk concern when selecting a durable sealant technology and when proper use and care is applied.  Cookware “favored by chefs for sauces and sautés is copper, which excels at quick warm-ups and even heat distribution (West 2016).   “Copper can be toxic when used on the inside of cookware, so it is usually reserved for use on the outside or with a lining of other materials.” Such as “Copper pots and pans are usually lined with tin or stainless steel so the consumer doesn’t need to be concerned with copper toxicity. Excellent heat conduction can be maintained through the lining (Carmichael 2015).”

All-clad sauce pan

Clad-Stainless steel sauce pan

Stainless Steel Cookware Combines Different Metals – In fact, stainless steel is really a mixture of several different metals, including nickel, chromium and molybdenum, all of which can trickle into foods. However, unless your stainless steel cookware is dinged and pitted, the amount of metals likely to get into your food is negligible (West 2016).”

Be careful how you clean it though, as frequent use of abrasive materials can scratch through the protective stainless surface and release small amounts of chromium and nickel.  Although stainless is very safe for most to use, “people with nickel allergies should avoid cooking with stainless steel cookware (EWG 2013).”

Cast Iron Cookware may Actually Improve Health… and is known for its durability and even heat distribution. ‘Cast iron cookware can also help ensure that eaters in your house get enough iron—which the body needs to produce red blood cells.  ‘Iron is considered a healthy food additive by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.”

Ceramic Cookware has the properties of cast iron.  “Le Creuset with cast iron, stainless, copper and aluminum heat exchange interior to enamel coating does not appear to cause health risk with long term use (West 2016).”

“The Le Creuset foundry uses standard sand casting methods.  After hand finishing, items are sprayed with at least two coats of enamel. The enamel becomes resistant to damage during normal use (Wikepedia 2016).”

I could not find much negative on Le Creuset.  Only that it’s very expensive and a World chef Cuisine preference in cooking standard.  The only negative was to ensure avoidance of chipping the enamel. The smooth and colorful enamel is dishwasher-friendly and somewhat non-stick, and covers the entire surface of cookware to minimize clean-up headaches.

    “Glass Cookware. All glass is inert, nontoxic, and safe (except for lead crystal glassware, which – surprise – contains lead) (EWG 2013).”

Other Safety Cookware Tips

“Aside from glass, stainless steel, modern enamel (which is cadmium-free) and iron, there is anodized aluminum” which was discussed earlier. Although “Anodization is a process by which aluminum is treated with a nonreactive hard coating of aluminum called aluminum oxidation, which does not leach, but it might still be prudent to avoid storing tomato sauce and other acidic substances in any aluminum vessel. Care should also be taken to discard aluminum ware that is damaged in any way, which can happen even with the anodized version (New 2015).”

Throw away scratched Teflon cookware and any other type of badly worn, pitted or chipped pots and pans and replace with higher quality products.  The first one I replaced was the Sautee pan.

Enamel sealed clad sauté pan.

Stainless ceramic sauté pan.  Approx. $55.00.  This is my favorite cooking pan.

I replaced it with two high quality pans of various size to compare cooking attribute differences.  One a stainless-clad, and the other a like-Le Creuset type – Stainless Ceramic.  I discovered I liked them both and began purchasing similar quality products based on price to upgrade my cookware.

For me replacing the sauté pan was a priority because I used it a lot to cook my meals.  Most can’t afford to replace high quality cookware all at once.  My advice, use a priority cookware needs strategy to replace poor quality with high quality products at a good price.  In time you’ll have great quality kitchen ware.  I’ve nearly replaced all my Teflon cookware with stainless, clad, enamel and ceramic pots and pans.  I’ll never go back to Teflon sealed cookware.

“Avoid using metal or hard plastic utensils on cookware.  These utensils can scratch surfaces and cause pots and pans to wear out faster.  Use wood, bamboo or silicone instead (Wax 2015).”

“Consumers should beware, most cast iron cookware needs to be seasoned after each use and as such is not as worry-free as other alternatives.  Lodge Manufacturing is a leading American producer of cast iron, enameled cast iron, seasoned and stainless steel cookware (Lodge 2016).”

Protect Children from ceramic cookware containing lead and then potentially leaching into cooked and stored foods.  “It is not uncommon for ceramic items used for cooking or simply for decoration to contain lead.  In fact, lead has been used in the glazing process for ceramic dishes, bowls, pitchers, plates and other utensils for centuries.  Typically, after being fired in a kiln, a piece of ceramic will appear smooth and shiny due to the lead in the glaze (Claire 2012).”

Enjoy good eats knowing no toxins have been absorbed into the foods you love to eat.

Enjoy good eats knowing ‘no cookware toxins’ have been absorbed into the foods you love to eat.

Mitigate ceramic lead absorption through the following insight “1) Acidic foods such as oranges, tomatoes, or foods containing vinegar will cause more lead to be leached from ceramic cookware than non-acidic foods like milk.  2)  More lead will leach into hot liquids like coffee, tea, and soups than into cold beverages.  3) DO NOT use any dishware that has a dusty or chalky gray film on the glaze after it has been washed.  4)  Some ceramic cookware should not be used to hold food. This includes items bought in another country or considered to be a craft, antique, or collectable. These pieces may not meet FDA specifications. 5) Test kits can detect high levels of lead in ceramic cookware, but lower levels may also be dangerous (Wax 2015).”

Now you’re armed with the most up-to-date kitchen cookware safe use and care knowledge.  Wear that chef’s hat with confidence and know you’ve selected the right tool for the job that puts you and your family’s health first.

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2016 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for FREE Monthly eNewsletter.

 References

Carmichael, Jackie. “Is It Safe to Cook in Copper Pots?” LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 26 Apr. 2015. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

Chu, Michael. “Common Materials of Cookware.” Cooking for Engineers. CFE Enterprises, Inc., 15 July 2005. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

Corriher, Sarah C. “The Dangers of Non-Stick Cookware.” The Health Wyze Report. Health Wyze Media, 24 Feb. 2008. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

EWG. “Be Cautious With Cookware.” Start Cooking Healthy by Using Safer Cookware. EWG or Healthy Child Healthy World, 22 Feb. 2013. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

Lodge. “Lodge Use and Care.” Lodge Cast Iron. 2016 Lodge Manufacturing Company, 2016. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

Mifflin, Mariette. “Anodized and Hard Anodized Cookware Construction.” About.com Home. About, Inc., 16 Dec. 2014. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

Mitchell, Claire. “Beware of Lead in Ceramic Kitchenware | Food Safety News.” Food Safety News. Marler Clark, 17 Aug. 2012. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

New, Maggie. “Poisons from Aluminum Cookware.” LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 24 June 2015. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

Wax, Emily, RD, the Brooklyn Hospital Center, Brooklyn, NY. Also Reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial Team. “Cooking Utensils and Nutrition: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia.” Cooking Utensils and Nutrition: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. MedlinePlus, 25 Apr. 2015. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

West, Larry. “What Kind of Cookware Is Safest for the Environment?” About.com News & Issues. About, Inc., 19 Jan. 2016. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

Wikepedia. “All-Clad.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

Wikepedia. “Le Creuset.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

 





Are Honey and Cinnamon a Cure All?

12 05 2013

Bees are attracted to all types of flowers

I was asked by a co-worker if honey and cinnamon is a cure all for every ailment known to man.  I certainly didn’t know the answer to this question, so I did a little research on topic.

It appears there are a lot of nutritional and research information at our finger tips that supports honey and cinnamon as very good for us.  I’m not sure that when combined they are a cure all for all that ails us.  But the health benefit data is pretty impressive, especially when combining honey and cinnamon in the daily diet.

What most of us do know is that honey comes from a bee’s nectar and is known as a healthy food sweetener.  And Cinnamon is a spice harvested from a dried plant tree bark grown in a tropical climate.  Now we can build our knowledge base from here to see how this delicious tasting sweetener and spice can be so healthy for us.

Cinnamon History and Facts,

“Although cinnamon is grown within many countries such as Java, Sumatra, Borneo, Maurtius, Reunion and Guyana, it is also grown in South American, West Indies and other tropical climates.  The best and “one true cinnamon” are native to Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and are known to date back to Chinese writings in 2800 B.C.”  (Filippone, 2013)

Ceylon and Cassia are the two most common cinnamon species that can be purchased within the marketplace and known to have the most potent healthy properties.   Both are great antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, etc.  However, it is the ancient Ceylon cinnamon that is considered by some to be denser in curing nutrients.  Many studies have identified Ceylon as the best diabetes preventative and combatant medicine, where other studies show cassia regulates blood glucose just as well.  Both cinnamon spices show blood thinning agent coumarin in them.  (Health Diaries.com, 2013)

Taking a closer look at the Cassia species, commonly known as Chinese cinnamon, or from Saigon Cinnamon is believed to cause liver damage when taken in high quantities because of its high concentration of anticoagulant properties, but considered safe when taken in moderation.  However, the blood thinning agent found in Ceylon’s true cinnamon is considered of little to no risk due to low density of naturally occurring coumarin.  Note:  During times of injury, it is necessary for our blood to maintain its ability to coagulate.  But taking excessive intake of plant coumarin content can pose a health risk.  (WHfoods.com, 2013)

The 10 most common cinnamon health benefits,

  •  Blood sugar regulation – Several studies show cinnamon to be beneficial for type 2 diabetics, and is likely due to regulatory effect on blood sugar.
  • Lowers blood cholesterol – Half a tsp of cinnamon per day can lower the bad cholesterol (LDL).
  • Cancer prevention – The U.S. Depart of Agriculture in Maryland showed cinnamon reduced lymphoma and leukemia cancer cell proliferation.
  • Anti-clotting – Cinnamon has an anti-clotting (blood thinning) affect on blood.
  • Helps with yeast infection – Studies show cinnamon to have the ability to stop medication resistant yeast infections.
  • Anti-bacterial – If added to food it stops food spoilage and bacterial growth.  It is nature’s natural food preservative.
  • Brain health – A study showed cinnamon to boost cognitive brain function and memory.
  • Arthritis relief – Taking a half a tsp of cinnamon powder and combined with a tsp of honey before breakfast daily; a Copenhagen University study showed significant relief of arthritis pain after a week.  And in one month patients participating in the study could walk without pain.
  • High in nutrients – Calcium, iron, fiber and manganese.
  • E. Coli fighter – A Kansas State researcher found cinnamon to fight E. Coli bacteria found in unpasteurized juices. (Health Diaries.com, 2006)

Chinese medicine practitioners say that if Cinnamon is organic, it is warming and nourishing for our kidneys.  Both Chinese and folk medicine practitioners have used honey and cinnamon in combinations for years to cure, or heal what ails them.  Both offer powerful “antibiotic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory remedies, not only for humans but also for Animals.”  Common conditions this organic sweetener and spice provide when used are claimed to remedy and/or cure:  Upset Stomach, immune system, colds, cholesterol, bladder infection, indigestion, longevity, gas, toothache, influenza, skin infections, weight loss, cancer, fatigue, bad breath, general infection, etc.  (Halcyon, February 27, 2013)

Honey History and Facts,

Honey has long been used as a nutritional and medicinal powerful antioxidant with antiseptic and antibacterial properties for the past 2,500 years which includes the days of Aristotle (384-322BC) and its use is well documented within Greek, Roman, Christian, Islamic and other historical text.  Today, honey is still considered part of an alternative medicine.  Holistic practitioners consider honey one of nature’s best all-around remedies.  In its raw form, honey contains about 69% glucose and fructose enabling it to be used as the sweetener we know and love to eat.

Raw honey like fine wines has its own aroma, taste and color depending on the location that it was farmed.   ‘This is a surprise to many people because most honey purchased in supermarkets in the United States is made from unidentified blends of honey with a similar taste and appearance between brands.  Unblended honey from various geographic locations tastes different when produced of nectar from flowers and then sweet excretions of insects (honeydew) is not mixed, or chemically treated.  Just like all flowers, grapes have different colors and aromas, and so does honey.

“Depending on the proportions of flowers in the area where bees collect nectar and the timing of the collection of honey from the hives, honey may be either:

  • Multifloral honey: Created from the nectar of many types of flowers around the hive, or
  • Single flower or monofloral honey: Created mainly from one type of flower or honeydew

Once you have tried unblended honey from a single flower source or location, you’ll likely not seek blended brands because you’ll enjoy the unique flavors that each one offers.  (Honey Traveler.com, 2013)

It is also interesting to note that honey is the only sweetener that will not spoil.  Instead, when it sits for periods of time, it will turn to a form of sugary base, but will not spoil.  It should never be micro waved or heated, because this destroys the enzymes and natural curing properties of it.  (New Realities.com, 2013)

There appears to be one health concern for a specific demographic,

The USDA National honey board and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services state “Do not let babies eat honey.”  This is because the spores of the botulism bacteria are found in dust and soil that find their way into the honeydew.  The immune systems of infants is not developed enough to defend against this type of potential “paralytic disorder’ in which an infant is given anti-toxins and placed in infant care on a respirator.  ‘Dr. Jatinder Bhatia a Georgia neonatologist who heads the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition.  “She has never seen a case of infant botulism.   She also mentions, honey in cereals is fine because it’s a cooked product.  It’s the bottled honey that presents a health risk to infants.” (Edgar, 2013)

The 10 most common honey health benefits,

  • Helps with skin ailments – Honey dressings have been used to treat burns, scrapes, irritations from post surgical process and ulcers caused from radiation.  Bees produce the enzyme hydrogen peroxide, “sound familiar” which is found in honey and eases skin ailments.
  • Relief from mosquito bite – Since honey has anti-inflammatory properties it’s a good option to help reduce the itch and irritation.
  • Honey is an immune booster – Since honey is full of polyphenols found in plant life, it is a known antioxidant that protects cells from free radical damage.  It is also promoted as a heart healthy nutrient and cancer preventer.
  • Digestive health –  A study published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2006 found that honey used in place of sugar reduced gut microflora of male mice.
  • Acne treatment – Honey can effectively treat acne vulgaris, a skin condition caused by infection and inflammation on the face, chest and back.  (Shape.com, 2013)
  • Energy source – Honey can be easily converted into glucose energy for working muscles and accepted by the most sensitive stomachs.  It is very easy to digest.
  • Weight loss – When honey is consumed with warm water it helps to digest fat stored in the body.  Similarly, a combination of lemon juice, honey and cinnamon help reduce weight as well.

  “Normally, to digest sugar, the vitamins and minerals stored in body are utilized, rendering the body devoid of these nutrients. These nutrients are essential to dissolve fats and cholesterol.  Thus when you eat too much sugar you tend to increase weight not just because of the calories but due to lack of vitamins and minerals. On the contrary, honey being a good source of nutrients helps you in reducing weight.”  (Organic Facts.net, 2013) 

Improving athletic performance – Honey maintains blood glucose levels and muscle glycogen restoration after the workout.  Blood glucose and muscle glycogen is the preferred fuel food when intense exercise activity is required.

A valued source of Vitamins and Minerals – Depending on the flowers used in apiculture (beekeeping), honey commonly contains Vitamin C, Calcium and iron.  Concentrates of vitamins and mineral contents vary.

Antibacterial and antifungal – It can be used as a natural spread on antiseptic.  (Organic Facts.net, 2013)

Folk remedies have been around for generations and there is a reason why they stand the test of time.  For instance, to knock out a common cold in one or two days make a warm tea, add 1 teaspoon of honey and ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon.  It is best to buy the powdered or grind the cinnamon sticks from the plant species previously mentioned.  There are many remedies that include honey and cinnamon to cure what ails you.  If you want to know more recipes, simply research on folk remedy medicines that include this natural sweetener and spice.

 My favorite breakfast is a big bowl of raisin brand, or oat flakes, 2 tsp of honey, 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon and 1% low fat milk.

For daily antioxidant, immune, weight loss, common cold, organ health and so much more, science supports adding raw honey and cinnamon to Cereals and hot drinks a couple times a day to promote good health.  There are lots of ways you can incorporate these two food nutrients into your diet if you’d like to take advantage of their healthy properties.

Works Cited

“10 Health Benefits of Cinnamon.” 10 Health Benefits of Cinnamon. Health Diaries.com, 23 Mar. 2006. Web. 10 May 2013.

“5 Health Benefits of Honey.” Shape Magazine. Shape.com, n.d. Web. 10 May 2013.

“Benefits of Honey in Weight Loss | Animal Product | Health Benefits.” Benefits of Honey in Weight Loss | Animal Product | Health Benefits. Organic Facts.net, n.d. Web. 10 May 2013.

“Ceylon Cinnamon Vs. Cassia Cinnamon.” Ceylon Cinnamon Vs. Cassia Cinnamon. Health Diaries.com, n.d. Web. 10 May 2013.

Feature, Julie EdgarWebMD. “Medicinal Uses of Honey: What the Research Shows.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 10 May 2013.

Filippone, Peggy T. “Cinnamon History.” About.com Home Cooking. About.com Guide, n.d. Web. 10 May 2013.

“Halcyon Days.” : Cinnamon and Honey: Cure-All or Hoax? Sandra Halcyonday, 27 Feb. 2013. Web. 10 May 2013. <http://sanda-halcyondays.blogspot.com/2013/01/cinnamon-and-honey-cure-all-or-hoax.html&gt;.

“The Healing Benefits of Cinnamon and Honey.” New Realities. New Realities.com, n.d. Web. 10 May 2013.

“Health Benefits of Honey | Organic Honey | Organic Animal Products.” Health Benefits of Honey | Organic Honey | Organic Animal Products. Organic Information Services, Pvt, Ltd., n.d. Web. 10 May 2013.

“Honey Buyers Guide.” Honey Traveler Everything in the World About Honey. Honey Traveler.com, n.d. Web. 10 May 2013.

“What Is the Difference Between Cinnamon and Cassia?” The Worlds Healthiest Foods. WHfoods.com, n.d. Web. 10 May 2013.

Woodard, Marc T. “Mirror Athlete’s Fitness Secrets!” Mirror Athletes Fitness Secrets. Mirror Athlete Inc., 7 Apr. 2013. Web. 10 May 2013. <http://mirrorathlete.com/blog/2013/04/07/foods-and-drugs-that-dont-mix-well/&gt;.

Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, CPT, MSC ARNG Retired.  2013 Copyright, All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





Cholesterol Dietary Guidelines

23 09 2010
Walk, See, Exercise… A Great Way to Live Life to the Fullest

    Many of today’s adults and children are not only overweight, but outright obese.  During my days as a kid the only obese people I recalled seeing around were adults between the ages of 30 and above.  In contrast, you see obesity and hear about high blood cholesterol as a problem for many more people today.  And much of our ill-health problems are occurring due to the high quantities of consumed processed, fried and baked fast foods.  And hidden within these fast foods there is a lot of saturated and Trans fats.  It is also understood genetic predisposition to the body manufacturing more cholesterol than it needs presents health problems and dietary challenges for many people.  However, the fact is American’s simply get too much fat with cholesterol in their diets that is also causing obesity for our children in epidemic proportions. 

     In an earlier article I wrote “Successful Weight Loss Based in Blood Chemistry Fuel,” In this article I talk about various dietary food fuels, weight management and the effected blood chemistry which includes fats and cholesterol from diet.

      “Doctor’s and Dieticians tell us to limit bad fats “saturated (animal products, meat, eggs, etc.) including Trans fats, which also correlates with bad LDL cholesterol and plaque buildup in the arteries.”  Both of these fats are associated with risk for cardiovascular heart disease.”  (MAE, Successful Weight Loss Based in Blood Chemistry Fuel, Woodard, Feb 24, 2010).

     Tran’s fats can be worse for your health than consuming saturated animal fats.  This is because Tran’s fats are blended “unseen” into the baked-processed foods we consume every day.  This should be obvious to anyone that has been watching our fast food and super market stores grow for the last 30 years.  And as these industries grow so does our population’s weight and health problems.

   “A Trans Fat is simply the process of “man” adding more hydrogen atoms (hydrogenation) to a vegetable oil(s) mono-poly unsaturated fat carbon molecule chains.  The vegetable oil than becomes a “Partially” or fully hydrogenated (fat saturated) Trans Fat.”  (MAE, Trans Fats Dangerous for Your Health?  Deceitfully Yes, Woodard, April 23, 2010)

     And lastly, I provide an article that discusses an obesity problem in epidemic proportions for our children and parents like no other generations have experienced before.  Our processed food industries have saturated the fast food restaurant chains and now impact many more of our family dining establishments throughout our communities. 

     “Remember, processed foods have been preserved with man-made chemicals for long shelf life.  There are now literally thousands of preservatives, food substitutes and imitation ingredients and other additives that have replaced organic foods.  Don’t you find it interesting that when you go into a grocery store, it is required by the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) that food ingredient labels require nutritional information be disclosed to the public. But when you go to a restaurant there is no requirement to disclose what ingredients, or what processed-organic foods make up the meal you order.”  (MAE, Restaurant Foods Healthy? Woodard, August 25, 2008).

     And when one looks into the meat of the matter (no pun intended), you’ll see that poor dietary habits, processed foods and increased cholesterol counts are not mutually exclusive.  In fact, they have more of a linear relationship.  If you have bad eating habits that include processed and fast foods, it is “more likely than not” you also have high blood cholesterol and carry more weight than you want.

     In order to keep our cholesterol count under control, it is necessary to follow some dietary guidelines for lowering blood cholesterol and to manage weight.  This does not mean you have to give up foods you enjoy.  Just the opposite, once you become more aware and experience healthy foods, you’ll become just as addictive to the natural and organic flavors as you did with the processed baked good blends and fast foods.  “And of course, I recommend you check with your physician for advisement and treatment if you suffer from high cholesterol and obesity problems, or any form of serious ill-health condition(s).”

     Below the Dietary Guideline Tips and Healthy Food Choices  will show you which foods can help you lower bad cholesterol (LDL) while increasing the healthy “good” cholesterol (HDL) count.  Changing dietary habits is one of the first preventative measures you can take against high cholesterol and obesity problems caused by poor diet habits.  Also visit our health repository and use the search box to find other great articles.  In the search box simply enter exercise, fitness, obesity, weight, diet etc., also “walking” as the best form of aerobic fat burning activity.

 Dietary Guideline Tips and Healthy Food Choices,

      1.  Choose Complex Carbohydrates such as starch and fibers over saturated fats.  Breads, pasta, beans, rice, cereal, fruits and vegetables are all good sources of complex carbohydrates and fiber, they are also excellent substitutes for foods high in saturated fats.  The mistake many people make with high carbohydrate diets, they tend to add a lot of butter, cheese, cream, whole milk or rich sauces.  Many of these additives are processed foods that are high in saturated and Tran’s fats that equates to excess calories and cholesterol.

     2.  Eat less dietary cholesterol which appears as a waxy fat-like substance found in all animal products.  A good way to describe animal cholesterols appearance is simply to note how any meat cooked than cooled separates the fat.  Recall frying ground beef and after the meat cools, you see the wax like hardened fat substance coagulated around the meat.  Or if you cook a pot of meat broth, after the broth cools, the fat floats on top and many people ladle the fat off the broth surface top.  This is easily seen and can be extracted from many meat dishes that are cooked.  It is also easy to separate the skin from chicken-turkey and trimming fat off of meat before you cook it.  Note: Separation of fat in this way will not remove all the cholesterol from meat dish, but will make it very “fat lean” with little cholesterol.  This is the way my family prepares our meat and poultry dishes.

     3.  Sources of Unsaturated Fats – Polyunsaturated Fats; when cooking with oils, use: Corn, sunflower, soybean, cottonseed, safflower oils.  Mono-saturated; sesame, canola, olive and peanut oil.  Olive oil is my family’s favorite cooking oil for which we use in 95% of all our pan fried dishes.  However, if you cook above sautéing temps, you need to read the Smoke Point of oils and how cooking temperatures can denaturize and remove the healthy properties of vegetable oils, especially olive oil.  Since my family rarely fries dishes, this is not a problem.  (MAE, Best Cooking Oils, Smoke Point is Important Why? Woodard, March 19, 2010).

 Balanced food selections to maintain weight and lowering cholesterol.  This is not an all inclusive list of dietary low cholesterol food choices but a significant listing.

     1.  Meats, poultry and fish – Choose sirloin, chuck, loin and 10% fat ground beef.  If 20% ground beef is chosen, cook, set pan elevated to an angle, push “cooked” beef to the elevated level, leaving bottom of pan clear of meat, fat will settled to low end of pan.  When cooled, separate and remove liquid or waxy appearing fat.  Also choose lean cuts of pork-tenderloin ham and Canadian bacon to diversify as other good lean protein dish choices.  Prior to cooking poultry, remember to remove chicken and turkey skin before/after cooking.  All meat and poultry dishes can be set elevated cooled and skimmed of excess cholesterol fat.  Other good sources of low fat, low cholesterol healthy dishes include fish, shellfish and tuna packed in water.  All wild game such as elk and deer is very lean and a good source of protein.

     2.  Dairy products – Consume low-fat yogurt, skim milk 1%, or low fat -buttermilk, or condensed/dry nonfat milk.  Low-fat cottage cheese, or cheese labeled with  no more than 5-7g of fat/oz are preferred over High fat cheeses, i.e., cream cheese, processed, or cheddar, Brie, Swiss, blue, American.  If recipes call for soups, cream soups made with nonfat/1% milk is okay infrequently.

     3.  Eggs – Eat no more than 3 eggs per week.  Otherwise, remove egg yolk and consume egg white.  You can also purchase cholesterol-free egg substitutes.

     4.  Breads, pasta, rice, dried peas, beans and cereals – Eat Granola-type cereals, hot and most dried cold cereals are okay.  Plain pastas and rice (white, brown, or wild) prepared with low-fat cream, butter or cheese sauces is okay.  Beans, “split-black-eye peas,” kidney beans, navy, black garbanzo, lentils, soybean, vegetarian refried bean and tofu all good choices seasoned to taste (light on the table salt).  Breads – Whole grain wheat “I prefer” over white, pumpernickel, rye, English muffins, rice crackers.

     5.  Fruits and vegetables – All fresh fruits, vegetables, juice concentrates are good in promoting a low cholesterol and high dietary fiber diet.  Exception: Beware, over consumption of olives and avocados have a high fat content so use sparingly.

     6.  Sweets & Other Snacks– Granola bars, frozen desserts; sherbet, low-fat yogurt, juice bars, popsicle’s, fig bars, gingersnaps, jello, fresh fruit, honey are all good sweet treats.  Angel food cake, homemade cookies, pies are fine, using Unsaturated oils sparingly.  Avoid cooking these baked goods with lard, shortening or Tran’s fat oil substitutes.  See “oils and smoke point” link above for healthy baking recommendations.  Other healthy choice snacks:  Crackers, breadsticks, saltines, pretzels, graham crackers, popcorn, rye krisp, matzo, Melba toast, corn tortillas.

     7.  Beverages – Consume nonfat beverages such as coffee, tea and decaffeinated carbonated drinks without artificial sweeteners.  Juices made of concentrate are healthy, and of course drink plenty of water.  Avoid high fat drinks such as milkshakes and eggnog.  Also read the following article pertaining to alcohol.

       “There is only one type of alcoholic beverage science has documented having a health benefit with moderate consumption… Red wine, “one to two 5 oz glasses with the evening meal.  The “Resveratrol” found in the red grape skin and seed has proven to increase HDL and lower cholesterol, antioxidant benefits, prevent blood clots, lower blood pressure, reduce stress, assist digestion and prevent plaque from forming on the artery walls [“If you would like to receive healthy heart benefits, with all the other benefits listed without the alcohol, “seek our “affiliate” Purity Products Patent Grape Extract Formula“].”  (MAE, Alcohol Consumption Good, or Bad for your Body? Woodard, September 25, 2008).

     Fast food restaurants should be avoided if weight management and cholesterol presents health problems.  However if you must eat out… Salads, broiled/grilled meat, fish, seafood, or chicken, vegetables, fruits, sandwiches, hamburgers without cheese and light on mayonnaise are okay.  Avoid the fried, breaded and vegetable/fries (fried foods).  Also avoid fast food breakfast sandwiches and ordering “super” or “extra” portions.  (See “Restaurant Foods Healthy” link above.).

     A rule of thumb I apply to myself.  Never eat out more that once every other week.  And if you eat out with family, choose a restaurant that you know prepares healthy foods; or you can make food choices without processed canned ingredients included in the meal.  Stay away from fried foods and avoid fattening desserts.  Another tip, if you take your time and allow your stomach and brain to register what you put into your stomach, you simply will not want the dessert.  All too often, we get our foods, eat them within 15-20 minutes and then order dessert.  How many times have you experienced the following scenario?  By the time the dessert comes, you realize your full, but can’t resist eating the dessert once it arrives.  Many of these desserts, regardless of dining establishment are loaded with fat calories and cholesterol.  My model is to avoid this temptation and learn to bake your own healthy deserts at home.

     I’m very conscientious of these dietary guidelines and tips I’ve provided to you.  However, to be honest, I don’t always follow them to the letter, but instead am more aware of what to avoid while moderating my consumption habits.  In the long run I’ve been able to reduce weight and maintain good cholesterol counts without feeling I’ve given up anything.  I also have a greater appreciation for how good food in its natural form tastes.  Once you cut out fast-processed foods from your diet and replace them with healthy food choices you’ll begin to physically and mentally feel better.  In fact, you’ll begin to crave more organic foods and question why you succumbed to harmful processed foods.  At this point, many open their eyes to the world around them without question of what’s causing our nation’s obesity and ill-health epidemic.

Special Thanks to Providence Medical Group, Portland OR for dietary informational food choices.

 Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2010 Copyright, All rights reserved.  Mirror Athlete Enterprises Publishing @: www.mirrorathlete.com





“Trans Fat Dangerous for Your Heath? Deceitfully Yes!”

23 04 2010

Be sure to get your daily walking exercise in daily. It does a body good.

Updated:  16 December 2016,                   By Marc Woodard

In order to understand how Trans Fats are bad for you, first we must define what a Tran’s fat is and how to identify it in products.

A Trans Fat is simply the process of “man” adding more hydrogen atoms (hydrogenation) to a vegetable oil(s) mono-poly unsaturated fat carbon molecule chains.  The vegetable oil than becomes a “Partially” or fully hydrogenated (fat saturated) “Trans Fat.”  You will note this as a product ingredients one of two ways:  Listed Partial hydrogenated and/or Trans Fats are the same thing to varying atomic degree although not obvious to most consumers.  Through hydrogenation the oil becomes a more solid consumable fat food by adding hydrogen atoms to vegetable oils.

Another way to describe the chemistry, partially hydrogenated also means vegetable oils have added hydrogen atoms to the “organic dietary” mono-to-poly unsaturated fat chains turning them into soft “trans-unsaturated fats.  “I know this sounds complicated, but I will break it down further for you to where it actually makes sense.”

When these carbon chains are fully hydrogenated they become saturated “Tran’s hard fats.”  During hydrogenation vegetable oils are hardened to achieve “firm” soft spreads with long shelf life and great for baking, e.g., margarines and shortening, “but not so great on health.”  As noted on picture below.  Margarine tubs and butter cubes you “now” see the words, “Trans Fat 0 grams” and on the ingredients of both products: “Partially Hydrogenated, Soybean Oil (Also means – partially converted to Trans Fats).”  The oil has been partially hydrogenated to achieve the desired soft spread and preserves the products life.

Unlike other dietary fats, Trans fats are not essential to the diet and don’t promote good health.  This is because, science has found, unlike natural occurring saturated fats in animal and vegetable… The equivalent partial hydration (man-made) product is more akin to “dietary saturated fats!”

The best analogy I can come up with that you could relate when looking at total fat consumption per day and impact on health:  If you use a lot of “partially hydrogenated” margarine and shortening [instead of a vegetable oil for example] for daily baking, cooking, etc., this would be the equivalent of eating the fat off of beef and pork, or eating chicken skin, or lard .

I know most are conscious of eating too much animal fats and remove it from the meat, or ladle it from broth before consumption, it is easily seen.  Tran’s fats can’t be seen because it’s blended into the food you consume.  Those that consume too many Trans fats through processed fast and baked foods tend to put on weight faster than if one just consumed dietary fats through vegetable and animal whole foods.

How does a dietary saturated fat differ from a “man-made” Trans-fat?  With a dietary saturated fat, these carbon atom chains are “naturally” filled with hydrogen atoms (high concentrations in animal products: Fatty cuts of meat, poultry skin, 2% dairy products, butter, cheese; Oils: Coconut, palm and palm kernel.  Our bodies need only about 20grams of these fats daily.  Too much of any saturated fat (more than 20 grams daily) may cause bad cholesterol (LDL) to rise.  This can increase blood pressure and predispose one to certain types of circulatory and heart problems to include cancerous disease, etc.

Although over consumption of daily fat is bad, it’s worse by consuming deceptive Trans-fats (man-made) mixed into many processed foods.  It appears almost everything in our food chain manipulated by man is worse for our health than if  consuming whole foods daily.  With the exception as previously mentioned too many dietary fats, sugar and salt.

In the past the hydrogenation process of cooking oils was used extensively by food industries until it was determined Tran’s fats were worse for you in the diet than dietary saturated fats!  Early 2006, companies began removing Trans fat hydrogenation processes from foods and labeling “0” amounts of Trans Fats in their products.  However products with 1-2g or less Tran’s fat per serving can report zero grams on the product label!

If you see the words “partially hydrogenated” before the oil ingredient(s), you know it has “hydrogen” Trans Fats added to the oils carbon chains.  Fat servings can add up fast… “out of sight, out of mind.”

Fortunately manufacturers are now replacing hydrogenated fats with “natural saturated fats” in processed products.  They realize man-made Tran’s fats are more prone to increase the risk of heart disease and other ill-health conditions than natural occurring fats.  Be sure to check the nutrition labels to keep Trans fat consumption down.

Consume more Natural Mono-Poly unsaturated oils as found in fish, vegetable oils: Olive, canola, peanut and in most nuts and nut butter does not cause cholesterol to increase and also promotes good cholesterol (HDL’s) from going down.

Reference

US Department of Health and Human Resources. FDA Food and Drug Administration.

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET2010 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





"Trans Fats Dangerous for Your Heath? Deceitfully Yes!"

23 04 2010

In order to understand why Trans Fats are bad for you, first we must define what a Tran’s fat is and how to identify it in products.  A Trans Fat is simply the process of “man” adding more hydrogen atoms (hydrogenation) to a vegetable oil(s) mono-poly unsaturated fat carbon molecule chains.  The vegetable oil than becomes a “Partially” or fully hydrogenated (fat saturated) “Trans Fat.”  You will note this as listed “one or the other” product tag ingredients:  Listed Partial hydrogenated and/or Trans Fats are the same thing to varying atomic degree although not obvious to most consumers.  Through hydrogenation the oil becomes a more solid consumable fat food by adding hydrogen atoms to vegetable oils.

Another way to put this; partially hydrogenated also means vegetable oils have added hydrogen atoms to the “organic dietary” mono-to-poly unsaturated fat chains turning them into soft “trans-unsaturated fats.  “I know this sounds complicated, but I will break it down further for you to where it actually makes sense.”  When these carbon chains are fully hydrogenated they become saturated “Tran’s hard fats.”  During hydrogenation vegetable oils are hardened to achieve “firm” soft spreads with long shelf life and great for baking, e.g., margarines and shortening, “but not so great for your health.”  As noted on margarine tubs and butter cubes you “now” see the words, “Trans Fat 0 grams” and on the ingredients of both products: “Partially Hydrogenated, Soybean Oil (Also means – partially converted to Trans Fats).”  The oil has been partially hydrogenated to achieve the desired soft spread and preserves the products life. 

Unlike other dietary fats, Trans fats are not essential to the diet and don’t promote good health.  This is because, science has found, unlike natural occurring saturated fats in animal and vegetable… The equivalent partial hydration (man-made) product is more akin to “dietary saturated fats!”  The best analogy I can come up with that you could relate when looking at total fat consumption per day and impact on health:  If you use a lot of “partially hydrogenated” margarine and shortening [instead of a vegetable oil for example] for daily baking, cooking, etc., this would be the equivalent of eating the fat off of beef and pork, or eating chicken skin, or lard disregarding good healthy eating habits.  I know most are conscious of eating too much animal fats and remove it from the meat, or ladle it from broth before consumption because you can see it.  Tran’s fats can’t be seen because it’s blended into the food you consume.  Those that consume too many Trans fats through baking, processed, fast foods tend to put on weight faster than if one just consumed dietary fats through organic vegetable and animal foods.

How does a dietary saturated fat differ from a “man-made” Trans-fat?  With a dietary saturated fat, these carbon atom chains are “naturally” filled with hydrogen atoms (high concentrations in animal products: Fatty cuts of meat, poultry skin, 2% dairy products, butter, cheese; Oils: Coconut, palm and palm kernel.  Our bodies need only about 20grams of these fats daily.  Too much of any saturated fat (more than 20 grams daily) may cause bad cholesterol (LDL) to rise.  This can increase blood pressure and predispose one to certain types of cancer and many other health risks.

Although over consumption of daily fat is bad, it’s worse by consuming deceptive Trans-fats (man-made) mixed into many processed and fast foods.  It appears almost everything in our food chain manipulated by man is worse for your health than if you were to consume dietary organic foods daily; with the exception of too many dietary fats, sugar and salt.  We know too much of these dietary foods daily in the diet are not good for us either.

In the past this hydrogenation process of our cooking oils was used extensively by the food industries until it was determined Tran’s fats were worse for you in the diet than dietary saturated fats!  Early 2006, companies began removing Trans fat hydrogenation processes from foods and labeling “0” amounts of Trans Fats in their products.  Beware that products with 1-2g or less Tran’s fat per serving can report zero grams on the product label!  If you see the words “partially hydrogenated” before the oil ingredient(s), you know it has “hydrogen” Trans Fats added to the oils carbon chains.  Fat servings can add up fast “out of sight, out of mind.” Food manufacturers are now replacing hydrogenated fats with “natural saturated fats” in processed products.  They realize man-made Tran’s fats are more prone to increase the risk of heart disease and other ill-health conditions than natural occurring fats.  Be sure to check the nutrition labels to keep your unhealthy fat consumption down.  Natural Mono-Poly unsaturated oils as found in fish, vegetable oils: Olive, canola, peanut and in most nuts and nut butter does not cause cholesterol to increase and also promotes good cholesterol (HDL’s) from going down.

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET2010 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.