If you are in the market for new cookware, you may find yourself overwhelmed by the number of different varieties: cast iron, stainless steel, nonstick and aluminum. You want cookware that will benefit you and your health.

Low-Fat Cooking

Nonstick cookware allows you to cook with less fat because you do not have to add oil to the pans. Many people think that nonstick cookware is the healthiest because using it reduces the amount of fat in their diet.

Non-Stick Concerns

However, using nonstick cookware is not the healthiest choice. If the pans are heated too high, above 500 degrees Fahrenheit, they give off toxic fumes. In addition, the coating wears and chips over time, meaning that you run the risk of eating nonstick material with your meals.

Aluminum and Copper Risks

Aluminum and copper cookware may seem to be good choices since both metals conduct heat well. However, both are toxic in high doses, and foods cooked in uncoated aluminum or copper pans will absorb the metals from the cookware.

Cast Iron: Nature’s Non-stick

Cast iron pans need to be seasoned, meaning a light layer of fat is baked onto the surface of the pan. Buildup of the oil over time makes the pan nonstick, so that when cooking on cast iron, you do not have to add extra fat.

Iron Absorption

Food cooked in cast iron pans tends to absorb iron leaching from the pan. The human body needs iron to carry oxygen through blood. Since many people do not get enough iron in their diets, cooking in cast iron helps prevent anemia.

Healthy Cookware

Cast-iron is the healthiest cookware because of its natural nonstick properties and because it helps people get more iron in their diet. Other healthy cookware choices include stainless steel, enamelware and glass cookware, none of which react chemically with foods.