Can Your Non-Stick Cookware Be Causing You Hormone Imbalance?

By: Lindsay Chandler, PCOS Food Advocate

As you navigate your way through the 5-Element System, you have begun to identify what types of foods can help your symptoms and which make them worse.

You may have even taken the next step by removing toxic household cleaning and beauty products from your daily routine (check yours here). Way to go!

??The world that we live in today has given us many conveniences. In our kitchens maybe the most popular could be non-stick cookware, also known as Teflon. But could your favorite non-stick pan be leaking chemicals into your food?

Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), or Teflon as we know it, was discovered in 1938 in a DuPont factory. In 1948, it became the non-stick coating we use on pots and pans today. This non-stick coating is a type of slippery plastic, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), that allows you to cook without using oil, and requiring very little clean up.

You might think it’s a cooking marvel!

So what’s the big deal with this non-stick coating and how does it affect me and my hormones?

The chemicals found in polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) that are responsible for creating the slippery surface of a non-stick pan are extremely toxic. When heated they create a long-chain chemical compound called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). This chemical compound has been linked with many female hormone disrupting symptoms such as infertility, thyroid disease, and fetal development. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has even labeled perfluorooctanoic compounds (the toxins released when the pan is heated) as “likely carcinogens”.

So what pots and pans are considered safe?

1. Ceramic cookware has become a popular option because of its non-stick feature without containing the chemicals PTFE & PFOA. They are easy to care for and comparable in price to regular non-stick cookware.

2. Cast Iron is another great option in non-toxic cookware. Cast iron can be a bit more difficult to care for but can offer a non-stick option in a well-seasoned pan.

3. Stainless Steel is an excellent option for non-stick as well. Use high quality fats when cooking at a higher heat with stainless steel as they tend to stick.

4. Glass is a safe bakeware option as well and generally is available in all baking dish sizes including loaf pans and pie dishes.

5. Stoneware is another awesome choice. Stoneware also offers a non-stick option with a PTFE-free coating.

Check your kitchen cabinets ladies – you may be surprised what type of cookware you own! It may make a huge impact on balancing your hormones and helping you to feel fabulous!

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