There has been a lot of concern about the safety of stainless steel over the past years. Questions were raised regarding the reaction of this material when exposed to heat and in contact with food. This can inevitably affect anyone’s purchasing decision. Which is natural, as no one wants to buy a product that can be harmful in the long run. And even though there are standards for food-grade materials, you’re still wondering about the exact percentage of alloys used in construction and their effects, right?
Luckily, you’re in the right place to find out all about the safety of cooking with stainless steel. We’ll elaborate on the FDA standards, the intake of minerals, and other topics regarding usage of stainless steel cookware.
What is the Safest Cookware for Your Health?
The kitchenware industry is vast, and it has been rapidly expanding for the past five years. So naturally, there are numerous companies, and they don’t share the same manufacturing process of their products.
Alloys used in the construction of this kitchenware are safe, but there are different blends. More importantly, each blend has a score or grade according to the Food and Drug Association (FDA) standards. Some types of cookware are considered safer due to a higher percentage or certain minerals, but we’ll get to that part later.
Which type of cookware is considered as safest:
All of these types of cookware are made from different blends of chromium, steel, nickel, chrome, and other elements. And although the first place is reserved for the non-stick kitchenware, stainless steel is definitely the next best thing.
Is Stainless Steel Good for Your Health?
So what is it about cooking with stainless steel that got everyone worrying? Well, every type of kitchenware is made from a different blend of alloys. These alloys contain minerals that are healthy for us. They are used in nutrition but in small doses. For example, most stainless steel cookware contains chromium, copper, iron, and other minerals, all of which play a crucial role in the development of the human body.
The concern about using stainless steel cookware revolves around leeching and adding a higher percentage of these minerals in our food through cooking. This can be a result of improper use of kitchenware as well as cooking acidic food for an extended period in these kitchen utensils. Everything from citrus to tomato juice and other similar types of food can dissolve a tiny percentage of minerals found in this cookware.
But this doesn’t mean that stainless steel is unsafe, but rather that you should use it properly to avoid damaging the outer layer. Quality kitchen utensils feature a finish that protects from abrasion and leeching. However, if you use an iron sponge or the rough side of an abrasive sponge, it is possible to damage this protective finish. This is, of course, only the case if you apply too much pressure when cleaning with these cleaning aid.
Healthy Intake of Chromium
By now, we’ve learned that the same elements found in stainless steel, are actually beneficial for us but in small doses. We also mentioned that improper use of kitchen utensils could result in leching these minerals, therefore adding dangerous amounts in our system through food.
So, if minerals are essential in nutrition, how much is good for us anyway? Chromium plays an important role in dissolving fats and carbohydrates. So every time you eat pasta, bread, rice, and other types of grain but also sweets, our bodies need certain amounts of chromium to help breakdown sugar and fat. And the only way to get chromium is through food. The recommended amount of chromium for an adult male is from 25 to 30 micrograms. For females, it’s 20 to 21, micrograms, and for children, it’s even less.
The final verdict is that stainless steel cookware is perfectly safe. There are exceptions when improper use results in leeching, but then again, it goes without saying that it is important to know how to use the stainless steel cookware properly.
Every kitchen utensil can be dangerous, from dull knives to rusty pots and pans. However, we are responsible for keeping those clean and ready to use. Knives should be sharpened before use; cookware should be thoroughly cleaned, and in general, maintained adequately.