The holidays are upon us, which for many, means more time spent in the kitchen cooking, baking and creating. But the kitchen can be source of highly toxic chemicals that contribute to air pollution in the home, free radicals in the body (more on that in a sec), and you guessed it, thyroid imbalance.
There are many environmental hazards that we can’t control, but the cookware we use isn’t one of them. It’s a great place to start when transitioning to a healthier lifestyle because the domino effect of the toxic exposure from unsafe cookware is frightening. If you suspect you have a thyroid issue or hormonal imbalance, it’s important to know what’s safe and what isn’t safe in your home because the exposure and ingestion of these chemicals create an imbalance of free radicals in our body. Free radicals are unbound single molecules floating around in our system that, when they remain unbound, will contribute to inflammation and excess estrogen levels. Our body is equipped to properly handle the free radicals that occur from our natural internal processes, but becomes overwhelmed when there is an abundance of them - which is what happens when exposed to environmental toxins. These heightened levels of inflammation and higher than normal levels of estrogen in the body (especially coming from an artificial source) contribute to thyroid imbalances, hormonal issues, hormonal cancers and autoimmune conditions.
Below I’ve listed the two biggest offenders in the kitchen:
Teflon coated cookware
When heated, Teflon breaks apart and emits a deadly chemical called PFOA - a known toxin categorized as a carcinogen by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). PFOA is also used in food packagings like pizza boxes, microwave popcorn packages, French fry containers and more to prevent food from sticking. The off-gases from this chemical are very fatal to birds and have a very long half-life in the human body, once absorbed. In a National Health Survey conducted back in 2004, the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC) found serum levels of PFOA in 100% of the 2,000+ people tested in the US. This is a widespread global issue and one of the largest exposures listed was using products that contain PFOA - Teflon cookware.
Storing and heating food in plastic containers causes chemical components to leach out of the plastic into your food. BPA (bisphenol-A) is the most well-known chemical (which acts a lot like estrogen when introduced to the body) has gained the most attention over the past few years, but I avoid all plastics at all costs. BPA is also found on receipts from stores, paper towels, and the epoxy resin used as a coating in metal food and beverage cans, as well. Of all food tested by the EWG, chicken soup, infant formula and ravioli had the highest BPA levels. The CDC discovered BPA in 93% of 2,000+ children and adults tested in the US.
To help with navigating toxic and cookware, I’ve put together a Healthy Cookware Guide, free to download, to learn about other popular cookware that I find toxic and links to ones I highly recommend.
No email necessary :) Download here.
I’d love to learn about the swaps you’re making in your kitchen! Feel free to comment below!
***My signature program, Thyroid Alive!, is now enrolling participants for the January 2019 session and I couldn’t be happier to offer a FREE Blood Chemistry Analysis Session to the first 3 people who sign up!***