5 ways to pick a good coconut oil-min

5 ways to pick a good coconut oil

Coconut oil is like wine – there are lots of great ones if you know where to look, just as there are some very disappointing ones out there! So make sure you get what you’re paying for.

We all know by now how good coconut oil is, it’s a great way to get more fat in your diet, it’s really stable at high temperatures and it’s really good for cooking in. But if you’ve recently searched for coconut oil, you’d be forgiven for feeling completely overwhelmed and confused at the choices available.

5 ways to pick a good coconut oil-min

So, what do you need to consider?

Choice One: Refined or Unrefined.

Coconut oil is either refined, or unrefined. A refined oil won’t have that coconut taste or smell, so it can be a good one to have on hand for cooking more delicate dishes, that you don’t want to take on that distinct coconut flavour. Refined coconut oils will still have a great fatty acid profile (and full of those great MCT’s). If the label doesn’t specify, assume it’s a refined oil. Of course to refine the oil is to process it. So if you can, stick with an unrefined oil – but this is great to have on hand for a particular recipe that demands it, or if you’re cooking for someone who can’t stand the taste of coconut.

Unrefined oil is a staple in my house. It does have the distinct coconut flavour, however, between brands there is a huge variation. Some taste way milder than others, so it’s best to try a few until you work out which is your favourite.

Choice Two: Virgin or Extra Virgin.

You’ll likely only see these labels on unrefined coconut oil and unfortunately there seems to be a lot of ambiguity about what they actually mean. As a base assumption, virgin and extra virgin should be a lot purer, and from the first pressing of the coconut.

Choice Three: Expeller-Pressed, Cold-Pressed and Centrifuged

Your next option is how the oil was extracted from the coconut. The less heat used in the process, the more raw the final product – the milder the flavour will be. If the extraction process did heat the oil, it’s not too much of a concern as coconut oil is so stable at high temperatures.

Choice Four: Bulk, Jar or Spray

Your next choice is how you buy the oil. If you use a lot of it, you’ll do far better buying in bulk, instead of individual jars. And as I’ve written about before – I strongly suggest you avoid buying a spray can of coconut oil!

Choice Five: Where to buy

I find it so expensive to buy coconut oil local unfortunately – it’s also hard to find it in bulk quantities. I buy mine from iherb, who ship internationally (get $5 off using code DUV741). It works out far cheaper and they’re got such a big range you can experiment with a few, to work out which you prefer.

And if you do buy a bad one? Don’t throw it away – there are loads of non-edible uses for it!

Ask the Paleosphere is dairy paleo milk cheese lacto paleo-min

Ask the Paleosphere – Dairy

It’s all very well reading the Paleo theory about why we should and shouldn’t consume certain foods, but what I find most valuable is finding out how people actually eat – and how different foods affect them.

With over 79,000 followers on the Paleo Network’s Facebook page, it’s become a great place to ask questions. A lot of the questions I’ve been asking seem to resonate with a lot of people, so I thought it would be useful to share some of the questions here.

Ask the Paleosphere is dairy paleo milk cheese lacto paleo-min

 

Dairy seems to be a source of a lot of controversy in the Paleo-sphere. Whenever I post about dairy, I get equally large numbers of people condemning me for mentioning it, as I do people who comment that they enjoy it regularly in their diet. I don’t agree with taking a dogmatic approach to “Paleo” – surely it’s more important to learn how you tolerate things like dairy and eat accordingly?

So when I asked my Facebook followers for their thoughts on dairy – what did they say?

Out of 218 people who left a comment, I counted 48% of people avoid dairy – and 52% of people do consume it. However, in almost all cases those who consume dairy seem to do so with quite limited constraints.

Limiting dairy

Of those who eat dairy, almost everyone said that they do so “in moderation”, with most people only eating a certain type of dairy, and avoiding others. Some of the responses included:

  • Fermented
  • Only cheese
  • Fermented
  • Yoghurt only
  • Raw & organic
  • Kerrygold butter only
  • Fermented full fat only
  • Butter & cheese minimal
  • Can’t do milk but eat cheese
  • I use cheese as a condiment on occasion
  • Only sour cream, aged cheese and buttah
  • Only raw dairy from grass-fed Jersey cattle
  • I can never give up fine cheese and ice cream!
  • Yes but only pure grass fed! Bio dynamic etc!
  • Only a bit in my Coffee, and only goat’s milk
  • I love my cheese so allow a little as a treat and kefir
  • Butter and a very limited amount of special cheeses
  • Only organic butter and a tiny smidge of occasional cheese
  • Grassfed always – raw and local when possible. One serving a day.
  • I’ll only ever have a tiny bit of white cheese that hasn’t been processed a lot.

Why avoid it?

It seems that most of the people who avoid dairy, do so being aware that their bodies do not tolerate it well. Here are some of the reasons people gave as to why they don’t consume dairy:

  • No, it makes me sick
  • Cannot handle the casein.
  • My tummy doesn’t tolerate it
  • Gives me pimples but I love it.
  • Gives me bloating & bad skin.
  • I break out with eczema and asthma.
  • It gives me Brain fog and belly aches!
  • My heart says yay, but my tummy says nay
  • Hot flashes stopped when dairy was eliminated!
  • My body does not like and it causes inflammation
  • Never did work well with me – since childhood.
  • I may love dairy, but it definitely sets off my auto immune disorders.
  • I dream of cheese  but unfortunately the casein protein in it burns my GI tract
  • In very small amounts. It causes acne for me. I’m 40 and just figured this out!
  • Yay for me but nay for my 20 months old. Makes him as constipated as anything.
  • Allowed it to creep back in last year, felt crap and body composition/weight plateued.
  • Quitting dairy is the only thing that cured my skin condition I’ve had since childhood (keratosis pilarus)
  • I’ve learned the hard way after a dose of post surgery pancreatitis. It’s extremely alarming that people would suffer like I have at their own hand.
  • I didn’t worry about my normal no-dairy or no-grain for about ten days over Christmas and now my forehead and chin have lots of pimples. Yuck!

Alternatives?

Quite a few people commented on alternatives that they use instead of dairy, with the most common being:

  • Almond milk
  • Coconut milk/ cream
  • Coconut Yoghurt
  • Hazlenut milk
  • And, er, Soy (I think this person maybe didn’t realise they were on a Paleo page?)

It’s not dairy…

There were also quite a few comments from people who only have almond milk, or eggs – and others pointing out that eggs aren’t dairy – and that almonds don’t have udders…

I’d love to hear your perspective on dairy. Do you consume it – and why? Please share in the comments below. Also, if you have a question that you’d like a broader perspective on, please let me know and I’ll post it on Facebook.

5 Ways to get more coconut oil in your diet paleo diet primal fat nutrition-min

5 Ways to get more coconut oil in your diet (I did number 4 today)

You know the health benefits of coconut oil by now. It’s loaded with MCT’s (Medium Chain Triglycerides) and is a wonderful source of healthy saturated fat. It’s antiseptic, antimicrobial and anti-fungal, is excellent at improving gut health and even boosts your metabolism. There’s also a lot of research indicating it’s great for dementia/ Alzheimer’s patients.

If you’re not the greatest fan of eating it by the spoonful (personally, I love nothing better, but we’re all different!), then it can be tricky getting copious amounts of the stuff into your diet. I get a lot of emails from people really keen to consume it – but who hate the flavour. Whilst you can get refined coconut oil, with none of the taste, it is a refined product – far better to go for the purest oil you can find.

If you’re looking to up your intake of coconut oil in a delicious way, then check out some of the great ideas below.

5 Ways to get more coconut oil in your diet paleo diet primal fat nutrition-min

  1. Bulletproof coffee – I’ve covered Bulletproof Coffee before as it is a fabulous way to enjoy the saturated goodness of coconut oil in liquid form. To make a DIY Bulletproof coffee, put a generous spoonful of coconut oil into a black coffee, and enjoy the creamier, mellower beverage it creates. Bulletproof coffee is also a proven energy boost and is a great start to the day if you are practising intermittent fasting.
  2. Coconut oil chocolate – who doesn’t love chocolate!? Home made chocolate bites are a fantastic way to get a little more coconut oil in your life. Simply melt down 1 tbsp coconut oil, and mix in 1 tsp cacao powder and half a teaspoon of raw honey. Leave this to set in the freezer for 20 minutes, and you’ll have a delicious block of coconut oil chocolate to enjoy! It’s extra tasty with a couple of chopped macadamias or goji berries thrown into the mix too.
  3. Smoothies – if you’re making smoothies, why not add an extra dose of healthy fats by adding a tablespoon of coconut oil to the blender? You won’t notice the taste, but it will add a subtle creaminess to the mix.
  4. Roasted Veggies – As one of the healthiest oils to roast with, coconut oil is a fantastic choice for tossing your favourite veggies in before roasting. It’s flavourless when used in this way, so works brilliantly if you’re adding herbs and spices to the mix. My favourite mix is sweet potato and delicata squash, tossed in a generous amount of melted coconut oil then sprinkled with cinnamon, rosemary, thyme and black pepper. Delicious!
  5. Paleo baked goods – I’m not the biggest fan of Paleo baking, but when the occasion arrives, you could do a far lot worse than using generous amounts of coconut oil to make super moist muffins or melt in the mouth cookies.

These are just a few tasty ways to ramp up your coconut oil intake. Have I missed any?

10 (and a Half) Ways to Add More Fat to Your Diet paleo diet LCHF low carb high fat-min

10 (and a Half) Ways to Add More Fat to Your Diet

A big factor in my own weight loss and controlling my hunger has been increasing my fat intake. I find that when I eat more fat, I am full for far longer, don’t feel hungry, feel more energetic and have much better weight loss results.

So many foods are actually high in protein, not fat. As excess protein is converted into glucose, I’m careful to not eat more protein than I need to – which makes it even more important to increase fat intake.

Exactly how do you add more fat to your diet?

Dairy is a popular source of fat, so a key factor is how well you tolerate fat. You may be better on a strict Paleo diet, with no dairy – or on a lacto-Paleo (or Primal diet), which allows the inclusion of dairy. Weston A Price is also an approach which includes dairy. Instead of being strict about it for the sake of being strict, I think it’s far more important to learn how your body tolerates (or does not tolerate) dairy. I used to avoid all forms of dairy, recently however, I’ve been experimenting with dairy, specifically butter, which I’ve been eating with most of my meals. If you do decide to have dairy, make sure it’s good quality, perhaps you can have raw dairy, where you live.

10 (and a Half) Ways to Add More Fat to Your Diet paleo diet LCHF low carb high fat-min

Top 10 ½ ways to add more fat to your diet:

1. Avocados

Avocados are a great source of fat – and very versatile. You can eat them on their own with a spoon, or sliced up alongside your dinner. Or you can get inventive and cook a curry with avocado, or even make a smoothie or mousse with avocado.

2. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is such a good oil – and being stable at high temperatures, great to cook with. When you cook in coconut oil, be generous with your serving – and if you’ve cooked meat for example, pour the remaining oil over the meat before you serve it.

3. Coconut Milk

If you like the taste, coconut milk or cream is a good base for many meals and smoothies. In fact, coconut is a great source of fat generally, get some coconut flakes to snack on!

 4. Animal Fats

Perhaps the best fat sources, lard, tallow, mutton fat, bacon fat and even goose fat (though careful with the omega ratio) are great to cook in.

 5. Butter (and ghee)

Butter is my current favourite. I add a generous wedge of butter to all of my vegetables just before I serve them. Many of the nutritional goodness of vegetables is fat soluble, so adding fat to your veggies is a good way of making sure you get the maximum nutritious benefit. Butter can be added to almost anything – and it tastes great.

6. Olive Oil

Whilst I wouldn’t cook with it, olive oil is fantastic to dress a salad in. Sprinkle on a few nuts, add a boiled egg, some meat, avocado and perhaps some cheese and you can make a big improvement to the fat content of a salad.

7. Pork Crackling

Not only does pork rind taste great, it’s another good source of fat. A word of caution though – it’s really important with pork to ensure it’s high quality – ideally pasture raised and organic.

8. Eggs

Eggs are a great fat (and protein) source. Just make sure you eat the yolk! If I make cauliflower rice I often stir in an egg just before I finish cooking it as a hidden boost.

9. Bones

Ok, so I’m not suggesting chewing on bones, but some good quality grass-fed bones make a great bone broth full of good fat.

10. Nuts

Whilst you have to be careful with nuts as they can have a poor Omega 3/ Omega 6 ratio – and they can be easy to over indulge in – they are a great fat source. I prepare a small serving of nuts to take to work with me, making sure I have a good mix to ensure I get the different nutritional benefit each type gives.

10 ½. Nut Butters

On a similar thread, nut butters such as almond, cashew and macadamia are also good, with the same note of caution about the Omega balance.

I’d love to hear your views on eating more fat. How much fat would you estimate you eat, and what are your top sources?

How To Make Perfect Pork Crackling rind scratchings recipe-min

Recipe: How To Make Perfect Pork Crackling

I love Pork Crackling (which you may know as Pork Rinds or Pork Scratchings, depending on where you’re from). But it’s often a disappointment, either soft and underdone, or burn and completely wasted! But when it’s crunch and crackly, it is so good.

Pork crackling is obviously mainly fat, which makes it the perfect Paleo snack. Just a small amount is extremely satiating, so you can easily cook enough to last for many servings. Whilst you can buy them, one look at the ingredients (not to mention the uncertainty about the quality of the pork used) will probably tell you to get in the kitchen and make your own!

I’ve been trying to work out the best way to get perfect Pork crackling, which I’ll share with you below.
Firstly with Pork, perhaps more so than any other meat, quality really counts. I always go for Pasture Raised* pork and am careful to buy the best quality I can. If I could only buy one type of meat organic and pasture raised, without doubt I would choose pork.

You can use a few different cuts, blade or a roasting joint work well, but my favourite is Pork belly.
How To Make Perfect Pork Crackling rind scratchings recipe-min

How To Make Perfect Pork Crackling:

Dry the skin thoroughly (use a paper towel).

With a sharp knife, score the skin, leaving the cuts about a finger width apart. Go for either diagonal stripes, or make a diamond pattern. Make sure you score through the skin, but not through to the meat.

This might sound odd, but pour boiling water over the skin – and don’t panic about the fact it doesn’t make it look good.

Dry the skin thoroughly once more, then rub sea salt into it (I tend to use Himalayan or Celtic sea salt). Make sure the salt gets right through, into the cracks. Some people add oil here, but I’ve had great results without, so don’t.

If you can, leave the salted pork in the fridge overnight.

When ready to cook, add more salt to the skin and cook in a very hot oven for about 15 minutes per kilo. I start at 180C, the in the last 15 minutes of cooking, turn the oven up to about 240C.

Please share your tips below, I know almost everyone seems to have a slightly technique.

*Pigs will tend to eat lots of different foods – not just grass, which is why grass-fed isn’t a term used to refer to pork and other pig related products. “Pasture raised” means they’ve been raised to eat their natural diet, which may include whatever they find as they roam about the pasture – grass, bugs, corn, fruit, veggies, weeds etc.
No fat paleo diet zero fat low fat-min

Why I Propose a No-Fat Paleo Diet

I propose a Paleo style diet, based on a Zero Fat, Low Carbohydrate, Moderate Protein and High Lipid intake, when compared to a SAD diet.

I think it’s time to replace the word “Fat”, when discussing dietary fat, with the word “Lipid”.  A straight swap.  Find.  Replace all.

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Despite the increasing understanding of the importance of dietary fat, so many people are still afraid of it.  They would rather have margarine with 20 ingredients they can’t pronounce (never mind procure) – rather than butter.  They would rather have breakfast of 97% fat-free cereal, swimming in skim low-fat milk – instead of bacon and eggs.  They will only eat the leanest cuts of meat (with all visible fat trimmed of) in a wholegrain sandwich – rather than meat and vegetables.

When people talk about fatty foods, the word fat is usually spat out with contempt.  An avocado is not the image that comes to the mind of the average person, on hearing the term “fatty foods”.

Sadly the word “fat” immediately conjures up images of excessive body fat, rather than fat of the dietary variety.  Someone overweight is refered to as “fat”, not “carbohydrate overburdened”.  This negative connotation is, of course, going to make people think twice about consuming more fat in their diet.  If people are reluctant to consume more fat it’s going to be harder to encourage them to reduce refined carbs and make safe, sensible dietary choices.

What if we were to rename dietary fat?  What if all of the nutritional labels had to change?  What if the word fat only related to body fat from this point forwards?

Nutritional labels could detail the triglyceride, glycerol and fatty acid components of food products, with not a single reference to “fat”.  Or quite simply the word “Fat” could be replaced with the word “Lipid”.  Fat could even be called Steve – I don’t think the actual name matters – what matters is that it is no longer called fat, with all of the negative associations that brings.

Whilst I and most of the people reading this are interested in nutrition, most people just aren’t interested and probably never will be.  But these are often the very people who need to change how they eat.  They need to understand it’s the refined carbohydrates making them fat and ill, not the dietary fat.  To go a step further and make these people realise how essential a good fat intake is to their body, is likely to be a step too far.

No fat paleo diet zero fat low fat-min

If you ask the general public to play a word association game, starting with the word fat, how many would come up with words like health, brain function and energy?  I think the words more likely to be associated with fat, are along the lines of overweight, unhealthy and ill.  Associations like this do nothing to encourage people to increase their healthy fat intake – and decrease their carbohydrate intake.

I think people would react a lot more positively to advice to increase their lipid consumption, than they do when told to increase their fat consumption.  Perhaps with the word fat completely banished, the fear of fat will start to dissolve.

Entire countries have been renamed in the past.  Is it really inconceivable to change the term we use to refer to dietary fat?

Do you think changing the word for dietary fat would help to remove the resistance to consuming it?  Which word would you choose to replace “fat” with?

Buying Coconut Oil in Australia & New Zealand woolworths coles aldi iherb cheapest supplier paleo diet-min

Buying Coconut Oil in Australia & New Zealand

Coconut Oil is a huge staple in my house.  I generally order a large tin in from my local health food shop, but having realised I’m getting through 700ml in under three weeks, I’ve started researching and comparing costs of coconut oil.  I’ve been spending $36 on a 700ml tin of Melrose Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil every three weeks – which is about $900 a year – If I could make savings on this it would make a big difference!  I’ve got no intentions of using less to save money, as Coconut Oil is such a great source of fat.  I’ve never seen Coconut Oil sold in any of the major supermarket chains in Australia, like Coles or Woolworths, but perhaps this will change as it gains popularity.

Having looked at various online sources, buying from health food stores isn’t as expensive as I expected.  It’s convenient in that I can buy some the same day I realise I’ve run out – but it is a lot to carry home from work.  I think I’m going to try ordering online next time.

I often visit Healthy Life which has stores across Australia.  They mainly stock Aclara Health Coconut Oil which is all Organic.  The Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Oil is between $10 and $24.95 for 250 to 700ml.    Their other variety is refined, which I used to buy as I didn’t like the coconut taste.  Now however, I don’t used refined, as I’ve got used to, and quite enjoy the Coconut taste.  Mainly though, I think refined is too processed and many of the benefits of the oil are lost in the processing.  Aclara Health Refined Coconut Oil is $17.95 for 700ml, or $65.52 for 4 Litres, which is actually one of the lowest prices I’ve found, at under two cents per ml.  The other brand Healthy Life stock is Fijian Gold, who make an organic Coconut Oil at $12.50 for 500ml.  I’ve still got a bottle of this at home, which I like taste wise, but to be honest it comes in a bottle and I find it really hard to get the solid oil out!  I realise I can warm it to make it liquid, but I’d much rather just buy a better packaged oil that I can spoon out!

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I’ve recently found the “Pure Health” store in Sydney, which stocks Melrose, Spiral & Wild Harvest Coconut Oils.  This is where I order the Melrose Oil from.  Their smaller sizes work out really expensive on a cost per ml basis, but perhaps this is good for the very occasional user as 300ml starts at $7.95

You need to make sure you do your research before buying online.  I found one store, Chemist Direct charging between 6 and 16 cents a ml for Nui Wild Harvest Virgin Coconut Oil, including $7.95 shipping to Australia (shipping to New Zealand is an extra $19.91!)

I was expecting the online store Kokonut Pacific to be really expensive, but it actually works out at under two cents a ml, including shipping to Australia.  The draw-back however, is that to get the better deals you need to buy their large packs – up to 20 litres at a time!  Perhaps if you have a large family and an enormous amount of kitchen storage this might be an option for you?  Their shipping costs to Australia are reasonable (up to about $20), but for New Zealand the shipping is about double.

I’m going to order my next supply of Coconut Oil through iherb, as they seem reasonable, including shipping and have the best range I’ve seen.  Most of their Coconut Oil is shipped to both Australia and New Zealand for $4 or $6, which seems fairly reasonable (it’s calculated on weight).  They carry a lot of brands I’ve never seen in the shops in Australia, such as Artisana, Garden of Life, Harvest Bay, Jarrow Formulas, Jungle Products, Natures Way, Now Foods, Nutiva, Organic Fuji, Quantum Nutrition, Source Naturals & Spectrum Essentials.  When I finish the Melrose, I’m going to try the 858ml Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, which should work out at about $23 shipped to Australia.  I’ll let you know what it’s like!  Iherb also offer $5 off your first order using the code DUV741 , which just about equates to free shipping.

I would love to hear which brand you use and where you get it from?  I’m sure there must be lots of other sources of Coconut Oil that can be shipped to Australia or New Zealand for under two cents per ml – let me know if you’ve found one! Or perhaps you’ve found such a good brand that it is worth the extra cost?  Let me know your thoughts and I’ll update this post.

Buying Coconut Oil in Australia & New Zealand woolworths coles aldi iherb cheapest supplier paleo diet-min

Diabetic sweets fruit slim sugar free paleo diet

Diabetic Sweets

I picked up the November issue of “Diabetic Living” magazine yesterday.  The piece below tells diabetic readers how good Fruit Slim sweets are, “sugar-free, fat-free, fibre filled”, which will “halt food cravings in their tracks”.  It then goes on to say that there is more fibre in five of these sweets, than there is in two-cups of spinach or 15 raw almonds!  This makes me slightly want to cry!

Guilt-Free-Sweets-diabetic diabetes

So, the ingredients of “Fruit Slims” are: Gum Acacia, Maltitol, Sorbitol, Xylitol, Acidifier (330), Fruit Juice Concentrate, Flavour, Vegetable Oil, Sweetener (955), Natural Colour ( Paprika), Coating Agent (901).

Sweetener (955) is sucralose.  This sweetener has been linked with liver and kidney damage.  There is also a lot of uncertainty with artificial sweeteners and some evidence to suggest that they may cause an insulin response; clearly not desirable in diabetics!  Maltitol, Sorbitol and Xylitol are all sugar alcohols, which might be classed as “sugar-free”, but are carbohydrates and do have an effect on blood sugar levels.  Fruit juice is also sugar, which clearly impacts blood sugar levels.  “Flavour” could mean anything and as for the “vegetable” oil; well, that’s certainly not Paleo!  The ingredients of these “crazy good” sweets look more like a chemistry experiment; there are no real foods in sight.

I think it’s really irresponsible to promote these as a good product to anyone, never mind diabetics.  To imply they are a better choice than almonds or spinach seems reckless.  They might have more fibre, but when eating a Paleo diet rich in vegetables, fibre won’t be an issue.  Besides, for diabetics, blood sugar is a far more pressing issue than fibre?

I’ve not found anything to back up the claim that these sweets will “halt food cravings in their tracks”.  In fact from what I’ve read, artificial sweeteners appear to have the opposite effect, increasing cravings for carbohydrates.

Compare the chemical composition of “Fruit Slims” to the “alternatives” of almonds and spinach.

Almonds provide high natural amounts of many nutrients, including manganese, vitamin E, magnesium, tryptophan, copper, vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and phosphorus.

Spinach is a fantastic source of vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, vitamin C, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), calcium, potassium, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), tryptophan, vitamin E, copper, vitamin B1 (thiamine), phosphorus, zinc, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin B3 (niacin) and selenium – and many other nutrients.

Am I missing the benefits of this swap?

Diabetic sweets fruit slim sugar free paleo diet

Why You Should Throw Away Your Non-Stick Cookware teflon frying pan dangerous paleo diet-min

Why You Should Throw Away Your Non-Stick Cookware!

So, you’ve got your Paleo diet tuned in, you exercise Primally and sleep soundly; but what do you cook with?

Non stick Teflon frying pans are everywhere.  If you don’t cook with them, you’re definitely in the enlightened minority.  It’s easy to see why this cookware is so popular.  It’s so cheap to buy, depending on where you buy your cookware, it may even be the only option.  Non stick cookware is also very easy to cook on – with no thought about temperatures; you’re likely to get it right.  It’s also very easy to clean.

So, what’s wrong with non-stick cookware?

The coating of many brands of non-stick cookware contains Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) which has been shown to have carcinogenic properties.  Over time & usage the coating from these non-stick pans is often damaged, at which stage it should not be used, to avoid consumption of toxins.  Once in the blood stream there is no biological mechanism for removal of PFOA’s.

What should I cook with instead?!

There are several good alternatives to non-stick.   Cast iron, copper, stainless steel or enamelled cookware are the most popular Paleo options.  They are more expensive, but a good cast iron pan will last a lifetime.  You can also look for second hand pots and pans, which are likely to be very cost effective; even a rusty old iron pan can be cleaned, seasoned and given a new lease of life!

Cooking on iron

When you first get your iron pan you’ll need to season it.  This can be done by coating the pan in a fat, such as lard before putting it in a low temperature oven for a few minutes, allowing the iron to take up the oil.  It should then be cooled and excess oil rinsed out.  Soap should never be used on cast iron cookware.

Cooking on cast-iron is different to non-stick cooking, but once you’ve got the hang of it, you should be able to cook without food sticking to the pan.   It’s important to heat the pan before adding food (even the fat you’re cooking with) to avoid it sticking.  Food should generally be room temperature, not cold when adding to the pan, by leaving it out of the refrigerator for a few minutes before cooking.  The temperature shouldn’t be too high, or to low.  The final tip is to make sure you don’t shy away from using lots of fat, making this method of cooking very Paleo!

What do you cook with?  I’d love to hear your cookware tips and hints in the comments below.

Why You Should Throw Away Your Non-Stick Cookware teflon frying pan dangerous paleo diet-min