Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
Tags: teflon | pans | dangers | cast | iron | skillets

Cast Iron Better Than Teflon?

Friday, 20 Apr 2012 01:34 PM

Question: I am getting rid of my Teflon pans. In a previous column you mentioned that stainless steel is a good alternative. But what about cast iron? Can the iron in the pan cause any health problems?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
The Journal of the American Dietetic Association showed that cooking in cast iron skillets added significant amounts of iron to 20 foods tested, so, pre-menopausal women who often don't get the 18 mg of iron they need daily, this might be a good thing. However, extra iron can be a disadvantage for people who get an overabundance of iron in the diet. There's plenty of iron in red meat, beans, lentil, chickpeas, millet, dark, leafy greens, molasses, dried apricots, dried peaches, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, pistachios, walnuts, almonds, scallops, clams, oysters, soybeans, and many other foods.
It is a particular risk for those with an inherited metabolic disorder called hemochromatosis or iron overload disease whose symptoms include fatigue, heart palpitations, joint pain, non-specific stomach pain, impotence, and loss of menstrual period. Excess iron can act as a pro-oxidant, increasing free radical formation and risks of heart disease, cancer, and accelerated aging.


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Iron skillets can add significant amounts of iron to foods cooked in them.
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Friday, 20 Apr 2012 01:34 PM
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