Non Stick Sprays, Cookware and Utensils…Good Idea or No-Go?

Unfortunately, the latter prevails.

Despite research indicating that the chemicals used to create the ‘nonstick’ surface in both cookware and sprays are toxic,  many still opt to go this route in order to create meals that are low-fat or fat free.

According to the Pam website, there is about 1 gram of fat and 7 calories in a one second spray of their product; for comparison, one teaspoon of olive oil contains approximately 4.5 grams of fat and 40 calories.

As if 4.5 grams of from olive oil were something to be avoided in favor of ingesting a nice dose of Teflon?


The University of Rochester’s website lists the following concerns with exposure to the chemicals that allow things not to stick:

  • The chemical name for Teflon is polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). This chemical is what keeps food from sticking to nonstick cookware and it has been used commercially since the 1940s.
  • The potential problem with nonstick cookware comes from another chemical used in making Teflon. This chemical, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), has been linked to cancer in laboratory animals, and possibly linked to elevated cholesterol, thyroid disease, and reduced fertility in people.
  • PFOA has come under scrutiny by the EPA because the chemical has shown up in samples of people’s blood. This concerns the EPA because PFOA lasts a long time in both people and the surrounding environment.

Do yourself, your kids and your environment a favor and stick to (had to use this pun here!) real, unadulterated fat in your cooking.  Remember to factor in smoke points when determining which type of fat to use.

What’s Cooking America’s Website gives a great breakdown of commonly used fats in cooking (many of which are not Paleo, FYI) and their respective smoke points, some of which are listed below:

  • Avocado oil 520
  • Coconut oil 350
  • Lard 370
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil 320

Bottom line- don’t be afraid of fat…be afraid of perfluorooctanoic acid!  Healthy fat is not going to make you fat, if that’s your concern, but PFOA could lead to cancer.

Pretty clear decision!