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Should You Switch to Ceramic Cookware? Find Out Here.

If you’ve been a part of the organic living community for a while, you’ve probably heard of ceramic cookware. When we think of healthy cooking, we’re often just thinking of the ingredients we use and the places they originate. But the cookware we’re using could be having adverse effects on our and our loved ones’ health.

Again and again, tests have shown that common cookware materials can introduce trace metals and toxins into our food. What’s the point of sourcing healthy, organic foods if the very things we cook them in are hazardous? If this is something you’re concerned about in your kitchen, ceramic cookware could be the solution you’re looking for.

What is Ceramic Cookware?

Cookware is pretty much anything you prepare food in, especially over a heat source. Pots, pans, skillets, and other kitchen essentials are all considered cookware. The term “ceramic cookware” encompasses two distinct types: solid clay and ceramic-enameled.

True ceramic cookware is made from 100-percent solid clay and baked in a kiln, followed by a glazing process. These items are not all boring and brown. In fact, the glaze allows for all kinds of gorgeous colors and designs that will match any kitchen decor.

Ceramic-enameled cookware often uses a base of aluminum or other common metal. Only the very top layer is actually ceramic. While there are benefits to ceramic-enameled pots and pans over their non-coated metal counterparts, the reality is that this cookware can still carry some health risks. For this reason, we recommend solid ceramic cookware.

The Potential Hazards Hiding in Your Kitchen

While we recommend ceramic cookware for all organic cooking, you should be aware of the potential risks associated with the cookware that might currently be in your kitchen. Different metals and materials carry different risks, and these risks become more or less severe depending on how you use the cookware.

Although metals are the most common culprits of chemical leaching, plastic and glass cookware can also be hazardous to your family’s health. Educating yourself on the potential risks of these items is the best way to keep your family safe and healthy.

Non-stick

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Many people are aware of the health risks linked to non-stick cookware. But pots and pans coated with Teflon, the brand name for the most common non-stick coating, are still in household kitchens around the world.

While Teflon itself is not linked to cancer, a chemical used in the making of Teflon is. Perfluorooctanoic Acid, commonly referred to as PFOA, triggers an increase in the rate of tumors for both lab animals and humans exposed to the chemical. Tests sometimes find trace amounts of residual PFOA in Teflon, and once it enters the human body, it remains there for a very long time.

Heated Teflon can trigger flu-like symptoms in some people, called polymer fume fever. This isn't a potential issue when using non-stick pots and pans as intended. However, leaving non-stick cookware on a stove for too long or at too high of a temperature can release these harmful fumes.

Cast iron

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A cast iron pan's best trait is also a potential disadvantage. Cast iron cookware leaches iron into the food cooked within, which is great for those who are anemic or not getting the daily recommended amount of dietary iron. But for those who get enough or too much iron in their diet, this leaching could be dangerous.

Some individuals with metabolic disorders like hemochromatosis can undergo harm from this extra dietary iron. Excess iron in the body can also increase free radical formation and increase the risk of heart disease. If you or a loved one is at risk for any of these conditions, it’s best to avoid cooking with cast iron altogether.

Stainless steel

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Like cast iron, stainless steel cookware adds small amounts of iron to cooked food. But it can also leach the metals chromium and nickel. Similar to iron, chromium is beneficial in small amounts and harmful if we ingest too much. While nickel is technically safe for the human body, those who have a nickel allergy could experience symptoms if they ingest too much of this metal.

Not all stainless steel is equal, though. Magnetic stainless steel, versus non-magnetic, has little to no nickel and therefore poses little risk of toxic metal leaching. Testing your stainless steel cookware is simple, all you need is a magnet. If the magnet is attracted to your stainless steel cookware, it's the safer variety. If not, it might be time to invest in some new kitchen items.

Plastic

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You might not think of plastic as cookware, but how many times have you placed warm or hot food into a plastic container for storage? Or even microwaved something in a plastic container? The reality is that warm plastic can leach chemicals into our food very easily. This is especially true when the food in question is high in acidity, sodium, or fat.

Plastics can contain and therefore contaminate your food with three hazardous materials. Endocrine disruptors, the most well-known of which is BPA, can interact with our bodies and prevent hormone production from properly functioning. Monomers are also present in some plastics and are linked to cancerous growths. And, like metal pots and pans, plastic cookware can leach toxic metals into our food.

Glass

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Glassware has some obvious physical hazards, like the risk of shattering or exploding. You should use care and avoid dramatic changes in temperature when cooking with glass. But this cookware can also cause damage to our bodies from the inside.

While responsibly manufactured glass cookware is actually very safe to use, some items can contain unsafe levels of lead and chemical pigments. Older glass items may pose a risk to your family's health, as these items were not subject to the same safety standards as today's cookware. All things considered, though, most glass cookware is equally or almost as safe as ceramic cookware.

Why Choose Ceramic Cookware?

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Now that we've run through the reasons why you shouldn't use most popular cookware types, it's time to discuss the benefits of switching to ceramic cookware. In addition to being more sustainable than most metal counterparts, ceramic cookware is easier to use, more versatile in the kitchen, and, most importantly, less hazardous to our health.

Non-stick, durable, and toxin-free

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Ceramic cookware is naturally non-stick, without the addition of dangerous compounds like Teflon. This means your ceramic pieces are less likely to stick to and burn your food and are easier to clean. Some critics of ceramic cookware claim that pots and pans made from this material don't last quite as long as Teflon-coated cookware, but this claim is still up for debate.

Ceramic cookware doesn't require any chemical coatings to protect its surfaces. Although ceramic pots and pans are naturally very durable, you should still use care when using and cleaning them. Wooden utensils are the best option to avoid scratching the cooking surface. While some sources recommend plastic utensils, we would avoid them due to the potential hazards mentioned earlier. You should also avoid using abrasive sponges when cleaning your ceramic items. Taking these small steps will keep your ceramic cookware in great condition for years to come.

Extremely versatile

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Cookware made from ceramic can cook at temperatures up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Now, you're probably not going to be cooking anything at such a high temperature. But you can rest assured that your ceramic cookware can withstand all kinds of cooking. Even if you don't choose to replace all of your current cookware with ceramic, anything you use at particularly high heat is a good candidate. This is especially true since higher heat tends to release more toxins and fumes from traditional cookware.

Ceramic cookware can be used on most stovetops, in an oven, and even in the microwave. One heat source that won't work with your ceramic cookware is an induction stove top, which relies on a magnetic field to heat the pot or pan placed on top. However, while induction stovetops are gaining in popularity, they are still pretty uncommon in the average household.

How to Shop for Ceramic Cookware

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Unfortunately, switching to ceramic cookware is not as easy as just going to your local convenience store and picking up the first thing you see. There's a vast array of ceramic cookware on the market, but not all of it is beneficial to your family's health. Knowing how to discern between ceramic-coated and solid ceramic cookware is just part of the puzzle.

There are two important things to consider when shopping for ceramic cookware: the items' age and country of origin. Finding a high-quality product might mean spending a little more for your new cookware set. But this investment will ensure that your kitchen is free of toxic metals and chemicals.

Choosing the right ceramic cookware

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While it might be tempting to pick up a few vintage pieces of ceramic cookware for your kitchen, we don't recommend this. Older pieces of ceramic cookware were not subject to modern safety standards at the time of manufacture. Many of these pieces test positive for lead and other dangerous chemicals. Instead, reserve vintage cookware for use as home decor only.

It's possible to find high-quality ceramic cookware from all over the world. But different countries have different testing standards when it comes to the presence of toxic chemicals in their cookware. The safest countries to purchase from are the United States and Canada, which both have systems in place to guarantee that ceramic cookware produced in the country is free of lead and other dangerous materials.

Where to buy & pricing

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Some popular cookware brands, like Cuisinart, offer solid ceramic product lines. But ceramic-coated cookware is much more common from these brands. If you buy cookware from a brand that doesn't exclusively sell 100 percent solid ceramic cookware, double-check that their products aren't just ceramic-coated.

You might be able to find the occasional 100 percent ceramic cookware piece at your local department or kitchen supply store. But for a complete set, you will probably need to shop online. Two of the largest ceramic cookware brands are Xtrema and Dr. Mercola. Xtrema products are available on Amazon and the Xtrema website. Dr. Mercola products are available on Amazon and the Dr. Mercola online shop. You can also find a selection of handmade ceramic cookware on Etsy, but item quality can vary greatly between each seller.

At first glance, 100 percent ceramic cookware can seem much more expensive than non-stick or metal cookware. But cookware comes in a wide range of qualities, from extremely cheap to luxury. The average piece of ceramic cookware is much better quality than most bargain sets containing metal. Comparing ceramic cookware to comparable mid-range pots and pans shows the truth. Good quality ceramic products are very similar in price to those made from more harmful materials.

Making the Switch

While a ceramic cookware set is a great way to invest in your family's health, the task of replacing all of your cookware is often daunting. Specialty items like ceramic woks and steamers might be harder to locate. Don't fret if you aren't able to switch over your family's kitchenware to solid ceramic all at once. Start with the items your family uses most and slowly work from there. Any decrease in your food's exposure to leached metals and fumes is a step in the right direction.

A key part of responsibly replacing your metal cookware is how you discard of it. Some recycling facilities can accept and process these items. This prevents them from sitting in a landfill or continuing to cause direct damage to the environment. In time, more people will adopt safer, sustainable cookware. And with this change, we will hopefully see products containing Teflon and toxic metals removed from the market completely.

Do you have a favorite brand of ceramic cookware? Tell us about it in the comments!

The Best Non-Stick Cookware for Organic Cooking

best non stick cookware

You’ve got the organic fruits, vegetables, and grains, and you’re ready to start cooking. But do you have the best non-stick cookware for the job? Organic food has been around since agriculture first began, of course. But the organic food movement didn’t start until the 20th century when people started to become concerned about the practices used to grow their food.

As chemical farming grew more popular, so did the resistance to it. You might be surprised to learn that the first lecture on organic food was given in 1924. But it wasn’t until the late 20th century that organic food became a trend that could be found in major grocery stores and popular magazines.

Today, organic cooking is an integral part of many people’s lives. However, it’s easy to give more thought to the food you cook than to the cookware you cook it with. Are you using the best non-stick cookware to preserve the health of your dietary choices? Cookware can do more than you might think. Keep reading to learn how to choose the best non-stick cookware for organic cooking, and why it matters.

Non-Stick Cookware Concerns

Non-Stick Cookware

Just like with food, not all the cookware on the market is actually safe. Many cookware items contain metals that leach, chemicals that get into the food, and other harmful substances that you may not be aware of.

Your cookware can be the culprit behind many health concerns if you aren’t careful to invest in non-toxic items. One of the biggest culprits of these health issues is non-stick cookware.

It’s easy to see the appeal of non-stick pans. Isn’t it wonderful when your scrambled eggs simply glide out of the pan, making cleanup a breeze? The best non-stick cookware is perfectly safe, as long as you use it properly. But a lot of non-stick cookware isn’t safe at all. With the wrong non-stick cookware, you could be paying for convenience in a serious way.

The History of Non-Stick Cookware


A researcher named Roy Plunkett is credited with inventing the method that makes cookware non-stick. While trying to create a relatively non-toxic refrigerant, he accidentally invented polytetrafluoroethylene (or PTFE). This waxy material was very slippery and quickly got patented.

However, non-stick cookware wasn’t actually invented until a French engineer named Marc Gregoire figured out how to make PTFE stick to aluminum. His new cookware quickly caught on, first in France and then around the world. Within years, non-stick cookware became a regular household item.

The Problem with Non-Stick Cookware

The convenience is great, but over the years since non-stick cookware was invented, studies have pointed to a number of related health concerns.

The non-stick surface contains perfluorooctanoic acid (or PFOA.) Many studies have linked the accidental consumption of PFOA to a host of health issues. It appears to have a connection to cancers, heart attack, stroke, immune system issues, and more serious health problems. The problems start when the non-stick cookware’s surface begins to flake or melt away and get into the food.

More problems stem from the aluminum surface beneath the non-stick coating. As the non-stick layer wears away, the aluminum gets revealed. However, aluminum cookware isn’t safe either. Studies have linked aluminum consumption to diseases like Alzheimer’s. Although these studies aren’t yet conclusive, it’s enough to make anyone think twice before cooking with aluminum.

How to Choose the Best Non-Stick Cookware

How to Choose the Best Non-Stick Cookware

With such strong warnings, it might seem like non-stick cookware is best avoided. There are plenty of safe alternatives to non-stick cookware, such as cast iron, stoneware, and stainless steel. However, these alternatives are often expensive, unwieldy, and difficult to clean. The good news is that it is possible to use non-stick cookware. The key is to invest in the best non-stick cookware designed for safety. Cheap non-stick coatings can easily scratch, flake, and come off in your food. But well-maintained, high-quality non-stick cookware can be used for years with no issues.

Many companies make non-stick cookware that’s also non-toxic. They might use base materials other than aluminum to reduce the chances of dangerous metals leaching into your food. And they’ll use higher-quality non-stick coatings that can’t be damaged easily. Although you should still replace any cookware with a damaged surface, the best non-stick cookware is designed to hold up well to repeated use.

The Top Non-Stick Cookware Items You Should Have

The Top Non-Stick Cookware Items You Should Have

Which non-stick items are an essential part of an organic kitchen? Let’s take a look at the top non-stick items to invest in.

Saute pan

You can recognize a saute pan by its depth and straight, tall sides. For true sauteeing, a skillet is actually the better choice, surprisingly. But a good non-stick saute pan is great for braising, frying, and more. It’s the perfect medium-sized vessel when you don’t want to break out your biggest, heaviest pots.

Saute pans are also great for cooking sauces, such as a pasta sauce, from scratch. With the size of the pan, you can easily add the pasta when the sauce is ready, cutting down on the number of dishes you'll need to wash.

Saucier

You definitely should have a saucepan, in addition to a saute pan. For the best-quality saucepan, invest in a non-stick saucier. In a saucier, you can make sauces, but they’re also great for making soups and anything that you need to cook slowly over low heat.

Since the bottom of a saucier doesn’t have any sharp corners, you can easily stir the whole thing. Combine this with the non-stick surface, and you won’t have any issues with sauces sticking to the pan.

Skillet

Finally, a skillet is the most essential non-stick cookware item for most organic kitchens. In a skillet, you can saute vegetables, cook perfect eggs, make stirfries, and much more. In fact, you might want to invest in a couple of skillets of different sizes. You’ll need a much smaller skillet for a single omelet than for a family-sized stirfry.


Now is a good time to take stock of your kitchen. If you have any old, warped, or scratched non-stick cookware, throw it out. Is your kitchen missing any non-stick cooking essentials now? If so, you should invest in the best non-stick cookware to make your organic cooking as easy as it is healthy.

We’ve put together the best non-stick cookware items that you might want to have. From essential to luxurious, keep reading for our top cookware choices.

How we reviewed

Beautiful, affordable cookware means nothing if it doesn’t perform well in the kitchen. Customer reviews are one of the top considerations we used in putting together this list. All of these items got top marks from many customers.

Even more important, though, is the brand’s commitment to safety. You can shop confident that everything we’ve listed here is manufactured with health and safety in mind.

Cuisinart GreenGourmet 10-Inch Open Skillet

Cuisinart GreenGourmet 10-Inch Open Skillet

Let’s start with the basics. This is an affordable, safe, medium-sized skillet that’s sure to become a staple in any kitchen.

The GreenGourmet brand uses a ceramic base to keep its cookware safe. The non-stick coating doesn’t have any potentially toxic PFOA or PTFE. The design also has great heat conductivity for even cooking, and often uses recycled materials to help save the planet. This skillet has a quite reasonable price of $20 to $25.

PROS & CONS

The Amazon rating for this pan is 3.7 out of 5 stars, and many customers have noted that the non-stick surface is excellent. However, if you don't care for it according to the manufacturer’s guidelines, you can damage the pan.

GreenPan Mini Ceramic Non-Stick Round Egg Pan

GreenPan Mini Ceramic Non-Stick Round Egg Pan

GreenPan is another non-stick option that uses ceramic for safety. This Belgian high-end cookware brand uses Thermolon, made from sand, to create a ceramic non-stick coating. It’s free of PFAS, PFOA, lead, and cadmium, all of which are dangerous when they leach into food.

You can also use these pans at high temps without damage. The company uses green production methods, too, so this is a really guilt-free brand to buy from. Although their larger items are sometimes pricey, the non-stick round egg pan is just $10 to $15.

PROS & CONS

This little pan has 3.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon. People found it to be the perfect pan for cooking a single egg. However, some of the negative reviews stem from its small size: it’s not a very versatile tool for the kitchen.

Scanpan Classic 10 1/4-Inch Saute Pan with Lid

Scanpan Classic 10 Saute Pan with Lid

Scanpan calls its non-stick coating Green Tek: a ceramic titanium layer that has no PFOA or PFOS and resists scratching. The pans use recycled aluminum, but since the coating won’t scratch they’re safe to use. The aluminum is also pressure-cast, so it holds and distributes heat better than most aluminum pans.

Scanpan doesn’t come cheap: the saute pan is $95 to $105. However, this is an investment that will last a long time.

PROS & CONS

Customers have given this saute pan 4.1 out of 5 stars on Amazon. They say it is easy to clean and not too heavy. One reviewer said they received an item with a broken handle, but this doesn’t seem to be commonplace.

Zwilling Spirit 3-Quart Stainless Steel Ceramic Nonstick Saucepan

Zwilling Spirit 3-Quart Stainless Steel Ceramic Nonstick Saucepan

You might have heard about the famous Zwilling knives. However, this German cookware brand makes much more than just cutlery.

Their ceramic non-stick cookware is known for being easy to use and easy to clean. Although pricey, their cookware is also very durable, so you can consider this a lifelong investment. The three-quart saucepan clocks in at $85 to $95.

PROS & CONS

With 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon, customers vouch that this investment is worthwhile. Many people note the durability of everything about the pan, from the handles to the coating. But if you don't care for the pans properly, the coating will start to peel off, so make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions.

Ozeri 12-Inch Green Earth Wok

Ozeri 12-Inch Green Earth Wok

A non-stick wok can make a surprisingly versatile kitchen implement, and Ozeri is a great brand to buy from. This company uses Greblon, a German non-toxic, non-stick coating. The ceramic-based surface has no PFOA or PTFE and resists scratches, and the wok comes in a fun lime green color. At just $35 to $40, it’s also incredibly affordable.

PROS & CONS

A rating of 4.0 out of 5 stars is great for a wok with such a low price point. Many reviewers love the wok for its roominess and even heating. However, some took points off because the non-stick surface scratches more easily than it should.

GreenLife Ceramic Non-Stick Cookie Sheet

GreenLife Ceramic Non-Stick Cookie Sheet

Even your baking pans can be non-stick and totally safe. GreenLife also uses Thermolon, which holds up well to high heat in the oven. You can safely clean this surface with gentle abrasive agents, on occasion. Since Teflon can release toxic fumes when heated to high temps, this is a much better choice for any avid baker. It also costs just $10 to $15.

PROS & CONS

This baking sheet has earned 3.9 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Many people love its pretty color and large size. However, the ceramic coating is thin, so you’ll have to take care not to scratch it.

Beka Chef Eco-logic Nonstick 9 1/2-Inch Fry Pan

Beka Chef Eco-logic Nonstick 9 1.5-Inch Fry Pan

The Beka brand’s Eco-logic line uses a safe, environmentally friendly non-stick coating. These products avoid PFOA and PTFE and are made using green methods. Biodegradable materials like bamboo powder make the cookware unique and safe to use. The 9 1/2-inch fry pan costs $85 to $95, so this is on the high end as far as price goes.

PROS & CONS

Reviews gave this pan 2.9 out of 5 stars on Amazon, saying that it’s durable and easy to use. Some reviewers have had issues with stickiness, but note that this may come from not following the manufacturer’s guidelines. For example, if you spray these pans with non-stick spray, they will never be the same.

Ecolution Bliss Ceramic Nonstick Cookware Set

Ecolution Bliss Ceramic Nonstick Cookware Set

If you want to get all of the best non-stick cookware in one go, consider a set like this one from Ecolution. The brand’s Bliss line uses a coating of water-based ceramic with no PFOA or PTFE. You can use these pots and pans on gas, electric, and induction ranges.

Try one of the four colors to match your kitchen style: red, black, gray, or white. They print the packaging on recycled material, making this another choice that will be easy on your conscience. It’s also easy on your budget: the eight-piece set costs just $115 to $120.

PROS & CONS

The set has 3.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon. The top reviews note that the products are attractive, easy to clean, and very non-stick. Other people noted that there was some warping and that using these products on induction cooktops proved difficult.

The Verdict

All of these top cookware items have their pros and cons. But what’s the best non-stick cookware piece for any kitchen?

Although it all depends on your unique kitchen needs, we give top marks to the Cuisinart GreenGourmet 10-Inch Open Skillet. It’s a versatile size and shape, easy to use, and very affordable for the quality.

Because of safety concerns, non-stick cookware has a bad rap. But lots of companies are now addressing this by making the best non-stick cookware that’s non-toxic, even if you scratch it. Will you be picking up any items from this list? Let us know in the comments!

Your Guide to Cookware For Organic Cooking: Safety, Recipes, and More

cookware

Turning to organic food is more popular than ever before. But is your cookware getting in the way of your food’s health benefits? According to a Gallup poll, almost half of all Americans seek out organic choices when they shop for food. In 2016, organic food sales reached an impressive $43 billion. Many people find that the extra money or time it takes to seek out organic food choices is well worth it. However, they might be exposing themselves to health hazards in other, unexpected ways: by cooking with unsafe cookware.

The dangers posed by some cookware materials can seriously affect your health. Don’t let your efforts to go organic go to waste by cooking with the wrong tools. Ready to learn how to choose the safest cookware for your organic cooking? Keep reading to learn how to upgrade your kitchen for safety.


Why Your Cookware Matters?

You might have been using the same cookware for years. If it seems to be doing the trick in the kitchen, what could be wrong? Or maybe you’ve recently invested in some fancy new pots and pans. Since they were pricey, you might not think there could be anything wrong with them. But even your trusty old favorites or expensive new cookware can hold hidden dangers.

kitchenware

As easy example of a surprising cookware hazard is the carcinogenic properties of nonstick pans. Most nonstick cookware is made using perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA. This synthetic chemical is listed as a health hazard by the American Cancer Society. The chemical remains in our bodies long after we unwittingly consume it, and studies on animals have shown how it contributes to cancer and other health issues. Still, stores continue to sell us nonstick pans.

This is just one on a long list of potentially harmful cookware materials. If you’re already making an effort to replace your food with organic choices, why not change your cooking tools for safety, too?

Cookware Health Hazards

Cookware Health Hazards

Cancer is just one of the problems caused by toxic cooking materials. Here are the other risks you’ll be avoiding when you update your kitchen with safer pots and pans.

Allergies

Certain cookware materials put out fumes in the air when you use them. The fumes can result in allergic reactions, breathing difficulties, and other negative symptoms in anyone with sensitivities.

Neurological issues

Some materials in cooking implements will leach out into your food, such as aluminum. Many people avoid aluminum in products like deodorant because studies have linked it to neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Although the accumulation of aluminum in the body hasn’t been proven to cause these diseases yet, the link is undeniable.

High cholesterol

Raised cholesterol levels don’t just come from the foods you eat. They are a byproduct of unsafe cookware. Chemicals in nonstick pots and pans, including the PFOA mentioned above, have been connected to high cholesterol levels, even in children.

Compromised immune system

Perfluorochemicals like PFOA also have links to many other health concerns. Most worrying, perhaps, is that they seem to compromise the immune system. Without a healthy immune system, the body can’t effectively fight off disease. These chemicals also cause problems with the thyroid, liver, and other essential parts of the body’s self-protection mechanisms.

Delayed development

As mentioned above, these health problems are present in children, not just adults. Research shows that even before a baby is born, the mother’s PFOA levels can affect development, creating dreaded developmental delays. Once born, these children might miss essential developmental milestones.

Toxic Cookware Materials to Avoid

Toxic Cookware Materials to Avoid

With these hazards in mind, what kinds of cookware should you keep out of your cabinets? Let’s take a closer look at the materials to avoid in your kitchen.

Plastic

Plastic is perhaps the most obvious kind of cookware to avoid. The same research that’s made many people switch from plastic to glass water bottles should also make you reconsider your plastic cooking tools.

Bisphenol A, or BPA, is found in plastic and has been linked to health hazards in multiple scientific studies. When pregnant women consume BPA from plastic, the chemical mimics estrogen and can cause many problems for their children, from breast cancer to infertility. Cooking with plastic should always be avoided.

Aluminum

As stated above, aluminum appears to have a connection to Alzheimer’s. The scientific community remains in a heated debate about whether or not these studies are conclusive. Studies have shown that cooking certain foods is more likely to make aluminum leach from pots and pans, though. Vinegar and acidic things like tomatoes will cause more aluminum to get into the food.

If you want to make aluminum safer, look for anodized aluminum cookware. Anodizing prevents leaching. However, it’s better to be safe than sorry, so we recommend not cooking with aluminum at all if you can avoid it.

Copper

Copper cookware may be beautiful, but it’s not completely safe either. This material can also leach from your pans into what you eat. This mineral differs from aluminum in that we actually need copper to be healthy. However, it can soon build up to toxic levels. We ingest copper from many sources already, ranging from copper pipes in the home to copper IUDs in our bodies.

In this modern world, we’re much more likely to experience copper toxicity than copper deficiency. It’s best to stay away from copper cookware, so you don’t accidentally consume too much.

Nonstick or Teflon

Between the toxic fumes and the flakes of coating that can get into your food if you scratch the pan, nonstick cookware has lots of opportunities to cause health problems.

To make matters worse, the base material for many nonstick pans is aluminum. Once the Teflon is scratched or worn away, the aluminum can start to leach into your cooking. These risks aren’t worth the convenience and ease of nonstick pans.


Safe Cookware Choices

T-Fal E765SE

Now that you know what to avoid let’s delve into the best cookware options to replace your old tools.

Ceramic

Ceramic is beautiful, rustic, and safe -- for the most part. However, you do need to be careful as some ceramic dishes manufactured in other countries can come with dangerously high lead content. Improperly prepared dishes will leech the toxic metal.

You can easily avoid this risk by only buying ceramic tools made in the U.S. or Canada, where regulations prohibit high lead content.

Stoneware

Stoneware is another attractive and safe option, as long as you buy stoneware made in the U.S. and Canada. Safely produced stoneware won’t leach at all and is a versatile kitchen choice. However, it is heavy and prone to chipping, so be careful if you use it.

Stainless steel

Stainless steel is widely considered to be one of the safest materials for cooking. If you buy good-quality stainless steel, it won’t leach or rust. However, stainless comes in many different grades, so make sure you look for food-grade stainless cookware.

It would help if you also took care not to wash your stainless steel pans with harsh or abrasive materials since this can reduce the stability of the metal and make it likely to leach. If your stainless pots and pans become damaged, throw them out, because they are no longer totally safe.

Glass

Glass is surprisingly durable, nontoxic, and environmentally friendly. Look for oven-safe glass cookware, as well as glass pots and pans for the stovetop. Don’t forget to replace your plastic food storage containers with glass, too.

Cast iron

Cast iron might seem old-fashioned, but it’s a very safe and very effective material for cooking. In fact, it might actually be the most nontoxic material on this list.

Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron 5 Piece Bundle. 10.5” Griddle, 8”...

Since cast iron holds heat well, you can cook with it on a low setting. You'll keep the food from sticking, which is the main reason why people avoid using cast iron skillets and pans. However, cast iron also holds up to high temps, and can even be put in the oven.

WIth cast iron cookware, the only material that can get into your food is iron. Many people have iron deficiencies even today, so adding a bit of iron to your food from your cookware can actually benefit you. The only reason to avoid cast iron is in the rare case that you have high iron levels already.

When cast iron is seasoned, it also becomes virtually nonstick. Most cast iron pans come with instructions for seasoning. Essentially, you’ll coat the pan with oil and expose it to heat several times to get and maintain a nonstick surface. It takes a bit of time, but you won’t miss nonstick pans at all with properly seasoned cast iron. You can also buy enameled cast iron, which is nonstick and dishwasher-safe.

Organic Cookware Essentials and Recipes

Organic Cookware

Wondering how to start making your kitchen completely safe and organic? Here are the top cookware essentials to buy or replace today, plus our favorite organic recipes for each one.

Stockpot

Stockpots are excellent, especially if you’re cooking for a large group or in large quantities. Choose from different quart sizes to meet the needs of your family. These large cookware items are ideal for making lots of pasta, soup, veggies, or broth. Even if you’re just cooking for one, you can make a big pot of soup and then freeze it in individual portions to consume throughout the year. Look for stockpots made of stainless steel or enameled cast iron. Since you'll heat them for a long time, you don’t want any leaching.

Our favorite stockpot recipe

If you’re into health trends and love using the whole animal, use your stockpot to make an ultra-healthy bone broth. Bone broth is easy to make, and there are many different variations of the recipe. Start with the bones or carcasses from beef, chicken, or the meat of your choice (this is a great way to use leftovers!). Put them in the pot along with a couple of bay leaves and some chopped vegetables -- try onion, garlic, carrots, and celery. Add a couple of spoonfuls of salt and vinegar, cover all the ingredients with water, and cover the pot. Cook everything on low. Beef takes about 12 to 24 hours, while poultry finishes in 6 to 8. Skim the top of the broth every once in a while as it cooks.

After the broth cooks, pour it through a fine strainer and throw out the solids. Add salt to taste, and refrigerate or freeze.

Skillet

A skillet is another essential part of a healthy, organic kitchen. Again, the sizes vary. Try a small skillet of eight inches or less if you’re cooking for one or two people and a larger one of 10 to 12 inches for a big family. You’ll use your skillet for all kinds of basic cooking. They’re great for pancakes, eggs, stir-fries, and more. You can even use a skillet to reheat food, avoiding the microwave. Cast iron skillets are a healthy, failsafe option. Buy enameled cast iron if you want cast iron that is also easy to clean. If you want a lighter weight skillet or are on a budget, try stainless steel or glass instead.

Our favorite skillet recipe

Skillet-cooked scrambled eggs are a morning staple. However, not all scrambled eggs are created equal. To elevate your eggs, use fresh organic eggs -- they always taste better. Whip the eggs thoroughly: the more air that gets in, the fluffier they’ll be. Add a touch of salt, and cook over low heat with some melted butter. Push the eggs around with a spatula (made of a heat-safe material like bamboo) until the eggs have mostly set. They’ll set the rest of the way after you stop cooking them, so don’t overdo it.

Saucepan

How could you make great sauces without a great saucepan? Again, choose from different quart sizes depending on the size of your family. In a saucepan, you can cook rice and other grains, beans, and every kind of sauce you can name. Stainless steel and glass are two of the top saucepan materials.

Our favorite saucepan recipe

Tomato sauce is a staple in French, Italian, and many other beloved cuisines. Organic tomatoes offer the sweetest, juiciest flavor for the perfect tomato sauce. Marzalla Hazan’s famous tomato sauce recipe involves just four ingredients. Start with peeled tomatoes (you can try fresh instead of canned, too). Cook them in a saucepan with butter, a halved onion, and a pinch of salt. Simmer the ingredients, then bring the heat down to low.

Throughout the cooking process, use a spoon to crush the tomatoes, and stir the mix occasionally for 45 minutes. When drops of fat start to show up on the surface, the sauce is ready. Throw out the onion halves and serve the sauce with your favorite meats, pasta, and more.

Ready to Replace Your Cookware?

Once you’ve invested in the big-three essentials of stockpot, skillet, and saucepan, you’ll want to upgrade the rest of your kitchen, too. From stovetop tools to baking sheets and pans, you can make every last item in your kitchen safe for you and your family. The key to replacing your cookware without breaking the bank is to start with the essential items, then replace things one by one after that. However, if your old cookware gets damaged, such as scratched Teflon, then it’s extra dangerous and should get replaced right away. Which organic recipes will you try with your new, healthy cookware? Let us know in the comments!

Best Fruits for Weight Loss and Diet

best fruits for weight loss

Did you know that apples and oranges are not only nutritious but can also slim down your waistline? It’s true, and the best fruits for weight loss are right there at your local supermarket.

These super fruits make you feel fuller -- longer. This is important when you want to prevent unwanted weight gain. These fruits can be enjoyed alone or as part of a larger meal. They are sweet, tasty, and can improve your figure. So, what are the best fruits for weight loss?

Can Fruits Help You Lose Weight?

We always hear nutritional experts telling us about the plethora of fantastic health benefits of fruit. But can eating fruit really help you lose weight? The answer is yes.

Some studies have shown that fruit has benefits for our health through their anti-obesity effects. There are several reasons that experts confirm the weight loss benefits of certain fruits. For one, fruit helps to enforce the effects of satiety or the feeling of fullness that helps us feel full for longer periods of time. Because of this, we are usually less compelled to eat more food after eating fruit.

Different fruits on market

Paired with satiety is the fact that the best fruits for weight loss are also higher-calorie foods that can satisfy our appetites when eaten on their own. This is opposed to vegetables that we usually pair with a more extensive course. You are more likely to choose a piece of fruit rather than a carrot to replace that cookie you think you want. The result is that eating fruit can limit the total calories you would have had. Make this a routine, and you will be taking in fewer calories in the long run.

One of the common traits of the best fruits for weight loss is fiber. Many fruits, including apples and pears, contain up to 3.6 grams of fiber. There have been several studies that prove that those who eat less fiber are consistently more obese than those who consume fiber more frequently. Those who consume more fiber are also less likely to suffer from hypertension, diabetes, dementia, and even depression.

For all of these reasons alone, eating fruit is a no-brainer.

The Best Fruits for Weight Loss

There are over 2,000 types of fruit in the world. While most varieties are very healthy in moderation, there are a select few that are not only healthy but are considered the best fruits for weight loss. What separates the best fruits for weight loss is what they have inside. The following fruits are high in antioxidants, and they have a higher water content. Many of them also contain necessary vitamins and nutrients including potassium, vitamin C, and of course, that all important fiber.

Watermelon

One of the best fruits for weight loss is watermelon. The main benefit that watermelon has going for it is its water content. Every bite of watermelon you consume contains about 92 percent water and only six percent sugar. The benefits of getting enough water are well known. When it comes to losing weight, making sure you drink enough water can replace unnecessary food.

watermelon

In many cases, when we think we are hungry, we are really just dehydrated. So when we choose to have a glass of water instead of a bag of chips, we are replenishing what we need without gaining weight. Plus, water helps our bodies to work at maximum efficiency. Meaning that your workouts will be more effective, making it easier to lose weight.

Wonderful ways to prepare watermelon

If you are looking to enjoy watermelon as one of the best fruits for weight loss, then you have several options. The first is to enjoy it by the slice. If that doesn’t do it for you, watermelon is also great with other foods. You can add thin slices to your sandwich, turn it into a salad with tomato and avocado, or combine it with gazpacho to make salsa.

Blueberries

Blueberries have a lot going for them, making them one of the best fruits for weight loss. These tiny berries have been found to positively influence the genes that regulate where we store fat and how we burn it away. If you eat blueberries as part of a low-calorie diet, you will also find that the berries help to improve blood sugar levels which impacts how we lose weight.

Blueberries

On top of all of that, blueberries are also a significant source of fiber, with one cup containing 3.6 grams. It helps us to feel full, so we don’t eat the bad stuff.

A million ways to prepare blueberries

As one of the best fruits for weight loss, blueberries are a great compliment to yogurt, granola, and fruit smoothies. You can spice up your favorite pork dish by pairing blueberries with white wine and fresh thyme in a lovely savory sauce. You can even match the blueberries with that watermelon, jalapeño, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice for a salsa that makes an excellent topping for grilled salmon or chicken.

Apples

They say that eating an apple a day can keep the doctor away, but they can also lead to your weight loss goals. Apples are one of the best fruits for weight loss because they are a low-calorie snack that contains no sodium or fat.

The most important way apples can help you to lose weight is by combining an already low-calorie count with a high amount of fiber which makes you fuller for longer. Many people eat an apple before their dinner to ensure that they consume fewer calories. Like watermelons, apples also contain a lot of water with a medium sized apple being made up of about 85 percent liquid. This water content also helps you to feel full.

apples

If your weakness is your sweet tooth, then apples can help with that too. Some apples are sweeter than others because they have more sugar. However, the advantage of apples is that they have a low glycemic index. That means that your body is better able to process the sugar they contain. In this way, an apple can easily replace your favorite sweet treat and is one of the best fruits for weight loss.

Amazing ways to eat apples

Apples are already great on their own, but if you want to spice things up, you have many options. For a fun snack, create a sandwich with two apple slices surrounding a small helping of granola and peanut butter. Don’t worry, peanut butter is also high fiber and is perfectly fine on a diet if eaten in moderation.

But the apple sandwich is just the tip of the iceberg. Apples can also be roasted, baked, and turned into applesauce. There are many other healthy apple combinations including apple pancakes, a healthy apple pizza, and a baked apple crisp.

Grapefruit

Grapefruits are one of the best fruits for weight loss because they contain multiple elements that aid in slimming your waistline. The main benefit is that grapefruits contain ingredients that can lower the level of insulin in your body. Insulin is a fat-storage hormone. When your body controls its insulin, it uses the fat for energy instead of storing it. Weight loss can be the result.

On top of that, grapefruits have many other secret weight loss powers. For one, like many of the other fruits, they contain a lot of fiber, and one serving only has about 53 calories. The result is consuming less but feeling fuller.

Grapefruit

Some studies even show that even the smell of grapefruit can curb cravings. They say that smelling grapefruit positively affects our liver enzymes which can aid in preventing hunger cravings. When even the smell makes an impact, you know you have one of the best fruits for weight loss.

The many grapefruit dishes

The reason grapefruit is one of the best fruits for weight loss is because of the variety of ways you can prepare it. Mix grapefruit with avocado and salmon to create a refreshing salad. Grapefruits are in smoothies, pudding, and it is really tasty covered with granola and greek yogurt.

Bananas

Few people are surprised to learn that bananas are one of the healthiest foods with their high levels of potassium and fiber. But did you know they are also one of the best fruits for weight loss?

In addition to their healthy attributes, bananas are also an excellent fruit for boosting your metabolism and energy. A banana can replace your typical energy bar, effectively energizing you with only 90 calories. That means your workouts can be that much more effective.

Bananas

While all bananas are healthy, those that are best for weight loss are still slightly green in color. Before ripening, they are a resistant starch. In layman's terms, foods that are resistant starches slow down or resist the digestion process, using your gut in such a way that suppresses your appetite. Long story short, you will feel fuller and energized for longer.

Go bananas for these snack ideas

Like many other fruits, you are welcome to cook bananas in a variety of ways. Put bananas and eggs together to make delicious banana pancakes. How about a savory banana creme brulee. There are even healthy ways to make banana blondies, puddings, and cheesecake!

Oranges

Orange you glad that this citrus treat is one of the best fruits for weight loss? Besides being full of vitamin C, they are also fat-free, low in calories, and full of fiber. Most oranges only have about 62 calories. Plus, oranges are low on energy density, which means you can eat several of them without going over your calorie limit, and afterward, you will feel less hungry for longer.

Oranges

The vitamin C alone can do you wonders. Experts say that those who consume less vitamin C find it harder to lose weight. Many factors determine why someone may or may not lose weight. Among them are stress and slow metabolism. Vitamin C can help to quicken the process of metabolizing fat. Plus, a lack of vitamin C can lead to higher stress levels which hamper weight loss. Make yourself feel better with an orange.

Orange recipes to help you enjoy one of the best fruits for weight loss

While their low energy density allows you just to sit and enjoy a small pile of oranges, there are many ways to spice up your orange consumption.

You can start your day off right by adding oranges to your oatmeal or enjoy them in a nice fruit salad. For lunch, you can combine oranges, tomato, cilantro, onion, and lime juice for a delightful orange salsa. After dinner, treat yourself to ambrosia made with oranges, low-fat lemon yogurt, shredded coconut, and vanilla extract.

Pears

Like many other fruits on this list, pears contain elements that leave you full and satisfied for longer, which lands them on the list of the best fruits for weight loss. Next time you have a craving, grab a pear. Just one pair can give you 20 percent of your daily fiber requirement. Fiber keeps you full while also helping you absorb the vitamins and minerals from food.

Pears

Pears are also high in glucose and fructose, so they give you an energy boost and speed up metabolism. They also slow your carbohydrate absorption, so your blood sugar doesn’t spike or fall dramatically. Stable blood sugar equals fewer food cravings.

Perfect pear dishes

Pears are great compliments to a healthy sandwich or a salad. For breakfast, you can mix pears into your oatmeal or smoothie. For a change of pace, you can also choose to grill, bake, or poach your pears. Add a small amount of chocolate or caramel on top to bring out the pear’s natural sweetness.

Pineapple

The always delicious pineapple is another one of the best fruits for weight loss because it checks all of the boxes. This sweet fruit has a lot of vitamin C, it has a good amount of fiber, and it can fill you up, so you aren’t craving more food.

Pineapple

An added benefit of pineapple is that it contains bromelain. New studies regarding the enzyme have found that it may be able to break down body fat. Making them one of the best fruits for weight loss. Pineapples are also healthy, with the entire fruit packing about 450 calories.

How party people eat pineapples

There are many novel ways to prepare pineapple. You can make it into a meal by cooking it with some savory sesame ginger chicken that you can eat right out of the pineapple shell. You might decide to appease your taste buds with a BBQ chicken pineapple grilled cheese sandwich. Add pineapple to your salad or eat it as a side dish.

Strawberries

Strawberries

Last but not least, the components of strawberries make them one of the best fruits for weight loss. Strawberries contain many antioxidants. The most prominent being ellagic acid. Antioxidants work to reverse inflammation. When inflammation runs rampant, it blocks the hormones that aid in keeping you lean. Fix this with strawberries, and you may find it easier to lose weight. For an extra boost, try organic strawberries, as they have been found to contain a higher level of vitamin C and ellagic acid.

Super strawberry recipes

To get the most out of your new love of strawberries, incorporate them into your breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For breakfast, layer vanilla yogurt and granola with some strawberries to make a yummy parfait. Have a refreshing lunch with a strawberry and walnut salad. Cap off dinner by piling spinach, chicken, mozzarella, and strawberries inside a whole wheat bun for a great grilled sandwich.

Go Buy the Best Fruits for Weight Loss Today

With these healthy fruits, the journey to weight loss is just as close as your local farmer’s market. It is important to state that while the fruits on this list have been shown to lead to weight loss, the information provided should not be considered medical or dietary advice. Always consult your doctor before changing your diet.

With that said, these are the best fruits for weight loss because they have the elements you need to lose those unwanted pounds. Oh, and they also taste great too! How do you incorporate fruit into your breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Share your secret recipes in the comments.

Amazing Keto Dinner Ideas – A Must Try!

keto nutrition diet program
Image via Freepik

When you start eating keto, dinner can look like a big, fatty ribeye steak and some non-starchy vegetables.

As exciting as that is, you may want more variety than that.

What if I told you that there was a way you can eat delicious food and lose weight?

And that I’ve got a bunch of lovely, easy dinner ideas right here?

Even better, right?

Let’s get to it!

Keto 101

​Before we go on to the recipes, let’s do a crash course on keto.

(Even if you’ve been doing keto for a while, a refresher never hurt, right?)

The ketogenic diet, more commonly known as the keto diet, is all the rage these days.

But what it is it?

The keto diet is a high fat, low carb diet designed to put your body into ketosis.

Wait. What?

What is ketosis?

​Ketosis is a metabolic process.

Usually, your body burns carbohydrates from the food you eat for energy. But if it does not have enough carbohydrates, the body burns fat instead.

When this happens, your liver turns fat into an acid called ketones. This is what your body will then use as fuel.

Health benefits of keto

​Weight loss is the keto diet’s most popular health benefit. The Internet is full of stories of some pretty dramatic transformations.

Better yet, you lose weight fast. In the initial adjustment phase, you may lose up to seven pounds in the first week!

Caution: 

This initial weight is mostly water weight. (More on that later.)

Even so, that’s a great way to motivate you!

After your initial adjustment and adaptation, you can realistically expect to lose one to two pounds per week while following the keto diet.

weight loss is easily seen on loose pants

Image: Raw Pixel, via Freepik

​Epilepsy

Keto diet for treatment of epilepsy

Image via Pixabay

Did you know that the ketogenic diet was initially developed as a way to treat epilepsy?

It's true!

Sometimes, epilepsy does not respond to medication.

For these patients, the classic ketogenic diet is a lifeline. In this case, their physician prescribes a keto diet, and a dietician monitors their results.

Most epilepsy patients on keto are children though some adults may also follow a keto diet to control their seizures.

​Diabetics

a device to monitor blood sugar level

Image: xb100, via Freepik

This is very important:

If you have diabetes, talk to your doctor if you want to start keto.

There is a lot of buzz about the keto diet when it comes to diabetes. After all, diabetic diets are often low-carb to begin with.

Proponents love the keto diet and say it keeps their blood sugar under control, particularly for Type 2 diabetics.

According to this 2017 study, Type 2 diabetics can benefit from the keto diet. However, the results only show short term results.

Doctors also caution that there are currently no studies on the long-term effects for people with diabetes.

Furthermore, Type 1 diabetics need to be a bit more cautious as they are more susceptible to diabetic ketoacidosis. DKA is a life-threatening condition where the body makes too many ketones.

​Symptoms of Diabetic Ketoacidosis

  • ​Extreme thirst
  • ​Confusion
  • ​High blood sugar
  • Nausea

Type 1 diabetics are more susceptible to DKA though Type 2 diabetics may also develop it.

Ketosis and DKA are often confused with each other. Ketosis is the regulated production of ketones while DKA is the uncontrolled production.

​​Other medical considerations

While there’s plenty of mainstream buzz about the keto diet, the medical community remains cautious.

An article from UCSF in 2018 cautions that “without peer-reviewed clinical trials, many of the benefits [of the ketogenic diet] remain anecdotal.”

However, the article does also go on to note: “The researchers agree that the diet itself isn’t inherently dangerous.”

Physician noting down the results on the patients' medical record

Image: Raw Pixel, via Freepik

Getting Started with Keto

If you want to get started with a ketogenic diet, there are a few things you need to do.

Talking to your doctor

patient consulting with her doctor about her health

Image: Javi_Indy, via Freepik

If you’re thinking about starting the keto diet, you need to talk to your doctor first.

Even if you do not have pre-existing medical conditions, it’s still a good idea. If nothing else, you can get a baseline of where you’re starting from, healthwise.

​Keeping track of where you have been will show you if this keto diet is working for you.

​Transitioning to the diet

The initial transition to the keto diet may be difficult. But if you stick with it, the rewards are well worth it.

Food changes

For most people, the amount of fat you need to eat is staggering.

You need to know what you can eat as well as what you should not eat. If you rely on eating out, you may need to learn how to sub out keto-friendly choices.

Learning to cook keto-friendly adaptations of your favorite recipes is an excellent way to keep on track!

woman eating a bowl of vegetable salad for a healthy diet

Image: Yanalya, via Freepik

Keto flu

Transitioning to keto means reducing your carb intake. And your body will respond by going into a type of “withdrawal” state, dubbed by some as the “Keto flu.”

checking the body temperature using a thermometer

Image: Freepik

Here’s what you can expect:

​Symptoms of the “Keto Flu”

  • ​Sugar cravings
  • ​Dizziness
  • ​Lack of focus
  • ​Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Muscle soreness

But there’s good news!

While it’s a hard thing to go through remember:

This is just temporary. Your body needs time to adjust, that’s all!

​Ways to Get Through the

“Keto Flu”

  • ​Eat more fat
  • ​Stay hydrated
  • ​Get plenty of rest
  • ​Do gentle exercise

Water weight loss

In a Reader’s Digest article, Naresh Rao, DO, warns that the weight loss you will see initially is all water weight.

Losing fat weight comes later after your body is in ketosis.

What Can I Eat?

Keto dinner ideas like asparagus and veal

Image via Pixabay

When transitioning to a new diet, you have one crucial question:

What can I eat?

On keto, you can eat a lot of different foods. There are so many things to choose from.

But there is one important thing that you’re going to have to give up.

​Say good-bye to carbs.​​​

To stay in ketosis, you must keep your carb count low.

This means giving up starchy and sugary foods like bread, rice, potatoes, and most fruit.

BUT

Even if you need to give up carbs, I’ll bet that there’s something on this food list that will make you dance for joy.

Oils and fats

Since the ketogenic diet is a high-fat diet, it’s no surprise that you can (and need to) eat plenty of fat.

So is butter.

Here are some other great sources of fat on a keto diet:

​Keto-Friendly Fats

  • ​Pastured lard
  • ​Pastured tallow
  • ​Fish oil
  • ​Avocado oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Cacao butter

But be careful. Just because it’s fat doesn’t mean it’s keto-friendly.

Not all fats are created equal.

Stay away from processed foods like margarine and fast food. These contain hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils.

Also, avoid highly processed oils like canola and corn oil.

​​Protein

​Protein is another fundamental building block for the keto diet.

​​​Like with your fats, you’re going to want to try to keep to proteins that come from nature. Try to buy organic and non-factory farm raised whenever possible.

​Keto-friendly Proteins

  • ​Beef
  • ​Pork
  • ​Whey protein
  • ​Gelatin
  • ​Organ meats
  • ​Shellfish
  • Eggs

​Vegetables

When it comes to veggies, you need to be cautious. Starchy vegetables with too many carbs will kick you out of ketosis.

But here are some vegetables you can enjoy on keto:

​Keto-friendly Vegetables

  • ​Zucchini
  • ​Spinach
  • ​Radish
  • ​Cauliflower
  • ​Kale
  • ​Cucumbers

Fruit

If you love fruit, I’m sorry to say that your choices are minimal.

Most fruit has a lot of natural sugar and is bad for ketosis. But there are a few you can eat. Stick with limes, lemons, and berries that are low in fructose.

But wait there's more:

Avocado AND lime are both on the keto-friendly list.

Do you know what that means? Oh yes. IT’S GUACAMOLE TIME.

Nuts, seeds, legumes

Nuts are great little keto-friendly packages. They are high in fat and low in carbs.

Nuts and beans are good for the body

Image: Freepik

​They make great snacks as well as flavorful additions to meals.

​Keto-friendly nuts

  • ​Almonds
  • ​Cashews
  • ​Walnuts
  • ​Chia seeds
  • ​Flax seeds
  • ​Sesame seeds

​Dairy

​Dairy can add a lot of essential fat to a keto diet.

dairy food like milk, eggs and butter are nutritious

Image: Freepik

Plus:

It’s delicious!

When choosing a dairy product, try to go for organic, grass-fed dairy.

​Keto-friendly Dairy

  • ​Butter
  • ​Ghee
  • ​Cream
  • ​Plain yogurt
  • ​Cheese (full-fat)
  • ​Cottage cheese

Be careful: milk is not keto-friendly. Even whole milk is too high in sugar, which can kick you out of ketosis.

​​More keto-friendly foods

Aside from the major food groups, there are a few other keto-friendly foods worth mentioning.

Shirataki noodles are a Japanese noodle made from konjac yams.

They have NO net carbs and are almost calorie free. These miraculous noodles now come in various shapes, making them perfect for all sorts of keto-friendly recipes.

Bone broth is a favorite of keto dieters. 

This healthy stock simmers for hours with meaty bones, herbs, and spices. You can use bone broth as a no-calorie savory drink or as a base for your favorite keto-friendly soup.

keto dinner ideas featuring shirataki noodles

Image by Craig Dugas, CC by 2.0, via Flickr

Delicious Keto Dinner Ideas

OK, so now that we’ve gone over the basics of keto, let’s get on to the meat.

If you’re tired of the same keto dinner, try some of these incredible dinner ideas from all over the internet.

Steak Fajita Rollups

steak Fajitas for keto dinner ideas

Steak Fajitas. Mehlen Romain [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Are you a Tex Mex food fanatic? If you’re missing fajitas, try this keto-friendly remake courtesy of Katerina from the Diethood.

This recipe keeps all of the flavors but ditches the tortillas.

No tortillas for your keto diet

Image by Lucas, CC by 2.0, via Flickr

But what will you roll everything up in?

STEAK. You roll it up in STEAK. How can anyone argue with that?

Recipe

  • ​To make these Steak Fajita Rollups, cut some thinly sliced carne asada steak into strips, about 2-inches by 6-inches.
  • ​Season those strips up well with fajita seasoning. Don’t have fajita seasoning? Grab some salt, cumin, paprika, and chili powder. Mix it up and dust it over.
  • ​Slice up some bell peppers and season them with the fajita seasoning. Grill the veggies until they’re just starting to get cooked.
  • Take them off the grill and then roll them in the steak slices, securing with toothpicks. Grill them over medium-high heat and cook two minutes per side or until cooked to your desired doneness.
  • Serve them up with some keto-friendly guacamole for a Tex-Mex inspired keto dinner.

​By the way:

This is a great time to use some butter or coconut oil!

​​​Keto Crack Chicken

Crock pots chicken recipe make keto dinner ideas easy

Crock pots make keto dinner ideas easy. Image by Janine, CC by 2.0, via Flickr

​The crazy name for this dish comes from the fact that it’s addictive. After all, it uses chicken, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, bacon, and scallion.

different parts and sizes of a Raw chicken

Image: Freepik

If that ingredient list doesn’t scream delicious, I don’t know what does! This recipe comes from The Keto Queens.

Short on time? You can use pre-cooked OR frozen chicken. You can even make it in a slow cooker or an electric pressure cooker.

Keto-friendly and convenient! Do I have your attention yet?

So you probably want to know how to make this, right?

Here you go:

Recipe

In a slow cooker combine:

  • ​2 pounds cooked chicken, shredded
  • 16 ounces of cream cheese
  • ​1/2 cup of water
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon each: garlic powder, onion powder, dill, red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon dried chives
  • Scallion, sliced
  • ​Place in a slower cooker and cook on high for 2 hours. At the end of two hours, stir in 1/2 a cup of shredded cheddar cheese.
  • ​When you are ready to serve, sprinkle on two slices bacon, chopped.
  • ​One more thing: It’s versatile. Serve it with cauliflower rice or on top of zucchini noodles. The possibilities are endless (and delicious!)

​Killer Lemon Butter Sauce with Fish

Fish with lemon butter sauce is a fast keto dinner idea

Lemon butter fish. Image by jeffreyw, CC by 2.0, via Flickr

This recipe by Nagi from Recipe Tin Eats is less a recipe and more a technique. And what a technique it is. It takes that golden keto building block of butter and makes it better.

How?

By browning it to bring out its subtle nuttiness.

And then…

You add lemon.

The full recipe is here, but a video is worth a thousand words.

​​​Kimchi and Pork Belly Stir Fry

Kimchi and Pork Belly Stir Fry is perfect for your keto diet meal

You can make many keto friendly Asian dishes. Phengphian Laogumnerd Cuisine [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

​If you’re in the mood for some Korean food, this is a standout among your standard keto dinner ideas!

Korean kimchi is keto friendly meal

Nagyman, a flickr user [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Kimchi is fermented cabbage and is chock full of nutrients. It pairs incredibly well with thinly sliced pork belly.

This recipe is from Yang’s Nourishing Kitchen.

Recipe

  • ​Take approximately a 3/4 pound of thinly sliced pork belly and 1 pound of kimchi, cut into 1-inch slices. Marinate the pork belly in 1 tablespoon each rice wine and soy sauce for about 10 minutes.
  • ​Stir fry the pork belly until brown and then add the kimchi, stir-frying for another minute. Remove from heat and garnish with green onion and sesame seeds.

​Portobello Bun Cheeseburgers

Mushrooms are a tasty addition to keto dinner ideas

Portobello mushrooms. Image CC by 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons

Subbing out something for a bun is a common hack among keto dinner ideas. The most common sub is using out lettuce leaves for the bun.

But this recipe has a great alternative!

Instead of lettuce, sub out portobello mushrooms! GENIUS!

Recipe

​This recipe comes from Sara Blackburn on Perfect Keto.

  • ​1 pound grass-fed beef
  • ​1 teaspoon each salt and pepper
  • ​generous splash of Worcestershire sauce
  • ​6 portobello mushroom caps
  • ​3 slices cheddar cheese
  • ​Mix your beef and Worcestershire sauce. Then divide your meat into three equal portions and form into burger patties.
  • ​Heat your cooking fat on the grill. Perfect Keto suggests avocado oil but bacon fat, ghee, or coconut oil would work just as well!
  • ​Add your portabello mushroom caps and grill for about four minutes on each side. Set aside for now.
  • Cook up your burger patties to your desired doneness on the same grill, being sure to season each side with salt and pepper.
  • Add your cheese to the burgers. Toss an ice cube onto the hot pan and then cover to help the cheese melt. This will take about a minute.
  • Using one mushroom as a base, slide your finished burger onto it and then top with another mushroom as the top “bun.”

Want to round out this keto dinner?

Try these garnishes:

​Stuffed Avocados with Chicken Bacon Salad

Keto dinner idea of stuffed avocado

Image via Pixabay

If keto had a representative fruit, it would probably be an avocado.

Avocado is good source of healthy fats

Image: Dashu83, via Freepik

Why?

Because it’s fatty and delicious. It also happens to be an excellent vehicle for salad. In this case, chicken and BACON salad.

And we all know the golden rule:

Add BACON to make anything taste better.

I would try to sell you more on this as one of my favorite keto dinner ideas, but I’m guessing I don’t have to.

This genius recipe is also courtesy of Katerina from the Diethood.

Recipe

  • ​Cut an avocado in half, removing the pit and the flesh. Dice the avocado and save the empty avocado halves to serve in.
  • ​Be sure to drizzle some lemon juice over the avocado dices and halves to keep them from browning. Mix diced cooked chicken, diced avocado, and add some crumbled bacon.
  • Mix a quick dressing of lemon, garlic, olive oil, dried oregano, and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the lemon dressing over your chicken, avocado, and bacon. Toss gently to combine.
  • Serve up in your reserved avocado halves and enjoy!

​Low-Carb Shrimp Pad Thai

stirring tasty shrimp dish for a healthy family meal

Image CC0 via GoodFreePhotos

Just because you’re doing keto doesn’t mean you have to give up noodles.

ramen noodles are so popular for busy people who doesn't have enough time to cook

Image CC by 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

If you love pad thai, you’re going to love this next keto dinner idea:

Low-Carb Shrimp Pad Thai.

The original version of this recipe from Bulletproof uses shirataki noodles. This adapted recipe uses zucchini noodles which may be easier to get hold of.

Recipe

Ingredients:

  • ​16 ounces zucchini “noodles”
  • ​18 shrimp, medium sized (peeled, deveined)
  • ​2 eggs
  • ​salt

Sauce:

  • ​3/4 teaspoon coconut oil
  • ​1 teaspoon keto-friendly fish sauce
  • ​1 teaspoon nut butter
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed

​Garnish:

  • ​1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • ​2 green onions, chopped
  • ​Mix your sauce ingredients until thoroughly combined and then set aside. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Stir fry in a little bit of coconut oil. Set aside for now.
  • ​Beat and season eggs with a little bit of salt. Add some oil to your pan and scramble the eggs. Add in the zucchini noodles, shrimp, and sauce mixture to the eggs. Stir fry until warmed through.
  • ​To serve, drizzle some fresh lime juice and garnish with the chopped green onions and cilantro.

​​​​BBQ Pulled Beef

Beef. It’s what’s for your (keto) dinner.

This pulled beef recipe from Perfect Keto can be served on a keto-friendly bun as a sandwich or just as is with some coleslaw.

Either way, it’s bound to be delicious.

Recipe

​For the roast:

  • ​3-pound boneless chuck roast
  • ​1 tablespoon paprika
  • ​1 teaspoon each onion powder and black pepper
  • ​2 teaspoon garlic powder and salt

​For the sauce:

  • ​1/2 cup bone broth
  • ​2 tablespoons each coconut aminos and tomato paste
  • ​1/4 cup melted butter
  • ​1/4 cup apple cider
  • ​Mix the paprika, onion powder, black pepper, garlic powder, and salt. Mix the sauce ingredients until thoroughly combined.
  • ​Dust the chuck roast liberally with this dry rub. Place in slow cooker and add sauce. Cook on low in the slow cooker for 10 to 12 hours.
  • ​When done, remove the beef and shred. Turn the slow cooker up to high and let the sauce reduce and thicken. Return the shredded beef to the pot and coat with sauce before serving.

Room for Dessert

Choosing to follow a keto diet doesn’t have to mean eating the same keto dinner ideas every night.

It means exactly the opposite!

There are a million and one different combinations you can enjoy.

These keto dinner ideas are just the beginning. Do you have any other keto recipes you would like to share?

Let us know in the comments!