Is Magnalite cookware (aluminum) dangerous to use?

Everybody loves eating, and it’s only natural that most people like to cook at home. However, you may have some cookware that could be hazardous for your health such as Magnalite cookware. With this article, we are gonna talk in detail about this type of material and if cooking with Magnalite cookware is really dangerous for your health.

What is Magnalite cookware?

Magnalite cookware is made of aluminum which is an excellent heat conductor and reacts well to different temperatures. The latter is one of the main metallic materials used for modern cookware products. Moreover, aluminum foil is also widely used in modern cuisine as a food wrapper during the baking process. Although it is quite a useful material to work with, many studies have shown that high doses of aluminum in the bloodstream could be risky for one’s health.

Aluminum in our daily foods

Surprisingly, you consume more aluminum in your daily life than you may think. Indeed, an ATSDR statement shows that in America, the average adult eats 7-9 mg of aluminum every day. As various minerals are found in water and soil, vegetables and fruits naturally absorb certain quantities of aluminum. Furthermore, aluminum is also present in meat, milk, grains, and even some drugs like Aspirin. As you can see, this is why our bodies are bound to get some kind of aluminum exposure in our daily routines.

Luckily, you don’t have to worry too much about the quantity of these metallic particles in your body. Aluminum is not always a sign of danger as we are well-equipped to digest and excrete the excess minerals from our systems. Your liver and kidneys will indeed pull the aluminum out of the digestive system and release it, thanks to your urine removal mechanism. Nevertheless, this process has its limits. If the doses are too important, aluminum can harm your liver, kidneys, and respiratory system. In some rare cases, it could potentially affect the brain, which can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

How aluminum causes Alzheimer’s

Back in 2012, a Subcellular Biochemistry journal presented an article titled Alzheimer’s Disease. In this article, it was said that people who suffered from Alzheimer’s conditions had high levels of aluminum in their brain cells. Therefore, there is a possibility that this could be one of the causes of Alzheimer’s disease.

How aluminum cookware affects your food

We all are familiar with using these shiny pans and pots. But how does the use of these materials affect the quality and safety of the food when cooked? Once you use aluminum foil during the heating process, some aluminum content will be absorbed by the food that you are cooking, one way or another. The amount of aluminum absorbed depends on a number of things, such as:

  • Temperature: cooking at higher temperatures
  • Food: cooking with acidic food, such as tomatoes, cabbage, and rhubarb
  • Certain ingredients: using salt and spices

Furthermore, Magnalite cookware can also cause the absorption of several aluminum microparticles into your food:

Heating at high temperatures

Aluminum is easily absorbed when food is cooked at very high temperatures.

Putting Magnalite cookware in the oven

It is highly recommended avoiding putting your Magnalite cookware in the oven.

How to safely cook with aluminum cookware and alternative choices

Even though Magnalite cookware could potentially increase the amount of aluminum you ingest every day, your body should normally be able to tolerate this little extra. According to research led by WHO, it is said that a safe level of aluminum intake is around 2 mg per 1 kg of body mass per week. So if you weigh 50 kg, for example, it means you shouldn’t go over 100 mg of aluminum consumed per week.

If you’re planning on cooking with aluminum cookware, the trick is to control the heat on a small to medium scale. As we said before, you should avoid cooking at very high temperatures with this type of cookware. Thus, as long as you can control the heat when cooking with Magnalite, there is no big deal with using your favorite silver tools in the kitchen.

If you are looking for safer cookware, here are a few suggestions:

  • Modern non-sticky materials like ceramic pans and pots which are free from PTFE and PFO (also called Teflon).
  • Hard-anodized aluminum cookware, the making process of this type of cookware prevents the metal from reacting with acidic ingredients.
  • Cast iron pans and pots, which are still the safest option, but the hardest to cook with since those are very heavy and require a lot of care and maintenance like periodic seasonings.

And there you go, now you know that it is possible to cook safely with Magnalite cookware, as long as you are careful. In any case, you could always try another type of cookware but as they say, all roads lead to Rome.