A new study published in Nature Communication in August by Cedars-Sinai investigators details the endocrine disrupting dangers of certain chemicals including Butylhydroxytoluene (BHT), a commonly added preservative to packaged foods and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a polymer found in non-stick (or teflon) cookware. Specifically, these chemicals have been found to disrupt gut-brain communication, interfering with signals sent from the digestive system to the brain to indicate satiety. As a result of this communication break-down, we might continue eating and over-eat instead of stopping when “full’!
Now of course, other things can also result in a break-down of our gut-brain communication, especially stress and being stuck in the sympathetic nervous system over-stimulation (fight or flight). Additionally, emotional eating may be at the root of your over-eating and needs to be dealt with if you can’t put down your fork, even after you are full. That said, this study provides another reason to ditch your teflon cookware and limit processed foods. In fact, what a simple thing to do to limit over-eating by improving gut-brain communication–cook with better pans!
My choice for cookware is stainless steel (yes, use more fats to limit sticking) and iron. Iron pans are just as good at not allowing for sticking when properly “seasoned,” provide a little added iron to our diet, and they provide a great workout for your wrists!