Cast iron pans have been a part of the kitchen cookware for hundreds of years. These utensils may take time to heat, but they are perfect for roasting, sautéing, searing and baking foods. However, cast iron pans can be a matter of concern for individuals with iron overload. Let’s have a look at it:
Cast iron pans can be good or bad for you, depending on your body’s iron requirements. Studies have found that the iron content of the food cooked in iron pot increases. Now, this can be beneficial for individuals with iron deficiency anemia, growing children and premenopausal women. (1)
But, cast iron pans may not be the best choice for individuals with hemochromatosis, a condition in which too much iron is present in the body. Excess iron can be dangerous for the organs and may even lead to cancer. Thus, such individuals must avoid the use of cast iron pans. (2)
Furthermore, the human body stores excess iron in the liver, heart and pancreas. It may increase the risk of liver and heart diseases and diabetes mellitus.
Hence, such individuals must keep a check on the consumption of iron-rich foods and avoid eating foods cooked in cast iron pans.
Moreover, excess iron is dangerous for the body as it may lead to oxidative stress. It may cause the free radicals to damage the tissues, further increasing the risk of certain types of cancer. It is not observed in healthy individuals, but people with impaired iron metabolism may be at a higher risk. (3)
Cast iron pans are safe for most people. These pans are beneficial for individuals with low iron levels or who need more iron in the body. However, the use of cast iron pans may be unsafe for individuals with high iron levels in the body. Hence, such individuals should be careful and choose their foods as well as utensils wisely. (4)