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Contrary to popular belief, stainless steel may not be an inert metal either. All stainless steel has alloys containing nickel, chromium, molybdenum, carbon, and various other metals.
In a study conducted on heart patients receiving stainless steel stents, restenosis occurred in 50% of patients. Allergies to the nickel and molybdenum in the stainless steel were suspected causal factors.
While this study is clearly not cooking-related, it is certainly possible that cooking with stainless steel, clad or not, may increase the likelihood that metals will leach into your food. This is especially true if the cookware becomes pitted due to extended use or storage of acidic foods. For those with nickel allergies, it could be a particularly concerning problem.
Copper is an alternative that provides even heat distribution. However, I recommend that it never has direct contact with your food.
When you use copper as your cooking surface, it can leach out in excessive amounts. If enough leaching occurs, you could potentially experience digestive discomforts.*
Therefore, most copper pans come lined with other metals, creating the same concerns noted above. And copper pans are also extremely costly.