Often times we prepare a bit too much food for lunch, and we then store it in order to eat the leftovers the following day. It is never as good as it was the day before, but we just don’t want to waste the food.
Sometimes there is nothing wrong with this, but there are times when reheating the food from yesterday can be extremely dangerous and while the meal was fine when it was fresh, it can turn into a toxic meal.
That is the reason why we need to know which foods we can reheat, and what will happen if we eat these foods.
You should avoid reheating the following foods, and eat them only fresh:
- Rice – one of the main issues with eating leftovers is that they need to be properly stored. If you don’t keep the rice at the right temperature, eating it can sometimes cause diarrhea and vomiting. This can happen because there are some bacteria that survive the process of cooking, and these bacteria can spread and multiply, which leads to digestive problems. Now, you might be thinking that when we reheat the rice, the bacteria will be removed, but some of them can survive even boiling temperature. That is the reason why we need to eat the rice within one hour after preparation, which will not allow the spores to spread.
- Vegetable oil – Reheating meals that were prepared with vegetable oil can increase the risk of stroke and in some cases, even cancer. According to the latest research, reheating oils that contain linoleic acids like sunflower, corn, canola and soybean oils can release toxic ingredients which can cause numerous health disorders. The main reason behind this is a fatty acid called HNE, which is linked to liver disorders, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, cardiovascular diseases, stroke and even cancer. According to the American Dietetic Association, you should always be careful when you prepare your meals with these types of oils, and you should never heat the oil to the point of smoking.
- Vegetables – there are millions of people that are fully aware of the fact that leafy green vegetables should never be reheated because when you do so, they will release toxic compounds. But, this is not entirely true, because just like the rice, the vegetables need to be properly stored in order to be safe to be reheated again. Store them in your fridge, at a temperature that is below four degrees Celsius, or just put them in your freezer if you are planning on keeping them longer than 12 hours. Lettuce, beets, celery, and spinach contain nitrate, which is not harmful, but when left at a room temperature they turn into nitrites. Now nitrites are dangerous, especially for your children because they can lead to a rare blood disorder called methemoglobinemia, which can cause symptoms like headaches, fatigue, shortness of breath and seizures.