Whether we ordered or prepared more than we can eat, or trying to save up and eat the same for a longer time, it is inevitable that we have some leftovers. Of course it’s handy when you don’t have enough time or you’re too exhausted to whip up something fresh. So, you just reheat what you already have. Even though, we seem to believe that reheating meals is no big deal and perfectly harmless, we have been wrong about some things. Based on experts, certain types of foods, when reheated, can be incredibly harmful for our health.
Four leftovers that must be avoided:
Reheating the vegetables or storing them improperly can be fatal. The Center for Food Safety says that the leftover vegetables need to be stored at -40C and if you need to store the vegetables for longer period, freeze them. Celery, lettuce, beets and spinach have high levels of nitrates that accumulate if the vegetables are exposed to a room temperature. Nitrate can cause a rare blood disorder in children called methemoglobinemia, which causes symptoms like fatigue, shortness of breath and seizures.
Reheating the meals that are prepared with vegetable oils is very dangerous and it is linked to an increased risk of cancer, stroke and heart disease. The reheating of polyunsaturated oils that contain linoleic acid (corn oil, sunflower oil and canola) releases HNE (4-hydroxy- trans-2-nonenal) which is a toxin from the fatty acids that harm the health. It has been linked to some types of cancer, Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s, liver problems and heart disease. The vegetable oil should be used only once and never reheated.
Chicken contains a lot of protein and when reheated, its composition alters to more dangerous one. Reheating cold chicken is allowed if the meat’s inside is very hot. It is important if you use microwave as it sometimes does not heat the meals evenly. The chicken meat can be eaten for up to two days, not a second more.
If you want to stay healthy, you should store the rice properly. According to Food Standard Agency, the rice that is uncooked contains spores of harmful bacteria that survive the 1st cooking process. If it is stored at room temperature, the spores will multiply and cause many digestive problems. These spores can survive the reheating process. That is why it is recommended to eat it all you have cooked at once. You better freeze the leftovers (if there are any) instead of keeping it for tomorrow in the fridge.