Aluminum foil is a very common item because it can be used for wrapping leftovers as well as for cooking certain meals. However, recent studies have shown that it is extremely unhealthy and you should never use aluminum foil again.
Aluminum is a dangerous heavy metal which has been related to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and may affect brain function. Most doctors agree that heavy aluminum exposure may result in mental decline, loss of focus, memory and balance. A recent study discovered that the foil may affect our bones as well, as the heavy metal accumulates in the bones and crowds out the calcium which is required for proper bone function. This can result in a host of bone-related diseases and injuries.
According to a study from 2012, aluminum can leach from the foil into your food. It’s especially true for spicy and acidic foods, which is troubling considering how many of the foods we cook and grill in the summer are drenched in spicy, vinegary marinade.
This is scary because excessive aluminum intake can wreak havoc on your health. According to the study, “High concentrations of aluminum have been detected in brain tissues of patients with Alzheimer’s disease… Aluminum reduces the growth rate of human brain cells.” At the end of the day, the researchers say, “The aluminum health effects are far too vast to even [be] summarized.”
Yikes! Luckily you can always use this hack: To make sure your food doesn’t actually come into contact with the aluminum foil, line the foil with parchment paper first. This way, you still get to enjoy the versatility and durability of foil, especially when cooking over high heat on the grill, but your food isn’t touching the foil itself, so no aluminum can leach into it.
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In the meantime, you should also remember to not cook your food in these:
1. Plastic wrap that’s not FDA “microwave-safe”
Unless your plastic wrap is marked “microwave-safe,” don’t microwave it — it could leach BPA and polyphenols into your food.
2. Plastic takeout containers that aren’t FDA “microwave-safe”
Again, unless a plastic container is marked “microwave-safe,” you’re better off heating your food in something else.
3. Styrofoam that’s not marked “microwave-safe”
Especially if you’re reheating oily or greasy foods, microwaving Styrofoam can cause it to melt.
4. One-time-use plastic containers
Plastic containers for yogurt, margarine, etc., aren’t made to withstand the heat of the microwave and can melt.
5. Old mugs and ceramics
Some mugs and ceramics made in the 1960s or earlier are glazed with substances that can leach dangerous chemicals into your food. They can also react badly to the heat of the microwave, leaving you with burnt fingers when you try to retrieve it.
By avoiding the materials above, you’ll be able to heat and eat your favorite foods without having to worry that you’re eating toxins as well. And I think we can all agree that a fear-free snacking sesh is always a good thing.