It’s no secret that when baking or roasting a dish in the oven, using aluminum foil is the number one go-to item. But you might want to reconsider.
“While cooking your food in aluminum pots or pans isn’t a bad thing, placing it in foil and putting it in the oven is problematic,” says Ghada Bassioni, Professor and Head of the Chemistry Division, Ain Shams University.
Aluminum has been linked to a greater risk of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. And it’s been found to leech into food when used in cooking.
With aluminum seemingly everywhere, how can you avoid using it when cooking?
- When getting a new set of pans, boil water for 10 minutes to help oxidize the cookware. This can help create an inner layer that prevents aluminum from seeping into food.
- Use glassware or ceramic pots, pans and casseroles when you can.
- You can use foil to cover leftovers for a short time, but avoid using it longterm.
- When baking, use stainless steel pans and parchment paper.
- For grilling, use cedar grilling papers instead of foil. Or invest in a reusable grilling basket.
If you still prefer to use aluminum foil but want to minimize your aluminum exposure while cooking, here are a few steps you can take, according to Healthline:
- Avoid high-heat cooking.
- Reduce your use of aluminum when cooking with acidic foods, like tomatoes or lemons.
- Use non-aluminum utensils.
While the main health risks for most people are longterm, it is possible to be exposed to dangerous levels of aluminum. Among the symptoms of toxic aluminum exposure: confusion, muscle weakness, aching bones, seizures and slow growth (in children).
Without proper treatment, toxic lead exposure can lead to serious issues with the lungs, nervous system, stomach, bones and more.
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