Leftovers – you may like it or you may not but you cannot simply avoid them. There will always be leftovers.
While some of us hate the idea of leftover food because it doesn’t taste and smell the same as a fresh one, there are others who have befriended the microwave to warm every kind of food and make it usable again. Sometimes leftovers are inevitable, you cannot possibly always eat up everything you cooked in the day, but beware it could turn out to be a perfect recipe for food poisoning.
Your love-hate relationship with leftovers notwithstanding, its worth mulling this small but very important diktat by the Food standards Agency which says that the secret to healthy eating is in the four Cs – cooking, cleaning, chilling and cross-contamination. Particularly foods like meat that needs to be cooked thoroughly to kill any harmful bacteria present in it. Even with reheating food, ensure you are not re-heating the same dish twice, and that the steaming happens all the way through.
We suggest three foods that you should avoid eating leftovers of, else you might end up spending time at the doctor’s chambers.
1. Leftover rice can cause diarrhea and vomiting
This is most common, eating leftover rice stored in the fridge overnight. As per Food Standards Agency, rice not cooked properly contains spores of harmful bacteria that often live through the initial cooking process, and to top that off, if your leftover rice is not stored at the right temperature these spores multiply rapidly and may lead to indigestion, and in worst case, diarrhea and vomiting. So if you think by re-heating rice you can salvage its nutritional value, you are mistaken.
These spores are actually able to survive even boiling hot temperatures. The best way to eat your rice is hot and fresh, but in case there are leftovers immediately refrigerate it. By allowing it to stay at room temperature for any more than an hour promotes the growth of these dangerous spores.
2. Headache, fatigue and other dangers from leftover veggies
It is popularly believed that re-heating leafy greens can drain them off their nutritional value and make them poisonous, but the truth is the way they are stored actually makes the difference between healthy and dangerous. As per the Center for Food Safety, leftover greens should be immediately refrigerated, but in case you don’t intend to use them for another 12 hours, its better to freeze them.
The nitrate compound in veggies such as celery, spinach, lettuce and beetroot, when left in room temperature can trigger bacterial action causing the accumulation of nitrate. Nitrate intake is known to be harmful for infants and kids as it can lead to a blood disorder whose symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, headache and seizures.
3. Don’t reheat excess vegetable oil to make another dish
How common is it for us to salvage the excess oil from cooking a dish to make another. Be warned that reheating meals that are made with vegetable oil leftovers can put you at a risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer. According to a study, repeated heating of polyunsaturated oils of corn, soyabean, canola and sunflower that has linoleic acid releases a poisonous compound that can lead to several health disorders.
It has been linked to several serious health conditions such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s disease and liver ailments. Health experts warm you from heating vegetable oils too much or too frequently as it can give rise to these symptoms.