Unless you’re a wiz in the kitchen, chances are aluminum foil is featured somewhere in your weekly diet. Whether you’re baking fish, roasting vegetables, or preparing meat, you’re probably wrapping that meal in foil before tossing it in the oven.
What most people don’t realize is some of that foil will find its way into your food – and it could be detrimental to your health.
Now a lot of popular cookware is lined with aluminum, as well as kitchen utensils. But these are safe compared to aluminum foil, especially when you’re putting it in the over afterwards; acidic or spicy food that’s prepared at high temperatures are particularly harmful.
The problem is that while humans can handle small amounts of aluminum very efficiently (40mg per kilogram of body weight per day according to the WHO), we’re exposed to far more than we think. Corn, yellow cheese, salt, herbs, spices and tea are only a few common foods with solid aluminum contents in them. Add in the aluminum-lined pots, pans, and utensils, and it’s clear why foil could be the breaking point.
Scientists are exploring whether over-exposure to aluminum may be posing threats to human health. One example would be high concentrations of the element has been found in the brain tissue of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Other studies have discovered high aluminum exposure may be harmful to some patients with bone diseases or renal impairment. Aluminum also reduces the growth rate of brain cells.
The best solution to these ailments would be to nix aluminum foil from your cooking routine. It’s simply more likely to leach into food compared to pots and pans (which are typically oxidized anyway). Spicy and acidic food particularly brings out the aluminum, which are common with the fishes and meats you’re typically cooking.
Instead of the foil, try using glassware or porcelain when preparing baked dishes. You’re good to wrap those leftovers in foil afterwards though!