If you’re baking a fish, roasting vegetables, or preparing a piece of meat for dinner tonight, chances are you’re going to wrap your food in aluminum foil . But something that you will not realize is that some aluminum particles could remain in your food and this could be harmful to your health. You want to know why? Keep reading the information we offer you in this article.

Cooking food with aluminum foil is not the best idea

Research has explored the use of aluminum for cooking and preparing meals. Aluminum is not something that is used only as paper, as this is the most popular kitchen utensil material used by people in developing countries. Pots and pans are lined with it and it is found in some kitchen utensils like ladles.

Copper was mostly used to fulfill this function, but over time it has been replaced by aluminum because it is cheaper to mass produce and easier to clean, but for that reason it is still a material not very suitable for cooking.

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Wrapping food in aluminum foil and placing it in the oven is problematic. This is especially true with sour or spicy food that is prepared at high temperatures.

Aluminum and health

Our body is capable of excreting minimal amounts of aluminum, and it can do so efficiently. That is, being exposed in a minimal way to aluminum is not a problem, generally. It has been established that daily ingesting 40 mg of aluminum per kilogram of the human body is safe. Therefore, and as an example, for a person who weighs 50 kg his allowable consumption would be 2,000 mg.

However, we are very exposed and in reality most people consume more than they should, since aluminum is present in many foods, such as yellow cheese, salt, corn, tea, spices and more.

In addition, it is used in kitchen tools, as we have mentioned, as well as in pharmacological products, such as antiperspirants and antacids. A derivative of aluminum, aluminum sulfate, is used as a coagulant in the process where drinking water is purified.

More and more studies are being done to determine if aluminum is really a great threat to health, since studies have determined that, in Alzheimer’s patients, high concentrations of aluminum were detected in brain tissue.

Scientists have reviewed groups of elderly people with Alzheimer’s, concluding that it is a disease of our time, which has developed according to the lifestyle of a highly industrialized society. This lifestyle tied to many conditions, especially toxic, include high levels of aluminum.

Studies suggest that aluminum may also be harmful to people with kidney and bone problems or diseases. It also minimizes the growth rate of human brain cells.

Avoid aluminum foil when cooking

Having this knowledge and knowing the proven risks, it should be a priority to see how much aluminum is being cooked with when used for this purpose. It is a tendency for pans and other tools used in the kitchen to rust, resulting in a coating that stops the passage of aluminum in food. However, the problem is that, when they are washed and carved after use, that layer wears away and there is again the risk that the aluminum leaks into the food.

How can this be avoided? Boil aluminum pans when you buy new ones. Boil water in them until they turn a matte color. This naturally forms an oxidation that will prevent leaching. A matte foundation is better for your health, although a shiny, silver look looks prettier.

On the one hand it’s aluminum pans, on the other it’s aluminum foil , and that’s another story. We know that aluminum foil is a disposable product that doesn’t allow you to create that matte layer before use. The penetration of aluminum to the food while it is cooked wrapped in this paper is a fact that exceeds the limit that is permissible so that it does not cause damage to health.

You should know that aluminum is very prone to entering foods when they are acidic, dishes that suggest being cooked with aluminum and that contain lemon and tomato juice will be much more likely to filter aluminum, than in dishes that contain salt or alcohol. The more flavor in the food that is prepared with aluminum foil, the higher the leaching levels.

Bottom line: aluminum foil shouldn’t be used for cooking . It is suggested instead to use porcelain or glass materials to prepare baked dishes.

Some question whether it can be used to wrap foods that will be refrigerated. If aluminum foil can be used in that way, it is usually safe but not for long periods since the food will have a useful life and because if it is for a long time, that way there will be the possibility that the aluminum leaks in food.

Dr. Eric Jackson

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses. He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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