A kitchen is one of the most happening place of our house. Our day starts with the kitchen and ends in the kitchen.
The kitchen decides the health of the whole family, such a big role to play. Therefore it becomes even more important to take care of the storage and preparation of food items in our kitchen, that too, in a healthy way. I am jotting down some of the common things we should stop using in our kitchen, looking at the health hazards it can lead to. We eat food to gain nutrition, what if some of our common practices rob these nutrients from our food?
So it's better to be a little mindful of these things in our kitchen.
1. Minimise the use Aluminium cookware
Aluminium is a metal, intake of which, is not good for the human body. When we cook or drink in aluminum utensils, a small quantity of aluminum gets inside our body. But due to its properties aluminum neither gets digested nor gets out of the system as waste.
Aluminium cookware can pose various health hazards, it is a steady process but can cause big health problems. People with kidney problems may also have difficulty removing excess aluminium from their bodies because of which it gets accumulated, posing risks for bone and brain disorders.
We should avoid cooking foods, especially acidic foods such as tomatoes in aluminum cookware. Also, avoid storing leftovers in aluminum utensils, as it allows food to absorb small amounts of aluminum.
It is better to stop using old aluminum cookware and switch to better alternatives such as good quality stainless steel, cast iron utensils, or earthen pots. These can be little costlier than aluminum dishes but this cost is not more than our health
2. Avoid using Non-stick cookware
Nonstick cookware, such as frypans and saucepans, are coated with a material called polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), commonly known as Teflon. Generally, Teflon is a safe and stable compound. But, at temperatures above 300°C, Teflon coatings on nonstick cookware start to break down, releasing toxic chemicals into the air and can be infused into whatever food you cooking. It also creates a very unhealthy (to your lungs) smoke if it gets extremely hot.
Generally, we use spatulas, spoons, or flippers, in a Teflon pan, which can easily scratch it. Then you have a situation where the coating can flake off into your food, which is unhealthy. Non-stick cookware is safe until we cook food in low heat, and until the Teflon covering is not coming out. Because after that these nonstick utensils become rather hazardous.
3. Minimise the use of Plastic containers
There are certain chemicals in plastic that can leach out of the plastic and enter into the food and beverages we eat. Some of these chemicals can cause various health problems such as metabolic disorders (including obesity) and reduced fertility. Among the more troubling chemicals in plastic, are phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA). Both are endocrine disrupters, which are substances that interfere with the actions of human hormones. Plastic is harmful to the human body as well as to the environment. It is one of the major pollutant substances.
We should avoid using plastic containers, bags, bottles, furniture, toys, etc. Though it is difficult to completely avoid we can minimize the use of plastic in our day to day life.
If we talk about plastic in the kitchen, we can opt for steel or glass containers.
Plastic bottles can be replaced with steel, copper, glass bottles.
Plastic toys can be replaced with wooden toys.
4. Avoid using Alluminium foils
Aluminum foil, or tin foil, is a paper-thin, shiny sheet of aluminum metal. It's made by rolling large slabs of aluminum until they are less than 0.2 mm thick. Just like Aluminum cookware, Aluminum foil paper can lead to health problems. When we store hot chappatis, or other food in Aluminum wrapping, due to oxidation, some Aluminum seeps into our food and can impact our digestive system.
Instead of Aluminum foil, one can go for paper foils, cloth napkins as a safe option.
5. Avoid storing milk and dry goods in transparent containers
Well, All the above scenarios are common and most of you would be familiar with but there is one thing which is not so commonly known.
Do you know that storing milk and dry good like rice, cereals, etc in see-through containers can also impact your health?
Many people store milk in transparent containers or bottles. Since Milk is rich in the B vitamin riboflavin, but when exposed to light, due to chemical reaction, it reduces the vitamin's potency. Other nutrients, such as amino acids and vitamins like A, C, D, and E, are also affected. When light penetrates into these transparent containers, a process, known as photooxidation, can change the flavor of the milk and create disease-causing free radicals. Since grain products (especially whole grains) are also high in riboflavin, they too are susceptible to this breakdown of nutrients and production of free radicals.
Do not store milk and dry goods such as pasta, rice, and cereals in clear containers. Instead, opt for opaque containers like steel, and keep them at a place where they can be shielded from light.
I really hope that this was helpful to you. Let us know your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.