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Is foil for cooking bad for health: Nutritionist explains

Is foil for cooking bad for health: Nutritionist explains Illustrative photo (Freepik)
Author: Maria Kholina

Aluminum foil is a staple in almost every kitchen, significantly simplifying the preparation of many dishes. However, concerns have repeatedly arisen that aluminum, when ingested with food, may harm one's health.

Nutritionist Anastasiia Holoborodko explained whether aluminum foil really contaminates food during cooking or not.

Does aluminum foil affect food quality?

"Aluminum is a very common element and is present in water and food. The highest levels are found in leaf tea, cocoa beans and chocolate, spices, and herbs, without exception. A healthy body can handle these amounts," says the expert.

The nutritionist points out that there is no conclusive evidence that using aluminum cookware is directly correlated with an increased risk of any illness.

"But the myth persists, probably because some research aimed to understand to what extent foil increases this percentage," explains Holoborodko.

She adds that aluminum penetration into food only increases during prolonged cooking at very high temperatures, particularly when baking the following products:

  • Red meat
  • Acidic products (especially tomatoes and peppers, as well as apples)
  • When there's an acidic environment - vinegar or wine

"In this case, aluminum penetration doubles or triples. In other cases, it doesn't, and modern food foil has a protective coating," says the nutritionist.

How dangerous is aluminum for health?

Elevated levels of aluminum in the body have been linked to Alzheimer's disease and cancer, but the evidence is not yet definitive and requires further research.

A low level of aluminum in the body is considered acceptable - around 2 mg per kg of body weight per week, according to WHO and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

One study showed that baking red meat in foil increases the aluminum content in food by 378%.

However, there is no evidence that aluminum from foil negatively impacts health. Nonetheless, experts recommend avoiding cooking with foil at high temperatures, not using aluminum cookware, and refraining from combining foil with acidic products.

This material is for informational purposes only and should not be used for medical diagnosis or self-treatment. Our goal is to provide readers with accurate information about symptoms, causes, and methods of detecting diseases. RBС-Ukraine is not responsible for any diagnoses that readers may make based on materials from the resource. We do not recommend self-treatment and advise consulting a doctor in case of any health concerns.