6 Foods That Are Less Nutritious When You Reheat Them


When starvation strikes at house, the typical American opens the fridge, pulls out some leftovers and nukes them within the microwave. This’ll do the trick to finish your cravings, however in case you’re considering that meals has the identical dietary worth because it did the primary time round, you can be mistaken.

That’s as a result of sure meals don’t retain their dietary worth when heated a second time.

In accordance with board-certified nutritionist Serena Poon, “The extra you reheat and refrigerate your meals, the extra possibilities you may have for micro organism progress and nutrient, taste and texture loss.” Although many meals many initially lose a few of their vitamins upon being cooked the primary time, further reheatings solely additional weaken the presence of these vitamins.


Abigail Phillips, a registered dietitian at Kids’s Hospital & Medical Middle in Omaha, Nebraska, notes that the perils of reheating meals rely upon their composition. “Typically, the best change is losses of water soluble nutritional vitamins,” she defined. “Vitamin C and B nutritional vitamins are particularly delicate to warmth, so reheating after already cooking as soon as could improve losses.”

That being mentioned, the dietitian is fast to level out that if warming up wholesome meals is one of the simplest ways for somebody to take care of a balanced weight-reduction plan, “then the advantages of getting the entire different vitamins from these meals outweighs the chance of shedding some.”

Which is all to say: If you happen to can cook dinner recent meals for each meal, extra energy to you. If you happen to can’t, reheating leftovers is perhaps higher than takeout choices. You’ll simply need to take into account that the next six meals won’t be as wholesome a second time round.

1. Broccoli

Studies have proved that greens containing water-soluble nutritional vitamins like vitamin C truly lose a few of their dietary worth when cooked. Broccoli falls squarely into that class, containing 132 mg of vitamin C per serving, which is well over your daily recommended amount. However the inexperienced vegetable additionally suffers from a loss in folate when reheated. “Folate helps the physique kind wholesome purple blood cells and may cut back the chance of neural tube defects in unborn infants,” Phillips defined. “Folate can be very delicate to warmth and might be destroyed with reheating.”

Reheated broccoli loses a few of its vitamin C and folate.

2. Potatoes

A potato cooked any which means is all the time scrumptious ― even when reheated. However the tuber can be high in vitamin C, which can shock you. In accordance with research, a 5.2-ounce potato (white or purple) gives about 27 mg of vitamin C (45% of the required daily value), qualifying it as an “glorious supply” of the vitamin. (As compared, candy potatoes boast about 3.2 mg of vitamin C, which quantities to five% of the required day by day worth.) So identical to broccoli, you’ll lose a few of a potato’s dietary efficiency when recooking it.

3. Cooked eggs

Arduous-boiled eggs are one of many few meals that truly style fairly good with out being reheated. We perceive that some individuals favor their meals to be heat, however eggs actually shouldn’t be a part of that observe. Initially, microwaving a hard-boiled egg might lead to a dangerous explosion, so actually keep away from that. However secondly, in keeping with a recent study, “home cooking tended to cut back the antioxidant exercise of eggs,” irrespective of which sort of cooking methodology was employed (boiling, frying, baking). It follows, then, that reheating the meals will doubtless compound that impact.

If you happen to’re questioning what sorts of antioxidants are present in eggs, yolks truly include two essential antioxidants for the well being of your eyes ― lutein and zeaxanthin, which shield the eyes from dangerous daylight and considerably cut back the chance of macular degeneration and cataracts.

4. Vegetable oil

There are some things you must learn about vegetable oils, a class of merchandise that features olive oil, avocado oil, soybean oil and extra. “They include unsaturated fatty acids,” Phillips defined. “When uncovered to warmth and allowed to chill a number of occasions, these heart-healthy fat start to kind completely different bonds and may translate into fatty acids, which improve irritation within the physique and may ultimately result in issues like coronary heart illness.” An instance to remember: Quick-food joints that continually fry their meals in the identical bucket of oil, with out altering it, are in all probability serving you less-than-healthy fare.

While reusing vegetable oil may seem like an economical idea, exposing it to heat multiple times can cause inflammation in your body.

Whereas reusing vegetable oil could look like a cost-effective thought, exposing it to warmth a number of occasions may cause irritation in your physique.

A word about butter: Though it’s not a vegetable oil, it is usually a liquid fats whose chemical composition could change upon reheating and subsequently result in the manufacturing of trans fat. So if you’re utilizing butter to fry your meals, remember to put money into a recent stick of it.

5. Fish

If you happen to eat fish to compensate for anemia or a B6 deficiency, take heed. Fish (notably yellowfin tuna and sockeye salmon) accommodates pyridoxine (also referred to as B6), which is used to deal with a sure kind of anemia and B6 deficiencies. However pyridoxine may be very delicate to warmth, and when the fish loses its water content material upon reheating, pyridoxine is additional leached out of the fish.

6. Greens which can be excessive in nitrates

Greens likes celery, beets, carrots and any kind of leafy inexperienced are literally very excessive in nitrates, chemical substances which can be apparently each helpful and harmful to our well being. “Cooking meals with nitrates at excessive warmth can flip them into nitrosamines, that are identified carcinogens,” Poon defined. It follows, then, that reheating the veggies should be achieved with numerous warning. “Eat these meals uncooked or cook dinner them solely as soon as at a medium degree,” Poon suggested.

A couple of years in the past, the European Food Information Council launched a warning towards the potential risks of reheating spinach. The council argued that, though the excessive concentrations of nitrates that may be present in spinach and different leafy greens aren’t harmful on their very own, they are often transformed to carcinogenic nitrites and nitrosamines when reheated. There are, nonetheless, methods to counter the issue ― by maybe blanching the veggies first, a cooking course of that permits for the elimination of some nitrates.


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