Wrapping your food in aluminum foil may be bad for your health, at least according to a new study. The study suggests wrapping and placing food in aluminum foil and putting it in the oven could have negative effects because the aluminum can leach into the food as it cooks. This was found to be especially true in foods that are spicy or acidic and cooked at higher temperatures.
Aluminum could be linked to serious health risks. The researchers said they found the values to be unacceptable by World Health Organization (WHO) standards. A few of the health risks that aluminum might be linked to include Alzheimer’s, growth rate decrease, slowing of brain cell growth, and could cause even more harm to patients who already have bone disease or renal impairments.
The study noted that the “aluminum health effects are far too vast to even being summarized.”
Aluminum is found in more than just foil. Many pots, pans and cooking utensils contain the metal. These are typically okay to use because they are oxidized which gives them a coated layer and prevents aluminum from leaching out. That layer can be worn away when pots are scrubbed after use. This can be avoided by boiling water in them when they’re first purchased to give them a matt base which prevents the layer from being worn down.
Disposable aluminum isn’t oxidized so it lacks this layer, which is why researchers are advising against it. They also found that increased temperature and pH level contribute to increased leaching.
Storing foods at cold temperatures was found to be fine, but only for a limited time because the aluminum will eventually start to leach into the food.