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Food that May Cause Harm When Reheated

A common practice for most households is to reheat leftover meals. This habit is certainly an effective way to save money and avoid wasting food. However, some products may cause harm if not consumed right away, especially if it is improperly stored. To give you a better idea, here are the common foods you should avoid reheating.


Rice is now a widespread product all over the world due to the numerous health benefits it provides. But, did you know that reheating this type of grain may lead to food poisoning?

To explain further, a common contaminant of rice is the bacteria Bacillus cereus. If left at room temperature, the spores of the microbe may multiply and produce toxins that can cause diarrhea or vomiting. The problem is that the harmful microorganism can survive extreme heat. Thus, even if you reheat cooked rice, there is a lingering possibility of food contamination.


Fresh mushrooms are rich in complex proteins. But, because of its nutrient contents, this popular vegan meat alternative is one of the foods you should avoid reheating. The primary reason is that enzymes and microorganisms can easily destroy the proteins in mushrooms. For this reason, reheating this healthful food will not only result in fewer nutrients. You may also experience digestive problems. However, many experts agree that it is safe to reheat mushrooms that are properly refrigerated for less than 24 hours. Furthermore, you can also reheat processed (canned, dried, or frozen) mushrooms.


Another starchy product in this list is potatoes. Like rice, reheating potatoes can also cause food poisoning due to bacterial contamination.

Basically, when cooked potatoes are left at room temperature, it creates an environment where the bacteria Clostridium botulinum can flourish. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that heat can kill this harmful microorganism. One way to prevent contamination is to refrigerate excess food. However, reheating may also alter potato’s flavor and nutrient value. For this reason, the best way to consume leftover potatoes is to add them in cold salads.


The fourth in this list of foods you should avoid reheating are cooking oils. As you know, not all fats are harmful to your health. However, when reheated, oils can become rancid. Furthermore, their trans-fat contents may also increase. But, that’s not all. One study found that various reheated oils contain toxic aldehydes. According to the researchers, these substances may cause cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. Thus, as much as possible, you should avoid reheating or re-using cooking oils.

Aside from that, knowing the smoke point and uses of your favorite oils is also beneficial. For example, when cooking, you can use oils with high smoke points like sunflower and canola. Extra virgin olive oil, on the other hand, is best for flavoring salad recipes.


As you know, numerous bitter-flavored green leafy vegetables have nitrates. While this compound can offer various benefits, it can also turn into nitrosamines when exposed to an acidic environment and high temperature. Basically, nitrosamines are known carcinogens that can harm your health when consumed in high doses. To limit your exposure to these types of compounds, you have to avoid reheating green leafy vegetables with nitrates such as spinach, celery, and collard greens.

Plus, green leafy vegetables are delicate products, and their nutrients start to deteriorate once exposed to heat. For this reason, some of the effective ways to reap the health benefits of these kinds of veggies are to eat them raw or slightly cooked.


Aside from those mentioned leafy veggies, there are other crops containing nitrates. In fact, beets and turnips are also included in the list of foods you should avoid reheating.

As you know, the cardioprotective effects of beets are mostly due to its nitrate contents. However, as mentioned, these beneficial substances may harm your health once reheated. Fortunately, you can consume these crops raw. Drinking beet juice is actually a common practice to get the veggie’s healthful substances or healing properties.


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