- One finds it really easy to cook food and refrigerate it
- Ensure that you clean the food properly before keeping in the fridge
- During the process of refrigeration there is loss of nutrients
The refrigerator can be considered as one of the biggest technological advancements in the present days. Amidst the busy schedules, one finds it really easy to cook food and refrigerate it as food does not get spoiled. Also, some people even go for meal prepping. Meal prepping is simply preparing meals ahead of time and then storing it. Some people also cook food in large portions and then store it in the refrigerator as it simplifies their work. When in the previous years, there were no refrigerators people would buy fresh, cook fresh and if some food is left they would throw it or share it with other people.
Eating too much of leftover food can be harmful for your health. Leftover food can be kept for three to four days in the refrigerator. But make sure that you eat them within that time. If the food is kept for a longer time and then consumed it could lose its nutritional value. Also, it could lead to some problems like food poisoning or indigestion. Also, if you think you will not be able to eat leftovers within three to four days, freezing them right after they are cooked is a better option.
According to the Delhi based nutritionist, Pooja Malhotra, "During the process of refrigeration and storage there is a loss of essential nutrients. Also, their is some loss of colour, flavour and texture. However, refrigeration does prolong the shelf life of the food, so we do not have much of a choice but to refrigerate food. But caution must be exercised so that fruits and vegetables are refrigerated at the right temperature, as very low temperatures can cause freeze injury and result in the loss of food texture."
Dr. Rupali Dutta on the other hand suggested some effective tips to keep in mind while storing and refrigerating the food. If food is stored in the right way, it is not harmful for your health.
Keep these things in mind when the next time you store your food:
- Whenever you buy uncooked food like raw vegetables and fruits or chicken and meat or even cottage cheese make sure that you wash the food properly. Ensure that you clean the food properly before keeping in the fridge
- Also, one might be unaware of this but proteins have a tendency to get contaminated or spoiled fast as compared to other foods. So proteins like milk, eggs, chicken, meat and cheese should always be kept on top. This will help food remain fresh and retain its nutritional value
- Always set the right temperature when you store foods. For meat the ideal temperature should be 4-5 degree Celsius
- Also when you store cook food in the refrigerator make sure that the food cools down and then you keep it in the fridge. Some people cook food in the morning and then keep it in the refrigerator in the evening after it cools down. This should be avoided
- Freezing meat and chicken involves a whole process. Be very careful from where you buy it, how was the animal kept and then store it at the right temperature
(Pooja Malhotra is a city-based nutritionist)
(Dr Rupali Dutta is a Clinical Nutritionist)
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