Is it OK to eat cold food from the fridge?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Is it OK to eat cold food from the fridge? We will talk about the differences between cold and hot food, and how long should we keep leftovers in the fridge.

Is it OK to eat cold food from the fridge?

It is OK to eat cold food from the fridge if it has been stored properly, there is no real danger. It seems that the main difference between eating hot and cold, according to some experts, is that the latter facilitates our digestion. But there are several nutritional factors that can be affected by consuming hot or cold foods. 

Such factors include the rate of absorption of nutrients, digestion, and the number of certain vitamins and minerals in food. Although something that is interesting to know is that not all foods undergo the same nutritional modifications in their cooking, and what for some could be an advantage, for other foods it is a disadvantage.

We know that food has an influential role in our body, but what perhaps we have not stopped to think about is how the temperature of the dishes we eat can influence our body. It has been observed for some time that hot food, such as soups and stews, has been reserved for specific days of the week, and that the pace of life we lead makes us eat cold food more often than we should.

For better digestion, choose hot dishes

If you need to improve your digestion, cold food is not a good idea. The problem with eating cold is that what we eat does not reach the necessary temperature for the stomach enzymes to work properly. That is why digestion is slower and less efficient. 

This could only benefit you if you need to control your appetite because as the food that we have eaten cold is longer in the stomach and takes longer to digest, we are not hungry as quickly.

The stomach, which is at 37ºC, has to first heat that food to equalize the temperature and then finish breaking it down (which is called physical digestion). All of this slows down the second phase of digestion (chemical digestion). 

To facilitate your digestion you can:

  • Drink a hot drink after eating, such as coffee or an infusion. In this way, we can warm the stomach and help you in the digestive process.
  • Order the dishes from coldest to hottest. That is, take the salads first and then the hot dishes.
  • To have dessert it is better to wait between 20 minutes and half an hour to take it, especially if it is ice cream.
  • If you suffer from irritable bowel problems or have any other intestinal discomfort, any of these ideas will reduce your discomfort by helping your digestive system process and dispose of what you eat.

What are the nutritional differences between hot and cold food?

In addition to the digestion process, it remains to be seen if there really is a nutritional difference between hot and cold food. This nutritional difference will be marked by the cooking technique that we use. Vegetables, for example, have many vitamins and minerals, but if they are boiled too much, these will pass into the cooking water. 

However, there are foods, such as carrots, that increase their properties when cooked.

How long is it safe to keep cooked food in the refrigerator?

As a general rule, it is not advisable to keep leftovers in the refrigerator for more than three or four days, regardless of whether they are meat or vegetable dishes, when kept in optimal conditions, i.e. in closed containers as tight as possible. 

Bacteria grow harder at low temperatures, but do not disappear. Many people tend to procrastinate, especially when it comes to home cooking, for which they have made an effort because they do not want to waste time and money invested in that dish.

The first step in making sure that the food will last as long as possible is not to leave it out for more than two hours after you have finished cooking. Of course, some things spoil faster than others. Homemade mayonnaise, for example, as well as mayonnaise-based foods, cannot be stored for more than 24 hours if we are extremely correct. 

The time can be extended to egg ice cream for up to 48 hours. We must take great care especially for baby food, which should be consumed on the day it was prepared. Even if the smell and taste of baby purees indicate that they could be consumed, after 24 hours it would be good to prepare a fresh portion. 

Smell and taste are not always helpful when we have to decide whether or not a food is suitable for consumption. Many dishes, such as pizza, and sometimes mayonnaise-based dishes, even baby food, look, smell and have a taste that makes us think, so it would be best to be guided by the past. from the moment of preparation, if in doubt.

When you have cooked several dishes and you know that you will not be able to eat them in time, it would be best to freeze them. Cooked food can be stored longer in the freezer than in the refrigerator, so portion the dishes so that you can eat them gradually because once thawed they do not need to be re-frozen. For example, soups and broths can withstand freezing for a month if kept in saucepans with lids.


In this blog post, we answered the following question: Is it OK to eat cold food from the fridge? We talked about the differences between cold and hot food, and how long should we keep leftovers in the fridge.

The conclusion of the experts is that not everything hot is good, nor everything raw and cold is bad. We can, for example, alternate dishes prepared cold at each meal with dishes prepared hot. This is an option that our digestive system will appreciate.

But the really important thing is to have a varied and balanced diet, according to our age and our needs, regardless of the temperature of the food.

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