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10 foods you should never refrigerate, and why

Unknown to us, many foods lose a lot of their nutrient value when stored in the refrigerator. Here's a list of 10 such food items that would be better off unfrozen.

Written by Niharika Bhullar | New Delhi |
Updated: May 24, 2016 4:54:20 pm
 health news, healthy diet, foods to not refrigerate Sometimes storing certain foods in the refrigerator can turn out to be more harmful than you thought. (Photo: Thinkstock Images)

We’ve always been told that refrigerating certain foods help keep them fresh for a longer period of time. But there are a few food items that tend to get spoilt if kept in the fridge. “Certain food items do not require to be refrigerated since they do not produce any form of bacteria. This, in turn, keeps them fresh and last longer if they are kept in a cool and dry place, preferably at room temperature. During summers, this argument does not hold true since the room temperature is too high to store anything outside the refrigerator”, says Dr Preeti Narang Chaudhry, Clinical Nutritionist, Diet’ O Smart, Chandigarh.

Here is a list of the top foods you must not refrigerate:

* Potatoes: Potatoes when refrigerated tend to loose their flavour and refrigeration causes the starch to turn into sugar a lot faster than one can imagine. They are best stored in paper bags preferably at room temperature. When starch turns into sugar, it leaves you with a sweet gritty potato.

* Honey: Honey, when put in the refrigerator, tends to crystallise. Therefore, storing it in a glass jar – preferably at room temperature – could help for it to stay fresh and last longer. The positive impact of honey on your body tends to decline when crystallised.

* Melons: Storing whole melons in the refrigerator is nothing but a bad idea. Melon, especially musk melon, when refrigerated tend to develop something called ‘chill injury’. This indicates loss of color and flavour in the fruit. Once cut, it can then be refrigerated. If a melon is affected by chill injury, a layer of bacteria is found on the surface of the fruit which makes it harmful when consumed.

* Bread: Bread, especially white bread, must not be put in the refrigerator. Reason being, when not kept in a cool, dry place, breads dry up very fast. The best way to store your bread is to take out the amount you would be consuming in the next four days and then deep freeze the rest of it.

* Coffee: If we refrigerate coffee, it would no only lose its flavour, but it would also pick up on the odors from other foods. Also, the moisture in a refrigerator makes the coffee clump and causes it to decompose faster. Hence, coffee must be stored at room temperature.

* Bananas: As we all know, the riper the banana is the better it tastes and is a lot healthier. But if we refrigerate bananas, the ripening process comes to a standstill. Therefore, bananas are best stored at room temperature. Bananas stored at room temperature are said to have more health benefits rather than refrigeration. This is because when bananas are refrigerated, they lose the potassium content.

* Onions: Onions when refrigerated, are known to become soft and moldy. They must be kept in a cool and dry place, and also separate from potatoes since onions catch on to the odors from other vegetables stored with it in a fridge. Nevertheless, onions can be stored in the refrigerator for only a day if needed.

* Olive Oil: Olive oil tends to get to a butter-like consistency when put in a refrigerator. It is meant to be stored in a cool and dry place. Air, heat and light in the refrigerator could lead to the production of radicals which could harm your body.

* Tomatoes: Tomatoes have the tendency to lose flavour when refrigerated. Refrigeration also causes tomatoes to develop a fungal infection that makes it harmful for consumption.

* Garlic: Garlic has the tendency to sprout when refrigerated. Not only that, it also gets rubbery and mouldy, causing a decline in its shelf life. A whole pod can be kept in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours and if turned into a paste, can be stored for 10-15 days. Therefore, it must be stored in a cool and dry place unless it’s chopped or grated.

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