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Dutchess_III's avatar

Why do some people insist that hot food is healthier than cold food?

Asked by Dutchess_III (41891points) July 30th, 2019

My Mom used to make this pasta dish that had all kinds of good veggies and chicken in it. Her friend used to fuss about it, saying Mom needed HOT food. It had to be hot or it wasn’t healthy!

I got into a discussion on Facebook with some random user about the DCF / unpaid school lunch issue. Long story short, she insisted that even if all the kids got for dinner every night at home was Raman noodles, “Well, at least it’s a hot and nutritious meal.” She stuck her fingers in her ears when I said it was no more nutritious than eating the raw, crunchy Raman, then pouring salt into your mouth.

What is with the idea that hot food is healthier than cold food?

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9 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

Making hot food kills of a lot of the bacteria and viruses.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Great question. I don’t know. I would like to know. I think it too, and I don’t know why. My guess is hot food is a good treat on cold mornings and winter. Hot oatmeal is supposed to “stick to your ribs”, on a cold day. What ever that means.
Maybe because hot food costs more.
Some foods I won’t eat unless they are hot. Like steak or cheese.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Of course heat doesn’t add nutrition. Only enjoyment of the food.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Exactly @Birthday Boy!

jca2's avatar

I think it’s an old fashioned concept, being a “good hearty hot meal.”

I just ate some cold leftover roast chicken and some cold cranberry sauce and I’m all set. However, there are some that would feel that having cold chicken for dinner is a sad meal.

I think in the case of elderly people, a hot meal might help warm them up.

Zaku's avatar

It sounds to me probably like people who have inaccurate ideas based on old expressions and ways of categorizing food. A “hot meal” or a “cooked meal” may have meant something of substance as opposed to a snack of less substance or nutritional variety, such as just eating some bread. Your friend may have built a misunderstanding of such expressions into her thinking and now like many adults her ego and comfortable thought habits have her unwilling to think or hear otherwise.

As @ragingloli wrote, enough heat can kill some pathogens. It also tends to reduce nutritional value a bit. Though of course some things are also a lot more edible when cooked.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

My baked beans are as good cold as they are hot.
I also like cold pork chops, steak and fried chicken.
My grandson likes frozen corn dogs! Like, right out the box before it’s ever cooked.

JLeslie's avatar

I think it’s from the expression avoid hot meal. A hot meal was probably seen as either a luxury, or as more substantial than a cold meal. Especially in cold weather a hot meal can be comforting and satisfying. Hot meal for many I think stirs up a complete meal of an animal protein, a starch, and a veggie. That sounds more hearty than a cold sandwich. The nutrition might actually be the saw between the two, but the hot meal sounds more like a proper dinner.

There is no real reason that hit might be better than cold. Some people believe cold is better, like the raw diet.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I have never heard the expression “avoid hot meal”. I am not sure how it could be viewed as a “luxury.” Campfires have been a thing for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of years.

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