Is Microwaving Your Food Bad For The Health?

Is Microwaving Your Food Bad For The Health?

The new life setups have changed the regular eating, sleeping and even thinking patterns of the modern day humans. The busy routine leaves less free time for self-care. Even the time of cooking a scrumptious meal has been reduced to a minimum. For which, most of the professionals prefer frozen or ready to cook the meal which just needs a few minutes to heat.

The term “microwave” has changed the meaning of why it was initially invented. The prime reason to design and invent a microwave device was to heat the food in microwave radiation in an electromagnetic spectrum. However now, the word microwave is more related to a miraculous box that magically cooks food and saves your precious time.

Yes, that is true that microwaves are going quite a good thing for saving the time and effort. After having a microwave oven, you are no more worried about the last night leftovers and definitely, bulk food offers are your thing.

The microwave works by inserting radiation to the food particles. The water molecules in the food start to vibrate and this vibration creates energy which makes the food heated. So this suggests that the foods which have a higher water content such as vegetables and fruits, they get heated easily. The food with less water and more compact structure need time to heat up.

The emerging health concerns have raised a question on the efficacy of microwave food.The latest studies suggest that using microwave radiations to heat or cook your food is nothing but just an invitation for cancer.

The radiations which are at risk for cancer are gamma, neutron, and ionizing radiations. Once a cell is exposed to it, the DNA changes and increases the risk of cancer attack. Eating a food which is prepared in radiation exposes the body to it. The radiations from microwave are non-ionizing but they can disturb a cell. The heating of food doesn’t always mean changing the DNA.

The government is now considering a certain range of radiations which is limited for the leaked radiation from a microwave. The American Cancer Society has been working for this cause which is now confirmed for the action. It further tells that while using the microwave, if you stay away at a certain distance, the risk of getting a change in DNA is reduced to a significant level.  So while you wait for your food which is inside a microwave, heating up, make sure that you are nowhere around.

A myth suggests that microwave food is not healthy and nutritious. This fact needs a food item which is taken for the comparison. Different food items act differently under radiations. Generally, it is better to bake food than to steam, fry, boil or heat it on the stove.

The best thing everyone loves about microwaving the food is that it only need minutes to get it done. The up listed myth is also contradicted by a fact that certain food nutrients act different and sometimes better under radiations. For example, vitamin C is retained in microwaving far more than undercooking.

Some of the food nutrients break down when we give a high amount of heat to them. be it the regular oven, microwave or the stove. The nutrients which need extreme care such as vitamin C can be opted for microwaving as a better option. For vegetables, cooking them with that much amount of water reduces the amount of nutrition in them. These food components make their way out to the cooking water and the vegetable itself doesn’t remain that nutritious.

When you cook vegetables in the microwave, it retains its natural ingredients which are essentially required by the body. For example, the glucosinolate of broccoli is more preserved when it is steamed than boiled or fried broccoli.

On the other hand, it could be the other way too. The vegetables are highly temperature sensitive. Microwave’s high temperature may kill the nutrients sometimes.

The time which is required in the microwave is far less than what you spend in cooking on the stove. Plus it doesn’t necessarily need to be standing with the oven to keep a check. It’s convenient and automatic most of the times. The temperature which microwave uses is very high which reduces the cooking time.

When we are talking about the microwave, it is not just the food content which is a concern. The food which we prefer to eat is not vegetables of fruits. The microwavable foods and ready to cook meals are already and the assortment of chemicals, additives and what not. These chemicals r sometimes also a part of the container in the form of benzene, toluene, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), xylene, and dioxins (known carcinogens). When the temperature is high, all these chemicals get together to damage the health in the best possible way. When you are eating the microwave cooked food, there is a lot more than what you are actually eating.

The past year researchers were a milestone to understand how microwave have affected all food components of the food. It has also taught us what we are eating is not what is always beneficial for the health. The use of microwave needs a limitation to control the crazily increasing health concerns. Now the lifestyle changes are more inclined towards the better methods i.e. going green. In a situation like this, cooking food methods also need a wise administration which can save up us from future health damages in advance.



The author is a Medical Microbiologist and healthcare writer. She is a post-graduate of Medical Microbiology and Immunology. She covers all content on health and wellness including weight loss, nutrition, and general health. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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