There is a lot of controversy surrounding the use of microwave and the potential contamination of food with radioactive substance, and also the loss of nutrients due to the intense heat produced. Since there are so many misconceptions regarding the use of microwave in cooking, we thought we could use this post to dispel any such unwarranted rumors. Also, since we think a great deal about ways to lose weight and struggle to avoid putting on extra pounds, it would be interesting to find out if there any link between weight gain and microwave use? Does cooking through this method reduce the nutrition and destroy the vitamins and minerals in the food? Also, the fiber and protein content, which you so carefully try to include in the diet for weight loss, does it become ineffective through microwaving? In this post, we will try to find out if microwaving food is bad for health and weight loss. So, let’s find out:
How Do Microwaves Work?
Most microwaves use a frequency of 2450 MHz and 500 to 1100 watts of power. They are produced by magnetron. When the microwave is switched on, the water molecules in the food absorb the microwave energy and the friction between the molecules leads to production of heat, which in turn leads to cooking/heating of the food. Microwaves are absorbed only by the food and the cooking utensil/vessel/bowl/container remains unaffected. They only warm up through the heat from the food. However, plastic materials are unsuitable for microwaves because they might melt and make food inedible.
Is Food Cooked in Microwave Safe?
Food cooked in a microwave is absolutely safe, the World Health Organization says so.
Does Microwaving Food Destroy its Nutrient Value?
All nutrients are preserved even if the food is cooked in microwave. Earlier, some studies had pointed to the loss of flavonoids in vegetables through microwaving, but research done later revealed that cooking vegetables for shorter duration didn’t affect the nutrients in them. However, cooking with a lot of water may actually reduce the amount of flavonoids.
Does Microwave Make Food Radioactive?
Heat is produced when microwave energy enters food and reacts with water molecules, and there’s absolutely no threat of contamination or radioactivity. To dispel some misconceptions, it is important to realize that food cooked in a microwave oven does not become “radioactive”. Also, the food cooked in such a way does not retain the microwaves once the power is switched off.
What are the Potential Side Effects of Cooking Food in Microwave?
1. A major issue with microwave is that, if the food is thick, it leads to uneven distribution of temperature, and often one may notice that some areas are still cold while other areas are hot. Microwaves penetrate food to 1 to 1 1/2 inches and if the food placed is thicker, they don’t reach the center of the food. Such uneven cooking may lead to increased risk of food-borne illnesses. To counter this, spread the food evenly in the container.
2. Avoid heating processed meat in the microwave because it may lead to the formation of cholesterol oxidation products (COPs). Such products may increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
So, summing up, there’s no risk of using microwave for cooking and no link at all between weight gain and microwaving food because there’s the fiber, protein, and nutrient content of the food is not lost.