Is it Healthy to Cook Food in the Microwave?

October 12, 2018
Nowadays, a lot of people have doubts about whether cooking in the microwave is completely healthy.

Although it’s not a risk to cook food in the microwave every once in a while, the truth is that it can be dangerous if you use it to reheat food, since certain strains of  bacteria can survive.

Nowadays, a lot of people have questions about whether cooking in the microwave is completely healthy.

Although microwaves are usually used for heating and cooking certain foods, they don’t cook food in a traditional way, like a stove does.

How do microwaves work?

Microwaves work by generating electromagnetic waves that are responsible for heating various elements contained in food, such as:

  • Water
  • Fats
  • Liquids

This way, the food absorbs the energy produced by the microwave. It’s a process technically known as dielectric or electronic heating.

This heating causes vibrations, friction and collisions between the molecules that are inside these foods, thus raising their temperature.

However, this method of heating is more efficient in liquid elements than in solid foods, since the movement of the molecules they contain is usually slower and more limited.

In addition, the movement is also significantly lower in fats and sugars, because they have a smaller amount of perceptible molecules.

Visit this article: The Negative Effects of Microwave Use

Advantages of using the microwave

cook food in the microwave

Nowadays, the microwave has become a commonly used kitchen tool that allows you to:

  • Cook in short periods of time.
  • Prepare simple and complete meals.
  • Use other cooking methods.

However, it’s important to learn to use it in the right way. Using it improperly could be risky for the diet of the people who use it.

Is it dangerous to cook in the microwave?

It’s easy to see the differences between cooking food in a microwave and traditional cooking methods. After all, the microwave uses a more aggressive and faster cooking method.

Some experts clarify that this type of cooking is capable of altering the composition of the food.

This way, it can not only affect its physical and nutritional properties, but it can also be unhealthy for the human body.

Among these points are:

The alteration of the components in food

The alteration of the components in food

Cooking in the microwave can significantly modify the molecular formula of foods, including their:

  • Amino acids
  • Sugars
  • Proteins
  • Minerals
  • Vitamins
  • Antioxidants

Not only does this reaction mean that the required and necessary absorption of food will be affected over time, it also means the human body will be damaged if it’s frequently used to cook food.

The distribution of heat

Although most people are faithful believers that the microwave is responsible for heating food from the inside out, it’s actually the opposite.

The microwave is better able to heat foods that contain liquids. Therefore, it easily heats certain parts of the food (especially those that are not frozen or that contain more liquids).

However, the heat provided by the microwave is not evenly distributed. There is a possibility that the center of the food will not reach the correct temperature.

The consequence could be that bacteria or elements harmful to health will not be destroyed.

Also read: 7 Foods that You Shouldn’t Heat Up in the Microwave

Dehydrating foods

Dehydrating foods

Electromagnetic waves are responsible for causing vibrations, friction and collisions between the molecules found in food. This can cause a remarkable loss of juices and result in their dehydration.

This dehydration affects the flavor, aroma and consistency of the food, making it less consistent compared to traditional methods or those to which the consumer is adapted.

Does cooking food in the microwave really harm your health?

Cooking in the microwave is a sensitive issue for people who use it regularly in their lives, as it is one of the few appliances that offers more than one function.

As you’ve seen, the microwave considerably modifies the composition of food during cooking. Thus, it leads to a lower nutritional value.

The truth is that the World Health Organization has indicated that there is no significant risk when it comes to using it for cooking or heating. However, this is provided it is occasional.

For this reason, the best way to keep the human body healthy is to vary the types of appliances you use and how you cook with them.

You must also try to find healthy recipes that provide the vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, fiber and any other components that your body may need.