Microwave Ovens: A healthy or unhealthy option? This debatable discussion seems to be endless. Most people want to enjoy the comfort of a microwave oven but are in a dilemma.
Do microwave ovens cause cancer? Is microwave radiation harmful to health? I know you have all kinds of questions in your mind. Your mind is juggling between it being healthy or not. This war of confusion has been ongoing for years. I have decided to put an end to this dispute. It is high time you have no doubts about this. There is no point living puzzled anymore.
Healthy or Unhealthy? Let’s discover it!
Here are five questions. You are sure to find your answers by the end.
1. Is Microwave Radiation Harmful?
Most of you do believe that microwave radiations are harmful. You will be surprised to know that it’s not. Microwave ovens make use of the same radiations which is used in radio and lightbulbs. It is slightly stronger than what is used in cell phones and computers.
It is low-frequency and non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation. The metal screens block the radiations. Hence, they cannot leave the appliance. Here is the catch. If your microwave door does not shut properly or is damaged, then it can be a problem. So, get it fixed or replaced as soon as possible.
2. Does microwave cooking deplete the food nutrients?
Before I answer this, there is something you need to be aware of. The nutrient value in the food is reduced by heat. So yes, microwave cooking lowers the nutrients. But you know what’s worse? Cooking on the gas stove and boiling of veggies. We feel the longer we do it for, the better it is. It is the biggest myth.
As reported by WHO, microwave cooking is safe. The time duration is short compared to that on the stovetop. So, the loss of nutrient value is very less comparatively.
3. Do microwave ovens cause cancer?
We have heard all our life that using a microwave oven can cause cancer. Am I right? There needs to be a full stop to this thought process. Microwave cooking does not make the food radioactive. It uses radiation to heat the food. It is then absorbed by water particles present in the food. This entire mechanism helps the food to cook.
Are you aware of cancer-causing elements? UV radiations, gamma and X-rays. A microwave uses radio waves, which are on the opposite end of cancer-causing elements. It means you have zero danger from cancer while using a microwave.
4. Does microwave cooking form harmful compounds in the food?
I have already mentioned how microwave cooking requires less time compared to conventional cooking. The temperature also remains constant. It means that the food does not heat up as much. This entire process reduces the formation of harmful compounds in the food.
5. Is microwave food bad for health?
Microwave food is not at all bad for health. We tend to add some amount of water to our food while heating it. This process helps retain all the essential minerals and vitamins. Also, I have already mentioned how there is no ionizing radiation involved. The rotating turntable helps in killing all microorganisms. So, does heating food in a microwave has side effects? The answer is a clear NO.
6. Can microwave kill the virus in the food?
Before I answer this, I want to share an assessment with you. Back in the year 2007, a professor experimented using a wet sponge. He aimed to kill the virus and bacteria on the sponge. The good news was that microwaving it for about two minutes deactivated about 98% of living pathogens.
However, there’s something I would like to bring to your notice. Not all microwave ovens emit power in the same way. So, the time can vary. It could be anywhere between 1-5 minutes.
7. Is reheating food safe in a microwave?
If you belong to an Indian household, you are bound to have leftover food almost every day. Don’t shy away from this fact. Making large meals represents the love of Indian mothers. Coming to the point, is it safe to reheat the food in a microwave, or should you do it on a gas stove?
Reheating food does result in the loss of valuable nutrients like vitamin B and C. However, microwaving the leftover food is safer compared to reheating it on the gas stove. Reason? The mechanism of a microwave wave can excite water molecules exceptionally. The microwave energy emits powerful energy to lower the water molecule content in the food. It makes the food hot within few seconds. However, reheating food on the gas stove surely takes longer. Note that vitamin C is heat sensitive.
Recommended Reading: 9 Best Microwave Ovens in India 2022
Tell me, do you have a clear answer by now? Microwave cooking by no means is an unhealthy option. Yes, you definitely need to follow all precautions while using it. Avoid plastic containers, use only safe microwave dishes, follow the instruction manual, ensure no leakage or damage and make sure the door is tightly shut.
To be 100% sure of everything, avoid putting items like eggs, coffee, sauce, yoghurt, butter, paper bags, etc. Once you have taken all the measures, you know nothing can go wrong.
Coming back to the question, is microwave cooking a healthy option? It’s a straightforward answer- YES!