Is heating up food using a microwave healthy?Created by:
How the microwave cooks food
Microwaves cook food with waves of energy invisible to the naked eye. It is similar to radio waves. Microwave energy primarily affects water molecules and molecules similar in makeup to water. Waves from the microwave vibrate the water molecules creating heat.
Are microwaves safe to use every day?
A concern with microwaves is if they can leak the waves into surrounding areas. Microwave energy waves are only released when activated, like when a light bulb is switched on. If a microwave is damaged or does not seal properly, there could be a risk for leakage of waves from the microwave.
Limits nutrient loss
Using a microwave could be beneficial for keeping nutrients in foods, compared to other cooking methods. Some nutrients, like B vitamins and vitamin C, are sensitive to heat and cooking liquids.
The use of microwaves has some people question their safety. However, organizations such as the WHO and Harvard Health suggest using microwaves is a safe way to heat up food as long as the microwave is able to close properly and is sealed.
Using plastic to heat food up is not recommended because compounds in the plastic can leach into food which could be carcinogenic. Therefore, another precaution for using a microwave, especially every day, is heating food up without plastics. Microwaving food in plastic is NOT recommended. Plastics contain compounds, like BPA, that can leach into food when cooked at high temperatures.
Another consideration for using a microwave every day is what foods you are using it to heat up. Ready to eat, processed foods are usually high in calories, sodium, fat, preservatives and can be low in beneficial nutrition.