The Last Word on "Microwaving Food" (BACKED BY SCIENCE)


Microwave ovens produce heat directly within the food, but despite the common misconception that microwaved food cooks from the inside out, 2.45 GHz microwaves can only penetrate approximately 1 centimeter (0.39 in) into most foods.

Taking your fitness to the next level involves more than just eating the right foods but knowing how to cook them properly.

Confusion is often the case when there are multiple valid points of view backed by research as with the microwave.

It all comes down to how you are using this piece of technology.

Microwaves often get a bad rap from people that simply don’t understand how the technology works.

So, it’s time to demystify everything related to this houseware component that makes our lives easier.

Imagine wanting to try that last night lasagna again but not wanting to go over the entire process of reheating that thing with an oven.

Shazam! The microwave is here to help you.

Table of contents

  1. What are the microwaves?
  2. How a microwave works
  3. Common health concerns
  4. It depends on the food and the nutrients you’re looking for
  5. Precautions
  6. Highlights

1. What are the microwaves?

They are a form of electromagnetic radiation which consists of electromagnetic waves (synchronized oscillations of electric and magnetic fields)

They are widely used in modern technology in point-to-point communication links, wireless networks, microwave radio relay networks, radar, satellite and spacecraft communication, medical diathermy and cancer treatment, remote sensing, radio astronomy, particle accelerators, spectroscopy, industrial heating, collision avoidance systems, garage door openers and keyless entry systems, and for cooking food in microwave ovens.

American engineer Percy Spencer is generally credited with inventing the modern microwave oven after World War II from radar technology developed during the war.

So, how something that is currently surrounding us can damage our health?

Well, it depends on how the microwaves are applied to human living tissue.

Related:
Microwaves

2. How a microwave oven works

A microwave heats and cooks food by exposing it to electromagnetic radiation in the microwave frequency range.

In the case of microwave ovens, the commonly used wave frequency is roughly 2,450 megahertz (2.45 gigahertz).

Microwave ovens produce heat directly within the food, but despite the common misconception that microwaved food cooks from the inside out, 2.45 GHz microwaves can only penetrate approximately 1 centimeter (0.39 in) into most foods.

Waves in this frequency range have an interesting property: They're absorbed by water, fats, and sugars. Once absorbed, they're converted directly into atomic motion -- heat.

These waves boast another interesting, related property, too: They're not absorbed by most plastics, glass or ceramics. Metal reflects microwaves, which is why metal pans don't work well in a microwave oven. It's also why the devices have metal walls -- for reflection.

The whole heating process is different because you are "exciting atoms" rather than "conducting heat."

Related:
Microwaves
Microwave oven

3. Common health concerns

According to Catherine Adams Hutt, RD, Ph.D. “Whenever you cook food, you’ll have some loss of nutrients

"The best cooking method for retaining nutrients is one that cooks quickly, exposes food to heat for the smallest amount of time and uses only a minimal amount of liquid."

Some authors claim that it will turn your food into radioactive material by transforming food molecules into toxic, cancer-causing substances.

Yes, prepackaged foods with additives and preservatives do present some dangers when being heated using the microwave although no evidence has been found about the transformation of food molecules.

Related:
Dangers of microwaved food
Microwave cooking and nutrition
Ask the doctor: Microwave's impact on food

4. It depends on the food and the nutrients you’re looking for

Consider spinach. Boil it on the stove, and it can lose up to 70 percent of its folic acid. Microwave it with just a little water, and you’ll retain nearly all its folic acid. Cooking bacon on a griddle until it’s crispy (yum) can create nitrosamines while microwaving bacon creates far fewer of these cancer-promoting chemicals.

Related:
3 Ways to Cook Eggs in Microwave Every College Student Should Know
How To Cook Vegetables Perfectly with a Microwave!
How to steam vegetables in the microwave, green beans, broccoli, spinach
Steaming Broccoli I How To Steam Broccoli In 1 Minute

5. Precautions

Most injuries related to microwave ovens are the result of heat-related burns from hot containers, overheated foods, or exploding liquids.

Most injuries do not relate to radiation. That said, there have been very rare instances of radiation injury due to unusual circumstances or improper servicing.

Needless to say, be wary of putting metals inside the microwave.

Related:
5 Tips for Using Your Microwave Oven Safely
How to Boil Water in the Microwave

6. Highlights

• Overall you shouldn’t be concerned about anything if you follow the adequate measures. Even a genius like Neil deGrasse Tyson uses a microwave.
• It makes cooking quick and easy; just make sure to understand how to cook certain types of food.
• There are plenty of microwave-only recipes and other hacks you can reap the benefits from.

What do you think?

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Have an epic one!
Edward Casanova, Fitness Coach at ZenFit

Resources:
  1. WebMD. (2019). Is Microwaving Food Bad?. [online] Available at: https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/do-microwaves-zap-nutrition#1 [Accessed 17 Oct. 2019]
  2. En.wikipedia.org. (2019). Microwave. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microwave [Accessed 17 Oct. 2019].
  3. YouTube. (2019). Microwaves explained in ten seconds. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFG_OoiMhWE [Accessed 17 Oct. 2019].
  4. WebMD. (2019). Slideshow: 7 Missing Nutrients in Your Diet. [online] Available at: https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/ss/slideshow-missing-nutrients [Accessed 17 Oct. 2019].
  5. YouTube. (2019). How a Microwave Oven Works. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kp33ZprO0Ck [Accessed 17 Oct. 2019].
  6. Garden, H., Garden, H. and Appliances, K. (2019). How Microwave Cooking Works. [online] HowStuffWorks. Available at: https://home.howstuffworks.com/microwave2.htm [Accessed 17 Oct. 2019].
  7. En.wikipedia.org. (2019). Microwave oven. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microwave_oven#Heating_characteristics [Accessed 17 Oct. 2019].
  8. YouTube. (2019). Does Microwaving Food Destroy Its Vitamins?. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlkLa9Ezt00 [Accessed 17 Oct. 2019].
  9. Mercola.com. (2019). 8 reasons you need to throw away your microwave immediately. [online] Available at: https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/05/18/microwave-hazards.aspx [Accessed 17 Oct. 2019].
  10. Greenliving.lovetoknow.com. (2019). [online] Available at: http://greenliving.lovetoknow.com/dangers-food-additives-preservatives [Accessed 17 Oct. 2019].
  11. Safety.lovetoknow.com. (2019). [online] Available at: https://safety.lovetoknow.com/Dangers_of_Microwave_Food [Accessed 17 Oct. 2019].
  12. Publishing, H. (2019). Microwave cooking and nutrition - Harvard Health. [online] Harvard Health. Available at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/microwave-cooking-and-nutrition [Accessed 17 Oct. 2019].
  13. Publishing, H. (2019). Ask the doctor: Microwave's impact on food - Harvard Health. [online] Harvard Health. Available at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/ask-the-doctor-microwaves-impact-on-food [Accessed 17 Oct. 2019].
  14. YouTube. (2019). How Does Cooking Affect Nutrition in Food? (What The Science Says). [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoVVNX74E6Y [Accessed 17 Oct. 2019].
  15. YouTube. (2019). 3 Ways to Cook Eggs in Microwave Every College Student Should Know. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FSDAg5LClc [Accessed 17 Oct. 2019].
  16. Youtube.com. (2019). YouTube. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R14UXLcrduY [Accessed 17 Oct. 2019].
  17. YouTube. (2019). How to steam vegetables in the microwave, green beans, broccoli, spinach. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssl7m60UpwM [Accessed 17 Oct. 2019].
  18. YouTube. (2019). Steaming Broccoli I How To Steam Broccoli In 1 Minute. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7Hn3d5aE3Y [Accessed 17 Oct. 2019].
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  21. wikiHow. (2019). How to Boil Water in the Microwave. [online] Available at: https://www.wikihow.com/Boil-Water-in-the-Microwave [Accessed 17 Oct. 2019].
  22. YouTube. (2019). Superheating of water (Mythbusters). [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_OXM4mr_i0 [Accessed 17 Oct. 2019].
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  24. YouTube. (2019). What's The Deal With Metal In The Microwave?. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWOxnpmw7Dk [Accessed 17 Oct. 2019].
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This article doesn’t represent medical advice; always consult with your personal trainer, nutritionist, physician or any other related health professions.


Comments 6


excelente publicación mi amigo hoy aprendí algo importante, saludos

19.10.2019 13:55
0

de nada compa, aunque sea algo para hacer mas practico la vida

19.10.2019 18:31
0

Me? Can't stand microwaves - it's just a personal aversion, plus they are ugly in my kitchen! But I can see they're quite practical and useful for some people. I'm still unsure on the whole microwave thing - I'd have to do more research. My colleague makes insanely delicious microwaved scrambled eggs for her morning tea breakfast - they look so quick and easy, and less mess than the stovetop!

21.10.2019 22:13
1

haha, a dutch friend was shocked when I taught her how to cook eggs in a microwave. i know that reaction.

21.10.2019 22:22
0

When I was pregnant almost 30 years ago, the doctor told me to stay away from microwave ovens - especially the side of them. I threw mine out and have not used one again or missed it. No "science" gets done without being paid for by people who make money on the results, so I stopped trusting that long ago.

24.10.2019 00:20
0

If you are comfortable with that, it's ok. It's your call

25.10.2019 20:29
0