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Nutrition Behavior Diet Environment

Is Microwave Oven Cooking Harming Your Health?

2 months, 1 week ago

2238  1
Posted on May 13, 2019, 10 p.m.

Convenience in modern society has many utilizing the microwave oven in households for warming coffee/water or baby formula/breast milk, thawing, heating snacks, and preparing frozen entrees. Simply reading the directions on the product and popping it into the appliance can cook a meal in about 4 minutes.

More than 95% of American homes own a microwave oven according to The Southwest Museum of Engineering, Communication and Computation, it seems as if owning a microwave oven has become pretty difficult to almost impossible to do without for most.

Downside to using this appliance of convenience is that while that frozen meal may consist of healthy ingredients and low calories that all changes once you nuke it, and the way you cook food directly affects the amount of nutrients available from them for the body to consume. Quickly nuking food may be fast and easy but it significantly zaps away nutritional value of the food and your health, which with continuous microwave use can leave you susceptible to developing health complications. This leads to the question is this convenience really worth the sacrifice to your health?

What may have started off as a nutritious meal after zapping in this appliance will essentially turn it into dead food due to the dielectric heating of microwaves. “They bounce around the inside of your microwave oven and are absorbed by the food you put in it,” writes Dr. Joseph M. Mercola. To heat up food these appliances use high frequencies that cause water molecules to rotate rapidly in the microwave and in the food which creates molecular friction to heat up the food; however this also causes the molecular structure of the food to change and as a result diminishes the nutrient content.

Once heated in a microwave oven any health benefits of vitamin B-12 becomes instantly negated. The journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry published a study showing there was a 30%-40% loss of vitamin B-12 when the food received microwave exposure, the shift of vitamin B-12 to an inactive form of the vitamin was found in foods during the microwave heating process.

Those who heat baby formula and/or breast milk in the microwave may want to rethink doing that as findings published in the journal Pediatrics showed that powerful bacteria fighting agents they contain are destroyed by microwave heating. Microwaving breast milk at high temperatures for 30 seconds was found to have greater E. coli growth approximately 18 times more than that of un-microwaved; breast milk microwaved at low temperatures for 30 seconds also decreased lysozyme activity and promoted growth of harmful bacteria for babies.

Nuking foods wrapped in plastic can create carcinogens inside the food, as such the Russian government has issued warnings based on German and Russian studies about the health hazards that microwave ovens can have on the human body. Additionally once nuked microwavable foods have been found to contain toxic chemicals including xylene, toluene, BPA, polyethylene terpthalate, and benzene; and plastic containers most often used to heat meals in microwave ovens have been found to release carcinogens along with other harmful toxins into the food which will then be absorbed by the body when consumed.

A Swiss clinical study revealed blood changes in those who consumed microwave vegetables and milk; 8 participants ate a series of food prepared in different manners including heating in a microwave. Results showed red blood cells levels decreased while white blood cell levels increased along with cholesterol levels; the non-ionizing radiation of the microwave can affect changes in the blood and heart rate.

Due to the 2.4 GHz radiation microwave ovens can produce effects on the body instantly. Dr. Magda Havas of Trent University found levels of radiation emitted by a microwave oven affect both heart rate variability and heart rate; although within federal safety guidelines these tend to cause immediate and dramatic changes in heart rate. If you regularly consume microwaved food and drink, and are experiencing irregular heart beat or any chest pain it may be best to stop nuking your food.

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