If you’re like most people, you love fast food. Not necessarily the kind you buy from the drive-thru and wolf down on your lunch break but the kind you reheat in your favorite modern convenience: The microwave.
Adults are fifty percent more obese than they were in the 1970s and children are a whopping three times as obese today as they were thirty-five years ago. That’s no coincidence. It’s due to the increase in the consumption of “convenience foods” such as fast food, ‘TV dinners’ and microwave cooking.
Fast food and chemical-laden frozen dinners are pretty intuitive. You only have to read their ingredients and caloric content to know they are unhealthy. (Heck, you only have to look at some of them.) With microwave cooking, it’s a little tricky. After all, you may be a very healthy eater who chooses organic poultry, meat and vegetables and that’s great! The problem is, when you take said foods out of your refrigerator and reheat them in the microwave, you’re destroying all of the nutritional content on your plate! This lack of nutrition weakens your immune system and makes you more vulnerable to disease.
“Wait? How can microwave cooking destroy the nutrition in my food? It’s just heating it up, right?”
Not exactly. A conventional oven uses convectional heat to warm food from the outside in. Microwave cooking starts within at the cells then works rapidly outward using a process called frictional heat. The destruction of essential nutrients happens because this process is so fast, it rips the cell apart. This changes the nutrients in your food on a molecular level so that no matter how much you eat you’re still suffering from malnutrition.
Another important thing to mention is most people reheat their food in plastic containers. This creates even more of a health hazard because the chemicals in the plastic are now slowly leaking into your already nutrient-deprived food!
While visiting some friends a couple years ago, I noticed that they only cooked or reheated their food in a conventional or toaster oven. It tasted so much better than what I was used to eating, I decided to try it myself. Within a week, my energy levels skyrocketed! I couldn’t believe how much better I felt from simply changing my method of reheating food.
It’s understandable that most people gravitate toward the microwave as a modern convenience but try thinking of it this way, if you are not getting the essential nutrition you need from the food you’re cooking, it’s simply not worth it. You’ll only be setting yourself up for serious health problems down the road.
If you’re busy, try cooking a larger batch of food on days when you have some extra time and refrigerate or freeze what you aren’t going to use. Then, take out the portion you need, place it in a glass dish and reheat it in a conventional or toaster oven and tend to other chores while it reheats.
It’s important to note that it’s not easy to find many reports about the health dangers posed by microwave cooking but keep in mind, big companies drive most research so it’s biased toward the product manufacturer.
Try it for yourself. Ban your microwave for a week and see if you can’t taste and feel the difference.
Sources: Personal experience and natural health websites whose links I have listed below.