How Bad is it Really to Microwave your food?

1 minReading time

One of my all-time favorite meals? Microwaved ‘baked’ potato, with scrambled eggs. I’m usually full for a good long few hours afterward, and it’s delicious.

Here’s the thing: I’ve heard more than a few times that microwaving your food is terribly bad for you. My mom has said it, my dad has said it; by this point I’m fairly convinced it’s true.


But is it? How bad is it, really, to microwave your food?

A blog post from Harvard Health says, in short, that microwaving can actually be pretty good for cooking foods because it cooks quickly, heating food in the shortest amount of time, and uses very little liquid, keeping more vitamins and minerals in the food than “almost any other cooking method”.

What about the crazy “micro waves”?

Once again, in short, nothing to worry about. They will not create radiation in your food. The type of radiation that comes from your microwave is low-frequency; the same kind that comes from a lightbulb or a radio. It is what is known as ‘non-ionizing’, so it doesn’t alter the food’s chemical structure.

So how do microwaves heat food?

Microwaves get the water molecules in foods to vibrate, and this is what produces heat in them. There is, according to the American Cancer Society, “no evidence that they pose a health risk to people”.

One last word of advice

While microwaves aren’t inherently harmful, plastic can still be harmful. It’s best to microwave your food in microwave safe or containers or glass containers, so that plastic doesn’t leak into your food.

With Lifesum, tracking your healthy habits (and the not so healthy ones) becomes a breeze. We’ll help you pick the right food, and eat the right portion sizes, to reach your personal health goals.

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