Q: I have heard from some friends that using the microwave oven to heat food could affect the nutrients in the food. Is there any truth in this?

A: One thing we would all agree is the importance of eating clean. This is particularly more so now with the pandemic raging across the world. Clean, good and healthy food affects your health, mood and life in general. While a lot of people concentrate on the quality of ingredients, not much thought is given to the method of preparation. But this too is equally important.

The way you process and cook your food (particularly proteins and fats) plays a large role in your body’s level of inflammation.

Microwaved food is denatured to a large extent. A study showed that microwaves cause changes in HDL, LDL, and white blood cells. Microwave ovens also tend to create high amounts of electromagnetic fields in your kitchen – another reason microwave ovens should be avoided.

Microwaves use radiation, which as per some studies could be cancer-causing. When you heat something in a plastic container quickly, especially from a very cold state (think about taking out your food from fridge and pushing it in the microwave), the BPA (toxic compound) is released from plastic into your food. This is because rapid heating tends to cause more damage to the plastic from heat expansion. Avoid reusable plastic containers and plastic bags whenever possible. Besides the harmful BPA, even BPA-free plastics can contain estrogenic chemicals that can leach into your food and mess with your hormones when you heat foods in these containers.

Microwave cooking is known to increase cholesterol oxidation products (COPs), which are highly pro-inflammatory. These COPs get absorbed easily in the gut and enter the bloodstream.

If you must use microwave ovens for cooking, place the food in ceramic or glass containers. Avoid plastic containers as far as possible.

Rashi Chowdhary is a nutritionist and creator of The Protein Bake Shop. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to friday@gulfnews.com.

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