Always Wondering, Is Microwave Oven Good For Health?

Are you concerned about microwave safety? If so, you’re certainly not alone so let’s take some time to consider how safe these ovens are themselves and how they compare with more traditional cooking methods.

Is Anything Safe?

Well let’s not go that far and just ask “is any method of cooking food 100% safe?” The answer is of course “No!”

Sometimes I wonder if the government would even allow us to use gas cookers or bottled gas if they were invented now. 

Not only can you kill yourself by inhaling the stuff you can even manage to blow up your entire house or you could just burn yourself on the open flame. 

A friend of mine set her dressing gown alight whilst making breakfast one morning just by reaching over a naked flame. Luckily she wasn’t damaged.

Although electric cookers aren’t likely to blow up or poison you, there is still the possibility of giving yourself a very nasty burn or starting a fire.

In this sense of safety, microwave ovens come out on top. The air inside doesn’t heat up nor should the container you’re cooking in – so there’s little chance of a burn.

Are Microwaves Safe?

Again we have to think in what sense we mean safe. Microwaves heat the water and fat inside food and thus cook it. 

If you were to expose yourself to microwaves it would have exactly the same effect. A microwave can’t tell the difference between you and a lump of meat. But then neither can any other means of cooking food.

“Cooking” yourself with a microwave would be difficult (given the size of the ovens) and so could only happen if your microwave developed a leak AND you stood close to it. 

Microwaves diminish very quickly over distance. Government regulations also insist on double locks and tight seals.

Of course, it is always wise to check the condition of seals. These can wear with age or with accumulated dirt if not cleaned regularly.

Standing about 2 feet away from the oven whilst it’s in use will ensure that you weren’t harmed by an undetected leak.

Is Microwaved Food Safe To Eat?

When people talk about microwave safety they are often thinking about the effect of the waves on the food we eat. 

Again let’s start with a level playing field. All cooking changes the structure of the food. 

Think about a raw and a boiled egg – structural change. How about toast? Fried tomatoes, bread, pasta? Things change as they cook.

The question isn’t about whether there is structural change but the type of change. Is the structural change brought about by microwave cooking safe? Or Is Microwave Oven Good For Health?

And the answer is that no studies by the FDA or any government body have shown microwave cooking to be unsafe. 

Which is a great start but is it enough to reassure us? It’s tough to prove a negative; the next study might find a different result or in later years we might realize that they’ve been studying the wrong aspect of microwave safety.

There are definitely people on the internet who are deeply concerned about the use of microwaves. However, I simply can’t find the evidence to support their beliefs. 

Indeed some of them (not all I stress but some) have shown a fundamental lack of understanding of basic physics treating all types of electromagnetic radiation from gamma rays to radio waves as equal.

Keeping The Goodness

On the plus side – In many cases, it has been demonstrated that microwaving food preserves more of the nutrients than conventional cooking.

More goodness is probably lost in slicing and dicing veggies too far in advance of cooking than in the process of microwaving them.

Antioxidants, especially water-soluble vitamins are the most vulnerable. Minerals seem to survive okay. The advice here is to cook on a lower power setting and use less water. 

The trend with microwave ovens is to make them more and more powerful. Perhaps that’s not the right way to go if we want our food to be both safe and healthy to eat.

This point must have cleared your most of the doubts regarding your concern, “Is Microwave Oven Good For Health“.

Top Microwave Safety Tips

  • Don’t always cook on the highest power setting – slower cooking may preserve more nutrition
  • Ensure the seal on the microwave is not damaged – if it is, replace it or replace the microwave.
  • Similarly, make sure the door shuts well – if it doesn’t click into place – mend or replace it
  • Don’t put metal in a microwave– it might cause a fire and can damage the magnetron (the bit that produces the microwaves) and if that doesn’t work you’ll need a new one over
  • Don’t run the oven empty or with just an empty container in it ( there are some new ovens that allow this but why take the chance?)
  • Stand about 2 feet away from the microwave when it’s in use


As we have demystified various myths regarding the use of microwave ovens, you must have got the answer to the question, “Is Microwave Oven Good For Health“. 

Though there are some cautions you have to take for your safety, microwaves have made our daily life very easy. It can perform an ample task which a human being can’t even think of with ordinary cooking methods.

Also, if you’d like to know about the best Microwave oven inbuilt in India, check out this article:

Also Read: How To Clean Microwave Oven Inside?

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