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Old 09-03-2007, 11:51 PM   #1
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Microwaving concern

I read somewhere that microwaving your food causes it to lose 97% of its nutrients. Is there any truth to that? When I microwave a sweet potato for example, what exactly happens to the sweet potato's nutrients? What about if I'm reheating chicken/beef in the microwave?

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Old 09-04-2007, 12:27 AM   #2
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From what I understand, certain foods and certain nutrients react negatively to microwaves ie: breastmilk. I hope some of our scientific-minded members have info on what other foods are seriously depleted nutrient-wise by microwaving.
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Old 09-04-2007, 02:55 AM   #3
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Here's the way I understand it:

Energy is transferred in waves. The higher frequency the wave is, the more energy it carries. Microwaves have a much higher frequency than the heat transferred by a flame, which is why they can cook food so quickly. However, higher frequency waves, because they carry more energy, are also more damaging to flesh and cells. Certain foods with more delicate cell structures don't fare well in the microwave because the energy just destroys the food's cell structures, and nutrients along with them.
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Old 09-04-2007, 08:10 AM   #4
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Searching on Google for this - site:*.edu microwave nutrients (the site: part specifies that the results be only .edu sites) - the pages I've seen say steaming and microwaving are the best ways to retain maximum nutritional value. Some nutrients can be destroyed by overcooking the food, but overcooking can be done on the stove or in the oven as well.

From http://health.howstuffworks.com/heal...tables-ga3.htm
<quote>
Cook vegetables (and fruits) in a covered pot with just a little water -- to help create steam that speeds cooking. Or try cooking in the microwave. This fast method of cooking helps to retain nutrients, flavor, and crispness.
<end quote>
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Old 09-04-2007, 08:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Holdthescroll View Post
I read somewhere that microwaving your food causes it to lose 97% of its nutrients. Is there any truth to that? When I microwave a sweet potato for example, what exactly happens to the sweet potato's nutrients? What about if I'm reheating chicken/beef in the microwave?

This sounds like something that you saw on the internet. It's a great place to find mis-information.

I have always heard the opposite - that steaming veggies in the microwave is one of the better ways to cook veggies as it preserves nutrients.
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Old 09-04-2007, 09:08 AM   #6
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This sounds like something that you saw on the internet. It's a great place to find mis-information.

I have always heard the opposite - that steaming veggies in the microwave is one of the better ways to cook veggies as it preserves nutrients.
Yep, I've read that many times too. Steaming by any method is always a better way to cook veggies, even in the microwave oven.
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Old 09-04-2007, 11:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fisher's Mom View Post
From what I understand, certain foods and certain nutrients react negatively to microwaves ie: breastmilk.
How close would you have to be standing to the microwave for it to cause a negative reaction?
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Old 09-04-2007, 12:43 PM   #8
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How close would you have to be standing to the microwave for it to cause a negative reaction?
I had to figure that out by trial and error. The instruction manual that came with my microwave was kinds vague on that subject, but then I read that breastmilk wasn't supposed to glow-in-the-dark so I took a few steps back.
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Old 09-04-2007, 01:47 PM   #9
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alright, good to know that I can keep nuking 75% of my meals without consequence!! whooo
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Old 09-04-2007, 01:52 PM   #10
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Just don't nuke them in plastic - use glass containers or plates - lead-free of course
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