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Can Cooking In The Microwave Increase Fat Cell Formation?

Oh the microwave, this ingenious little invention that’s helped to break up the family dinner and increase the consumption of processed and refined foods in our society since the 1980′s.

If it sounds like I’m not all that much of a fan of the microwave oven you’d be right. Sure it’s nice to heat up a cold cup of coffee or something like that, but to cook food, are you kidding me?

I couldn’t think of a worse way to prepare food to be consumed by the human body. Do you really need to have a bunch of scientists and guys in white coats tell you this is completely safe and harmless? Ok, yeah like using radiation to heat food fits right in with nature’s rhythms.

I’ve long been suspect of the microwave ever since watching my childhood buddy Todd Graham blow up an egg in one. Even at eight years old something about how that was even possible just didn’t seem right to me. Eggs didn’t “blow up” when you put them on the stove….hum?

But seriously, we’ve long been told there’s absolutely nothing unsafe or unhealthy about cooking in microwave ovens. While maybe it’s true you’re not going to link cancer or some chronic disease directly with their use, this doesn’t mean it’s actually a “healthy” practice. Not being harmful and being “healthy” aren’t necessarily synonymous terms.

With the dramatic rise in microwaveable meals over the years there’s one little correlation that it seems nobody is talking about. Now before I tell you what it is, don’t get this all twisted. I’m not blaming the microwave oven on all our society health woes. That would be foolish. I just think there are little details that get buried which people need to know about.

Alright, here’s the deal. You’ve probably already heard about the health risks of something called BPA in plastics. As a quick refresher, BPA is a particular toxic chemical found in polycarbonate plastic. This it the kind of plastic used to make water bottles, food storage containers, food packaging, etc.

So far BPA has been linked to potential health problems including issues affecting reproductive development. The “experts” aren’t exactly settled on all the long-term impacts of exposure to BPA yet, but I’ll betcha in the end it’s not going to be anything that fits into the categories of “improving cellular function,” or “enhances physical health.” Let’s be realistic, this is toxic chemical.

The question simply becomes how well can the body deal with exposure to BPA?

Look, I’m a big believer that the human body is pretty darn tough thing. It can take a fair amount of abuse and still keep rolling. It may wear out or break down quicker (chronic illness) when the word “moderation” is not in a person’s vocabulary, but for the most part it’s pretty resilient.

So I’m not one of these fear mongers that runs out and says if you drink from plastic water bottles you’re going to get cancer. But at the same time I look at things objectively and try to figure out whether or not something is a “healthy practice.”

Recent research is now showing that even low exposure to BPA can spur the growth and formation of fat cells. Here’s the kicker….this gets enhanced big time when plastics containing BPA are heated in a microwave!

One of the correlations between BPA exposure and fat cell formation has to due with the increase in estrogen levels. This translates to spot-specific fat storage in your hips, butt, and thighs.

Are you going to become obese by simply cooking Lean Cuisine’s in the microwave? No, but it sure as heck isn’t helping to reduce the appearance of cellulite and flabby thighs either.

With all the obsession on calories we’re not looking enough at the quality of food that’s being consumed and the nutrients we’re getting out of them. For starters, nuking food in a microwave is destroying most of the enzymes and a lot of the phytonutrients. It’s definitely not a good thing.

We’re just adding insult to injury when we cook these foods in plastic containers. If you’re relying on microwave “diet meals” to help you lose weight with a busy lifestyle, you’re bound to be left disappointed. For all the reasons I’ve just mentioned this is a fools choice.

If you absolutely must use a microwave to heat up meals, which I hate even saying that, you’re going to be far better off putting the food on a ceramic plate. But seriously, look to minimize the use of a microwave oven as much as possible. It’s not in your best interest.

But hey don’t just take my word for it. Try going without any processed and refined foods or nuking things in the microwave for mere 30 days and see how you feel. It’s amazing what a diet of live foods will do for your health.

Once again it’s all about moderation. I’d still rather eat my chicken breast cooked over a flame than to eat it raw. When cooking whole, natural foods, you just want to avoid using really high temperatures. The more you cook something the more you lose in the form of nutrients, enzymes, etc.

A lot of the carcinogenic compounds that are formed when cooking foods come with using high temperatures or burning the food. The term “well done” isn’t favorable from a health standpoint. Sure you won’t to cook meat enough to destroy harmful bacteria, but charring it to a burnt crisp isn’t a good idea.

Anyways, there’s my two cents on cooking with a microwave for what it’s worth. I also personally think you should minimize the use of plastics as well. Some people may think I’m a hillbilly for drinking out of mason jars instead of plastic cups but so be it. I probably am a hillbilly, but I also think it’s a wiser choice to use glass containers, wooden bowls, etc, any day of the week.

Do yourself a favor by minimizing plastics and fire up the grill more often instead of using the lazy man’s microwave.

Shane Doll is a certified Charleston personal trainer, fat loss expert, speaker, and founder of Shaping Concepts Personal Training Studios. He specializes in helping people achieve a body transformation with burst training exercise and whole food nutrition. You can receive a FREE no-obligations trial of his Charleston personal fitness programs and start experiencing the Shaping Concepts difference today.

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Category: Nutrition.