Do micro-waves really cause cancer?

Many people have asked us about the safety of using these appliances to warm up last night’s lasagna. They worry when they hear the word -“radiation.” Although radiation may be linked to damaged cells and an increased cancer risk when it’s high frequency and there’s prolonged exposure (think gamma rays and some ultraviolet radiation), microwaves use -low-frequency radiation for short periods. Microwaves only operate when the oven is on and the door is shut – so they are not constantly emitting radiation. Well-functioning microwaves are deemed safe by the World Health Organisation and the World Cancer Research Fund, as long as the door closes -properly and the microwave has no dents or leaks.

Is food labeled "organic" more nutritious?

Organic refers to a method of farming, but it’s not a health claim. An organic logo does not tell you anything about the calories, fat, salt, sugar or vitamin content of food. A cake made with organic white flour, organic sugar and organic butter is still cake – it’s not suddenly “healthy cake” because the ingredients were grown using organic farming methods. Nutritious foods – whether conventionally or -organically grown – are those that provide the body with fiber, vitamins, minerals, protein and other key nutrients.

Does time of day matter when it comes to eating?

Our bodies follow a circadian rhythm (24-hour cycle that tells our bodies when to sleep, wake, eat), and some research shows that we metabolise foods poorly when eating at irregular times (e.g., sleeping during the day and eating at night). Try to eat at similar times on a daily basis, and don't eat right before going to sleep.

What's one food item or ingredient you advise people to avoid?

We get questions like this often, and we think a better way to think about eating is that no foods should be considered "off limits." Try to eat foods that are minimally processed and have little to no additives on a regular basis. Cooking for yourself and eating a mostly plant-based diet can do wonders for your health – we think this is one of the most underappreciated and basic principles about eating. But having a donut every once in a while is okay, too!