During this pandemic, if you are like the rest of us, your screen time has been a little higher than”normal”. With all the prime viewing we’ve been doing at home, combined with movie theatreclosures – microwave popcorn sales have surged (note to self: go back in time and buy GameStop and microwave popcorn stock). We know popcorn has been around for ages and ages, but aremicrowave versions of popcorn healthy?
There are two ingredients in many brands that are considered unsafe
- The first ingredient is diacetyl. It is linked to a rare lung disease called “popcorn worker’s lung”
- Diacetyl is used in the artificial butter in many brands and does harm when inhaled, not eaten.
- Many companies have replaced it but some argue the replacement is just as dangerous.
- The second ingredient is perfluoroocantoic acid (PFOA) and resides in the lining of some bags.
- PFOA is used to make Teflon and other materials and considered a “likely carcinogen”.
- Trace amounts of PFOA has been linked tumors in animal studies but it’s less clear for humans.
Microwave popcorn -practice avoidance
My take on microwave popcorn is treat it like a highly-processed food. Apart from the above, it often contains unhealthy oils that should be avoided. Eat it rarely, and choose a butter-free option. And, especially if you eat microwave popcorn often, be cautious to avoid inhaling the buttery fumes that spew from the bag when you open it. If your family consumes popcorn by the gallon each week, like mine, you might want look into an air-popper or other method when your craving the corn.
- Although over 90% of the corn grown and eaten in this country is genetically modified, apparently the popcorn seed has remained untainted. Still skeptical? Choose organic kernels.
- The oldest piece of popcorn, found in New Mexico. was over 5,000 years old.
- Popcorn is actually a “whole grain” food and will surprise you by the amount of nutrition it has.
- It’s one of the best food choices for fiber – 2 cups has about 15 grams!
- Flavoring your air-popped corn can be fun and nutritious – check out some ideas here!