Natural popcorn is one of the healthiest snacks you can eat. Low in calories and high in fibre, it can be a satisfying snack. What’s not healthy? The microwavable version.
So why is microwave popcorn so bad?
The bags have been linked to cancer
The real kicker here is in the packaging. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has advised that microwave popcorn bags contain a chemical compound that breaks down when heated into a substance called perflurooctanoic (PFCs).
PFCs have been identified as obesity-promoting chemicals, which are added to the bags to make them more greaseproof. PFCs have been marked by the FDA as a “likely carcinogen”, and have been linked also to thyroid disease and ADHD.
It’s packed with chemicals
Love that delicious buttery taste? This may have you think again. The fake butter flavouring in microwave popcorn is derived from a chemical known as diacetyl. Employees working in microwavable popcorn factories reported lung damage from inhaling this chemical, with some developing severe lung disease. Consumers have also reported this problem, in rare cases.
Say hello to GMO
Corn is one of the most heavily genetically modified crops in the world. Chances are, your freshly popped bag of microwave popcorn is riddles with pesticides and other chemicals that have been sprayed to control weeds.
Trans fats abound
The fats in microwave popcorn are the bad guys. Trans fats have been linked to reproductive issues and other health problems.
The trouble here is that although trans fats legally have to be labelled, many are not, and lurk in other “hydrogenated” ingredients. Check the label carefully for any hydrogenated products.
So how do you avoid all of this bad stuff? Simple – make your own. Go old school and pop your own kernals in a saucepan with some olive oil (or coconut oil for a different taste). Alternatively, add the raw kernals to a brown paper bag with flavourings of your choice and microwave until popped. Add some natural flavourings such as fresh spices, nutritional yeast, sea salt or cinnamon for a sweet kick.
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