Think Microwave Popcorn is Healthy? Think Again


Popcorn. Our favourite movie night snack! It tastes great and is incredibly moreish. Sticking a bag of popcorn in the microwave is an easy option when the late night munchies strike. But think microwave popcorn is healthy? Think again...

Lots of us think of microwave popcorn as a relatively healthy snack. Popcorn itself isn't bad for us - it's full of fibre, and naturally low in fat. But the microwave popcorn we buy in the supermarket can come with hidden dangers, such as:

  • Many brands use palm oil. Aside from the fact that palm oil is an environmental disaster unless sustainably sourced, palm oil isn't particularly good for us either. Palm oil is high in saturated fat, and used in lots of processed foods as an alternative to butter and trans-fats.


  • Toxic packaging. A report from the US Food and Drug Administration found that a chemical used in microwave popcorn bags breaks down when heated, and forms a substance called perfluorooctanoic (PFOA). PFOA has been linked with cancer, infertility and other health problems - why take the risk? 


  • Hidden nasties. Unless you make popcorn yourself, you can never be too sure what’s gone into it. As well as some potentially nasty artificial flavourings such as diacetyl (artificial butter flavouring), microwave popcorn is often high in sugar and salt too. No wonder it's so addictive...


Instead of banging a bag of popcorn in the microwave, why not make your own? It’s so easy and is actually good fun. Add a teaspoon of coconut oil to a large pan, heat, then add a thin layer of popcorn to cover the bottom of the pan. Cover with a lid to cover and heat until the corn is all popped - keep shaking the pan so the kernels don't burn. Get creative with your flavourings - we love raw cacao powder, a dusting of sea salt and chilli flakes. Yum! 

Alternatively, buy ready-popped popcorn from a high quality artisan maker, rather than your sugar-laden supermarket brands. It'll taste delicious and be better for you too! Let us know if there are any you recommend. 

  #Columns   #Health Hacker   #health   #popcorn   #snacks   #palm oil   #health hacks   #toxic food

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