If you want to improve your health through diet, avoiding microwave popcorn may be a great place to start. Every bag of popcorn you eat is high in calories, fat, and sodium, and also toxic chemicals and dangerous trans fat. Below are four reasons why microwave popcorn is less than ideal for human consumption.
1. Let’s face it, microwaves aren’t good for us anyway. A microwave’s intense heat damages the molecular stability of food, creating new structures called “radiolytic compounds.” Radiolytic compounds cause damage to your blood, and it’s been shown that food consumed after microwaving actually decreases your blood’s hemoglobin (oxygen-carrying molecules in red blood cells) and lymphocytes (white blood cells). Some studies show that ingesting microwaved foods changes perfectly normal molecules into a dangerous free radical, increasing the risk of cancer. Microwaving food also breaks down the vitamins and antioxidants in otherwise healthy food.
[Microwave Cooking Is Killing People]
2. Trans fat is meant to give food longer shelf life because solid fats break down at a slower rate than their liquid counterparts, but solid fats are also thicker, making it harder for your body to move them through arteries. The more unhealthy trans fat we consume, the more our arteries will clog, increasing our chance of heart attack and stroke. The high level of trans fat in popcorn (think of the butter) is like eating sludge. The body can’t digest it, can’t carry it, and it sits inside of us like contaminated grease. [Trans Fats 101]
3. Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in the lining of the popcorn bag has been linked to infertility and cancer. Some popcorn manufacturers have discontinued use of this chemical, but not all. Heating the popcorn releases the PFOA from the bag into the kernels. Worse still, PFOA from that bag of popcorn you had when you were 15 may still be in your body when you are 25, because PFOA builds up in the body and is difficult for organs to detoxify and remove. [Perfluorooctanoic acid]
4. You may have heard of “Mad Hatters” but have you heard of “Popcorn Cough?” Diacetyl is used to flavor popcorn’s artificial butter, and has been shown to cause lung disease among the workers at popcorn factories. A 53-year-old Colorado man nearly died of lung disease by eating popcorn. When heated, Diacetyl turns to vapor and enters the lungs as steam fresh from the bag. Believe it or not, six months after the man gave up his twice-a-day popcorn habit of ten years, his lungs improved and he lost fifty pounds. [Doctor Links a Man’s Illness to a Microwave Popcorn Habit]
If you’re scared you will never enjoy popcorn again, don’t worry. You can still pop your own popcorn on the stove using organic or bulk popcorn kernels. Popping your own from organic kernels is definitely the safest way to enjoy popcorn, but if this is too much work, check the packaging of your favorite popcorn brands and get to know the chemicals in your food. Natural popcorn can be a delicious and healthy snack, low in calories and high in fiber, but eating it laced with dangerous chemicals won’t do you, or your family, any good.
1.Stephanie Relfe B.S.c, Microwave Cooking Is Killing People, relfe.com
2.Trans Fats 101, umm.edu
3.Perfluorooctanoic acid, Wikipedia.com
4.Doctor Links a Man’s Illness to a Microwave Popcorn Habit, nytimes.com