Microwave popcorn has such a delicious smell it makes popping it into your mouth by the handful virtually impossible to resist, right? If this resonates with you, read on to discover some hidden health hazards of microwave popcorn you need to know.
A Convenient Health Hazard
Other than its delicious smell, another reason for microwave popcorn’s popularity as a snack is its convenience. It goes straight into the microwave in the bag it comes in and it’s ready in seconds, making it a favorite in many office vending machines.
The Danger Is In the Bag
In most microwave popcorn brands the bag is lined with a substance known as PFOA or perfluorooctanoic acid. PFOA is the chemical used in Teflon coated pots and pans and its toxic properties have been linked to health concerns such as cancer and infertility.
A Flavorsome Health Hazard
The ingredients listed on the packaging do little to reveal the actual contents and the potential health hazards they bring. Food manufacturers list both natural and artificial flavors on labels but undesirable and unhealthy contents generally remain hidden.
The Danger Is In the Additives
Contents vary from product to product but the following are commonly found in microwave popcorn:
- Artificial (Diacetyl) Butter Flavoring – this has been linked to lung and brain issues and may play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Trans Fats – these unhealthy fats are linked to heart disease and an increased potential to suffer a heart attack.
- Proply Gallate – this food preservative is linked to numerous health issues including skin rashes and breathing difficulties.
- Tertiary Butylhydroquinone – otherwise known as TBHQ, this preservative is proof positive that if you can’t pronounce the name of an ingredient, you shouldn’t be eating it. Health issues linked to TBHQ include allergies, asthma, dizziness and ADHD in children.
Try popping your own stovetop popcorn for a healthy alternative. Make some at the beginning of the week and then store it in individual plastic baggies for a quick grab-and-go snack! Better yet, use coconut oil to pop organic kernels in, and top it with sea salt and nutritional yeast.