The real danger of microwave popcorn, plus the healthy alternative

Suggest participation in affiliate programs with different companies. Links to Suggest’s website that lead to purchases or storage on affiliate sites generate revenue for Suggest. This means that Suggest can earn a commission if / when you click or make a purchase through an affiliate link.

In my house, popcorn is a staple of any movie night or TV show binge. So much so that I even considered adding an old-fashioned popcorn maker as they live in the movies at my home theater, complete with its own butter distributor.

However, I am deeply aware that the cost is completely unnecessary. And eating popcorn loaded with regular butter is not the best choice for my diet. So, when I crave popcorn I usually buy a ready-made bag from the store, or throw some Orville Radenbacher in the microwave.

The problem is, none of these options are really “healthier” than what you get in the movie, despite being low in fat and high in fiber. What’s more, the taste never gets better and the microwave version is rumored to be dangerously loaded with chemicals.

Could that be true? If so, what to do when a popcorn-loving girl next season Cobra Kai Drop and need a healthy snack?

Dangers of microwave popcorn

The real story behind the association of negative health effects such as microwave popcorn with cancer and dangerous lung conditions has nothing to do with popcorn. Instead, it’s all about the packaging.

Microwave popcorn bags contain chemicals called perflurinated compounds, or PFCs, which prevent grease. This feature makes the use of these compounds ideal for preventing oil spills through popcorn packaging.

Microwave popcorn on a white background in a bag
(Valery Lushchikov /

The problem with PFCs is that they break down into perfluorooctanoic acid or PFOA, which can enter popcorn when heated. As soon as you eat popcorn PFOA will enter your bloodstream and stay there for a long time.

But this problem is not limited to microwave popcorn bags. PFC has been used in everything from pizza boxes to sandwich wrappers to Teflon pans. Again, due to their grease-resistant properties.

In fact, PFCs have been used so frequently in packaging that approximately 98 percent of Americans are thought to have PFOA in their blood. A team of researchers, known as the C8 Science Panel, has studied the effects of PFOA exposure on people living near plants released into the environment since the 1950s.

Their study found that PFOA exposure may be associated with a variety of human health conditions, including kidney cancer and testicular cancer. This led to a review from the US Food and Drug Administration, which caused a major upheaval in the world of food packaging.

In 2011, food manufacturers voluntarily stopped using PFOA in their product bags. Five years later, the FDA banned the use of three more PFCs. So, the microwave popcorn you are buying today does not contain these chemicals.

Decades ago, microwaves were associated with a serious disease known as “popcorn lung” due to a chemical known as popcorn diacetyl. This is the chemical microwave popcorn that gave the butter its flavor and aroma. But when inhaled profusely, it was associated with severe and irreversible lung damage.

After numerous studies এবং and hundreds of popcorn workers dying of the disease-popcorn makers removed diacetyl from their products in 2007.

The key is to remove the chemicals in the microwave popcorn and its packaging that was once associated with cancer and popcorn lungs. However, microwave popcorn still has chemicals. And this method still does not give consumers control over the fat and salt of their popcorn.

Popping at home is easy and cheap

To avoid the chemicals in microwave popcorn – and to gain control over the butter and salt content – my friends, the answer is an air popper. And in 2022, they even made it for the microwave!

Snack healthy, yummy popcorn at home with Salbury Microwave Popcorn Popper, which doesn’t require any oil (unless you want to)! All you have to do is pop your favorite kernels with this popper inside the microwave and then add your favorite toppings. Perfect for small kitchens, the silicone popping bowl is compressible for easy storage.

Take your gourmet popcorn experience to the next level with a durable Ecology microwave microwave popcorn popper made from temperature-safe borosilicate glass. Again, no oil or butter is required, but you can melt some butter with a dual function lid to get that gourmet result. This Popper Dishwasher is safe, budget-friendly, and a healthy snack will be ready in three minutes.

This dash store option gives a much needed update to old electric poppers from my childhood. Dash Smartstore Deluxe Steering Popcorn Maker is a hot oil electric popcorn machine that will produce 24 cups of movie-theater-style popcorn in the comfort of your home.

The best part of this machine (my butter popcorn-loving opinion) is the built-in butter melting tray that adds butter when cooking popcorn. That treat also doubles as a steam vent, which makes popcorn the best for you from this little device. No microwave or oven required!

If you like popcorn from Stovetop, check out this option from Great Northern. Its original stainless-steel 6.5-quart popcorn popper produces 5 quart popcorn in just a few minutes. The innovative design of this popper allows moisture to escape during the popping process so that “your popcorn gets hot, wrinkles and mouth watering.”

Our favorite healthy flavor combos

I’ve talked a lot about butter so far, but there are many healthier flavor options for popcorn. When you season your popcorn at home, the possibilities are endless and healthier than pouring a bunch of fat into a bowl.

Like cooking, loading spices and seasonings can add a lot of flavor without too many calories. Mix the curry powder and red pepper together for a spicy kick, or add a pinch of cheesy, nutritious yeast, garlic powder, and black pepper for a delicious bite.

If you have sweet teeth, a dash of your favorite dessert with cinnamon and cocoa powder makes a post-dinner treat. Or go all out for a banana bread spin by adding chopped banana chips, chopped walnuts, and sprinkling all the spices.

Eating popcorn from a store-bought or microwave bag is unnecessary. Spending a few dollars on an air popper that you can use in the microwave অথবা or electric or stove-top version অবশ্যই is definitely the way to go. Not just for your budget, but for your waist. Popcorn can be a healthy snack, as long as you avoid pre-made bags.

More from advice

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.