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Healthy Eats Series: 4 Foods You Think Are Healthy That Aren't

Grocery stores can be so confusing. Labels like "natural" or "contains whole grains" sound good but are not necessarly representing good, healthy foods. Even natural foods stores often sell products that are loaded with sugar or refined grains!

For the next few posts, I'll share a few confusing products and their healthier alternative. Let's start with popcorn.

Microwave Popcorn

I love popcorn, but here's why you need to avoid the bagged variety. First, the bag itself is lined with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which can stay in the human body and the environment for a long time. PFOA has been linked to infertility and cancer and is listed as a carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency.

You also want to read the ingredients. A few brands still contain trans fats (partially hydrogenated oils) which are manmade oils and the most harmful fat to human health. Many use unhealthy oils, additional preservatives and "natural and artifical flavors" which can include dangerous substances like diacetyl butter flavoring.

Make your own instead!

Popcorn can easily be made at home with real ingredients and is a delicious snack!

To air pop: Use an air popper or place kernels in a brown paper bag and secure closed with a small piece of tape. Microwave for 3-5 minutes, or until kernels slow down to several seconds between popping.

Stove top: Heat 1 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil, butter or red palm oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat until melted. Add 1/3 c. organic popcorn kernels and rotate pan to ensure they are all well coated in oil. Cover with a lid and let all the kernels pop. (I sometimes shake the pot a few times before they start popping so they don't burn.)

Transfer popcorn to a bowl and top with delicious, healthy toppings:

- Himalyan sea salt

- Nutritional yeast

- Extra virgin olive oil (optional, for additional flavor for air popped)

- Spices like cumin or curry powder for more kick

Enjoy your snack with healthy fats, good for you salt and no scary fake stuff!

What's your favorite way to make popcorn?

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