I admit, popcorn is one of my favorite snacks! But is it healthy?
Popcorn can range from a pretty decent snack choice to extremely unhealthy, based on a few things, so let's take a look at four things that can make a big difference in your popcorn snacking.
1. Start with organic, non-GMO kernels
Popcorn is a heavily sprayed crop. Choose your own organic kernels from a natural food store or grocery store and you're saving your body a lot of unnecessary pesticide exposure.
2. Pop it yourself
Did you know popcorn bags are laced with a chemical coating that has been linked to thyroid damage and cancer?
It's really easy to do it yourself, and you can control the ingredients. For air popped popcorn, I put 1/3 c. kernels in a brown paper lunch bag with a small piece of tape to keep it closed and microwave it for 4-5 minutes, stopping as soon as the kernels have more than 3-4 seconds between a pop.
Better yet, use the stove top! Heat 2-3 tbsp. high quality oil or fat in a saucepan over medium heat and let it warm up. Add 1/3 c. kernels and cover with the lid. I sometimes shake the pan a few times, to help evenly disperse the kernels, but don't remove until the popping slows down.
3. Choose your fats carefully
Pre-made popcorn from the grocery store to the movie theater is notorious for using trans fats which are highly inflammatory oils to the body.
Pop your own popcorn in better or coconut oil (the most heat stable fats) or air pop it and drizzle extra virgin olive oil on after wards for flavor.
4. Pick high quality toppings
Instead of table salt, use Himalayan sea salt and other spices, such as nutritional yeast, garlic, curry or rosemary to make your popcorn more interesting.
Avoid fake butter flavoring, which contains the dangerous chemical diacetyl.
By making these switches, you can enjoy your popcorn guilt free!