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Articles Fitness Nutrition

Microwave Popcorn as a Snack Food

Oct 10, 2010

Microwave popcorn is an ideal companion if you have nothing better to do on a Friday or Saturday night than stay at home, pop in a new DVD, and then curl up on the couch as you begin hours of mindless entertainment and snacking. Microwave popcorn typically comes in a microwaveable bag which consists of the corn for popping along with any spices, oils and seasoning. People have developed alternatives to the way they pop their popcorn in the microwave, electing sometimes to use basic paper bags or even glass bowls. The thinking behind these two alternatives is to reduce or outright remove the danger of the microwave popcorn being exposed to PFOA or artificial flavoring.

Nutritional Value

Even microwave popcorn can have a nutritional value, and it is especially thought to be a good alternative for dieters who don't want all the calories and the like of a proper meal. While microwave popcorn is a decent source of fiber, which is all-helpful in the promotion of good bowel movements and the cleaning out of your colon, it is also surprisingly high in the vitamins K, A and E, not to mention a few minerals. Still, its caloric levels and sodium levels, while not being terribly concerning, can lead to problems for dieters. An average bag of microwave popcorn can contain anywhere from 160 to 620 milligrams of sodium; the average daily intake recommendation is about 1,500 milligrams for adults over 50 and slightly more for younger persons. So depending on your intake of microwave popcorn, you can easily approach your daily recommendations with just one or two bags.

Safety Concerns

While microwave popcorn is a common type of snack food, there are safety concerns attached to it, yet many people the world over still enjoy it. For one, reheating the bag of microwave popcorn can increase the chance of it burning because its susceptor loses its capacity to react safely to microwave energy after one use. Microwave popcorn utilizes artificial butter flavoring; this flavoring has been shown to be linked to an obstructive lung disease that goes by the name of bronchiolitis obliterans. However, some brands of microwave popcorn have isolated the cause of the lung disease, which is the chemical called diacetyl, and then removed it from their products. You may want to be on the lookout for this on bags of microwave popcorn.

Types of Microwaveable Popcorn

Microwave popcorn comes in all shapes and sizes, and there are a few selections to choose from. Pop Secret is a long-standing brand that many people have grown up eating. More recently, brands like Black Jewell have introduced very interesting and tasty flavors and variations of microwave popcorn into the marketplace. The most popular type is in all likelihood Orville Redenbacher. It comes in many different varieties that give you more options to help you control the calories and salt content in your helping.

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