Popcorn is a favorite for no small number of people, while going to the movies without munching on it is unthinkable for some. Besides being so delicious, salty popcorn can be exceptionally harmful to health.
It is believed that the first popcorn was prepared in the long-gone year of 1630. It was then that people learned that corn kernels pop at high temperature. That is how the story of this wonderful temptation began.
Composition of Popcorn
Dangers of Popcorn
Even if it is delicious, popcorn is definitely not among the healthiest foods, quite the opposite. They contain up to 60% complex carbs, 30% fat and 520 calories in every 2/5 cup (100 g).
Just one small popcorn packet contains more salt than the recommended daily amount for adolescents, while a large popcorn packet contains twice the salt that should be consumed daily.
The regular consumption of popcorn and other foods with a high salt content increases the risk of high blood pressure and all kinds of diseases of the cardiovascular system.
Consumption of too much salt increases the amount of calcium lost through urination and this in turn leads to weakening of the bones.
Another negative aspect is that the human body gets acclimated to salt - the more we consume, the more we have need of it.
According to some experts, the regular consumption of popcorn in childhood significantly increases the risk of high blood pressure. The recommended daily dose of salt is no more than 3 g for children and 6 g for adults.
Besides the high content of salt, popcorn contains trans fats. Eating foods with trans fats regularly is a serious risk factor for the development of diabetes.
Last but not least, realize that popcorn and numerous other semi-processed foods are in packages containing dangerous chemicals, which can cause problems with the reproductive system and even cancer diseases.
Benefits of Popcorn
They protect cells from the harmful effects of free radicals. Studies have shown that polyphenols have a 10 times stronger antioxidant action than vitamins E and C.
Some researchers have found that a serving of popcorn can contain up to 300 mg of antioxidants - almost twice the amount found in fruits. Still they point out that the consumption of popcorn cannot and should not substitute the intake of fruits and vegetables since they contain a wide range of important vitamins and nutrients.
On its own, popcorn is healthy, but only if made at home. The ones packaged and those sold at the movie theaters are brimming with salt and fat, raising the dangers to heart health.
Making Homemade Popcorn
Remove the corn kernels from the cob and leave them to dry so that any remaining moisture evaporates. Moisture makes it difficult for the corn to pop. So-called popping corns are the best type for making popcorn.
This type of corn has small round or pointed kernels, which when subjected to a higher temperature pops, resulting in a white starchy mass several times larger than the original kernel.
Choose a dry container with handles, a lid and thin walls. Use no more than 1 tbsp oil. Once it is heated, pour in the corn kernels, salt and close the lid. Use the handles to shake the container back and forth until the popping sounds die down completely.
If you would like to have sweet popcorn, add a spoon of honey or a little brown sugar to the oil. Homemade popcorn is not as unhealthy as that found at the movies since the amount of salt used is less.