You Asked: What’s the Healthiest Way to Make Popcorn?

If you ’ ve ever wondered precisely what happens when a popcorn kernel pops, well, scientific inquiry has the suffice. An un-popped corn kernel is a drop of water surrounding by soft starch and encased in a hull. Heat up that kernel, and the water molecules locked inwardly will expand until the pressure and heat cause the starch to inflate and explode, bursting the hull and turning the kernel wrong-side-out. What you have left after this pop occurs is a fill up, low-calorie, whole-grain food packed with fiber. “ Popcorn is an extremely alimentary nosh compared to most, ” says Joe Vinson, a professor of chemistry at the University of Scranton .

Along with fiber, popcorn is a source of polyphenols—a type of plant antioxidant linked to improved cell health. Most fruits and vegetables are chiefly water—meaning you have to eat a relatively large part of them to get meaningful amounts of their sanitary nutrients, Vinson says. Popcorn is a much more condense generator of antioxidants. Vinson ’ s inquiry has shown that a serve of popcorn contains roughly doubly the sum of polyphenols as a serve of fruit ( although yield may have different or more numerous amounts of other vitamins and healthy phytochemicals ). But while popcorn in its natural department of state is a bite you can feel good about, how you prepare it can lessen its healthful properties. inquiry has linked the coatings used in microwave popcorn to health issues. “ One of the ingredients found in many brands of microwaveable popcorn is diacetyl, a flavorer which has been linked to the lung disease bronchiolitis obliterans, ” says Anna Taylor, a clinical dietician with Cleveland Clinic. That disorderliness is nicknamed “ popcorn lung, ” for the condition contracted by some workers in microwave popcorn factories — though the risks aren ’ triiodothyronine pass for people who alone eat popcorn, and don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate sour with it.

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Reports from the Environmental Working Group and others have besides revealed that some chemicals used to coat microwave popcorn bags and keep the oils inside from leaching through are probable carcinogens. Those reports led the FDA to ban some of these chemicals from popcorn bags and other consumer goods. But there ’ s no guarantee the chemicals replacing them are any safe, the EWG says. While those health concerns associated with pre-bagged microwave popcorn are not definitive, other homework methods are probably safer choices, Taylor says. But even if you heat popcorn kernels in a stovetop crank-style popper, experts say there are some reasons to be wary. Some people add petroleum to their naked corn kernels in order to encourage rapid heat. But many oils will burn and smoke before the popcorn has popped. That ’ s bad. “ Anytime you burn fats or oils, you run the gamble of creating chemical compounds that potentially can cause oxidative damage to cells, ” says Lona Sandon, an adjunct professor in the department of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. How bad this burned petroleum is for you depends on how frequently you consume it. “ There is not definitive data on just how much you would have to eat for it to be a trouble, ” she says. But if you ’ re coating your popcorn in scorch oil every night, that ’ s not ideal. “ In general, it is not advised to eat burn oil or fat regularly, no matter what type of food you are cooking, ” she adds .

Some oils have a higher smoke point than others, and then may be safe to employ for stove-top pop. “ Peanut, corn, soy and sesame petroleum have high smoke points, ” says Marie-Pierre St-Onge, an consociate professor of nutritional medicine at Columbia University ’ s Institute of Human Nutrition. “ If using these oils, higher heat can be tolerated. ” But the healthiest homework method acting of all is one that removes oil from the equality. “ If you are an avid popcorn eater, it is probably best to go with air-popped, ” Sandon says. Electric air out poppers are cheap and energy effective, and dependable ones heat up popcorn quickly and thoroughly enough to ensure you end up with fluffy, bellied pieces. If you ’ rhenium wonder barely how hot popcorn has to get for a perfect toss off, two french researchers have you covered. Their 2015 study found that 356 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temperature at which to pop your kernels. Simply spread naked popcorn kernels on a broil sheet and slide it into an oven preheated to 356 degrees, says Emmanuel Virot, first generator of the study, who is nowadays a postdoctoral inquiry fellow at Harvard University. It ’ s not the easiest direction to make popcorn, but it is the funniest, Virot says, because your pop kernels will end up all over your oven. You ’ ll have to pick up those disperse pieces, but you ’ ll enjoy the show through your oven window. Contact us at letters @ contribution THIS STORY

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Category : Healthy