Dr. Sunil - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Sunil

Is Popcorn Bad For You?



Short answer

Popcorn can be a very healthy snack, though it will depend on how it's prepared. Stay away from processed and microwavable popcorn.



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Long answer

Processed popcorn (usually the kind you have to microwave) has long been associated with health risks and is usually high in sugar and salt. Some bags that are used for microwave popcorn are coated with a Teflon-like material which can break down with heat into other substances such as perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA. This chemical can be absorbed into the bloodstream once you consume the popcorn and has been linked to kidney cancer, testicular cancer, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, increased cholesterol, and pregnancy-induced hypertension... not fun! Processed popcorn is also known to contain hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors, and TBHQ, all which can be detrimental to your health.

Wholegrain (natural) popcorn kernels - which are free from additives - are a much healthier option. This kind of popcorn is full of fiber and antioxidants and is a healthy snack that you can consume throughout the day. When popcorn is dry popped in hot hair, there are no sugars, fats, or oils added to it. According to a study by Scranton University, a single portion of popcorn actually contains more antioxidants than the vegetables and fruit most people eat in a day.

Natural popcorn contains a large amount of vitamin A, B, E, and K, as well as folate, niacin, thiamine and riboflavin. Rich in iron, potassium, and zinc, the antioxidants in popcorn can help to fight against cardiovascular problems and some cancers. This snack is also low in calories, making it an extremely popular choice for weight loss. In fact, a single cup of corn that has popped in the air contains only 30 calories.

Possible short-term side effects

  • processed popcorn can cause:
  • dizziness
  • blurred vision
  • nausea

Possible long-term side effects

  • processed popcorn can cause:
  • increased blood pressure
  • increased cholesterol
  • cancer
  • disease
  • diabetes
  • weight gain

Ingredients to be aware of


  • natural popcorn benefits:
  • great source of fiber
  • great source of antioxidants
  • enhance satiety
  • helps protect cells
  • boosts immune system
  • slows aging

Healthier alternatives

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

LesserEvil Organic Popcorn

  • Himalayan Pink Salt
  • Premium Organic Quality
  • Minimally Processed
  • No Vegetable Oil
  • Convenient Snack Size
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Kathan Natrajan
Published on: 12-28-2015
Last updated: 12-15-2023

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Kathan Natrajan
Published on: 12-28-2015
Last updated: 12-15-2023

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