I love popcorn. I love to sit at the movies and much away. But perhaps there are healthier ways to get popped corn into you. Why should you care? The flavor ingredient, diacetyl, that gives the distinctive buttery flavor and aroma to movie and to microwaved popcorn has been found to amplify the damaging effects of the nasty brain protein linked to Alzheimer’s disease. It’s also found in some margarines, snack foods, candy, baked goods, pet foods, and other products.

In other words, fake buttery flavor isn’t brain friendly. In fact, at the factory where workers in the microwave popcorn and food-flavoring factories get exposed daily, diacetyl has been linked to respiratory issues. Chemical Research in Toxicology 2012

Diacetyl also occurs naturally. Oddly enough, it is produced by the fermentation process in beverages like beer, and it even gives some wines their buttery flavor. But popcorn is our biggest potential exposure.

You can air pop or home pop your corn kernels, and then add seasonings like granulated garlic and sea salt, or chili pepper powder, or truffle salt. If you consume popcorn frequently, it’s good to air pop it and add a good oil after the heat, as heated oils are not very healthy.

No need not to enjoy popcorn, just do it creatively, safely, and with healthy flavorings.