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Popping Mad

  • SumoMe

By Penny K

A study conducted by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) about the nutritional contents of popcorn reveals that everyone’s favourite movie snack comes with an alarming amount of fat, salt and calories.  popcorn

The review was based on popcorn served at three of America’s movie theatre chains.

A medium popcorn and soda combo at Regal, the country’s biggest movie theater chain gives you 1,610 calories and three days’ worth — 60 grams — of saturated fat. CSPI reports that this is nutritionally comparable to three McDonald’s Quarter Pounders with 12 pats of butter.

If you think popcorn is really popped corn kernels think again. In the strictest sense, plain air-popped popcorn is low in calories and free of saturated fat. Movie theatre popcorn is a whole different ballgame. Often popped in coconut oil, which is 90 per cent saturated fat, it is also buttered and salted to your hearts’ and kidneys’ discontent.

“The issue here is quantity,” said Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition at New York University. “One of those large tubs is three-fourths of a day’s calories.”

Tara Parker-Pope, health columnist for the New York Times, suggests one way of having your popcorn healthier is to ask for a portion of popped without salt. Though two of the movie theatres who had their popcorn tested said they would oblige such a request, the same assumption cannot be made about Singapore’s movie theatres. Not only will you be in for irritable stares, you might drown in a sea of “tsk”s.

Another way to solve the problem:

“You could share a tub of popcorn with 10 friends,” Dr. Nestle said. “Or, what a concept, watch the movie without eating anything.”

Next time you watch a movie, skip the unhealthy snack before obesity and other health issues pop up.

Adapted from New York Times

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