Can you eat microwave popcorn when pregnant?

In this article we are going to answer: can you eat microwave popcorn when pregnant, what is microwave popcorn, is microwave popcorn healthy to eat when pregnant, what is the risk of eating microwave popcorn when pregnant and what popcorn is best to eat when pregnant.

Can you eat microwave popcorn when pregnant?

Yes, you can eat microwave popcorn when pregnant but in moderation, the less you can eat is better. There is a special concern about some chemicals that microwave popcorn has in its bags. So it is best to make your own popcorn. 

Also, microwave popcorn usually contains added ingredients such as salt, and artificial flavors that are not healthy to ingest when pregnant. 

What is microwave popcorn?

Microwave popcorn is processed food or convenience food that consists of un-pop popcorn in a sealed paper bag that is intended to be heated in the microwave to make the popcorn pop. They normally contain cooking oil with saturated fat so it solidifies at room temperature.

Also, they contain seasonings such as salt, butter, and artificial or natural flavors. Microwave popcorn is designed to be cooked at about 300 F or 150 C. 

One issue with microwave popcorn is that not all packages need the same time of cooking in the microwave. Popcorn can be burned. Another issue is that there are chemicals added to the bags that can be harmful when pregnant and to the environment. 

Is microwave popcorn healthy to eat when pregnant?

No, microwave popcorn is not healthy to eat when pregnant. Microwave popcorn has added ingredients that make them unhealthy. They have a lot of extra sodium, calories, and fat compared to natural kettle popcorn popped without added ingredients.

Microwave popcornPopcorn popped without added ingredients
Calories140 calories90 calories
Carbohydrates16 grams18 grams
Fat8 grams1.1 grams
Protein 2 grams3 grams
Sodium 250 mg1.9 mg

Microwave popcorn also has been linked to a disease known as popcorn lung. This is because a chemical named diacetyl used in microwave popcorn to give the buttery flavor and aroma everyone loves has been linked to severe lung damage. 

This disease causes shortness of breath, wheezing, and other symptoms very similar to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. 

What is the risk of eating microwave popcorn when pregnant?

Microwave popcorn is considered a high risk for health for everyone, not only pregnant women. Pregnant women are more at risk of suffering from chemicals because they pass chemicals to the baby because they share the same blood supply. 

There are several ingredients that have been linked to negative health effects including cancer and severe lung damage. The chemicals in microwave popcorn are found in the bags and not in the popcorn itself. 

Perfluorinated compounds or PFCs resist grease, which makes them ideal to use in microwave popcorn bags to prevent oil from seeping through popcorn bags. This chemical is also used in Teflon pans, pizza boxes, and other types of food packaging. 

The main concern is that PFCs can break down into perfluorooctanoic acid or PFOA. This chemical has been linked to cancer. When you heat popcorn, these chemicals adhere to the popcorn and get into your body. 

Once in your body, it can remain in your bloodstream for a long time. According to a study from the FDA, microwave popcorn accounts for more than 20 percent of the average PFOA levels in American people’s blood. 

The FDA banned these chemicals and others have been banned. In theory, microwave popcorn you buy today shouldn’t have these chemicals in its bags but little to no review has been made since 2011 when they banned the chemicals. 

What popcorn is best to eat when pregnant?

The best way to eat popcorn is to air-popping or make stove popcorn. The recommendation is to invest in an air popper and make your own popcorn. 1 cup of air-popped popcorn contains only 90 calories. You can add some flavor with these popcorn seasonings. 


This article answered Can you eat microwave popcorn when pregnant? What is microwave popcorn? Is microwave popcorn healthy to eat when pregnant? What is the risk of eating microwave popcorn when pregnant and what popcorn is best to eat when pregnant.



Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.