If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times – processed foods can kill you. A popcorn fanatic in Colorado has developed lung disease recent news reports, possibly from eating way too much microwavable popcorn. The 53-year-old man loved his Orville Redenbacher so much he used to inhale the fumes after opening the piping hot package. Unbeknownst to him – or the rest of us – microwaveable popcorn contains a chemical used for processing, called diacetyl, which is suspected as causing lung damage.

Diacetyl, a naturally occurring compound that gives butter its flavor and is also found in cheese and wine, has been linked to lung damage in factory workers testing hundreds of bags of microwave popcorn per day and inhaling its fumes. It is approved by the FDA as a flavoring ingredient for processed foods. The levels of diacetyl fumes found in the afflicted man’s home were inordinately high – peak levels were similar to those measured in factories – presumably from the two bags or more that he nuked every day.
When are we going to figure out that processed foods are not superior to the real deal? Man can’t make it better than Mother Nature can – not now and probably never. Think about this for a minute – why put butter flavoring on foods, how about real butter? Duh! I’ll tell you why. Because we’ve been duped by the health and food sciences machine, and especially the media – that’s why. We’ve been sold so much nonsense over the last several decades like:
  • Red meat is bad for you
  • Salt is bad for you
  • Whole milk is bad for you
  • Cheese and butter are bad for you
  • Fat is bad for you

Gimme a break! Whole, natural foods are the only way to go. They have carried us through millions of years of evolution, but now they are bad for us? Hmmm. Why don’t we find the chemical responsible for the flavor of butter instead, isolate it, and then we can have the butter flavor without the fat. Yeah, that’s better. Oh, shoot – there’s only one problem. That chemical might cause lung damage.

Some specialists and special interest groups are claiming that there is no concrete evidence yet that diacetyl causes lung disease. But c’mon now, there have been several academic studies showing the link, and a few legal battles going the way of food-flavoring workers who have developed the lung disease, bronchiolitis obliterans.

Here’s the take home message: Eat processed foods only occasionally, and not as a dietary staple. I discuss this principle in detail in my upcoming book, The Six Keys to Optimal Health. It’s a very basic concept but I think too many people just don’t know it, or they ignore it. Either way, this story is a wake-up call for those living off of processed junk food. Trust me when I say, the convenience of throwing a bag of popcorn (or any other processed food) in the microwave ain’t worth the risk, and I assure you it doesn’t taste better. So eat the real thing – you’ll start appreciating the difference soon enough.

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