Some foods are just unknown to the majority of people, and popcorn is at the top of that list. Popcorn is marketed as a low-calorie, healthful snack by certain sources, while it is referred to as harmful by others. So, is popcorn good for you? Like most things, the answer isn’t as simple as a simple label. Certain types of popcorn contain a whole day’s worth of calories, while others have a low-calorie count for such a delicious meal.
So, is popcorn good for you? The answer isn’t as simple as it appears. Popcorn nutrition does have some advantages, particularly because of its high fiber and manganese content, however, these advantages are all restricted to one variety of popcorn, namely, kettle corn. Don’t worry, if you like popcorn, you won’t be disappointed. However, after you learn the truth about popcorn, you may decide to modify your ways.
Popcorn is a timeless pleasure with surprising health advantages. It has more antioxidants than many fruits and vegetables, has high fiber content, and is a complete grain. Popcorn, on the other hand, is frequently coated with butter, salt, sugar, and unidentified compounds. Even if you stay away from the obvious nutritional problems and empty calories, you’ll have questions about the healthiest methods to cook and consume food.
1. Popcorn can be made on the stovetop
Because air-popped popcorn does not contain any oil, it contains the fewest calories. Putting it in oil, on the other hand, is a terrific method to consume a healthy amount of fat while also controlling appetite. Not only can you control portion size, but you can usually prepare it in about 10 minutes. All you’ll need is a pot, a lid, and some oil to start producing healthy popcorn.
2. Use extra virgin olive oil, walnut, or avocado oil
When preparing popcorn on the stovetop, the finest oils to use are walnut, avocado, or extra virgin olive oil. The next best option is canola oil. Because flaxseed and wheat germ oil should not be heated, they cannot be used to pop popcorn. Because of their high saturated fat content, palm and coconut oils should be used sparingly, and corn, sunflower, and soybean oils should be avoided entirely.
3. Control your portion sizes
Serving size varies depending on the type of popcorn consumed, but one cup of plain popcorn contains roughly 30 calories. Keep in mind that as you start adding toppings, the calorie count quickly rises.
4. Microwave popcorn should be avoided
Microwave popcorn is, in general, the least healthful alternative. Because of the high serving size of most bags, it often contains a lot of salt, artificial flavorings, and people tend to eat too much.
5. If you must use butter, do it sparingly
Buttered popcorn is a popular snack, but it contains chemicals and calories that are not readily apparent. If you really must have it, start with 2 to 3 teaspoons and gradually take it out. A chemical is added to the food when you buy buttered or extra buttered popcorn at a movie theater. You’ll get at least one and a half times the standard butter serving if you add extra butter. However, if you consume movie theater popcorn with butter, the damage is almost certainly already done. It makes a big difference if it’s a once-in-a-while treat and you get a little size.
6. Keep kettle corn to a minimum
Because it increases calorie and salt intake, kettle corn is a little less healthful option. The average person should only consume 2,300 mg of sodium per day or roughly one teaspoon. It’s even more difficult to keep track of sodium and calories when kettle corn is packed. When at all feasible, choose low-sodium versions.
7. Keep an eye out for artificial sweeteners and chemicals
Avoid buying popcorn that contains anything other than a single popped kernel because the product becomes less healthful as more ingredients are added. Although we all crave sweets from time to time, sweet popcorn contains artificial sweeteners. Prepackaged types like caramel or dark chocolate should be seen as a pleasure rather than a healthy snack. Be warned that truffle oil and cheese powders are typically produced using chemical and artificial flavorings rather than truffles or cheese. When you’re in the grocery store, check the labels to make sure you know exactly what’s in the box.
8. Toppings that are healthy and lighter
Add a healthy kick to your popcorn by sprinkling it with spicy sauce or melting a couple of ounces of cheddar on top. You may also add a dash of balsamic vinegar or pickles or jalapeno peppers to your popcorn. Spices and seasonings should be used instead of powders, flavorings, or a lot of salt.
9. Toss in some protein
Pairing popcorn with protein is one method to keep portions under control and make you feel content for longer. If you didn’t previously top the popcorn with cheese, try it with a spoonful of peanut butter, 2 ounces of cheese, or another protein source. In no time, you’ll be munching on a nutritious snack!
10. Herbs and spices are used to season it
Popcorn, whether organic or whole grain, is high in vitamins and fiber and can be a fantastic method to satisfy a snacking craving without going overboard and jeopardizing one’s diet. Popcorn is also a good between-meal snack because it is more filling than potato chips or pretzels. Because popcorn has a low caloric density, it can be consumed in big quantities by men and women who are controlling their calorie consumption. Seasoning popcorn with herbs and spices, rather than butter or other oils, is a healthier way to enjoy it on a diet.
To add flavor without drastically raising the calorie count, sprinkle black pepper, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, or chili powder on top of the popped kernels. To stay under the daily caloric consumption limits for an adult, snacks should be approximately 100 calories. Three cups of air-popped popcorn contain roughly 93 calories, making it a suitable snack for individuals on a diet.