Is Popcorn Healthy: Here’s a Nutritionist’s Take

Is Popcorn Healthy

At one time, it was considered a luxurious snack in the movie theater, popcorn is now considered an excellent snack option for your health. What ispopcorn really healthy? The answer is yes. It is dependent in part on the kind of popper used, the amount of oil and the seasonings, and perhaps the corn kernels.

Is Popcorn Healthy

First, Consider the Corn

It is important to note that corn (even in its pop form) is the definition of a entire grain which is an essential source of essential nutrients, minerals fiber, and antioxidants. Whole grains are also nutrient-rich since they contain the whole grain, not like refined grains, which have been stripped of nutrition and fiber. Research suggests that consuming whole grains can lead to a longer life span, less inflammation and lower risk of stroke, heart disease, diabetes, cancer and obesity. Three portions of whole grains have been associated with an reduced BMI as well as lower abdominal fat.

One aspect to consider is whether the popcorn you ate came from a crop that has been genetically modified. Many scientists and health professionals worry about possible dangers of eating GMO food items, but they’re not thoroughly researched. If you’d rather avoid GMOs make sure you choose kernels or popcorn that are USDA Certified Organic (which means that it isn’t contaminated with GMOs) or items that carry an “Non-GMO Project Verified” label.

The Oil

If you’re deciding on a type of popcorn that is packaged, check out the oil in the list of ingredients. The most beneficial oils are healthy for your heart and are anti-inflammatory. monounsaturated oils (MUFAs) specifically avocado oil as well as extra virgin olive oils.

Is Popcorn Healthy

Oils with higher levels of omega-6 fatty acids, such as soybean oil, corn oils, sunflower oil cottonseed oil and safflower oil — are known to cause inflammation.

One of the benefits when cooking the homemade popcorn at home could be the possibility to make it using an oil with a high-MUFA content or pop it with an air popper that is hot, or even in an airtight bag that you heat in the microwave, and then spray it with oil that is healthy. There are also microwave popcorn that doesn’t have any oil like Quinn’s Pure Sea Salt and Organic Popcorn.

The Seasonings

Also, think about the ingredients in your snack. For popcorn that is packaged the spices could be basic like black pepper and sea salt. Also, the ingredients may comprise dairy products of a standard including cheese and butter that’s not organic or grass-fed. Certain varieties of popcorn are seasoned by adding sugar, or sweeteners (think kettle corn). Before you begin to eat be sure to check what’s inside the bag.

Is Popcorn Healthy

If you’re making your own popcorn, you can be inventive with healthy toppings such as dried fruit that is free of preservatives and seeds, nuts, Italian or chipotle seasoning as well as turmeric, cinnamon or cocoa powder. The homemade version lets you to limit the amount of salt you put in.

Final Words

Popcorn is a nutritious snack, but its nutritional quality of the popcorn varies. I prefer organic popcorns or non-GMO ones made with extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil, and sprinkled using sea salt and pink Himalayan salt.

If you like sweeter varieties of popcorn you can make them as occasional treats instead of your regular staples. Be conscious of the size of your portions. The portion size of popcorn typically ranges from 3 to 3 and half cups, however, it’s not difficult to finish the entire bag in one go. This could be as much as the carb equivalent that you consume five bread slices. In addition, the added sodium could result in fluid retention which causes the bloating.

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