Popcorn is an all-time and all-age favorite snack.
Children and adults both are fond of this versatile snack.
Popcorn is a corn kernel that belongs to whole grains like oats, rice, millet, wheat, and barley, making it a very healthy option to snack on.
The versatility of popcorn is unlike other whole grains and can be made in many ways with fresh additions.
Popcorn on its own, prepared with no additives at home, is a very healthy snack and will not disturb your balanced diet.
However, the same popcorn can significantly fatten you if not made the right way.
Eating popcorn as a healthy snack can have many benefits for your lifestyle and body, but its effects can look much different and unpleasant if not prepared healthily.
Corn can be consumed in different forms; popcorn is one such variation of a corn kernel.
It is prepared by heating it, making it pop and fluffy. It is a very light snack with minimum calories if prepared in the right way.
It is packed with great nutritional value with lots of vitamins and nutrients essential and beneficial for your health.
Some nutritional benefits that can be got from popcorn grain include:
- High fiber content,
- No cholesterol,
- Plenty of minerals and vitamins, and
- Low sugar and fat content.
However, the famous snack, ‘popcorn’ available at cinemas and superstores, is far from being called healthy.
These unhealthy yet loved snacks are prepared in lots of butter, oil, salt, and sugar, subsiding all their nutritional value and making them an unhealthy choice.
The popcorn that we usually get is not at all healthy as it has been prepared the wrong way.
The nutritional value of unsalted and air-popped popcorn states that popcorn is a very healthy snack; according to USDA, the nutritional values per serving of 1 cup are:
- 31 calories,
- 0.6 gm fats,
- 1.16 gm of fiber,
- 0.07 gm of sugar,
- 1.03 gm protein,
- 6.22 gm carbohydrates
- And a good quantity of minerals and vitamins.
Looking at the values, anyone can judge popcorn as a healthy snack.
However, the truth is the contrary: most of the popcorn snacks you eat are very unhealthy and should not be confused with the nutritional values mentioned above.
Popcorn is naturally a very healthy snack and can easily be made a part of your balanced diet to lose weight.
To lose weight, you need to have a calorie-deficit diet, which means your intake of calories should be less than what your body needs.
Eating low-calorie and filling foods must be a part of your weight-loss diet to reduce your calorie intake.
Foods that are low in saturated fats, cholesterol, high in fiber, protein, and carbs should be included in your diet.
Popcorn is one such food that falls into all recommendations if prepared in the right way at home.
A single bowl serving of popcorn will give you 31 calories and fulfill your cravings to munch on snacks.
Popcorn can be consumed not only for weight loss but to gain many other health benefits, including:
- You get lots of dietary fiber, healthy fats, and protein even with a single serving of popcorn.
- Minerals and vitamins like vitamin K, vitamin A, calcium, and potassium are present in plenty, making it a very healthy option.
- It is excellent for the digestive system because of its high fiber content.
- It is excellent for improving blood circulation.
- It also lowers the risk of cancers.
- A serving of popcorn contains a good amount of polyphenol antioxidants, which are very beneficial for your health.
Home-prepared popcorn with little or no unhealthy additives can be regularly taken as a snack.
Popcorns that are air-popped and only have a slight sprinkle of salt can be taken to fulfill late-night cravings and as snacks in between meals.
However, eating popcorn that you buy from a cinema or your grocery store is not a healthy option to be taken regularly.
Processed and prepacked popcorns have so much more than just popcorns.
Popcorns in cinema are loaded with unhealthy seasonings rich in salt, sugar, sodium, and fats.
Microwave popcorns are also unhealthy and should not be taken daily.
The packaging in which these microwave popcorns may contain harmful germs and chemicals like perfluorooctanoic, which are very harmful to your health.
Diacetyl, and PFOA, are some chemicals in artificial butter, which are also found in microwave popcorn and are very harmful to your health.
Prepacked popcorns are also an unhealthy option as they contain preservatives, salt, high sodium content, and trans fats, which are all very unhealthy to be included in your daily diet.
Popcorns rarely make you fat, but the popcorns that are available, if consumed largely will not only make you fat but also pose several health risks.
Eating a pre-packed bag of popcorn can add up to hundreds of calories without even making you feel like eating so many calories.
Eating savory variations of popcorn can increase salt and sodium intake, leading to heart diseases, liver issues, obesity, and many other health issues.
While sweet variations have high sugar and fat content, which again results in several health issues.
Weight gain and obesity are significant problems associated with eating popcorn regularly.