Healthy eaters across the US are turning to popcorn as a healthy substitute for the salty snacks that typically break a diet. Instead of snacks like potato chips, nuts, or pretzels that can be high in calories, salt, or fat, popcorn offers the bite-sized ease of other snacks while providing vitamins, minerals, and fiber, but not a lot of fat! Here are some facts about the snack and the best way to eat it to get the most nutritional value.
Nutritional values for popcorn
* Popcorn contains more than 40 different nutrients.
* It has more iron than eggs, peanuts or spinach.
* You can find B complex vitamins, vitamin E, riboflavin and thiamine in popcorn kernels.
* Popcorn has the most protein of any grain.
* In the shell of the kernel you will find iron, phosphorus and protein.
* Popcorn has more fiber than potato chips or pretzels.
In addition, popcorn is the recommended snack for many health and research organizations in the United States. The American Dental Association recommends it as a good sugar- and fat-free snack for kids. The National Cancer Institute, which states that fiber in your diet protects you from cancer, recommends popcorn as a great way to add fiber to your diet. The American Diabetes Association allows popcorn as a starchy snack in weight management diets. The Feingold diet for hyperactive children also allows popcorn as a snack, as it can be prepared without additives and sugar.
The best way to eat popcorn
The best way to prepare popcorn for a healthy, low-calorie snack is to air-pop it. Adding butter, salt, or other toppings can reduce the nutritional effects of eating popcorn as a snack. 1 cup of air popcorn has about 30 calories, 1 gram of fiber, and 1 gram of protein per serving. It contains no saturated fat, trans fat or cholesterol. You can also find manganese, folic acid, niacin, vitamin A, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and selenium in popcorn.
Whether you’re on a diet, trying to get your kids to eat healthy snacks, or simply trying to eat healthier, replacing fatty junk food with freshly popped popcorn is an easy swap. Eating popcorn to satisfy your snacking cravings is a health-conscious choice that will help you manage your weight and provide nutrients, rather than just satisfying your snacking urges!
Thanks to Hayley Wells