Friday, April 22, 2011

Popcorn...A Health Food?

True? Yes. Surprising? Probably so.

Although, if you think about the base ingredient in popcorn - whole corn kernels.  This means that popcorn is a whole grain product (and I'm very surprised the marketing teams haven't caught onto this yet).  Popcorn actually contains a whole load of fiber that is good for you, but also high levels of polyphenols (an antioxidant).  Because of these antioxidants, popcorn has been linked to lower rates of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Okay, okay so now that I know popcorn is good for me, can I go out and buy some at my local grocery store? Not yet.  As you may have guessed by now, the heaps of oil and butter on top of popcorn tend to limit or even overpower popcorn's benefits.  Eating fiber along with dozens of grams of fats and trans fats isn't going to get you ready for swimsuit season.  The best way to prepare popcorn is to air-pop it (Presto 114316 04820 PopLite Hot Air Corn Popper), but if you must buy microwave popcorn, get a naked or lightly salted variety (definitely don't go for the ultra-super-butter-explosion types).  Also, keep the portion size down - share a bag with a friend, or buy the 100 calorie bags if you plan to snack alone.

In short, popcorn is not only a healthier snack than most chips or crackers with refined flour, but helps to curb food cravings - just don't slather it with butter.

No comments:

Post a Comment