Unpopping the Myth: Is Popcorn Healthy?

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If you’ve ever tried to eat healthier or watched your calorie intake, you won’t be surprised to learn that popcorn is one of the snacks you can indulge in guilt-free.

perfect stovetop popcorn

Whole-y Good For You

Believe it or not, popcorn is actually considered a whole grain, on par with the likes of spelt, barley, or oats. And being a whole grain food, it has some important nutrients that help your body thrive. We’re talking things like Vitamin B, iron, magnesium, phosphorous… and that’s just the start! It’s also chock-full of fiber, which is a great nutrient that helps your gut health. For more about popcorn’s background, check out our dedicated article on popcorn’s history, fun facts, and varieties.

Popcorn’s low calorie, fat, and carb count, combined with its high protein also makes it the perfect diet snack for when those cravings hit. Why reach for those high-sodium, high-fat, and high-carb potato chips when popcorn is right there in the pantry? Some things I guess we’ll never know.

In fact, studies have shown that just 15 calories of popcorn makes you just as full as when you eat 150 calories of potato chips! So obviously you could say that popcorn is a great snack for when you’re on a diet or just watching what you eat. Though anyone who’s ever eaten popcorn knows that moderation is key. One way to manage your intake is to try different recipes like our air-fryer popcorn or a flavorful twist with cheese popcorn. It may be hard to eat just a handful, but it’s easy to overindulge, just like anything else.

Stick to the Stove

Obviously, though, we’ve been talking about the traditional popcorn, without all the added salt and butter that comes in the commercial microwave variety. Those buttery bags often come loaded with chemicals like PFOA and diacetyl, which can be harmful to your health.

So if you’re on a diet, stick to plain popcorn when that salt craving hits. You can make the perfect popcorn on the stovetop with only a little oil and salt to make that flavor pop (pun definitely intended). You can even experiment with all the colors of your spice cabinet to make something different with your popcorn every time. Go for savory with some ranch dressing powder or cheesy by adding cheddar on the top of your freshly-popped corn. Add some heat with curry powder or pepper flakes, or hit that sweet tooth by adding a bit of cinnamon sugar.

The sky’s the limit with popcorn, and your waistline will thank you!

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