Why do I give that advice? It’s simple. Popcorn is naturally high in dietary fiber and antioxidants and low in calories for the amount you can eat. The fiber and complex carbohydrates provide satiety, and if you pop it using a healthy oil such as coconut, canola or peanut oil that also have a high burn point and don’t smoke or turn brown, then add a teaspoon of butter and some low sodium seasonings, you have one of the healthiest snacks around.
Three cups of plain popped corn have the same calories as one slice of bread or one serving of any whole grain. So technically instead of one single slice of bread, or ½ cup of brown rice, you can eat 3 whole cups of popcorn! For added protein sprinkle 1 - 1 Tbsp of a good quality grated Parmesan cheese and you won't even need salt.
Regardless of its nutritional benefits, popcorn fell into disfavor once it became a popular movie theater snack. Popped in large quantities in popping machines, melted artificial butter (or margarine) is added along with salt in large quantities, because the popped corn by itself really has no flavor. Sold for just a few dollars in a huge gallon container, it’s easy for 2 people to consume the whole amount in a 1 ½ hour period, the length of most movies. And of course, since the excessive amount of salt and fat added increase thirst, the most readily available beverages are sweet soft drinks, also sold in giant containers. No wonder a basically healthy and inexpensive food got such a bad rap.
Why does popcorn pop?
Because it is a type of corn that expands from the kernel and puffs up when heated due to the moisture and hard fat trapped inside its hard hull.
Where was popcorn first discovered?
There is evidence that popcorn cobs were found in Peru estimated to date back to the year 4700 BC
Does popcorn fit into “My Plate”?
Absolutely! It’s an excellent replacement for refined grains as it is a whole grain. So use it often and make it wisely.