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Popcorn Nutrition

Unlike many other popular snack foods, popcorn nutrition is very high as long as you prepare it properly. As a matter of fact, popcorn is a whole grain. The U.S. Dept of Agriculture and the Dept. of Health and Human Services recommends that half of your daily grain intake be from whole grains. That’s because whole grains have been shown to reduce the risk of such conditions as high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and several types of cancer. Popcorn is a low glycemic carbohydrate, which means that it is released slowly in the blood making lower blood sugar levels.

Whole grains also are full of fiber which can rid the body of toxins and slow the digestive progress, making you feel fuller for longer periods of time so you eat less. The government recommendations for whole grains mean that you should eat no less than three servings of whole grains every day and popcorn is a great way to meet this requirement. Popcorn is a low-calorie snack as well with only 30 calories a cup if air popped. When popped using oil, there are 55 calories per cup, and if you should add a light amount of butter, popcorn would still only have between 90 and 120 calories in each cup.

The problem is that many people ruin popcorn nutrition by the way they prepare it or with the amount of butter and fat they add after it’s cooked. For instance, if you buy microwave popcorn and you pick the theater style or extra butter types, there will be on average 135 calories and 8-12 grams of fat in less than half a bag. It may also include saturated and trans fat which are the worst kinds when it comes to cholesterol and artery-clogging fats.

The popcorn that is made and sold in movie theaters can be the worst popcorn--nutrition-wise that you can buy.  Tests have shown that the smallest serving, usually around six cups has 20 grams of fat, and that large bucket sizes may have between 80 ands 130 grams of fat. Comparatively speaking, that amount of fat is equal to up to five hamburgers with cheese. So, if you are looking for healthy popcorn nutrition, stay away from these high-fat versions. Also stay away from adding an unnecessary amount of calories and simple sugars by getting candied popcorn, including those delicious kinds of caramel popcorn. Approximately three cups of caramel popcorn will provide you with 400 calories and too much sugar.

Popcorn is a popular American food--statistics show that Americans eat an amount of popcorn yearly equivalent to 59 quarts per person. One advantage of popcorn is that it is low-cost, so almost everyone can afford the nutritional benefits o this popular snack. Take note that popcorn is a choking risk and should not be given to infants and toddlers.

In addition to healthy carbs and fiber popcorn contains B-complex vitamins, potassium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, magnesium, copper, manganese, linoleic acid and other essential amino acids. Popcorn is recommended as a nutritious snack by the National Cancer Institute, the American Dental Association, and the American Dietetic Association.


 

 


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