Is Popcorn Healthy? Interesting Reasons to Include Popcorn in Your Diet!

Popcorn is a whole grain food across the globe and everyone’s favorite snack. When you wonder, Is popcorn healthy, the first thing to do is to check on the type of popcorn you’re munching on.

Popcorn is a favorite snack for a lot of people, especially on movie night but, Is it okay to eat popcorn every day?

There is a lot of confusion among people regarding the effects of popcorn on health. But it is pretty simple to know whether your popcorn is healthy or not. You just need to know about the ingredients in your popcorn. Popcorn is not a superfood but it can be a part of a healthy diet.

In this article, we will discuss which ingredients you can combine to make healthy popcorn and which of those are better to avoid. So, let’s find out!

Popcorn Calories and Nutrition Facts

A 100 gram serving of popcorn contains about 375 calories. Most of these calories of popcorn come from carbohydrates. There are other vitamins and minerals too. The table below demonstrates the nutritional value of popcorn.

Nutrients% Daily values
Total fats 4.3 g6%
Saturated fat 0.6 g3%
Sodium 7 mg0%
Potassium 274 mg7%
Total carbohydrates 74 g24%
Dietary fiber 13 g52%
Sugar 0.9 g
Proteins 11 g
Iron 16%
Vitamin B615%
Magnesium30%

Now, as you can see, popcorn itself has no sodium in it. The real culprit is the number of sodium people add while popping the kernels.

Is Popcorn Healthy? – Complete Analysis!

Do many people ask how good is popcorn for your health? As far as nutrition goes, popcorn is pretty well nutritious and it is mostly carbohydrate and fiber. There’s also a little amount of protein but it does not have a huge amount of any specific vitamin and minerals except vitamin B6.

is-popcorn-healthy

It has some trace amounts of manganese, phosphorus, potassium, iron, copper, and zinc. These minerals are good for health in a specific amount. 

Popcorn is naturally very healthy, but there are a few cooking methods and ingredients that make them unhealthy. Here are the answers to all those queries about popcorns and their impacts on human health:

Nutritional profile and health benefits -Infographic

Is Popcorn Healthy for Weight Loss?

Popcorn is light and airy and seemingly an ideal snack when you’re on diet. But, Is it a low-carb snack that can help you reach your weight loss goal?

The nutritional advantage that comes from popcorn is that it is an unprocessed whole grain. It also has a substantial amount of carbs. It might have low calories but all those calories come from carbs.

1 cup of popcorn has 6 grams of carbs and 1 gram of fiber in it. If you are on a low-carb diet and allow some carbs in your diet, it’s okay to eat a cup of popcorn once or twice a week. But this popcorn should have low fat and salt content.

However, if you’re on a keto diet and you need to keep your carbs very low, snacking on popcorn may push your daily carbs higher than you would like. Also, popcorns have a very minor amount of proteins that are essential to have on a keto diet.

So, popcorn is not a snack that you should eat when you are on a low-carb, high-protein diet.

Is Popcorn Healthy for Diabetics?

As you know, popcorn is not a carb-free snack. It has crabs in it that get converted into sugar and spike your blood sugar levels. But, it can be good or bad depending upon how you make it. 

Normally, popcorn doesn’t have fat unless you add fat to it. Hydrogenated oils are especially unhealthy when you combine them with. The combination of bad fats with carbs is very harmful to you if you’re diabetic. It increases sugar levels and also causes weight gain.

So, if you’re a diabetic, air-popped popcorn is best for you. You can add some olive oil to make it a bit tastier, but you must pay attention to your portion size.

3 cups of air-popped popcorns have 15-gram carbs, the glycemic index is 55, so the glycemic load is not so high. This is the right way to eat popcorn being a diabetic.

Is Butter Popcorn Healthy?

Butter popcorn can be healthy in moderation. But if you are trying to find a healthy way to make popcorn for daily snacking, butter popcorn is not a good idea. 

butter-popcorn

This is because adding butter to pop your popcorn will increase the number of saturated fats in them. Saturated fats are bad fats that can raise your blood cholesterol levels.

Also, when saturated fats combine with salts and carbs, it becomes an addictive snack that is hard to stop munching on. So, you tend to overeat and end up gaining weight.

The healthiest choices for popcorn are olive oil and coconut oil. They are healthy for weight loss as well as for your overall health.

Popcorn Health Benefits and Side Effects

Popcorn is a healthy snack especially if it is homemade and contains healthy ingredients. However, poor quality oil, flavorings, and additives might not always be best for health. Here are the common health benefits and side effects of eating popcorn.

Health Benefits of Eating Popcorn Daily

When we watch Tv, we mostly grab a cup of popcorn not realizing that it’s not only tasty but also healthy. Here are the health benefits of eating popcorn before bed.

  • Popcorn is a whole grain that is an important food group that provides many essential nutrients.
  • Popcorn is a source of vitamin B6 and iron that protects you against the risk of iron deficiency anemia.
  • Popcorn is high in phenol that is an antioxidant. It helps protect your cells from damage and strengthens your immune system.
  • Eating Popcorn stops you from munching on unhealthy snacks thus reducing the risks of many diseases.
  • The fiber present in popcorn can reduce the risk of constipation and improve your gut health.
  • Popcorn has a low glycemic index hence it reduces the risk of diabetes.
  • If you’re on a weight loss diet, popcorn is a healthy snack to include in a healthy diet.
  • Eating Popcorn keeps you satiated and your stomach feels full for longer.

These are the health benefits of popcorn that compel many people to include popcorn in the weight loss diet plan. The carbohydrates in popcorn provide energy for your body.

Side Effects of Eating Unhealthy Popcorn

No doubt, popcorn is a healthy snack but there are some brands of popcorn that are not healthy to eat. Excess oil, salt, and artificial flavors make your popcorn unhealthy. Here are the side effects of eating unhealthy popcorn.

  • An excess amount of sodium in popcorn increases the risk of hypertension and causes bloating.
  • High amounts of saturated fats in popcorn can clog your arteries and increase the risk of atherosclerosis ( hardening of arteries).
  • The increased amount of carbohydrates in popcorn can cause weight gain and diabetes.

Therefore, it is good to snack on homemade popcorn that is healthy for the heart and your overall health. Unhealthy Popcorn can cause more harm than good.

What Is The Healthiest Way to Eat Popcorn?

Plain air-popped popcorn is the healthiest way to eat popcorn. But most popcorn is not prepared this way. It includes a variety of unhealthy ingredients like butter and salt.

Now, butter and salt are fine to consume in a moderate amount but combining these ingredients with popcorn creates a lethal combination of addictive foods which are carbohydrates mixed with salt and oil.

healthy-popcorn

This does not happen in the case of air-popped popcorn. Also, there are low calories in popcorn without oil or butter. The healthiest popcorn is air-popped which only has 30 calories in a cup.

FAQs

Question: Is popcorn bad for belly fat?

Answer: Popcorn itself is not bad for belly fat if you eat it in a moderate amount. However, the ingredients such as butter and salt mainly contribute to belly fat and other health-related problems.

Question: what happens to your body when you eat popcorn?

Answer: When you eat popcorn, your body gets fuel for energy. As popcorn contains a lot of carbohydrates that provide a lot of energy. However, excess carbs are converted into sugar which is not good for health especially if you are diabetic.

Question: Is popcorn healthy for dogs?

Answer: Yes, popcorn can be healthy and safe for your dog if it is plain and air-popped. However, popcorn containing high salt and butter is not good for your dog as it can cause some serious complications.

Bottom Line

Is popcorn healthy? Yes, popcorn is healthy but before munching on popcorn, make sure it does not contain a lot of fats and salt. The best way to do it is just pop them by yourself using coconut oil or olive oil and low salt quantity.

It’s really easy to find popcorn kernels packages in grocery stores. So grab those, pop them, and enjoy a movie night along with some healthy munching!

Haleema Sadia

Haleema Sadia

A physiotherapist by profession, a Nutritionist by passion, a literarian by soul, and a writer by heart!

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