I love popcorn and I’m happy to see that it may be a healthy snack. Of course you need to limit the oil and butter. Please enjoy.
Don’t Forget to Eat Your Fruits, Veggies … and
SUNDAY, March 25 (HealthDay News) — Want a healthy
snack? Consider passing the popcorn. A new study says the whole-grain
treat contains more of the “good for you” antioxidants called polyphenols than some fruits or vegetables.
The amount of polyphenols in popcorn
was up to 300 milligrams (mg) per serving compared with 114 mg per serving of
sweet corn and 160 mg per serving for all fruits, according to study findings
to be presented Sunday at a meeting of the American
Chemical Society in San Diego. This is because polyphenols are diluted
in the 90 percent water that makes up many fruits
and vegetables, whereas they are more concentrated in popcorn, which
averages only about 4 percent water, the study authors said.
In the average U.S. diet, fruits provide
255 mg of polyphenols per day and vegetables provide 218 mg per day. One
serving of popcorn would provide 13 percent of the average daily intake of
polyphenols per person in the United States, the Pennsylvania researchers said
in a society news release.
The levels of polyphenols in popcorn
reported in this study were higher than previously believed. The levels were
similar to those found in nuts and 15 times the levels found in whole-grain
tortilla chips, the researchers said.
The investigators also found that
the hulls of popcorn — the bits that tend to get caught in the teeth — have
the highest concentrations of polyphenols and fiber.
“Those hulls deserve more
respect,” study author Joe Vinson, of
the University of Scranton, said in the news release.
However, Vinson warned, adding
butter, salt and other calorie-laden flavorings can turn this snack into a
bucketful of trouble.
“Air-popped popcorn has the
lowest number of calories, of course,” Vinson said. “Microwave popcorn has twice as many calories as
air-popped, and if you pop your own with oil, this has twice as many calories
as air-popped popcorn. About 43 percent of microwave
popcorn is fat, compared to 28 percent if you pop the corn in oil
Vinson also added that eating
popcorn shouldn’t be an excuse to skip the fresh
fruits and vegetables. Popcorn lacks the vitamins and other nutrients
found in fruits and vegetables that are essential for good health.
Popcorn is the “only snack that
is 100 percent unprocessed whole grain. All other grains are processed and
diluted with other ingredients, and although cereals are called ‘whole grain,’
this simply means that over 51 percent of the weight of the product is whole
grain,” Vinson said.
“One serving of popcorn will
provide more than 70 percent of the daily intake of whole grain. The average
person only gets about half a serving of whole grains a day, and popcorn could
fill that gap in a very pleasant way,” he noted.
The study was funded by the
university and received no money from the food industry. The data and
conclusions of research presented at medical meetings should be viewed as
preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.