Buttered or flavored popcorn seems to be the most popular these days. However in considering nutrition, think of what plain popcorn contains. There is only about 30 calories in a cup of popcorn, and it is also low in sodium and fats; it is also sugar-free. Plain popcorn also contains about 1gram of fiber per cup. This fiber provides roughage which aids digestion.
Here are some tips on the versatility of eating popcorn:
· As a savory treat, lightly cover air-popped popcorn with low-fat cooking spray, and sprinkle with garlic or onion powder.
· For another savory treat, sprinkle air-popped popcorn with cayenne pepper, some grated Romano cheese, a little curry powder and some dry soup mix. Add to this a bit of cinnamon or some low-fat shredded cheese. Delicious!
· Toss some popcorn into salads or even soups if you don’t mind it being soggy instead of crisp.
· You can even make croutons with popcorn; sprinkle air-popped corn with some dry, low-fat Italian dressing mix.
· Try tossing popcorn with raisins dried fruit or nuts. You may even add low-fat cheese cubes to this nutritious medley. This is a welcome snack to add to your child’s lunchbox, or you can offer it as an afternoon snack when your child or children return home from school.
When considering the nutritional value of popcorn, bear in mind that air-popped corn is healthier than oil-popped corn. Air-popped corn contains only 30 calories per cup, and very little fat or sodium; while a cup of oil-popped corn can fill you with as much as 55 calories. In addition, there is 3 grams of fat in contrast to 0.3 grams. Air-popped, popcorn has only 0.3 grams of sodium compared to 97 grams. In oil-popped corn, the potassium value is not much different, with 24gms.in air-popped as against 25gms in the oil popped corn.
The buttered popcorn which is usually sold in the movie theater, is what you should pay particular attention to. Here you’ll get as much as 80 grams of fat, more than half of which is saturated,. Even if you opt for a small bag of popcorn, you’ll still eat about 20grams of fat.
Air, Oil or Microwave
If you do not care to buy an air-popper to pop your corn, and you prefer to pop your corn in oil on the stovetop, use vegetable oils; these are lower in saturated fat . You may also microwave your corn. The nutritional value of microwaveable popcorn varies from brand to brand.You need to check the labels and look for those brands which are lower in fat, and do not contain coconut or palm oil, which are both high in saturated fat. Here are some more interesting recipes for popcorn.