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Popcorn has long been considered a guilty pleasure because of its high fat and calorie content. The average bag of microwave popcorn contains around 300 calories and 20 grams of fat.
However, popcorn lovers might want to reconsider their favorite snack. Popcorn is now being touted as a healthy food thanks to its fiber and protein content.
In this article, we will be discovering whether you can eat popcorn while you are on a low-carb diet.
Health Benefits Of Popcorn
The American Heart Association recommends that people consume at least 2 1/2 cups of whole grains daily. Whole grain foods like popcorn are an excellent source of fiber.
Fiber helps keep your digestive system healthy by promoting regular bowel movements. It also helps lower cholesterol levels.
In addition to providing fiber, popcorn is also loaded with protein. One cup of popped corn provides about 4 grams of protein. This makes it one of the highest-protein snacks out there.
You can easily add more protein to your diet by eating popcorn in place of other snacks. For example, if you’re craving chips, try popping some popcorn instead.
Or, if you’d rather have something sweet, pop some popcorn and top it off with a little honey or sugar-free syrup.
Popcorn is also a good source of magnesium. Magnesium plays an important role in helping your body metabolize carbohydrates.
If you don’t get enough magnesium in your diet, then your blood sugar levels could become too high. High blood sugars can cause fatigue, headaches, dizziness, and even heart problems.
If you are looking for a healthier alternative to traditional popcorn, consider making your own. Simply mix together butter, salt, and kernels in a large pot over medium heat.
Once the kernels start popping, turn down the heat to low and cover the pot with a lid. Let the mixture cook until all the kernels are popped and the oil separates from the kernels.
Remove the pot from the stove and let the kernels cool completely before storing them in an airtight container.
If you do decide to indulge in some popcorn, make sure you choose a brand that doesn’t contain any artificial flavors or colors. These ingredients could interfere with your weight loss efforts.
Is Popcorn Keto Friendly?
Ketogenic diets are very popular these days. They help reduce cravings and give you energy throughout the day. When you follow a keto diet, you should limit yourself to consuming between 50 – 100 grams of carbs per day.
That means no breads, pastas, potatoes, rice, pasta, etc… In fact, most people who follow a keto diet avoid refined carbohydrates altogether.
However, not everyone can stick to such strict guidelines when they go on a keto diet. Some people find themselves craving certain foods that fall into the “refined carbohydrate” category. These include things like white bread, pasta, and pizza.
Corn actually falls under the carbohydrate family. Thus, many people may not think that it is a great choice for someone following a keto diet. Yet, it is known that one cup of air popped popcorn has only 6 grams of carbohydrates and 1 gram of fiber.
This together creates around 5 grams of net carbs, thus this isn’t a lot of carbs and as long as you aren’t adding any sugary coatings, you could still eat this popcorn as a snack. As a result, popcorn has very low net carbs, so it might be a good cheat snack for a keto or a low-carb diet.
What Kind Of Popcorn Is The Most Keto Friendly?
Air popped popcorn is definitely the best option for those who want to stay away from added sugars and oils. However, you can also use microwave popcorn bags, which are usually made from BPA-free plastic.
Just be careful not to overcook the bag because you will end up with a burnt taste.
Another option would be to buy organic popcorn. Organic popcorn contains less sodium and fewer additives.
How To Make Air Popped Corn At Home
To make homemade air popped popcorn, simply combine 2 cups of uncooked regular popcorn kernels with 3 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter or coconut oil. Then place the bowl in the microwave and heat at full power for two minutes.
After two minutes, remove the bowl from the microwave and stir the corn thoroughly. Continue heating the corn for another minute or two, stirring every 30 seconds. Finally, add a pinch of sea salt and enjoy!
For those of you following a low-carb or keto diet, you may want to cut carbs all together. While popcorn is certainly a delicious snack, if you are trying to lose weight, then you might want to look for other options instead. Here are some suggestions:
Cheese sticks are a healthy way to get your cheesy fix without having to load up on extra fat and calories. Plus, they’re easy to grab and take along with you wherever you go.
Nuts Or Trail Mix
Nuts are high in protein and a good source of fiber. They are also relatively low in net carbs, so they can easily fit into a ketogenic diet plan.
Sliced apples are a great snack option that’s low in calories and sugar. They also have a nice crunchy texture, making them ideal for snacking.
Seaweed snacks are starting to become really popular and extremely low in carbs, yet provide you with lots of other vitamins as well.
When you are on a low-carb diet, it can be difficult to know what you can eat. Sometimes you want a snack, but everything has too many carbs. Well, popcorn is the perfect choice.
Not only does it contain very few carbs, but it provides you with other benefits such as potassium, magnesium, and zinc.
In this article, we have explained how popcorn can become a part of your low-carb diet. As long as it is eaten in moderation and no added extras are added, then popcorn could be your new favorite snack on your low-carb diet.