9 useful tips for a healthier popcorn
Popcorn is been considered as a very popular snack. We often eat popcorn whenever we are in the cinemas watching movies, as an audience or spectator in an important sporting event, or maybe just to while away time when seating on the couch. It is indeed a snack loved by many, the children in Nigeria are fond of the sweet taste that popcorn gives. But how many of us have taken time to consider the health benefits of the ingredients the popcorn is been made with?
The health benefits of this great snack will come as a surprise to most of you. For example, the popcorn is higher in antioxidants compared to many fruits and vegetables, it is a very good source of fibre and it is a whole grain meal. Apart from these wonderful benefits of popcorn, wrong preparation of it can make it less healthier in its qualities. In this post we shall be looking at 9 useful tips which we can follow in order to make healthier popcorn.
9 tips to help you make healthier popcorn
1. Air-pop or make popcorn on the stove
A popcorn that is prepared air-popped or made on top of stove has no oil added to it. This means such preparation of popcorn has the fewest amount of calories. Like we all know, accumulation of calories can easily lead to obesity or being overweight. On the other hand, most people pop their pop corn in oil because they believe it is a great way to consume a great portion of fat in order to checkmate hunger.
2. Avoid microwave popcorn
It will be wise for me to bring this information to you that, microwave popcorn is the least healthy popcorn you can ever come across. It is known to contain a lot of salt and the flavourings are always artificial. People tends to eat a large portion of this type of popcorn despite its unhealthy ingredients.
3. Manage portion sizes
Depending on the type of popcorn you are eating, you should always consider the serving size. That is the amount of popcorn you should eat at a particular time. For reference sake, you should be aware that a cup of about plain popcorn contains about 30 calories. You should also know that additional ingredients increases the calorie count in each serving of popcorn, so you have to beware of too much calories.
4. Choose your cooking oil carefully
Whenever you are making your popcorn, you should endeavour to make the right choice of your cooking oil. Walnut, avocado and extra virgin oil are the best cooking oil for a popcorn preparation. Another good option is canola oil. Flax seed and wheat germ oil is not really a right choice for popping popcorn because they dislike been heated. If the previous best choice of oil is not readily available, you can sometimes go for palm oil or coconut oils because they contain high amount of saturated fat. Corn, sunflower and soybean oils should be avoided totally.
5. Avoid butter
Butters should be avoided most times, or they can be used sparingly. If you feel like you want to gave a taste of butter in your popcorn, then small amounts should be used (about 2 to 3 spoons). Whenever you in the theatres or watching a movie and you purchased an extra buttered popcorn been sold there, just have in mind that chemicals is already been added to the food. If you are adding extra butter to popcorn, you are achieving at least one a half times the normal butter serving in a popcorn. But if you are eating popcorn from the movie theatre and you are still adding an extra butter, then you can imagine the amount of damage that is been done.
6. Limit kettle corn
This type of popcorn is mixed with refined sugar, salt and oil. It is not a nutritious or healthy option because it increases calorie count and the amount of salt intake. You should also remember that the required amount of sodium intake per day should be 2,300mg of sodium, which is about one tea spoon. When they pre-package kettle corn, it is more difficult to control the sodium and calories. If you still prefer going for a kettle corn, then it is best you go for the version that contains less amount of sodium.
7. Watch out for added sweeteners and chemicals
Avoid buying popcorns that is been made with sweeteners and chemicals, because they make the popcorn to be less healthy. Sugars get burnt inside the microwave, so sweet popcorns normally arise from artificial sweeteners.
8. Choose a healthier, lighter toppings
You should always opt for a healthier and lighter toppings. Whenever you want to spice up your popcorn in a healthy way, then you should consider including hot sauce, or melt a couple of ounces of cheese on your popcorn. Ensure to add just spices and seasonings and not powders, flavourings or lots of salt.
9. Pair your popcorn with protein
The one sure way of keeping your popcorn healthier, under control, and make you feel fuller for a long period of time is to pair it with a protein. You can enjoy your popcorn with a table spoon of peanut butter, some cheese (as far as you did not top the popcorn with cheese during preparation) or another source of protein that you cherish.
Preparing or consuming your popcorn in these manners guarantees a nutritious and healthier popcorn.
9 useful tips for a healthier popcorn Reviewed by Chibuzor Aguwa on 4/27/2016 11:42:00 pm Rating: