Could Popcorn Replace Fruits and Vegetables?

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Filed Under: General Health
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

Could Popcorn Replace Fruits and Vegetables?

For several years now, movie theatre popcorn has gotten a bad reputation—and with good reason.  A medium size bucket of popcorn at a movie theatre concession stand can pack upwards of 1,600 calories and 60 grams of saturated fat! 

But a new study sheds light on the healthier side of this popular treat. Researchers from the University of Scranton just revealed their findings that popcorn contains more antioxidant polyphenols than fruits and vegetables. What they found is that popcorn contains up to 300 mg per serving, while fresh fruit contains 160 mg. 
 
Would I suggest replacing your daily intake of fruits and vegetables with popcorn? Absolutely not. But when you add the high antioxidant content of popcorn to the fact that it’s  high in fiber and considered a whole grain, I would definitely feel free to indulge in it often. In fact, popcorn has long been on my list of heart-healthy treats.
 
The only trick is to make your popcorn the right way... 
 
  • First off, skip microwave popcorns since microwaves expose both you and your food to harmful radiation. 
  • Instead, pop your own organic popcorn in an air popper. One full cup of air popped popcorn contains just 31 calories and a mere .36 grams of fat. That’s just a fraction of the movie theatre variety.
  • If you’d prefer a little bit of oil on your popcorn, drizzle on some coconut oil. Coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA)—not the long-chain fatty acids found in most oils—so it won’t raise your cholesterol. Yet, it’s rich in flavor.
  • Skip the salt, which can raise your blood pressure—and choose healthier seasonings instead. My wife Jan and I have gotten very creative, seasoning our popcorn with herbs, cinnamon, garlic powder, and even nutritional yeast.
Now it’s your turn: What’s your favorite way to eat popcorn?

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