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Nutrition

Popcorn – a healthy snack you should be eating!

When you get a mid-morning or afternoon slump it can be easy to reach for an unhealthy snack. However, if you’re becoming more aware of how many unhealthy snacks you’re consuming, you won’t want to miss these facts on how popcorn could be a healthy but delicious answer to curb those hunger cravings.

How is popcorn defined as healthy?

The Guardian reported “Popcorn and breakfast cereals… may contain ‘surprisingly large’ servings of healthy antioxidants”. Their research suggested that popcorn contains similar levels of the antioxidant polyphenols as fruit and vegetables! Polyphenols are a type of antioxidant that aids the body to remove free radicals, which can damage cells and tissues in the body.

Popcorn is a whole grain and contains other essentials such as, folate, iron, fibre and vitamins B6, A, E and K, all of which provide good health benefits. The calorie count of popcorn is also something you don’t need to worry too much about, as it contains on average just 63 calories  per bag (based on an average UK supermarket branded snack bag of 13g). But beware…this does largely depend on what is added to the corn to make it flavoursome!

Ideas to create your own popcorn topping

We’d recommend steering clear of sugar-loaded popcorn and create your own delicious toppings instead! Plain popcorn is readily available, or you could easily get popping with your own kernels at home and simply add your topping of choice. We’d suggest a sprinkling of the following;

  • Naturally sweet: cinnamon

  • Naturally sweet: cocoa powder

  • Nice and spicy: cayenne pepper and chilli powder

  • Sweet and spicy: cocoa, cayenne and allspice

  • Curry kick: curry powder and ginger

How does the calorie/fat content in popcorn compare to other snacks?

Next time you get those hunger pangs, reconsider your snack choice. Popcorn sprinkled with your topping of choice stacks up well against the typical vending machine options…

 

Calories

Fat

Sat Fats

Sugar

Salt

Salted Popcorn 11g

57

3.4g

0.3g

0.1g

0.1g

Walkers Ready Salted Crisps 32.5g

171

10.4g

0.8g

0.1g

0.5g

Snack a Jacks Salt and Vinegar 22g

89

1.6g

0.2g

0.4g

0.6g

Mars Bar 39.4g

177

6.6g

3.2g

23.6g

0.17g

Cashew nuts 25g

146

11g

2g

1.5g

0.01g

 

 

Sources:

https://www.nhs.uk/news/food-and-diet/is-popcorn-good-for-you/

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2009/aug/18/popcorn-cereals-superfood

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/sep/29/is-popcorn-really-a-healthy-alternative-to-crisps-and-other-snacks

https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/is-popcorn-healthy#types

https://www.tesco.com/groceries