Thursday, February 21, 2013


It's great to nibble on popcorn.

If you're nervous, it calms you. It makes watching a movie more fun. If you're dieting, you can chomp away and not hate yourself.

I researched it.   

Hey, it's healthy -- it actually helps to protect you from cancer and heart disease. Tests of popcorn reveal that the hulls, (those tough fragments that stick in your teeth), contain high levels of polyphenols, which are disease fighting antioxidants. (Important words in the world of nutrition -- I'm delighted to know that popcorn is GOOD for you.) 

One serving of popcorn, (a cup full),  contains more than twice the polyphenols of most fruits and vegetables, according to Joe Vinson, a popcorn researcher-scientist. Joe said the hulls are also rich in fiber and called them, "Nutritional gold nuggets."

A good, uncomplicated, inexpensive, quick, low-calorie way to cook popcorn is in an air-popper, or on a stove top.  (If you add butter (or salt, it's tastes better, but it's less healthy -- let's stick with healthy.)

A cup of air-popped white popcorn contains 30 calories; and 6 g of carbohydrates.  A cup of oil-popped white popcorn contains 55 calories. Cheese-flavor popcorn contains 58 calories per cup, and sugar syrup (Carmel-coated popcorn) contains 151 calories per cup, and cheese or Carmel corn can contain, oh, maybe 35 g of carbos.

(Yes, Carmel  popcorn's delicious, and I'm crazy about cheese popcorn, but I'm focusing on healthy.)

Other GOOD things about popcorn -- it's low in fat and sodium, and it contains small amounts of protein, potassium, phosphorus and zinc.

It's almost patriotic to eat popcorn and love it. Since the late 19th century, popcorn has evolved from the small bags  sold by street vendors to large containers of fluffy kernels available  in movie theaters. (It tastes great but it's  ridiculously expensive.) The fact is, we Americans consume over 17 billion quarts of popped popcorn every year.

Hey, as I write this, I've got my cooking pot on the stove, a jar of corn, bottle of Canola oil sitting right now on my kitchen counter -- munching helps me read, check for typos, and jolly up my ideas. Sometime ago, a wealthy producer friend of ours made a movie called "POPCORN" -- poured money into it and sent us a preview. Yowie!  The film was awful!  Since my husband, John Cullum, was raising money for one of our projects, we sent the producer a non-committal "good luck" gift -- an giant, enormous garbage bag full of popcorn. His movie  bombed; our jolly idea bombed -- the guy hasn't called us since then, but we heard he's richer than ever, selling real estate in Canada.

You probably know know how to make popcorn, but here's a short video on the most  practical way of making a pot full  of HEALTHY GOOD popcorn quickly.


Peggy Bechko said...

LOL - love popcorn, but yes, have to be cautious as to what we put on it when aiming at HEALTHY...

Carola said...

I have to avoid popcorn although I love it. It sits like a lump in some upper part of my digestive system and takes forever to go away. I miss popcorn.

Poet_Carl_Watts said...

Almost all canola oil and corn is Genetically Modified. Buy organic corn and use organic coconut oil, that is a treat :-)

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Louise Sorensen said...

Hi Em. We always have a supply of ready-pop popcorn in our cupboard.
Lately though we've both been concentrating more on fruit ie pears, plums and bananas for health. Oh and almonds, for magnesium.
When I'm at my laptop writing, I don't usually snack. I might have a few cups of tea with a small cookie if I'm really into it, but mostly my mind is in writing mode, so, no nibbling.
I don't worry about GM food. As I understand it, so far most food that's genetically modified has simply had a gene added to it that allows it to survive the pesticides that kill the weeds in the field, allowing the food crop to grow.
Without genetic modification and weed control, people would be eating a lot less popcorn and everything else.
Oh wait a minute. Maybe that wouldn't be such a bad thing, at least in North America where obesity is a killer.
In any event, I agree with you that popcorn is a delightful, healthy snack.
Louise Sorensen
louise3anne twitter

JD Holiday said...

Good article, as always, Em.
I didn't know some of these things about popcorn!