Whether as the inevitable accompaniment to movie-watching or for snacking at parties, popcorn occupies a special place in our hearts. There is something so delicious and unmissable about this crunchy treat that we simply can't resist it. The humble popped corn often comes under scrutiny by health enthusiasts. Some insist that it is not such a healthy snack and is best avoided on a weight-loss diet. Others say that popcorn is actually a light snack that can be eaten by those watching their weight. So, which side of the argument is true? Here's all you need to know.
Can Popcorn Be Eaten On Weight Loss Diet?
People usually embark on certain diet regimes while trying to lose weight. They undertake various weight loss programs that involve calorie restrictions and the inclusion of more foods that are rich in fibre and protein. Luckily, popcorn can be consumed even on a weight loss diet as it is high in fibre and can serve as an excellent source of the same.
Popcorn is made of whole corn grains that are enriched with fibre. Experts reveal that they are also low in calories as they just consist of popped corn. Delhi-based Nutritionist and Health Coach Shilpa Arora revealed, "The fibre content in popcorn slows carbohydrate metabolism into sugar, therefore, lowering insulin response. Popcorn is a great snack for diabetics and also for the ones who are looking to lose weight."
Is Popcorn Healthy Or Fattening?
Popcorn, by itself, is not a fattening snack and is actually quite healthy for weight loss. Just like makhana, which is popped lotus seed, even popcorn is nutritious and can be consumed even while trying to lose weight through a healthy diet. However, nutritionists caution against eating popcorn that has too much butter or cheese on it. This is especially true for movie theatre popcorn or butter-flavoured popcorn that can be made in the microwave. They contain trans fats, high amounts of calories, artificial flavourings and other components that are harmful to the body. "We should be careful not to choose the butter-laden flavours available in the markets, as this could lead to health problems and prevent weight loss," explains Arora.
Mumbai-based Nutritionist and Lifestyle Educator, Karishma Chawla, also agrees that portion control is important while eating popcorn. "Popcorn is considered a whole grain with a good amount of fibre, hence making it a low GI food. But eating too much of it in one sitting would lead to an insulin spike. Also, avoid the ones with salt and caramel, for obvious reasons," stated Chawla. She also stated that popcorn is a common gut irritant that can lead to inflammation and thus too much of it should be avoided.
Popcorn - Yes Or No? Our Verdict
Popcorn can definitely be eaten on a weight loss diet in small quantities, provided it does not have salt, butter or caramel on it. Practice portion control, eat a balanced diet and maintain a regular exercise regime to work towards weight loss and become a healthier version of yourself!
About Aditi AhujaAditi loves talking to and meeting like-minded foodies (especially the kind who like veg momos). Plus points if you get her bad jokes and sitcom references, or if you recommend a new place to eat at.