Friday, March 30, 2012

Food for thought: popcorn as the perfect snack?

If you liked popcorn before, you're sure to love it now.  

New research presented at the meeting of American Chemical Society reported that popcorn contains more cancer-fighting "polyphenols" that both fruit or vegetables. Let's recall that polyphenols are the most abundant anti-oxidant compounds in the human diet,  and can be found in fruits, fruit juices, coffee, tea, chocolate (score!) and red wine (double score!). 
Joe Vinson, Ph.D
Taken from article

"It's the perfect snack food", says Joe Vinson, Ph.D, and leader of the popcorn study.  He explained that polyphenols are more concentrated in popcorn (which is only 4% water), and much more diluted in most fruits and vegetables that are about 90% water  (think tomatoes, melons, leafy greens).  Results from this study show that polyphenols in popcorn were up to 300 mg/ serving, compared to 114 mg/serving for sweet corn, and 160 mg/serving for fruit.

Findings from his current research lead Vinson to state, “Popcorn may be the perfect snack food. It’s the only snack that is 100 percent unprocessed whole grain. All other grains are processed and diluted with other ingredients, and although cereals are called “whole grain,” this simply means that over 51 percent of the weight of the product is whole grain. One serving of popcorn will provide more than 70 percent of the daily intake of whole grain. The average person only gets about half a serving of whole grains a day, and popcorn could fill that gap in a very pleasant way.”

Now, let's not get carried away juuuuust yet and run to the grocery store to inhale every bag of Orville Redenbacher's we can find. Unfortunately the whole "health" side of this snack becomes virtually obsolete once we smother on all our salt, butter, and movie theatre toppings (what those are actually made from I'll never know). Vinson also shed some light on the microwave vs. air-pop cooking styles. Air-popped has the lowest number of calories, up to half the amount of microwave popcorn (and this is PLAIN microwave popcorn, not "buttered", or salted"), and microwave popcorn contains up to 43% fat, compared to 28% if you pop the corn in oil yourself.  

So the next time your in the mood for a tasty, healthy snack...skip the butter, oil, and chocolate (?)....
....and opt for a lighter, air-popped version of popcorn. And don't worry, this way still tastes pretty awesome.

Full article found here. All other images from Pinterest.

Happy Friday!


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...