Does popcorn make you gain weight?

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Is popcorn high in calories?

These small balls of popcorn with a light and airy texture are relatively high in calories per 100 g, but ultimately quite low in calories when compared to their volume: they are said to have low energy density. In fact, a cup of popcorn weighs barely 10 g, which is very little compared to a cup of peanuts or almonds for example which weighs 130 g.

The popcorn thus brings between 380 and 480 calories per 100 gdepending on the ingredients that make it up: sugar, butter, caramel, coconut oil.

Compared to a cup, we are therefore between 38 and 48 calories, which remains quite reasonable… as long as we do not multiply the cups!

Carbohydrates, proteins, lipids: what is the nutritional composition of popcorn?

The composition and nutritional quality of popcorn vary quite a bit depending on the ingredients used to make it.

  • Natural, it contains 10 g of proteins, 12 of lipids (fats) and 60 g of carbohydrates mainly in the form of starch.
  • When it is sweetened or caramelized, the proportion of carbohydrates increases, in the form of simple sugars, and that of proteins decreases: it then loses nutritional value.
  • Finally, when it is butteredit's this time the proportion of lipids which increases (18 to 20 g of lipids) to the detriment of proteins and carbohydrates.

Nutrition: does popcorn have health benefits?

Popcorn, even more so when it is plain or saltedis a food that can offer certain health benefits, and fit into a balanced snack!
The main health benefit of popcorn is its very high dietary fiber contentwhich almost reaches 13g per 100g ! A very good point when we know that the majority of French people have a fiber intake well below the recommended values, which are 25 to 30 g of fiber per day. Remember that fiber helps regulate intestinal transit, limits the appearance of colorectal cancers, helps regulate blood sugar levels, limits the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, reduces cholesterol levels and has a beneficial effect on cardiovascular health.
Popcorn is also a source of antioxidants, particularly polyphenols, which are useful for combating oxidative stress and premature aging… provided again that you take it natural!

Finally, the popcorn is sans glutenand is therefore particularly digestible for sensitive or intolerant people.

Small downside, however, for popcorn sold in microwaveable bags: Most microwave bags are coated with a chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which has been associated with various health problems and evaluated “ carcinogenic to humans » by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

Is plain or salted popcorn good for the diet?

For all the reasons previously mentioned, plain or salted popcorn without butter are foods that should not be excluded from a weight loss diet, and which can be eaten in moderation as part of a healthy snack.
Furthermore, thanks to their high fiber content, popcorn is a food that contributes to the appearance of the feeling of satiety. A comparative American study carried out in 2012 (1) compared the feeling of fullness after eating popcorn and chips.

The study concluded that 15 calories of popcorn was as filling as 150 calories of chips!

To make the snack more complete and balanced, it can be supplemented with dairy and/or fruit.

Does sweetened or caramelized popcorn make you gain weight?

High in simple sugar – usually in the form of corn syrup, caramel or glucose syrup – Sweetened popcorn and especially caramelized popcorn can contribute to weight gain when consumed regularly or in excess. They are also generally higher in fat, and have a much higher glycemic index than plain or salted popcorn.
It should therefore be reserved for special occasions, and consumed in moderation.

What about homemade popcorn?

The best way to control the nutritional and caloric intake of your popcorn is to make it yourself, in a pan or in a popcorn machine.

For a homemade popcorn, healthy and cheapyou will need the following ingredients for 4 people:

  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil or another neutral vegetable oil (sunflower, grapeseed, etc.),
  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  • Spices or aromatic herbs according to taste

If you don't have a popcorn maker, you can use a large saucepan or frying pan. Cook the popcorn kernels in oil over medium heat, and cover with a lid when they start to pop. Leave to cook for approximately 3 minutes, until the shards become spaced out. Remove from the heat and pour them into a bowl. Season with a little salt, pepper or even fresh herbs or spices according to your taste. It's ready to eat!

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