First the grapefruit diet, then the cabbage soup diet, and now… The Popcorn Diet!
We’ve seen fad diets come and go and they usually have one thing in common – a focus on a single ingredient. (Personally I’m still holding out hope for some undeniable proof on my personal favorite, the Chocolate Diet!)
So, what is the Popcorn Diet?
There are several variations of the popcorn diet floating around that either feature popcorn as a diet snack or a full meal replacement. Lately it seems to have gained attention from the promotion of a Superfood spice that offers to add flavor and nutrition to plain air popped popcorn. The seller suggests replacing one meal a day with popcorn seasoned with their spice. They provide the spice in three flavors at a cost of $11.95 for one jar or $24.94 for a three pack containing original, lemon, and extra spicy (plus shipping and handling of course).
Is the Popcorn Diet New?
Wondering if this was something new we went searching the internet. Low and behold there was a book written by a J. Herskowitz entitled The Popcorn Plus Diet, published in 1988 by Pinnacle.
A pediatric neurologist, Dr. Herskowitz also administered weight-loss programs. His book recommends that dieters indulge in popcorn, a snack food that is nutritious, low in calories, and “acts biochemically on the brain to satisfy your hunger, thereby preventing panic and desperation and keeping you from making poor food choices.”(Source: Amazon.com Editorial Reviews)
Wow, maybe in addition to listing popcorn as a healthy diet snack we can add it to a list of anti-anxiety medications!
Keeping Popcorn Healthy
Actually, many of us have used popcorn as a healthy alternative to satisfy cravings for chips or other salt and fat laden snacks. By itself, popcorn is only 31 calories for a 1 cup serving. The problem is when we add stuff to it.
You know the things that make it taste so good… like butter, oil, and salt.
Suddenly that popcorn serving goes from 31 calories to over 133 calories with just a alight amount of butter on the same one cup serving size. (Source: Popcorn.org)
In an effort to keep popcorn healthy the air popcorn popper came on the market followed by low fat and low sodium flavor enhancers.
In fact my Mom had an early jump on this movement. A true flower child of the 60′s, Mom would add brewer’s yeast or flax seed to the popcorn she served my sister and I as kids. I must admit, the flavor is not that bad once you grow accustomed! (I can’t say the same about the tofu and miso sandwiches on whole grain bread she sent in my lunch box.)
Some Final Thoughts
So here’s the deal, one ingredient by itself is not going to meet long term weight loss or nutrition goals. But most of us know that already.
So the Popcorn diet is not the end all dieting or weight loss solution. However, popcorn can be a healthy diet snack that can satisfy that craving for crunch. Just be sure to start with air popped popcorn and keep anything you add to it just as healthy!