What is the Popcorn Diet?

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!

Is Popcorn a Good Diet Snack?

We all know that popcorn is a healthy snack. A snack with low fat levels and good fiber and carbohydrate content but is it good enough to be termed as a good diet snack?

Well, yes.

Popcorn can easily make it to your diet plan if you know what kind of popcorn is the best for you. Don’t be confused. When I say kinds of popcorn I mean the way they are popped, as in air-popped or microwave popped and what are they served with. It’s easy to guess that air-popped plain popcorn is the healthiest of the lot. Let’s take a look.

Air Popped Popcorn

One major reason plain air-popped popcorn scores over microwave popped popcorn is the Teflon-lining found inside microwaveable popcorn bags. Lets just say its not exactly beneficial for you. Also, most of us go for butter popcorn over the normal plain popcorn because of the extra flavor that it has. While that butter provides extra taste to the popcorn, it also adds up in the calorie count. Butter, although tasty, is a high calorie food, and while some calories are good, the ones you consume from butter can be excessive.  Plus many types of microwave popcorn contain altered fats and little to no actual butter.

Popcorn Diets

You will also come across several diet plans centered around popcorn. The basic idea behind these plans is to eat as much popcorn as you want. This will mean that you will never be hungry because of the high amount of fiber in popcorn. Consequently, the consumption of other foods will be reduced. Such programs will need you to pop the popcorn without oil, which will ensure that they are low on fat. But just in case you are someone who cannot have your popcorn without some flavor to it, you can always go for olive oil as a substitute for butter. Also, sea salt is always better than the normal salt while dry herbs like oregano and paprika along with other spices can make good and interesting combinations.

There are many different ways to make popcorn, but one thing is for sure: popcorn can make a quick and healthy go to snack!

Popcorn Calories and Nutrition – Get the Facts!

For movie buffs or those who enjoy a lazy Sunday afternoon in front of the TV, popcorn may already be a staple diet item. People might tell you that the best thing about popcorn is that it is really light and you can consume a lot of kernels without fear of it showing on your waistline. In fact, how many times has it occurred that you get some popcorn during the interval and had all of it downed before the climax? But have you ever wondered what exactly the nutritional value of popcorn is? Let’s find out.

Popcorn Calories and Nutrition

Many will be amazed to know that this snack is in fact a healthy food choice. Most dieticians and experts will tell you that not only is popcorn low in calories, but it is also high in fiber.

Plain popcorn contains nutrients like vitamin B and folate. It also has several minerals like manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, copper and iron. Popcorn is also known to be rich in carbohydrates with an average of 6 grams of carbohydrates per cup of popcorn.

Provided you hold the butter and use an air popper, it has a small share of fat. A look into the USDA national nutrient database would tell you that one cup of popcorn contains just about 31 calories. The same source shows a cup of popcorn contains 1 gram of fiber which is beneficial for the cells in our body.

Professor Joe Vinson from the University of Scranton will tell you that popcorn is also very healthy because of the several anti-oxidants present in it. In fact popcorn contains a certain kind of anti-oxidant we call polyphenols more than any other similar snack. The chief reason for this being that popcorn is a whole-grain snack, which is always considered healthier than most other snacks.

So, the next time that you go to a movie skip the soda, throw out the candy, and reach for some healthy popcorn instead (just hold the butter)!