HOLD THE BUTTER, CUE A “NORMAL” PORTION SIZE, AND YOU HAVE ONE OF THE MOST PREMIUM CARBOHYDRATES POSSIBLE IN YOUR HANDS. GET YOUR POPCORN READY, THIS IS GOING TO BLOW YOUR MIND!

When you think of popcorn, your mind most likely wonders back to a date at the movie theater where you ordered a “medium” popcorn for two and asked for extra butter. And after finishing that 1,000-calorie bucket, you capped off the night with a scoop of ice cream at the local creamery and went home with a big smile and big belly…

It’s hard to imagine that after setting you up to relive this fond memory that I am now going to convince you that popcorn is a premium carbohydrate and one you should consider making a staple in your day when seeking weight loss…

But I’m going to.

So, get your popcorn ready, sit back, and read on to learn just how misunderstood this premium carbohydrate it!

A MISUNDERSTOOD KERNEL

Popcorn – or rather corn – is a whole-grain; it’s nutrient-dense and full of fiber. It’s also low in fat and free of artificial sweeteners and preservatives (on its own). One ounce of popped corn (about four cups) provides four grams of fiber and only 120 calories. It also boasts a premium carbohydrate to fiber ratio of 4:1!

NUTRITION INFORMATION (4 CUPS)

POPCORN

Calories

120

Fat

6

Carbohydrates

24

Fiber

6

What further sets popcorn apart from other processed foods and starches is the fact that it’s a food that is has a very low calorie to bite ratio. When a corn kernel is heated, it “takes in” air and expands in size. Fortunately for us, air is calorie-free, so what we’re left with is a bigger bite of deliciousness at the expense of zero calories. This leads to more space being taken up in your stomach, a great stretching of the stomach walls, and ultimately, stronger satiety cues being sent to your brain.

HOW TO ENJOY POPPED CORN

You can have popcorn in under two minutes if you gravitate toward an already packaged variety that requires the heat of a microwave. But pending how you feel about preservatives and artificial additives, this may turn you off from popcorn, and cause you to miss out on the immense benefits discussed above. Fortunately, there are plenty of other methods that require nothing but the kernels themselves.

Brown-Baggin’ It

  1. Add a quarter-up of kernels to a brown paper (lunch) bag.
  2. With the bag standing upright, make a fold from the top of the bag down approximately one inch. Repeat a second time so you’re left with a thickly creased top.
  3. Microwave on high for two minutes.
  4. The time it will take to pop most kernels will vary depending on the strength of your microwave; however, I recommend starting with two minutes and remaining close by. If you don’t hear a kernel pop for more than five seconds, stop the cooking and take the bag out – be careful, the bag will be hot!
  5. After reading this article, you’ll likely make popcorn more frequently, which means you’ll find the ideal time to pop your corn with your microwave. Mine is 1:36 J.
  6. And boom! Your corn is popped and ready to be seasoned.

Air Pop on the Stovetop

  1. Spray a large saucepan with non-fat cooking spray and heat to medium-high.
  2. Add 3 – 5 corn kernels and cover.
  3. Once these “starter” kernels have each popped, remove the pan from the heat and rid the popped corn.
  4. Then add ¼-cup kernels to the pan and cover. Leave off the heat for 30 seconds once you’ve placed the lid back on the pan.
  5. Next, return the pan to the heat and let cook until the popping has slowed significantly, about two minutes. Shake or move the pan on occasion throughout the make sure each kernel receives the love and heat it needs to blossom.
  6. Remove the lid and leave the pan on the heat for additional 30 seconds, or until the popping has ceased.
  7. Remove from heat and pour into a large bowl or paper bag.
  8. Voila, your corn is popped and is now ready to be seasoned.

How to Season: Rather than dousing your popcorn in butter, try relying on calorie-free herbs and spices, or using a quick spritz of low-calorie butter spray.

  • For a sweet-tasting corn, try mixing cinnamon, vanilla extract, and a pinch of brown sugar atop your corn.
  • For a savory treat, try adding salt, fresh-cut cilantro, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

MY FAVORITE TIME TO ENJOY POPCORN

I like to have popcorn both post-workout and before bed. Eating a large portion at these times — two commong times I experience hunger — leaves me feeling more than full and sometimes I struggle to finish the portion I’ve allotted!