Popcorn is a healthy snack

There are many benefits from popcorn including helping to reach the daily servings of whole grain.

Many times getting enough whole grain in our diet feels like a chore instead of a tasty treat. Did you know that popcorn is a whole grain and can be counted in our diet as part of our daily portion of whole grain? However that is when it is not smothered in butter, salt or corn syrup.

Popcorn is a member of the maize or corn family. It was used thousands of years ago in regular diets and for decoration. Popcorn provides complex-carbohydrates; it is low in fat and calories without any additives or preservative.

To further entice our obsession with popcorn, it is relatively low in calories – 31 calories for one cup of air popped popcorn, 55 calories for one cup of oil-popped popcorn and lightly buttered it is 133 calories per one cup. Another good feature is that three cups of popcorn is one serving from the grain group and is considered a satisfying snack that doesn’t turn us away from a healthy nutritious meal. Michigan State University Extension recommends enjoying popcorn as a fun, tasty treat that can be a beneficial part of your diet.

Popcorn balls are a great treat that can be made into many different flavors. You can also add popcorn to trail mix or sprinkle your popcorn with cinnamon. I encourage you to be creative and try a new flavor. Just remember it is not healthy or necessary to add loads of butter and salt for flavor. When we do that we are defeating our purpose of the healthy whole grain goodness that popcorn can provide.

Relax on and enjoy the plain goodness of popcorn while benefiting from its whole goodness!

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