Healthy Snacks - Popcorn, A Whole Grain Snack, Can Be Healthier Using A Salt Free Popcorn Seasoning
By Debbie Benson
When we think of healthy snacks, popcorn doesn't usually make the list. We think of popcorn and we think of butter, salt and sometimes sugar. However, popcorn can be a very healthy snack by choosing healthy popcorn toppings like a salt-free popcorn seasoning.
Popcorn is a whole grain snack that is naturally high in fiber, low in calories, no sodium and 1 gram of fat (from the corn). It's the popcorn toppings and how we pop the popcorn that turns this otherwise healthy snack into a high sodium, high calorie, high fat, not so healthy snack.
One serving is quite a bit, about 2 tablespoons of popcorn kernels yields about 5 cups of popped popcorn at only 110 calories and 7 grams of fiber. That is a lot of munching with not a lot of calories.
Here are some tips to help make popcorn a healthy snack:
Tip #1 Choose organic popcorn which means no pesticide residues. Non-organic or regular popcorn was listed on the FDA's top ten of the most commonly contaminated foods with pesticides and chemicals.
Tip #2 Learn to pop your own popcorn and avoid the microwave packets. There are still health concerns about microwave popcorn packets and the chemicals added to promote popping and less sticking.
Tip #3 Choose healthier popcorn toppings.
Tip #4 Healthy snacks to go. Make your popcorn snack and take it with you. Here is a different healthy snack idea. Create a popcorn trail mix by adding nuts, raisins, coconut, dried fruits even vegan chocolate chips, or cocoa nibs and make this healthy snack even healthier, more flavorful and it's delicious. Also, try adding popcorn to granola.
When eating popcorn choose healthier options for your popcorn. Be creative and try other ways to flavor your popcorn with healthier flavored oils, healthy seasonings, and lower your sodium intake with a salt substitute or a salt free popcorn seasoning.
Now you can put popcorn on your list of healthy snacks.
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