As a whole grain, popcorn contains the complete kernel of corn, delivering fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Fiber is vital for controlling appetite and supporting digestive health. One cup of air-popped Low Calorie Popcorn has an impressive 4 grams of fibre, keeping you feeling full for hours. Fibre also helps regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
In addition to fibre, popcorn provides B vitamins like niacin, riboflavin and thiamine. These B vitamins play essential roles in energy production and metabolism. Popcorn is also a source of minerals like selenium, magnesium and phosphorus. Selenium supports thyroid function, and magnesium helps muscles and nerves properly communicate. Phosphorus keeps bones and teeth healthy.
Antioxidants in popcorn, like phenolic acids, ferulic acid and avenanthramides, may also help reduce inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation has been linked to weight gain so anti-inflammatory foods can aid weight control. The nutritional composition of popcorn makes it a smart snack for supporting overall health and wellness during your weight loss journey.
Calories in Popcorn
Regarding weight loss, the calorie content of foods is critical to consider. One cup of air-popped popcorn has only around 30 calories. It is significantly less than many other snack foods, yet the fibre and volume make popcorn very filling. When paired with water or other low-calorie beverages, popcorn is ideal for feeling satisfied without over-consuming calories.
The calorie count can vary depending on how popcorn is prepared and what seasonings are added. Oil-popped popcorn will be higher in calories due to the added fat. Microwavable popcorn bags often contain oils and seasonings that also increase the calorie and sodium contents. When selecting popcorn, it’s best to look at the nutrition facts label and choose varieties with 100 calories or less per serving.
Preparing Low Calorie Popcorn for Weight Loss
In addition to selecting low-calorie varieties, the method of preparation impacts the nutritional profile of popcorn. Here are some tips for preparing Low Calorie Popcorn in the healthiest ways:
Air popping is best. An air popper uses hot air rather than oil to achieve fluffy kernels with zero added fat or calories. You can also air pop in a large pot on the stovetop. Heat a few tablespoons of kernels in a pot with a lid over medium-high heat. Shake frequently until pops slow to several seconds between pops. Microwaving kernels in a paper bag is an oil-free option if you don’t have an air popper.
Follow package instructions, being careful not to burn. When baking popcorn, choose varieties that are already baked, like Pop Secret Baked White Cheddar, for a satisfying low-fat snack.
Limit or avoid oil-popped or movie theater-style popcorn, as these can contain several tablespoons of oil per serving. Lightly misting popped kernels with cooking spray can add flavor without too many added calories if needed. Go easy on high-calorie toppings like melted butter, cheese or caramel. A sprinkle of Parmesan or cinnamon is all you need.
By preparing popcorn without added fat, you maximize the nutritional benefits without excess calories. This supports healthy eating while still enjoying this satisfying whole-grain snack.
Pairing Low Calorie Popcorn with Beverages
When it comes to beverages to enjoy with popcorn, water is always the best choice to stay hydrated. However, if you want to indulge a little, consider these low-calorie pairing options:
Light beer: A typical 100-calorie light beer can pair well with a 100-calorie bag of popcorn for a balanced snack.
Seltzer or club soda: The bubbles cut through the saltiness of popcorn nicely without added sugar or calories.
Green tea: Brewed green tea has a roasted flavour that complements popcorn. Bonus antioxidants too.
Fruit-infused water: Berries, citrus or cucumber slices add flavor without calories to plain water.
Tomato juice: The acidity and savory notes of tomato juice pair surprisingly well with popcorn.
Wine spritzers: Dilute a small glass of wine with seltzer for a lower calorie cocktail option.
When enjoying any beverage with Low Calorie Popcorn, be sure to account for additional calories in your daily totals. Sticking to low or no-calorie choices allows popcorn to truly shine as a nutritious snack.
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Low Calorie Popcorn Varieties
Now, let’s explore specific low calorie popcorn brands and flavors that are excellent options for weight loss. Variety helps keep things interesting, so try a few of these popcorn recommendations:
Weaver Popped Popcorn: This brand offers single-serve bags of simply seasoned air-popped popcorn with only 30 calories per cup. Flavours include cheddar, kettle corn and ranch.
Angie’s Boomchickapop: Made with non-GMO ingredients, flavors like sea salt have only 100 calories per 3 cup bag.
Popcorn, Indiana: This artisan brand makes gourmet flavors like truffle parmesan with 90 calories per 3 cup bag.
Popcorners: For a crunchy popcorn alternative, these corn puffs come in flavors like sea salt with only 110 calories per bag.
SkinnyPop Popcorn: A favorite for movie night, flavors like butter have only 100 calories per bag.
Pop Secret: Their baked varieties, like white cheddar, satisfy at only 100 calories per bag.
Special K Popcorn: Original flavor popcorn with only 110 calories per bag.
Orville Redenbacher’s: Many varieties have around 100 calories, like butter or movie theater style.
Smartfood: A light cheddar option has 120 calories and 5g fiber per 1.5 cup bag.
By keeping brands, flavors and portion sizes to 100 calories or less, popcorn remains a nutritious snack aligned with your daily calorie needs. Experiment to find favourites to stock up on.
Tips for Portion Control
When enjoying Low Calorie Popcorn as a snack, it’s important to control portions for optimal weight loss results. Here are some portion guidelines:
1/3 to 1/2 of a 100 calorie bag is usually a good single serving size. For air-popped, 1-2 cups is a standard snack depending on your calorie needs. Use a measuring cup to portion out snacks rather than eating straight from the bag. Consider weighing portions on a food scale for ultimate accuracy. Aim for 30-50 grams or 1-2 ounces.
Don’t eat directly from a large bowl of popcorn, as it’s easy to lose track of quantity that way. If the bag feels too small, divide it into ziplock baggies for individual servings to control intake. Resist the urge to eat the whole bag in one sitting by the TV! Enjoy your popcorn portion slowly.
Portion control is key for popcorn to aid rather than hinder your weight goals. Measure out reasonable snack-sized amounts to satisfy without overdoing calories.
Incorporating Low Calorie Popcorn into Your Diet
Now that you’re equipped with Low Calorie Popcorn knowledge, here are some specific ways to incorporate it into your daily routine:
- Enjoy a 1/2 cup serving as an afternoon pick-me-up to tide you over until dinner.
- Pop a bag on weekends for a low-calorie movie night snack.
- Carry single-serve bags for a satisfying hunger fighter on busy days.
- Pair air-popped popcorn with a salad or vegetable-heavy soup for lunch.
- Bring a portion as a travel-friendly snack when running errands.
- Swap potato chips for popcorn at parties to stay on track.
- Use as a crunchy topping for chili, soups or casseroles instead of higher-calorie croutons.
- Add a handful to oatmeal or yogurt for texture.
The versatility of Low Calorie Popcorn makes it a convenient snack anytime, anywhere. With practice, you’ll find ways to fit it into your routine without sabotaging your calorie goals.