Is popcorn keto?
Checking out the list of keto-friendly yet delicious foods is the first thing you need to do when starting a keto diet. Especially for people who love food, the chance to enjoy delicious snacks is extremely important in a keto diet.
Popcorn is a snack that is loved by people of all ages, genders, and religions around the world. The experience of eating popcorn during a thrilling movie or as an evening snack is always a delight.
A big concern is, however, whether it is keto-friendly. Do people following a ketogenic diet have access to this crunchy, tasty snack?
There’s no need to worry because we’re going to find out from this article what’s going on.
What is Popcorn?
For starters, popcorn is as old as 6000 years ago, first used as food by the Peruvians. Popcorns are corn kernels that puff up when heated.
This is because popcorn kernels are rich in water which turns to steam with heat, causing it to rupture and the created pressure makes it expand up to 50 times the original size.
Is Popcorn Keto-approved?
So, Is popcorn keto?
Popcorn may be a very delicious and good snack but what is the point if we keto followers can’t have it? To confirm this we should know What is a keto diet and how a food product is keto-approved?
For starters, Keto is a diet where the intake of carbohydrates is cut down as low as possible. This is done to ensure that the body stops using carb as the primary energy source of the body. A body with a less or very little amount of carb forces the body to derive energy from other sources like fats This is the basic principle of the keto diet.
The condition where the body uses fats as the primary energy source is known as ketosis. Moving on, the daily carb intake for someone practicing keto is 20gms, but if the individual is involved in some physical activities like sports or something, then the daily carb amount could be a little more i.e. 50gms.
Popcorn kernels are full of fibers, nutrients, and antioxidants making it nutritious and healthy. Research states that one cup of popcorn is more satisfactory than a cup of potato chips simply because of its high fiber content and is also a whole grain.
Standard carb content in a popcorn allows us to stay in ketosis.
One cup of popcorn cooked with oil contains about 4-5 gms of net carbs with 2-3 gms of healthy fats.
However, there are other types of popcorn which are not the best option during keto.
One cup serving of air-popped popcorn contains around 5 gms of net carbs.
This concludes that yes popcorn can be eaten while in ketosis as long as it is consumed in a limited quantity. One important thing to be noted down is many popcorns available in the market has added flavors that contribute to the rise in carb content in it.
Nutritional information of popcorn
Popcorn may be an evening snack but is rich in essential nutrients like fats as well as antioxidants. It is also rich in fiber. It also contains traces of minerals like magnesium, manganese, copper, and zinc.
The nutritional content of popcorn(serving size is 3cups which is equal to 24 gms) is as follows :
- Calories: 93
- Fat: 1.1gm
- Sodium: 1.9mg
- Carbohydrates: 18.6gm
- Fiber: 3.6gm
- Sugars: 0.3gm
- Protein: 3gm
Popcorn is also known to have a lot of health benefits which should be kept in mind. Apart from its crunchy delicious taste, it is known to be significantly helpful against health problems like diabetes and even against cancer.
Popcorn is known for improving digestion as it contains a lot of dietary fibers. These fibers are insoluble and provide bulk to the stool, hence reducing the water needed for fast bowel movements.
In case we completely forget the fact that popcorns contain antioxidants, we would not be doing justice to this delicious food. Antioxidants such as polyphenols are present in popcorn which is said to reduce vascular inflammation, lowers blood pressure and even useful for treating atherosclerosis. Natural polyphenols like flavonoids, phenolic acids, lignans also reduce the risk of certain cancers.
Popcorns are also gluten-free and are a whole grain corn kernel.
The feeling of being full because of the fibers present in it helps people following keto to diminish their hunger crave.
Some alternatives to popcorn
Some people suffer from problems like stress-eating and boredom eating. Popcorn tends to be addictive for people suffering from these problems.
Stress eating does not have any side effects as such but if you are following a strict diet like keto, all your hard work becomes useless when you start binge eating.
There are other keto-friendly popcorn alternatives such as keto-friendly nuts available in the market. They pack around 1.1gm of carbs only for a serving of 28gms.
Another such nut is Macadamia nut which also packs around 1.5gm of carb for a serving of 28gm. Almond is also a healthy nutrient-rich keto-friendly option.
Popcorns are corn kernels that can be cooked with heat or oil and can be eaten as a snack. They have a fluffy texture and are crunchy.
The carb content in popcorn is lower than many other snacks and can be certainly enjoyed in a low carb diet like keto. However, there is a catch, which is, some popcorn available in the market have added preservatives and flavor which tends to spike up the carbohydrates and sugar contents present in it.
So it is advised that you check the amount of popcorn you have daily and follow the nutrition chart of a particular product before buying. Popcorn has a lot of health benefits as well including preventing cancer, one of the deadliest disease which kills so many people around the world. A cup of popcorn daily doesn’t harm anyone or take you out of ketosis.
There are also many keto-friendly alternatives to popcorn in the market which could also be paid attention to.