Is popcorn healthy for weight loss?
We all know just how difficult it can be to lose weight, with temptation around every corner.
Yet unless you are able to control your temptations and avoid those unhealthy snacks then you are never going to achieve your goal weight, even with an otherwise healthy diet with regular exercise. Perhaps there is a healthy snack food option you could try that will help to keep you on the right track.
What is this healthy snack food?
Most nutritionists and dietitians would recommend some sort of fruit as a snack when you are hungry yet there is one option that you may not have thought of, popcorn. Normally you would not even think about popcorn as being a healthy snack as more often than not the only time it is eaten is while sitting watching a film in the cinema.
Well I have news for you, unless it is covered in butter and salt, popcorn can be an incredibly healthy snack option. Not only is it high in fiber and low in calories (around 31 calories in just one cup), it also contains polyphenols, a form of antioxidant that can help to improve your heart health while reducing the risk of cancer.
In fact according to a study undertaken at the University of Scranton, popcorn contains three times more polyphenols than kidney beans (highest vegetable concentration) and four times more than cranberries (highest fruit concentration).
How can polyphenols aid weight loss? When you consume polyphenols your body will be able to start converting any calories you consume into energy rather than allow them to be stored as excess fat. Polyphenols can also help to trigger your beta-adrenoceptors that will help to increase your metabolic rate, which in turn will also increase your bodies need for more energy. During this process any currently stored fat will start to be used as fuel.
How can fiber aid weight loss? As popcorn contains a large amount of dietary fiber it can help you to control your appetite, something that many dieters struggle to cope with. High fiber food like popcorn will fill you up much faster than usual without the usual intake of calories, meaning you won’t need to eat as much on a daily basis.
Another benefit is that these high fiber foods usually take much longer to chew, so your brain has more opportunity to receive the signal that your body is full.
Popcorn can help with your weight issues. If you want a quick and easy snack that will ward of temptation, then popcorn is certainly a good option, just remember to avoid the butter and salt.
There are healthy flavoring options if you want a little extra taste, perhaps a little sprinkle of parmesan or cayenne pepper could give you that much needed kick.
Popcorn is the perfect alternative for those usual unhealthy snacks you would normally reach for, snacks such as chips or pizza that have ruined any chance of reaching your perfect weight in the past.
Reference: Chemistry Professor Joe Vinson and Michael G. Coco Ph.D. University of Scranton, Pennsylvania. 243rd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, in San Diego, California, USA
About the author: Jac Jenkins is a stay at home Mom passionate about health and fitness. She is currently running her own blog at: http://www.yourweightlossaid.com/