If you’re like me, you probably get a little hungry in between meals. Trying to figure out what snacks can be healthy can also be a challenge. What if I told you Popcorn can be an option. 
Let’s take a look at Popcorn real quick. Popcorn is made by heating up kernels, which are filled with starch and have a hard exterior. When it’s not loaded with a bunch of other ingredients, the snack is a healthy light treat. It’s also popular because it’s fast and easy to prepare at home or work. 

Health Benefits

There are a few health benefits to eating popcorn. In addition to being high in fiber, popcorn also contains phenolic acids, a type of antioxidant. Popcorn is a whole grain, an important food group that may reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension in humans. Whole grains are known to offer many health benefits to humans. One important benefit of eating whole grains is a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. 

Popcorn nutrition facts
Popcorn contains the following vitamins and minerals, according to the USDA:

Vitamin B1
Vitamin B3
Vitamin B6

Microwave popcorn may not be as healthy

It might seem convenient, but microwave popcorn can be laden with fat and sodium, and there’s a wide variation as far as what brands contain. “Some brands have as much as 10 grams of fat for 2 cups, which is enormous for one serving,” says Cohen. “That’s about the same amount as what’s in potato chips.” If you do choose the microwaveable types, read the label and aim for brands with sodium at less than 200 mg per serving and the fewest number of fat grams you can find (unfortunately, that’s often still around 6 or 7 grams per serving). 

So if microwaveable popcorn isn’t healthy, what is? Without a doubt, air-popped popcorn is the best type to nosh on. “It’s low in calories, about 90 calories a cup and is fast and easy to make,” says Cohen. You can use a small countertop air popper appliance, or look for microwaveable bowls, which allow you to pop and serve in the same bowl. It’s totally fine to add a drizzle of butter or a dash of salt, if you like; you’ll use far less than you’d get in pre-packaged varieties, says Cohen.The next best way to pop up a batch is to do it on the stovetop. Pour about 1 tablespoon or two of olive, walnut or avocado oil (avoid coconut, flax, and palm oils, which are high in saturated fats) in a deep saucepan, and swirl it around. Heat the oil, then add enough popcorn to cover the bottom of your pan. Keep the heat on medium-high. Move the pan back and forth on the burner so the popcorn doesn’t burn or stick. It’s ready when the popping noises slow down to every few seconds. Don’t worry un-popped kernels; you typically have a few.

So try having popcorn as a snack instead of those other unhealthy options. 

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