Actually, a small serving of air-popped popcorn at night is good for weight loss. It’s a great late night snack that can keep us full before bed with less than 100 calories. Minerals in popcorn can improve sleep quality and increase energy metabolism. However, high amounts of commercial popcorn can make you fat.
Is popcorn good for losing weight?
Air-popped popcorn is the ideal snack for weight loss. Above all, popcorn is high in fiber. Fiber promotes satiety and helps us reduce energy intake. A medium serving (2 oz) of popcorn provides almost 20% of the Daily Value (DV).
Eating popcorn at night can help you lose weight
We lose weight only when we consume fewer calories than we burn. Therefore, reasonable amounts of popcorn could be a great late night snack as part of a well-balanced, hypocaloric diet.
In fact, eating reasonable amounts of popcorn at dinner, instead of another high-calorie snack, could help you lose weight. Air-popped popcorn has only 73 calories per 1 oz.
Can popcorn make you fat?
However, you shouldn’t consume too much popcorn. High amounts of popcorn can make you gain weight. Even air-popped popcorn is high in calories. In fact, air-popped popcorn has 385 calories per 100g! Just 2 handfuls of kernels have approximately 150 calories.
But, it’s easy to overconsume popcorn, watching your favorite TV program at night. You should be very cautious with the serving portions.
Most noteworthy, you shouldn’t cook popcorn with butter or vegetable oil. Oil-popped popcorn has 35% more calories than air-popped popcorn. It has 523 calories per 100g.
Popcorn with fatty or sugary toppings has even more calories! These types of popcorn can certainly make you fat.
You can use spices for seasoning. Spices give flavor, while they’re pretty low in calories and packed with antioxidants!
Is popcorn healthy?
Popcorn is healthy. After all, it’s a whole grain food. It’s high in minerals, and polyphenols. A medium serving provides:
- calcium (2.7 mg)
- iron (1.2 mg)
- magnesium (54 mg)
- phosphorus (136 mg)
- potassium (124 mg)
- zinc (1.16 mg)
These minerals are necessary for a good metabolism. They help the body burn more fat, preserve lean mass, improve Body Mass Index, and reduce waist circumference.[2,3,4,5,6]
Moreover, popcorn contains decent amounts of protein! It has 13 grams of protein per 100g. Protein has a much higher thermic effect than carbs or fat.
Popcorn before bed may help you sleep better at night
Furthermore, popcorn contains compounds which can relax the muscles and improve sleep quality and duration.
For instance, magnesium may improve sleep onset latency, early morning awakening, snoring, sleep duration, and daytime falling asleep. It’s particularly beneficial in elderly people.[7,8]
In addition, popcorn contains decent amounts of iron, which may have a beneficial effect on restless legs syndrome, general sleep disturbances, and sleep disordered breathing.
Actually, among the best night snacks are seeds and nuts. They’re particularly high in minerals. A handful of almonds or walnuts before bed is beneficial for a good night’s sleep.
Commercial popcorn can make you fat
If you want to lose weight, you should eat only homemade air-popped popcorn. Commercial popcorn can make you fat. It’s pretty high in calories, salt, and unhealthy calorie-dense, low-quality vegetable oils. For instance, commercial popcorn with a cheese topping may have more than 900 calories per 100g! They have 134% more calories than homemade air-popped popcorn!
Commercial popcorn cooked with coconut or palm oil can raise the level of LDL cholesterol in your blood and cause chronic low-grade inflammation in the body, which can lead to obesity. These vegetable oils are high in saturated fat. Moreover, commercial popcorn are usually cooked in partially hydrogenated oils, which are high in trans fats. Trans fats are dangerous for the health.
In fact, all commercial snacks are bad for weight loss. They have too many calories, poor nutritional value, and don’t suppress hunger. So, better avoid consuming breadsticks, rice cakes, or pretzels.
The best snacks for weight loss are fruits and nuts. For instance, you can eat a banana, an apple, or a handful of walnuts or almonds, as a healthy snack between meals.