Eat Popcorn for Health?
We’re trying to eat healthier, so please pass the popcorn. That’s right, a new study says the movie theater/ballgame/big top staple is so good for you, it provides more antioxidants than fruits or veggies, ABC News reports. Now this is an excuse for a happy dance.
“Popcorn may be the perfect snack food,” the study’s author, Joe Vinson of the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, says in a statement, according to the network. “It’s the only snack that is 100 percent whole grain.”
And, Vinson adds, whole grains have more “antioxidants and a lot more fiber than most other vegetables and fruits.”
Even the kinda icky parts of popcorn are good for you. ABC reports the hull—you know that shell that you can‘t seem to wedge out from beneath your teeth without some serious flossing—has even higher antioxidants and fiber than the puffed-up kernels.
But, just as we were about to start our popcorn diet, we discovered the catch: Adding butter, salt, and oil negates the food’s benefits, the network/buzz killers tell ABC.
“Popcorn works as a great snack food, but as with many foods … it’s what you do to it that determines its health value,” registered dietician Keith Ayoob tells the network.
He says to get “a little creative” by skipping the delicious add-ons and instead sprinkle on spices such as cinnamon, curry powder, or a practically miniscule teaspoon of Parmesan cheese. Somebody call the bland police.
And, if that wasn’t enough to, uh, pop your joy bubble, Yale’s Dr. David Katz says trading your carrots or cantaloupe for corn is a no-no anyway, and should just be looked at as a healthier substitute snack for stuff like fries or chips, according to ABC.
So, no butter, no oil, no salt, no substitute for spinach? We’ll have to stick to our own popcorn diet—the one that comes with a large Diet Coke, extra butter and a box of Junior Mints. Healthy? No. But happy dance-worthy? You bet.