Popcorn is a great option when watching one's weight. When you are dieting it's hard to figure out whether the foods you're consuming are good choices. There are a thousand options in the grocery store. Labels declaring "light food", "lite food" and after that there's low-calorie, low-fat food, natural food, nonfat food and organic food. Beyond that, are you getting enough fiber? Enough roughage? It may seem as if iceberg lettuce and carrot sticks are your main courses until eternity. But sneaking in snacks of popcorn are not cheats! Here are some diet-friendly and calorie-friendly reasons why.
Popcorn is a whole-grain food, which makes it a great source of fiber. Unbuttered popcorn is about 50 calories a cup. You can eat popcorn guilt-free with those statistics. Popcorn works fast to curb your hunger between meals. Instead of starvation and fasting, popcorn is a great easy snack that you can eat a large quantity of and not have the scale show you a terrible number the next day.
Unbuttered popcorn is a good staple for a low-calorie diet, but when you want to change it up a little, there are many things you can do to make popcorn an even tastier snack. Cinnamon, brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic and onion salt, iced tea mix, peanuts, raisins and trail mix are all options to make the snack a little sweeter or a little more savory.
If you choose not to make your own popcorn snack at home, the grocery store has made eating sweet and smart a little bit easier. You can purchase sugar-free, reduced calorie caramel corn! Splenda sugar has made it very easy for weight-watching or diabetic people to monitor sugar intake without having to sacrifice a snack. It is important to eat popcorn snacks made with Splenda in moderation for two reasons. First, when you are counting calories and dieting, ideally you'd like to make a life change so that you aren't reaching for junk snacks every time you get the munchies. Try reaching for your favorite fruit instead, it will still take care of the sugar craving. Secondly, low-calorie popcorn snacks and other snacks made with Splenda are loaded with sugar alcohol, which is a laxative. One little bag of tasty low-calorie low-carbohydrate popcorn, and you'll be sorry for the rest of the day.
Popcorn does contain carbohydrates and fat (from the oil used to pop it if you are doing it the old-fashioned way), but they are good carbohydrates and fats to have. Carbohydrates are bad when they come from highly processed, high-calorie and empty-calorie foods like white bread, white processed flour and any sugary snack favorite we have in the cookie aisle. So keep in mind that with all the diet labels that can be rotated around and slapped on your popcorn, it is still a great choice. Light food? Absolutely, light and fluffy and doesn't sit heavy on you if you're snacking before a meal. It also meets the above criteria of being low-calorie, low-fat, natural and containing fiber. If you go easy on the butter or skip it altogether, popcorn is a hot, low restriction winner for a dieting regimen.
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