This content has been Fact-Checked by a Certified Nutritionist in our Publishing Team. Learn more here. Always consult a medical professional before commencing any diet.
The Popcorn Diet, it was a real thing back in the day, and it’s a real thing right now. People are replacing what they normally munch on with light fluffy pieces of popped corn, and they are losing weight because of it! Or are they?
Is The Popcorn Diet any good for weight loss? Does popcorn have carbs? Is popcorn low carb? Is popcorn vegan? I know, there are so many questions, but don’t worry because I have everything you need to know right here.
What is The Popcorn Diet?
No, you don’t have to strictly eat popcorn for all of your meals. That would be crazy. Popcorn may be an interesting weight loss tool but it’s not a miracle food.
Although you might be surprised at how nutritious popcorn can be when you eat it the right way – I’ll tell you more about microwaveable popcorn calories later.
The general idea is to either replace one of your main meals with popcorn or eat popcorn instead of what you might normally turn to for snacks.
In a way eating popcorn is a guilt-free way to keep those hunger pangs at bay while you attempt to reign in your cravings and establish a healthy and balanced diet.
Is Popcorn Healthy?
Whether the Popcorn Diet is healthy or not really depends on how you approach it.
There are always going to be people, who take diets to the extreme, and I’m just going to say it, these people have eating disorders. Any diet will be unhealthy if you don’t approach it with a healthy mind.
If you want to try out the Popcorn Diet in a healthy way, keep one thing in mind – Popcorn is far from nutritionally dense.
It is not a superfood. And it comes in many unhealthy forms like loaded with sugar and salt or coated with toffee and chocolate.
But when you eat it correctly you can benefit from the actual nutritional content it contains and it can be a healthy and nutritious addition to your diet.
Popcorn Nutrition Facts
Popcorn is a whole grain food and it is high in many important nutrients.
Check out the nutrition facts per 100 gram of air-popped popcorn (unsalted) according to USDA:
|Total fat||4.2 g||5 %||Low in fats|
|Saturated fat||0.57 g||3 %||Low in saturated fats|
|Trans Fat||0||0 %||Deficient in Trans fat|
|Cholesterol||0||0 %||Deficient in cholesterol|
|Sodium||4 mg||0.2 %||Low in sodium|
|Total carbohydrates||77.9 g||28 %||High in carbs|
|Dietary fiber||15.1 g||54 %||High in fiber|
|Protein||12 g||24 %||High in protein|
|calcium||10 mg||0.8 %||Low in calcium|
|Iron||2.66 mg||15 %||Moderate in iron|
|Potassium||301 mg||6 %||Low in potassium|
|Vitamin B6||0.245 mg||14 %||Moderate in vit.B6|
|Phosphorus||300 mg||24 %||High in phosphorus|
|Magnesium||131 mg||31 %||High in magnesium|
|Zinc||3.44 mg||31 %||High in zinc|
|Copper||0.42 mg||47 %||High in copper|
|Manganese||0.943 mg||41 %||High in manganese|
*The %DV tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Popcorn Diet Pros and Cons
Popcorn Diet Pros:
- Awesome for people who like to nibble mindlessly but don’t want to consume high calories.
- Popcorn can be a great filling snack or a small meal replacement. It can also help to bulk out your meals making you feel fuller.
- Popcorn is crunchy and chewy which means you can take your time eating it, and it will last longer than some other snacks.
- Depending on how you prepare it, popcorn can be surprisingly healthy. More on that further on in the article.
- Popcorn is guilt-free, easy to prepare, easy to store and easy to take with you when you are on the move.
- low in fat and it is vegan.
- Keto-friendly (in small amounts)
- Scientists reported that It contains a healthy antioxidant called polyphenol
Popcorn Diet Cons:
- Microwave popcorn contains Perfluorooctanoic acid, which is definitely not good for you. It is used as a non-stick coating on popcorn, but it is also the same thing that is used to produce pizza boxes and fire-lighting foams!
- Microwave popcorn contains trans and saturated fats, which can raise cholesterol and cause other problems for your body and health in the future.
So watch out for unhealthy coatings like butter and oils.
- Most packet popcorn contains high levels of sugar and salt, so the diet isn’t as convenient as popping into the shop for a packet of ready-made popcorn.
And forget about the popcorn you get at the movies.
Plain Popcorn Calories
Keep it healthy by opting for plain whole grain and air-popped kernels.
This way you will be enjoying a snack, which is antioxidant-rich and has a low-calorie count of just 382 kcal for 100 grams. Just 4 grams of fat (almost fat-free!) and 15 grams of fiber which is high so It makes you feel full easily.
How Many Calories in a Bag of Popcorn?
In a 2.5-ounce standard bag of microwave popcorn, there are over 400 calories, which is double what you would find in the same quantity of plain air-popped kernels.
If you are concerned about carbs, 100 grams of air-popped popcorn contains 77.9 grams of carbs which is high so don’t be fooled that just because popcorn is low in calories that it will also be low in carbs.
In fact, most of the calories in popcorn actually come from carbohydrates – remember, it’s a whole grain.
That doesn’t mean that it is bad for you though, as long as you are watching your portion sizes and the amount of oil, butter, and salt.
Popcorn Diet Weight Loss
What everyone wants to know though, is the answer to the all-important questions;
Can you lose weight on The Popcorn Diet?
The answer is, absolutely. It’s common sense that if you replace something unhealthy with something healthier and lower in calories, your body will benefit from it.
The good news is that popcorn can take up a lot of space in your stomach, which means it will make you feel full, preventing you from snacking on unhealthy foods throughout the day.
The reason for this is that it is a whole grain and it contains a lot of fiber, which is filling. In fact, studies have shown that popcorn is more filling than potato chips.
Popcorn Diet Plan
The best way to enjoy success on any diet is to plan your meals ahead of time.
Decide whether you want to use popcorn to replace one meal a day, or whether you want to replace your snacks with popcorn, or try a bit of both throughout the week.
Low in salt and reduced sugar popcorns are always going to be a healthier choice.
Take into consideration how many servings you are consuming throughout the day from the grain group to avoid malnutrition.
A balanced diet that contains various types of vegetables, legumes, fruit, and protein will prevent malnutrition.
If you are snacking on popcorn all day then you may want to be more conscious about reducing the grains you include in your main meals.
As a rule of thumb, you should be aiming for around 3 – 8 ounces from the grains food group per day according to USDA. 3 cups of popped popcorn are about 1 ounce.
It is also important to make sure that you are getting your daily allowance of water for proper hydration.
Aim for up to 8 glasses per day or approximately 2 liters, and try drinking a glass of water before meals and snacks to help fill your stomach and stop you from overeating. To know more about the benefits of drinking water click here.
Popcorn Diet Recipes
Here are some tasty, healthy popcorn diet ideas to jazz up your plain air-popped popcorn snacks and meals.
- Cinnamon (to satisfy a sweet tooth)
- Nutritional Yeast (cheesy flavor)
- Chilli Powder (for some kick)
- Lime & Cilantro, with a touch of Melted Butter (to replace rice)
- Fresh Rosemary and a touch of Parmesan
- Peanut Butter
- Olive Oil & a touch of Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper
- A drizzle of Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt
Check out these healthy popcorn recipes here.
Best Popcorn For Diet
The best kind of popcorn you can eat for dieting is definitely plain, air-popped corn.
Stay away from anything pre-prepared in a packet ready to eat, and watch our microwaveable popcorn.
Make it at home and eat it while it’s warm as a comforting snack.
Try to keep your recipes as bland as you can bear, as long as they are still enjoyable.
The reason for this is that very tasty food is usually tasty because it contains salt or is high in fat, and this can produce cravings and cause you to eat more than you need.
When you train your taste buds to enjoy blander tasting foods you can listen to your body better and you are more likely to eat only when you need to, and stop when you have eaten all your body needs.
Popcorn Diet Results – Does The Popcorn Diet Really Work?
Many people have had positive results by following the popcorn diet for a short period of time.
It can offer you real results and noticeable weight loss if you stick to the plan for a set amount of time.
You should always consult your doctor before trying out a new diet to ensure that your general health is good and that it’s safe for you to go ahead and try something.
Your doctor may advise you to try something else. Always take your doctor’s suggestions into account because of course they are the health professionals and they know what they are talking about.
They may be able to shed more light upon certain questions you may have about a diet of your own current health.
As long as you are sensible about what you are doing, it shouldn’t hurt to try something out for yourself, because only then will you know if something is working for you.
Life is about healthy experimentation and discovery. It’s your body, and all you have to do is listen to it.
This content has been Fact-Checked by a Certified Nutritionist in our Publishing Team. Learn more here.