Types of Popcorn
A variety of CORN characterized by kernels with a tough coat. When heated, the water content within popcorn turns to steam, and the resulting pressure causes kernels to “explode.” As a snack food, popcorn offers many advantages: It contains high levels of complex carbohydrate and provides six times the amount of fiber as an equivalent amount of broccoli. Air-popped popcorn is virtually oil free; one cup provides only 30 calories and 0.4 g of fat. Oil- or butter-popped corn is not low-fat fare, however. One cup, salted and with butter, provides 154 calories and 14 g of fat.
MICROWAVE POPCORN usually contains saturated fat (coconut oil, palm kernel oil, or shortening). Even the “lite” version derives 40 percent to 50 percent of its calories from added fat. Movie theater popcorn is often buttered in addition to being cooked in shortening (hydrogenated canola shortening), which is saturated fat. Added salt can increase salt intake appreciably.