Popcorn is a delicious snack food that has been eaten for centuries. It’s considered a whole grain, which means it’s a nutritious and low-calorie snack choice. But can you eat popcorn on the keto diet?
Keep reading to find out.
Health Benefits of Popcorn
Popcorn provides more than just great taste; it also offers some potential health benefits. One cup of air-popped popcorn contains only 31 calories and 5 grams of net carbs, making it an ideal snack food for those on a keto diet. Popcorn is also a good source of fiber, providing 4 grams per serving, which can help aid digestion and the absorption of essential vitamins and minerals. Additionally, popcorn is rich in polyphenols—antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation and protect against certain diseases like heart disease or certain types of cancer.
Why Net Carbs Matter on Keto?
Net carbs are a crucial aspect to take into account when deciding whether or not to include popcorn in your keto meal plan. To calculate net carbs, subtract the amount of dietary fiber from the total amount of carbohydrates in a food. So, for instance, if a serving of popcorn contains 6 grams of total carbs and 4 grams of dietary fiber, the net carb count would be 2 grams per serving. Since most versions of the keto diet restrict daily carb intake to between 20 and 50 grams per day, snacking on air-popped popcorn can help you stay within your carb limit while still enjoying a yummy snack.
How to Make Healthy Air Popped Popcorn?
Making your own air popped popcorn is easy and rewarding. All you need is some popcorn kernels, coconut oil, and an air popper machine (or stovetop skillet). Begin by heating up the coconut oil in the air popper machine or on the stove. Once heated, add in the popcorn kernels and cover with a lid. Allow to cook until the popping slows down (about 2-3 minutes). Remove from heat and sprinkle on your favorite seasonings like sea salt, garlic powder, or nutritional yeast for an extra kick of flavor.
Is Flavored Popcorn Keto-Friendly?
It’s important to remember that not all popcorn is created equal when it comes to the keto diet. Flavored varieties, such as caramel or cheese popcorn, should generally be avoided as they contain added sugars and other ingredients that won’t fit into a low carb lifestyle. Additionally, microwave popcorn brands typically use artificial flavors and preservatives which can raise blood sugar levels and throw off your bodies internal balance. These types of foods should be avoided on most versions of the ketogenic diet.
Delicious Alternatives to Replace Microwave Popcorn
There are plenty of options available to choose from. Try snacking on proteins like beef jerky, deli meats, hard-boiled eggs, pork rinds. Some ideas include roasted chickpeas or nuts, crunchy celery sticks with nut butter, dark chocolate chips and berries, or even edamame.
These snacks can all be incorporated into a healthy meal plan and are sure to satisfy your cravings without breaking the bank. They’ re all high in protein and low in carbohydrates, making them perfect for those following the keto diet.
Can I eat Popcorn on a Keto Diet?
The answer is yes! Popcorn is an excellent option for those looking to enjoy a healthy snack without straying too far from their carb intake goals. When eaten plain and air-popped, popcorn can be incorporated into most versions of the keto diet with ease.
Popcorn can be part of your keto diet if it is air-popped with no added sugar or artificial ingredients. If popcorn isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other delicious and nutritious snacks to choose from that will fit within the keto lifestyle. With careful planning and mindful eating, you can enjoy a variety of tasty treats while still maintaining your healthy eating habits.