Is popcorn keto? This is a very important question for popcorn lovers across the world.
Popcorn is a whole grain snack that is a favorite of movie goers all over the world. The snack is made from corn kernels that make a “pop” sound when it is subjected to heat. Popcorn may be included on keto but this really depends on the ingredients used in making the popcorn and how much is consumed on keto.
Some popcorn ismade using artificial flavoring and ingredients that are not to be included on keto. There may even be additives and added sugars that can kick one out of ketosis. This article discusses some reasons why popcorn should be avoided on keto and highlights possible healthier alternatives to popcorn on keto.
The Different Methods of Preparing Popcorn
There are different kinds of popcorn depending on the method of preparation. It is important to point out that most forms of popcorn are prepared by heating corn kernels until they pop to form popcorn. The pop sound is heard when water turns to steam and then escapes out of the corn kernel. Three popular methods used to pop the corn kernels include:
– stovetop method
– air-pop method
– microwave method
Each of these methods has its advantages and disadvantages that may affect their inclusion on keto. For example, microwave popcorn has been associated with an increased risk of developing some types of cancer.
Reasons to Avoid Popcorn on Keto
1. Popcorn Contains High Carb Content: The keto diet aims to limit carb consumption and improve fat intake, however, adding snacks high in carbs makes it difficult to achieve ketosis. Microwave popcorn and stovetop popcorn usually have more carbs and less fat. Without moderation, it becomes very easy to exceed the daily carb allowance when more than one cup of popcorn is consumed a day.
2. Consuming Popcorn May Cause High Blood Pressure: Premade popcorn usually contains a lot of sodium or salt. The salt is added to give taste to the popcorn. Research has shown that consumption of an excessive amount of sodium can cause high blood pressure. This means that when popcorn is not consumed moderately, it can have a negative impact on blood pressure.
Tips on How to Include Popcorn on Keto
Although it is widely believed that popcorn should not be an option for keto dieters, it can still be included on the keto diet when these conditions described below are followed.
1. One cup serving of popcorn is suitable a day: Since popcorn is relatively high in carbs, it is only proper to consume this snack in moderation while on a low-carb diet. This allows an individual to add a variety of other foods that contain carbs throughout the day without exceeding the carb limit in one sitting.
2. Homemade popcorn with olive oil and healthy fats is important: As already mentioned, popcorn is rich in carbohydrates. In order to include popcorn on the keto diet, it may be necessary to prepare it at home with ingredients that will not kick one out of ketosis. Olive oil is a good source of monounsaturated fats that can be added to corn kernels when making popcorn to increase their fat content.
3. Sodium may not be totally excluded on the keto diet: While consumption of sodium in large quantity has been linked to hypertension, if it is lacking from the diet, serious complications may occur. On the keto diet, one of such complications is the keto flu. This flu is caused by a lack of important electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. It occurs as an individual changes to a low-carb diet. One way to get rid of the keto flu is to replenish electrolytes. Consumption of sodium in moderate quantity may thus help alleviate symptoms of the keto flu.
Importance of Popcorn on Keto
There are so many health benefits that come with the consumption of popcorn on keto. A few of these benefits are mentioned below:
1. Popcorn is low in calories: Popcorn contains a very small amount of calories. This means that it can help to achieve weight loss. The fewer the calories consumed compared to that which the body burns, the more the weight loss.
2. It is gluten-free: The fact that popcorn is gluten-free is good news for individuals who are eating gluten-free but also want to start the keto diet. For such persons, a great keto snack to add to the keto diet is popcorn. Consuming a gluten-free snack like popcorn may help improve energy levels and even promote digestive health.
3. It is known to promote satiety: Popcorn has a high fiber content that helps to promote fullness. Consumption of a cup of popcorn a day may thus help to prevent the urge to consume more food that can potentially kick one out of ketosis. This property of popcorn may also be important for those who want to achieve weight loss on the keto diet.
Alternatives to Popcorn on Keto
There are many keto-friendly snacks that can conveniently replace popcorn on keto and they include:
1. Cheese Pops: Cheese popcorn or just cheese pops is one of the closest popcorn substitutes on the keto diet. It is made from hard cheese and it pops just the same as popcorn from corn kernel when placed in the microwave. One cup of cheese popcorn contains 3.7 grams of total fat and 5.7 grams of total carbs. Since the popcorn made from cheese has a very similar texture to regular popcorn, it can easily be used as a replacement for popcorn. It is also very easy to make using ingredients that are commonly found in the home.
2. Keto-friendly nuts: Adding nuts to the keto diet is a great way to include snacks while following a low-carb diet. Unlike some premade popcorn that contains a very high amount of sodium, nuts generally have moderate sodium content and provide numerous health benefits that are good for the ketogenic diet. Macadamia and pecan nuts are a good addition to the keto diet. One drawback of including nuts on keto is that some persons have nut allergies and may not be able to consume nuts as snacks on keto.
3. Cauliflower: The cauliflower can be baked, roasted, cooked and even eaten raw on a low-carb diet. The cauliflower is a vegetable that is used as a replacement for rice and most forms of pasta. The low-carb vegetable is versatile thus it has been incorporated in many keto recipes ncluding snacks. It is rich in dietary fiber thus when it is used to make snacks, it may promote satiety and help promote weight loss.
Popcorn is a snack that may be included on the keto diet when it is consumed in moderate quantity. It is best to only consume a cup of popcorn that contains a moderate amount of sodium and no added sugars. The high sodium content can cause hypertension while the added sugars can kick one out of ketosis. Homemade popcorn with high-quality ingredients is the best compared to premade popcorn. To keep the body in ketosis and maintain overall health, it may be important to make use of other keto-friendly snacks that are low in carbohydrates and rich in healthy fats